Friday, February 20, 2009

God Doesn't Call the Qualified He Qualifies the Called

I love that quote!

I get asked all the time, "Why do you homeschool?"
There are many reasons I could give you for why we home school, but it would take me all day to list them. Right now I have a house full of 10 children. 4 girls upstairs playing ponies and 4 boys sitting right here in my living room playing PlayStation and 2 babies sleeping. What can I say I'm the hang out house..and I love it! So let me make this kind of quick.
Ok, let's see one reason we home school, for me it all started with a vision. As I held my first born in my arms as a tiny baby I felt completely overwhelmed by the great responsibility of raising a child. As tears trickled down my young and inexperienced baby-face (I was 19), I asked the Lord to give me His wisdom for this little life. I looked down at his big brown eyes and I caught a glimpse of a teenage boy. It wasn't so much about what he looked like on the outside (although he looked really cute like his dad)that I took notice of, but what his character was like, his strength, his gifts, talents, life skills and his security in who he was in his Lord Jesus Christ.
I didn't want him to fall or fail like I had. I wanted to do everything I could to raise him and make him live for Jesus.

As I saw that picture in my mind, it was almost like I was seeing the steps that I would need to take. The only way I could see that happening in our family was by homeschooling. For me God layed the desire to homeschool from the first months of Austin's life. I had a lot of growing to do in my own life.
I didn't dare tell anyone about my crazy thinking. Was it really God or just me? I mean come on God, you know I wasn't the smartest cheerleader on the squad. Who am I to teach? I am horrible at spelling, and math come on now, I still count on my fingers. I didn't give it much thought again until Austin was in preschool getting ready for Kindergarten. I remember going to Barnes and Noble and buying "So your thinking about homeschooling?" By Lisa Welchel A Focus on the Family book.
That was the first book I ever read on homeschooling. I remember reading it in the car when Justin was driving. He would just look over at me and roll his eyes. (he knew the Bridget who hated school) I would often say listen to this...then read something out loud to him. I did this for a good 3 years. With different books and blogs I was reading. I was slowly softening him to the idea.
Yet my husband was still to be convinced. We enrolled Austin into a private Kindergarten and I remember telling the teacher I don't think he's ready maybe I should keep him home one more year. (It was me not wanting to let go) She laughed and said he's more than ready.
Then by the time 1st grade came around I went back and forth with the homeschooling. We were blessed to be apart of a very small private school (12 in a class) where we met some really neat families and Austin had some awesome Christian teachers whom I have learned so much from. One of them has given me a lot of her supplies since retiring.
I kept feeling God tug at my heart, but if you know me I'm stubborn and always need to know how and why? It was hard for me to just step out in faith and trust God. I was filled with doubt and fear. As Austin was nearing 3rd grade and Faith was about to start 1st I took to prayer like never before about homeschooling. I prayed God would equipt me and make me just a day smarter than my kids. I prayed he would give me the resources to teach and direction where and what to do. Everything started to fall into place and ever since it has been the best decision we have ever made. My husband thinks so too:) I think a lot of mom's are scared to make this decision. One of my biggest reasons was I'm not smart enough. I didn't even think to ask God to help me be smart enough. (He's still working on me!)I've heard other moms say they don't have the patience to homeschool but haven't ask God for it. I am learning to trust God and leave the rest up to him. I was so scared of teaching 4th grade math this year and look God has brought a nice Christian girl to tutor Austin and he is thriving in math. My kids are testing way above their grade levels.
I am learning that God will ask us things that don't make sense. I am learning that we as Christians aren't suppose to fit in or do what everyone else is doing.

I am not one of these home schoolers that believe it is the ONLY way to go. I believe God gives us very unique directions for our families when we stop to ask Him.
We need to learn to listen. To be still and know that he is God. I often get so busy that I don't just stop and listen. God says, Be still and know that I am God. I've learned that if the enemy can't make you sin he will make you busy.
Some families I know are bringing up awesome children in the public education system, others in Christian or private. The decision shouldn't ever be limited to should I home school, but rather the more widely asked question, what does God want for your family?

Do you ever think about homeschooling your children? Why or why not?
Has God ever asked you to do something that didn't make sense? (like me homeschooling) Step out in faith, it's a simple matter in letting God be in charge.
I can't wait to see what crazy things God is going to ask of me....ahhhh! but I'm ready!
Another quote I love:
Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!

I've gotten emails on what books or curriculm I use. I will do a book review on the different book I use later next week:) I am still learning...but if you have any questions about homeschooling I'd be happy to help:)


Anonymous said...

WOW! I'm addicted to your blog, just so you know. And this post is exactly the reason why. It gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. Most of all, it's made me stop and LISTEN...what is God telling me to do?? Thank you for that "inspirational" post. I needed that really bad.

debbie said...

Bridget, May the Lord be glorified in all you do. May you draw your strength from Him daily. He does say we can do all things who Christ who strengthens us. He does want us to surrender all to Him. Nothing else in this life matters, but to bring Him honor and praise by how we live. I know you put a smile on His face. I am proud to be your mom and I love you.

debbie said...

woops, not all things who, but all things through Christ.

Janene said...

What a great post--I just got back from a date with my husband in which we talked about the path God has led us on. . .and we are contemplating a move to a Catholic school for our daughter entering first grade...and I teach in the public school system...and I needed this message: to be still and to listen and ask for what I need, be it patience, or wisdom, or whatever else. . .Thank you.

Christy said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I know I don't comment often and haven't been reading lately (my husband is home for his 18 days of R&R, he's in the Army deployed to Iraq) so blogging is limited right now.

We also homeschool and it is by and far a calling from the Lord. I think the thing I hear the most is "Oh I do not have the patience". I agree there ARE some people who are definitely NOT called to HS, and I have to say it doesn't take patience, most of my friends who homeschool laugh at the patience line, because we're all human and all have our limits and there are days that sending them off for 6-8 hours a day and getting downtime sounds great, but those are few and far between.

God called our family to homeschooling when our oldest daughter was alive. She was fighting for her life against cancer. During that time is when all the schoot shootings began and I met a friend who homeschooled her 7 children. I told my husband there was no way we could fight for Jordyn's life and then send her off to school and at that point a good part of it was fear, yet God was working on our hearts. My husband was also more hesitant, but God changed his heart as well and he has been convicted by the Lord too and is a great supporter of me and our children, and helps in their schooling when he can.

I'm praying for you and your family, as I know not everyday is smooth.

Karla said...

What an encouraging post!

I was a Christian school teacher, and we said we would NEVER homeschool. Yet God changed both mine and my husband's hearts, and we have been on this path for 3 years now. God is good. Whatever He asks us to do, He will give us the ability to do it.

THANK YOU for this post, Bridget!

I would love to hear more about the curriculum you use....

Abbi said...

GREAT post!!! the title says it all!!! awesomwe!!!

Anonymous said...

You have certainly answered God's call, Bridget your amazing, a true testament, God Bless you and this world is a better place because of you and what you are doing!

Aimie said...

Thank you Bridget! :)

I got an okay for homeschooling Aimee next year! Yay!!! Maybe Michael And Becca the next year!

Justin and Jenn said...

I LOVE your blog! My husband and I talked about this very thing this weekend. We aren't even thinking about kids right now, but we were talking about all the benefits of home schooling. My husband is a public middle school teacher and sees all the crud. I don't know what we will end up doing when we have kids, but kuddos to you!