We only have one set of eyes. As for me, I can say, I have fallen prey to looking at myself, our homeschool, my marriage, or ministry through other eyes.
I think there are many dangers in this practice, many of which could be avoided by realizing and turning before we fall prey again. Are we in fact even able to discern what others actually think of us? One of the major problems with letting others define us is that it borders on idolatry. A desire to please others will always deter, and take precedence over our desire to please God, our Creator.
Our homeschool experience is no different. God alone is our Definer, and Refiner. Often times we tend to look at others and measure where we are by what we see. Sometimes we measure where we are by what we think others see. Either view is a false perception of reality. Our true reality comes from looking at ourselves through the eyes of the Lord. To be seen through the eyes which are not affected, eyes untainted by sin. It is only when we rest in His gaze that we will find a deep and true Peace.
I remember my first year homeschooling especially. I was new to the homeschool movement. I felt I had answered the call to homeschool our three children. Yet, I was very insecure, and fearful of failure. I wanted to do everything just right. My front living room became our classroom. We gave our furniture away, to make room for desks and book shelves. And away we went.
I remember getting involved in a homeschool group, and being bombarded with thoughts of inadequacy. My children seemed to be THE loud, rambunctious ones, while everyone else’s seemed to be so well behaved. There was more than one family with many children, and I only had three… loud, rambunctious children. Curriculum choices, teaching styles, learning styles, lesson plans, character training, portfolios, and on goes the list. To add to it all, my daughter had previously been enrolled in public school, and things were not to her satisfaction. After all, “this isn’t how they do things at real school”… she would say.
Oh, the heartache and headaches. What is my point in all of this? Simple. Our concern should remain to please the One who has called us to this journey. To the One, who enables us to wake every morning, and learn with our precious gifts, everyday!
I thought I would share a few ways that have helped me to look through the right eyes. Although I find myself slipping at times, and in need of a vision readjustment. First, I would encourage you to return to your decision to homeschool, what are the circumstances surrounding your decision? What was your confirmation to do so? Write it down. Seek the Lord for Scripture back up, and write it down.
Habakkuk 2:2 says this: “And the LORD answered me, and said, “Write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it.”
If you feel led to share this with a friend, then do so, but this is what you believe the Lord has called your family to. And I encourage you to revisit this often. As your family grows and changes, your vision may do the same.
Second, I would encourage you to beat the family up. Now, before you pull out the punching gloves, set your alarm clock a little earlier. Beat your family up in the morning. Take time to seek the Lord early. Mark 1:35 says: “And in the morning, a great while before day, He rose up and went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed.” The Lord has a beautiful plan for your family everyday. Each day is a new gift, with new treasures to unwrap.
It doesn’t have to be “just another mundane school day. “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.” Psalms 119:147 He is not only your Creator, but also your children’s. Therefore, He alone has the Owner’s Manual.
For me it helps to start my day with some quiet time. It may not be a long time, but I can surely tell the days when I have missed it. To be truthful, everyone in my house can attest to such days! If you are not an early riser, seek ways to find the time for quiet renewal each day. Make it a priority to have time with the Lord, before the hustle and bustle of each day.
Third, remember. Remember your family is a unique set of vessels. Only the Manufacture of those vessels can tell you why He created them, for what use. And only the Manufacture can tell you the specific way they work best. Vessels can be used for lots of things, maybe even “good” things. But, I believe they shine the brightest, and are most fulfilled when they are being used for that which they were created for. So be encouraged! Take the pressure off, and respond by looking through the right eyes.
Written by Loni, blogging about our homeschool adventure, sufficient grace, and looking through the right eyes at Hearts-In-Training.