O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.
After over a year of homelessness (her mother’s 1 bedroom was a blessing for their family of 9, but for a husband and wife, there is nothing like your own home), she inherited a home specifically remodeled with her in mind (Her deceased aunt added three bedrooms, a bathroom, and bought a new washing machine and refrigerator before going home to be with the Lord)!! It only cost her $5 (to change the deed)!! I was already excited enough as we have lifted her family up to the Lord over the past year or more, but when she walked me through her entire testimony, all I kept saying was “amazing.” There simply were no words to fully express the privilege of watching God be God.
As our son said, if you only heard the end of the story, you’d be jealous, and I would never be so presumptuous as to tell her testimony, but the story’s so wonderful that I just have to, have to, share some highlights. Let me be very upfront in saying that words will fail me miserably in trying to capture eloquently what I heard on yesterday. Again, sometimes life events just cause you to stare at God, mouth agape, totally dumbfounded.
1) She endured Egyptian-like plagues in her original home
2) A neighbor with a bi-polar disorder once threatened her husband with a gun, then caused a neighborhood scare that triggered a SWAT response and the temporary commandeering of her home
3) They (finally) sold the home out from under themselves, forcing them to move to a hotel, and then into the rental property of a slumlord
4) Because the slumlord never properly replaced a broken refrigerator, they received two that were filled with maggots, then went without refrigeration for a number of months
5) Even though they paid their rent in a timely manner, they were evicted while Angela was pregnant with their 7th child (and the oldest was only 9 or 10 years old at the time)
6) While Angela’s family moved in with her mother, Angela’s aunt, whose health was failing, offered her the home when she went to be with Jesus (no one knew at the time that the journey would take place in one year)
Oh, and did I mention that the Lord gave her a dream 9 years ago about the house, including her neighbors Teresa and Angel? The Lord also showed her the school room, but since her oldest was only 2 then, she thought that it was a sign of an in-home daycare business.
Okay, are you dancing before the Lord, too?
Why is her story on my blog, and what does any of this have to do with me? Well, first, the Lord tells us to rejoice with others who rejoice. Second, it’s wonderful to see God answer prayer, and I love seeing Him be God, wherever He is blessing. And even though Angela is a person that I met through blogging, I consider her a friend. On an even more personal note, I am often reminded of the trial of Job, and how he began to see his own breakthrough when he took the focus off of himself and began to pray for his friends. The “MommIdentity” devotional, the conversations I’ve had in the last week or so (certainly this testimony being one of those), and even the comments of dear blog readers and customers like AJ, have really resonated with me over the last few days. It is almost like a special word from the Lord in the midst of all my preparation. As I told our son on yesterday, I’m not physically ready to begin school next week—our relaxing summer just began! Although I know why I chose that start, and by the time we finish early next spring, I’ll be glad I did. What I didn’t say to him was that I don’t feel totally prepared as a teacher, either. There are a couple of places where I still don’t have the “right” resources, and I still need each child to go through last year’s notebooks and see where we need to buy folders, new notebooks, print notebooking pages, etc. My mock syllabi aren’t fully fleshed out. Math plans need to go into the planners, but I intentionally waited to see what work would be completed this week. Overall I just feel rushed. So, in reading the line in the devotional that I am exactly the Mom that this family needs, I felt peace wash over me like a refreshing spring.
If I’m totally honest, I, too, struggle at times with comparisons. I didn’t post the thoughts about fitting into your homeschooling skin by accident—it’s been the abundance of my heart lately. As I listened to Angela, I couldn’t help but think, how could you continue to homeschool through all of that? I thought the same of Phyllis during her encounter with homelessness. We’ve been through a tough time as well, though nowhere near to that extent. In fact, relative to the goings and comings of others around us, our woes have been few. Still, we began reading the book of Psalms in the midst of our trial because I wanted the kids to read the words of David as he encouraged himself at the peak of his persecution. Maybe I was the one who needed to read it. However it worked out, when I later wanted to abandon the reading, thinking that the kids weren’t benefitting, they asked to keep going. Perhaps we all learned a lesson in how to handle life’s adversities.
I applaud Karen for hesitating on putting the kids back in school while she braces for continued chemotherapy; I don’t know that I’d be that strong. Yet, her family needs a mom with tremendous courage.
I wish that I were as creative as Dawn, as bold and determined as Amy, or as “together” as KeriMae, but I know that God gave them a special grace to give some special kids a wonderful life and school experience.
If only I was the student of home education that Kysha is. If only my Charlotte-Mason inspired homeschool looked like Linda Fay’s. If only my older two spent their summer reading like Solid Rocks’. If only, if only…
Then I bear in mind that it is totally impossible for any of our blogs to reflect our total experience; we blog about the parts of life that we deem worth sharing, that are not too embarrassing to share, and places that we can (sometimes feebly) get words and pictures around. Also, like professional teachers, we all tend to teach toward our strengths. The fact that I choose to bore the children with tackle Homer and Dante’ doesn’t make me any less of an effective homeschooling parent than someone else who can craft each of the Seven Wonders of the World with paper Mache and popsicle sticks. Finally, our kids live near a large metropolitan area, with many distractions and disruptions available to them at any point in the year. Though I complain that we all are too plugged in, I’ll admit that, for the most part, their choices of what to watch are sound with our family’s values. Comparing them, therefore, to children who live in rural places with fewer recreational outlets and/or no television is highly unfair to them.
Each of us, whatever is our state of being, is exactly what our families need. I am exactly what my family needs. May the Lord get glory in the midst of my feeling unprepared. He is prepared, and He is sufficient for all my needs. May He bless you today.
P.S. Did I mention that the house is completely paid for? Okay, you can get back to shouting now. 🙂