What They Learn that Doesn't Show Up in your Lesson Plan

I was conversing offline (away from HSB), but yet online, with a dear blogger friend and sister in Christ about friendships, how people come and go in our lives, and the season of some relationships.  Don’t you just love how the Lord sometimes gives those in-the-moment opportunities to practice what you preach?

 

I had an opportunity to visit with a friend that I hadn’t seen in a long while.  I was genuinely excited about the visit, but also apprehensive: though a believer, right now, her life is not one that I would consider as being lined up with Christ.   I remember riding and thinking to myself, “Lord, is this where I should be?”   I was particularly concerned for my oldest, who rode with me.   Am I being a good guardian of her ear- and eye-gate as she visits with kids who are far from You?  As the first of many digressions, let me say that I believe in sheltering children, but not to the point that they’re shell-shocked when they meet kids who don’t have a relationship with Christ.  So, although I was still a bit anxious on her behalf, I was able to placate myself, at least temporarily, with the thought that I could minister to my friend and be a blessing to her.  Besides, I need to get out of my ‘all-Christian, mostly homeschooling friend’ box and let my light shine in some dark places, so I thought.  I exhaled a deep breath as we knocked on the door.   Here goes.

 

My husband and I talked over a couple of days about what happened while my daughter and I visited, and what it means to us naturally and spiritually.  In one sense, I had genuine fun, as strange as that might sound.   It’s rare that I get to hang out with a friend and do something that is completely for me—not work-related, not school-related, and not for someone else in the family.   But on a much deeper level, I saw all the fruit of losing your first love: a husband and wife who were subtly and almost constantly at each other’s throats, wayward kids, and a family falling apart at the seams. Chasing worldly idols instead of the One that is worth the pursuit is empty living, and it eventually takes its toll.   I know as we were there for a while (though not to this level), spending little time as a family, even less as a couple, and smiling through tears at our big house, nice cars, and latest vacation pics.   At the risk of sounding critical, I struggled during my visit to walk a fine line between a wife, who selfishly wanted me to stay as a part of her fun, and a husband who, though he expressed it quite immaturely, wasn’t getting his share of attention during his wife’s rare time away from work and school.   Have you ever walked into a house and knew that you were in the middle of something you shouldn’t have been in?  All the time my mind was spinning: how do I get out of here quickly (though probably not quickly enough for him), but not insult or offend her?  Is it my business to somehow speak to what I was seeing, and if so, what spiritual “meat” could I leave for her to chew on that might help?  If I witnessed this, what was my daughter seeing upstairs (the kids aren’t allowed in her space)? All the obviously unspoken words between the couple–“I need you”, “I want you here with me”, “I care”—Lord, what does it mean and how should I respond?  

 

On the way home, my daughter talked in detail about her visit.  God’s hand is truly upon her, and she’s light years ahead of where I was at her age regarding her discernment. Yet, her first comment was how much she enjoyed visiting that particular home because ‘we always stay for hours!’  (Cropping is so time-consuming, but the results—aaaaaahhhhh.)   I wanted to ask her what specifically she liked about going there, but my mind was spinning so that I had to at times ask her to repeat herself as I tried to decipher everything that had transpired over the last few hours.   I did manage, however, to eventually hear every word because I didn’t want to miss a thing.

 

A part of what I saw that day was my friend refusing to cook in order to indulge in our girl fun while her husband and kids complained, silently and not so silently, about being hungry.  Witnessing everyone’s interaction reminded me how much I value taking care of everyone around me before I engage in anything for myself, so when I got home, I immediately prepared dinner.  As it turned out, I was the only one who was hungry, but the effort gave me a strange peace—I’m sure that was psychological.   Over buffalo burgers, my husband and I talked about what we want our children to take away from this house and into their own marriages.  I thought again about what a gift God has given us to be with our kids most of the time, loving on them and pouring His love upon their hearts and minds.  Again, forgive me for sounding critical, but I’ve yet to understand how casually people place their children back into traditional school systems.   I know that some have to for financial and other reasons; my comment isn’t directed at them, but instead to the parents who just ‘don’t want to do this anymore.’   Don’t they realize what they’re giving up?

 

Our family prayed for their family that night.   All this brain activity led me, strangely enough, back to the goals that we wrote down when we first began to educate at home.  As a bit of a backdrop, we were given great advice when we started: write down 10 goals regarding what you want to see in your children as adults.   It will dictate how you teach them as children.    For the sake of space since this is rather long, I won’t list our goals, but I’ve thought to add a few, in no particular order, following a day of revelation.

 

Lessons Our Kids Should Take Away from This Home

 

Boundaries are okay; selfishness is unacceptable.

A family is a team.   We help each other rise, or we all fall.

The happiness and wholeness of each member of our family is far more important than any possession in this home.

Similarly, the noise and clutter that comes naturally from having fun, loving and laughing will always outweigh a perfect presentation (I’m still working through this one, but I know it to be true) .

We prefer each other over ourselves.

Not a day goes by that we don’t show each other love; hugs, kisses, and acts of kindness and self-sacrifice are always the order of the day.

 

 

May the Lord continue to bless each of you.   Take some time and love on each other!

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8 comments on “What They Learn that Doesn't Show Up in your Lesson Plan

  1. andijeane says:

    This was a really great post. It must have been difficult to write, but I'm so glad you shared it!

    Have a wonderful and blessed week!

    ~Andrea

  2. SongOfTheSagebrush says:

    What a great idea!

    I've been thinking about the sheltering vs. being in the world as it relates to the kids. I could write a lot more right now, but breakfast must happen, so I suppose I'll have to save my ponderings for now!

    Thanks for your comment on my poem…these thoughts ring through my heart these days. I pray the poems not be idle words!

    Blessings,
    Anne-Marie

  3. mom2many says:

    Great thoughts … it's a fine line we walk between sheltering and over-protecting, isn't it? :o)

  4. bubbebobbie says:

    First because I love you I will share with you what Webster's 1828 dictionary says about Sheltered
    SHEL'TERED, pp. Covered from injury or annoyance; defended; protected.

    Protected is also a good thing
    PROTECT'ED, pp. Covered or defended from injury; preserved in safety

    And I threw in this one just because
    ED'UCATED, pp. Brought up; instructed; furnished with knowledge or principles; trained, disciplined.

    As far as I can tell that is a good thing. The world has a way of making us feel as if we are harming our children by keeping the world at a distance.

    2Tim 2:22
    Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

    1 Cor 15: 33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

    That is God's idea of sheltering.

    I sheltered Heatherlee better than I sheltered Matthew. I should have been as diligent with him. I thought it was important for him to be an example to neighbor. I forgot 1 Cor 15:33 I wish I had not. It cost him dearly.

    As to having Christian friends, the Lord says the following here as well
    Acts 2:44
    All the believers were together and had everything in common.

    2 Corintians 6:14-15
    Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

    The Lord is so clear and includes His reasonings in Psalm 1. Before we know what is happening we find ourselves in the mire.

    How do we keep them from culture shock? We Educate them , teach them the truth of the world with out the experience of the world. Teach them the consequences without experiencing them.

    When my children were in school, a teacher told me she thought I was harming my daughter because she Thought about Jesus so much and did not understand the reality of the world around her. I told her she couldn't be farther from the truth, Heather knew more about the real world by the experiences of her parents han any of her classmates could imagine. After I shared my testimony with her, she respected Heatherlee and her beliefs a lot more.

    I think you are doing an awesome job and your conversation and contrasted examples of family life are proof of that The fact that your spirit was in such turmoil also says much about you.

    The Holy Spirit is so good at doing His job.

    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  5. 4sweetums says:

    Very well said!!!! I really enjoyed your thought provoking post.
    Blessings,
    4sweetums

  6. daredhead says:

    Again you have challenged me. It never dawned upon me to make a 10 point list. I've always had things in my mind, but I never wrote them down. I'm going to sit down with my hubby & work on that together.

    I gave you an award. I don't think you have it yet. Pop over to my site to pick it up.

    Stacey

  7. ThreeLittleLadies says:

    when we are in the middle of life, we often forget what we came out of to enjoy this life. We look over and see some "greener grass" and start to wonder if we made the right choices. Then we spend a couple of hours in that yard, and realize how good we have it. I'm glad your dd didn't see or experience anything that made you regret spending that time there.

    Isn't it good when we make ourselves be disciplined in the home and then can enjoy the fruit of it. I'm so glad I made a schedule this week. I'm getting so much more done!

    Have a good night.
    Carol

  8. sahmto4orMore says:

    Excellent post!

    I am so in agreement with the list you made there at the end.

    I just ran into a friend who is so excited to have put her kids in school for the first time. I wasn't sure how to respond to her. She said her daughter cries every day and wants to come back home to be homeschooled. I'm so sad for them, yet their mom is so excited they are "out of the house" at school all day and she has time with the two toddlers now.

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