In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
It’s been awhile; I know. To be honest, except for some few matters that weighed heavily on my heart, I have basically taken this summer off. After 15 years of the intense parenting and educating process that is so innocuously referred to as”homeschool,” I took a few weeks and did some serious resting at the Lord’s feet… with an strong emphasis on rest.
As part of this, I slept… and slept. As far back as memory stretches, I remember being tired, and so this summer I did not stick to my normal early-morning routine as in years past. I slept as long as I could as often as I could. That is not to say that I went to bed late – in fact, I was often in bed by 9:30 – but for the first time in memory, I did not set an alarm every day.
It was a luxury, and one that I was only able to afford in part because of a tremendous change that is happening at the Davis household. You see, I have less to prepare for this school year.
For the first time in our family history, I will only be homeschooling one of my children; the older two will attend a private Christian school. This is our family’s very first venture into an institutional-style education.
It’s pretty big change.
For years, we have prayed about how long we would homeschool, and this year the surprising answer was to provide the older two with an opportunity to attend a private school in a neighboring town. I have always known that if my Lord wanted my children to attend private school then He would provide for it.
And He has. And here we are, just days away.
But some things never change. The same questions that have risen at the beginning of each school year still surfaced this time, some with even greater savagery.
Have I done enough with them?
Have I been too lenient, too strict, too careless, too rigid?
Have I gotten so caught up in teaching Bible that I have forgotten to share my love of the Bible?
Have I impeded their growth spiritually, socially, academically, emotionally, intellectually?
What if I have made a tremendous, hopeless mess out of everything?
These questions and others like them are the particular haunt of homeschool moms, although I am certain they affect all concerned parents in some degree. However, the homeschool community is such that, if you spend even thirty-five seconds on some form of social media, you will be bombarded by other homeschoolers who have just plain done it better.
They have successfully shepherded all of their children’s hearts to the effect that each one has an obvious love for the Lord that overflows in a passion for some area of ministry. These families have raised prodigies in violin or dance. Their children are mini-geniuses who are fluent in 4 languages, have mastered Algebra by fifth grade, can map their own DNA, have written a successful novel, have formulated a very promising cure for cancer, whip up five-star restaurant quality meals from scratch for dinner each week, rescue babies from runaway cars as a hobby, made a 36 on the ACT exam in eighth grade, and have once or twice saved the world from imminent disaster with a combination of pure ingenuity under fire and infallible communication skills. They are done by noon. Every. Single. Day.
When I consider all this, it’s not difficult to see why I no longer look around at other people’s Facebook posts nor why I have studiously ignored Pinterest.
However, all my sleeping and resting at the Lord’s feet did bring about a positive change. For the first time, even though the same old crazy, fear-induced questions did rise up on cue, they were quickly put to rest by one single encouraging thought: It really doesn’t matter.
You see, even if I have made mistakes, there is no such thing as a hopeless mess. Of course I have erred; I am human. However, I have also prayerfully, diligently, even tearfully tried my utmost to obey what I believe my King has told me to do. In years past, that meant fighting battles I did not want to fight. This year, it means letting go a little.
Naturally, I have asked myself, “What if you are wrong? What if you only think you’re doing what God wants you to do?”
And that’s where this gets good. Because, the thing is, my Father does know if I am truly and with my whole heart trying to obey. And He isn’t expecting perfection; perfection is squarely His territory.
But the best part of all of this is that even if I do misunderstand Him, even if I do make huge and heinous mistakes, as Ephesians 1:11 says, He “works all things according to the counsel of His will.”
Oh, there are other verses I have collected along the same lines, but my fellow Christ-loving moms, as we start this school year (whether homeschool, private school, or public school), I pray that you are as encouraged by the Word of Life as I was this week.
So instead of worrying, let’s rejoice! Our God is truly the Almighty, and He works all things according to the counsel of His will. Even our sincere mistakes.
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.