The Priority of Family Connection

The Priority of Family ConnectionToday we’re rushing around doing errands. Tomorrow there is a planned group field trip. Saturday my daughter has a library event. Monday my little lady has a sewing class. Wednesday is… You get the idea. We have so many wonderful opportunities before us. Before we get lost in all the busy-ness, let’s place priority on family time.

Life can certainly be busy. Staying connected as a family can be a challenge. In order to stay on top of it all, we need to have a game plan. Before a plan can come together, we need to first look at our objective. Is our goal uninterrupted home time? Perhaps we simply wish to have meaningful conversations on a more regular basis.

Once we have our overall goal in mind, we start looking at when we can make this happen. Family time doesn’t have to be at the end of each day. It might mean starting the morning off with family breakfast, or enjoying lunch together. If this isn’t an option, let’s look at travel time. While in the car – on the various, multitude of events we attend – could we be turning off radios and devices; using this time to build relationships? There is time available, if we only look for it.

Given that we homeschool, we could assume our learning time is plenty of opportunity for family. We have discovered that while we have enjoyed our adventures, this is not the same as family time. We all need a space of time when I am not giving instruction or introducing new topics, and the kids are not being drilled on arithmetic facts. This is especially true when Pop is not an active part of our learning routine. The goal of connecting is for everyone to be present and participating.

While some might argue against planning dates/family time. (How much fun is something you have to mark down on a calendar?) We would caution against such thinking. After all, planning a day at Disneyland never fails to bring joy and anticipation. Why should this be any different?

As a final thought, instead of taking this upon our own shoulders, we should consider making this a family affair. We might host a family meeting, expressing concern over a lack of quality time. Allow everyone to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas on how to solve the problem. After taking into consideration everyone’s contribution, together come up with a plan. Then, stick with it.

If we’re not careful, we can schedule ourselves into a complete breakdown. While attending events, field trips, and games is of benefit, we also need to teach our children the value of quiet, family time. If we don’t, let us not be surprised when our adult children are too busy to make time for us later in life.

We all have busy days. We might even have crazy weeks. But when days and weeks turn into months, it’s probably time to call a family meeting and reconnect. Let’s start with prayer, and see where the Lord leads! Many blessings on finding time for what’s truly important, family.

“So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
~ Ephesians 5:15-17

Your Turn!: What are your family’s favorite ways to reconnect after a busy stretch in schedule?

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3 Reasons My Children Aren’t Listening

3 Reasons My Children Aren't ListeningDo you ever get the feeling you sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? All your children hear is, “Wa-wa, wa-wa-wa-wa-wa.” Over the years I’ve discovered this to be true in my own home. When this happens, I know three things have occurred.

In order for my children to obey, fulfilling the responsibilities given to them, I must first ensure they have heard my command. It helps to have my children not only look at me when giving them instructions, but for them to confirm they have heard the request. A simple “Yes, mom” will usually suffice. This ensures they have heard the command and have no one but themselves to blame when consequences arise from lack of obedience. In my instructions I am very clear to state what I expect of them, how much time they have to accomplish said task, and the consequences for their lack of obedience.

The second key is putting in place solid consequences for lack of obedience. When our children understand we are serious about them obeying, they will be more likely to listen and act. I discuss appropriate measures with my husband, and determine which consequences we are willing to put into place. Then, start using them.

Lastly, be consistent. Our children will not take us seriously if we do not follow through on our word. If we say they will not get dessert if they don’t clean their room, they need to not get dessert. It doesn’t matter if they whine, moan, or pout. Giving in, especially to whining, only ensures our children will not obey us in the future. Instead, they’ve learned they can get away with lack of obedience by worming their way out by nagging us. Once a consequence has been chosen, we stick with it. Every time. All the time.

It may take the children a few tries before they finally catch on to the new routine, but the sooner we start the better. When we are clear about what we expect, when disobedience is followed up by consequences, and we are consistent in our word, our children will have greater respect for our authority.

Bye-bye Charlie Brown’s teacher!

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
~ Matthew 11:15

Your Turn!: How often do your children claim not to hear when you speak?

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The Truth About Self-Worth

Truth_About_Self-WorthIn the public school system, and in America today, we see a strong pull towards helping our children build self-confidence. Our children are great; our children are smart, our children are going places. It doesn’t matter that a good portion of our children are failing in school, can’t even read when they graduate, and couldn’t fill out a job application if their lives depended on it; we need to ensure they are confident in themselves and believe they can do anything.

The irony is, most of our kids aren’t self-confident. Because we’ve failed to teach them their true value, our children are filled with self-doubt and poor self-image. Perhaps if we spent less time teaching them their worth is wrapped up in themselves and more time teaching them truth, self-confidence would no longer be an issue.

The Truth
“as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;”
Romans 3:10

The truth is, not one of us is good. We aren’t. We lie, cheat, steal, think bad thoughts, and often act upon them. We think of ourselves first, others second, and then think of God. We can try to cover it up with a pretty surface and a faked veneer, but underneath we are all sinners.

How is this encouraging? When our children understand there aren’t ‘good’ people and ‘bad’ people – we’re all sinners – they begin to see their value isn’t in what they do, say, or the status they hold; their value must lie in something outside of themselves.

The Truth
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

The truth is God loved us so much, it didn’t matter that we had already messed up and gone astray. He loved us so much He gave His perfect Son, who had done no wrong, to pay for our sin. He LOVED us. We are loved by the Creator of the universe, the creator of all things. He loved us then and loves us still. He loved us when we were yet sinners and He loves us even as He is still perfecting us.

The Truth
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10

The truth is our value isn’t in what we do, but in Who created us. We are God’s workmanship. We were created. Why is this point important? We aren’t cosmic blips, accidents, evolutionary mishaps, or thoughtless beings. We were purposefully created! We were created for a reason and God has already gone before us to prepare our paths; we have only to accept this and move forward.

The Truth
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…”
I John 3:1

The truth is our value is not in what we do, but in Who we belong to; Who our Father is. Our value is in being a daughter/son of the King. Not an ordinary earthly king, but the King of kings; the King above all else. We are valuable because we belong to the God of the universe and He loves us.

The Truth
“…O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. …”
Psalm 139:1-24

The truth is we are never out of God’s sight or mind. He knows everything about us, everything there ever is to know. We are so important to Him, the God of all, that He knows every last detail about our lives, from the number of hairs on our head to the dreams we only see in our heads.

The Truth
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

The truth is we have purpose. We weren’t put here to simply live for ourselves, to wander around aimlessly. We have a purpose, you have a purpose. The Lord has a plan for your life, He offers goodness and peace; a future and something to hope for.

We all want our children to understand their value, their true self-worth. But, we want them to focus on the truth. The truth is we aren’t good or wonderful, on our own. The truth is our value lies in Christ and who He is. When we help our children refocus their thinking, removing their eyes off themselves and putting them on Christ, they will see a true reflection of what they are worth. They were created by a loving God who sent His Son to die for them, calls them His own, loves them so much He knows everything about them, and has a plan for their lives.

When we start to see ourselves through the eyes of Christ, we see a true reflection of what we are: priceless.

Your Turn!: Share with us your favorite Bible verse which helps remind you of these simple truths!

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My Kids Are Mad at Me

My Kids Are Mad at MeI like being liked, doesn’t everyone? The people I want to like me most are my family. So when my kids are having an off day and decide I’m a convenient target, an entire slew of emotions come into play. How did we get here, and why are my kids mad at me?

Just like us, kids have hard days. It can be all too easy to take on personal guilt when these feelings in them bother us. There is a series of emotions and steps my mind seems to run through every time this happens. Perhaps some of these resonate with you, too?

Getting Over the Hurt – My heart is immediately saddened. The kids are mad because I’m parenting them? My mind can’t seem to compute how they could be upset when I want them to brush their teeth, make their beds, study their schoolwork… The hurt turns to a moment of guilt, wondering if I’m asking too much or doing something wrong.

Seeing Past the Red – Then the hurt turns to anger. I know I’m doing my job and they are making it hard; very hard. My pride kicks in, hating the disrespect being shown and the sharp replies I am receiving when I’m doing my best to remain calm and collected.

Learning to Pray – It’s in the midst of the anger, however, I am filled with the overwhelming need to pray. I don’t want to speak out in anger – while it might be righteous indignation, my reaction affects everything – hurting my children and doing further damage. I’m learning to ask the Lord to speak to their hearts, softening them to His will and obedience. I seek His will in my response and calmness for my heart.

Extending Understanding – While my children shouldn’t have acted out, and consequences will need to be given, the Lord is helping me see through my children’s eyes. Perhaps they have had a busy morning and feel overwhelmed. Maybe they were already frustrated and I’ve unintentionally poked at them. Their actions are not justified, but it’s good to know why this happened so we can move forward and work on removing this barrier in the future.

Holding Firm – Once my children have calmed down, they inevitably feel sorry for their actions. It might take a while, but it always comes around. It would be all too easy to write off their consequences and call it a day; everything is good now. That would be a mistake on my part. While I appreciate their repentance, my children also need to learn justice. It hurts to follow through, but it is necessary and important.

Tying Strings – We could leave it at repentance – it’s not a bad place to stop – but I want more. I need to rebuild the relationship which might be torn or bruised. A hug might be the answer, working together on a project, reading a story, watching a movie, talking during a walk, and more. At times this is harder than others, but worth the effort.

More than being liked, I want to be righteous. This means I need to set a good example for my children in moments of hurt and anger. It also means I need to stand firm in building their character.

When my children are mad, I need to remove myself from the picture, take a step back, evaluate what is going on beneath the surface, and ask the Lord for wisdom. This is not a personal affront, but a personal attack upon my child. The question is will I help or cause more hurt?

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”
~ Psalm 103:13

Your Turn!: What is your favorite way to “tie strings” with your children?

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Dwell on These Things…

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
~ Philippians 4:8

Dwell_TheseThingsFocus. If I could only focus. Instead, I hear doubt shouting in my ears, telling me this is the last straw; I can’t take any more. Doubt enjoys the company of its cousins, fear and anxiety. They are quickly joined by frustration, which removes the fear only to replace it with bitterness. My mind is a battlefield, and if I’m not careful I’m going to lose this fight. Quietly, gently; I am reminded the battle is not mine alone. I have been given all I need to succeed, if only I choose to dwell on these things.

When I allow the cares of this world to overtake me, choosing not to dwell on what is honorable, I am giving the enemy a foothold. He plagues my mind with anxiety and worry. Yet I choose not to dwell on good things. He diverts my attention to the mess around me, telling me I am worthy of something else. Yet I choose not to dwell on good things. He pushes, pulls, will resort to hitting if necessary or any other form of coercion which will pull me away from the path to which I am called. Yet I choose not to dwell on good things. 

In contrast, when I purposefully choose to focus on what is good in my life, there is no room for anything else. In Philippians 4:8 we are led through a series of ideas – a checklist if you will – upon which our thoughts should dwell. Our minds are to focus on what is true, noble, just, pleasing to think upon, attracts the love of holy souls; whatever is wonderful and Godly.

Too often, however, I allow my mind to be diverted from dwelling on these things. The stress of daily life, the struggles of parenting, the hiccups in marriage, and constant responsibility crowd my head. If I am not careful, the cares of this world leave little room for anything good. I must remember the instruction found here in Proverbs. Truth must take precedence! My thoughts need to be refocused to dwell on the things of Christ. Things which are good.

No matter what my day brings, no matter the chaos which surrounds me, Christ needs to be my center and my focus. I need to choose to dwell on what pleases my Father, and brings me into His presence. Through practice, dwelling on these things will lead to a life well-pleasing to the Lord and peace of mind.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become deeds.
Watch your deeds; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.”

Your Turn!: Is there a Bible verse which helps you dwell on the good when the enemy attacks?

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WHO is the Expert Here?

You must continue to gain expertise,
but avoid thinking like an expert.

~ Denis Waitley

WHO is the Expert Here?Have you noticed everyone seems to just love giving you advice on how you should be living your life? From websites to magazine articles; people you randomly meet at the grocery store to neighbors down the street. Even other homeschooling families seem to have an opinion on how you could be improving or how you ought to be teaching your children. Just who’s the expert here?

When we open ourselves up to receiving information from any and every source, we open ourselves up to trouble. Even those who consider themselves ‘experts’ in a given field are not infallible, nor do they know the particulars of our lives. We need to be very careful about what we allow to influence us and whose advice we are seeking. Anyone who tells us they have all the answers to our problems should be avoided. Christ is the true expert; He is the answers to our struggles.

We ought to seek wise counsel from like-minded Christians who will encourage us in our walk, marriage, parenting, and homeschooling. Listen to the wisdom the Lord has given them. Then, pray over it. The Lord may be doing a mighty work in them, but that doesn’t mean He necessarily wants to do the same work in us! What works for one might not work for another. We should ask the Lord to help us sift through the never-ending stream of information coming into our home, making His paths known and clear.

We should become an expert on our own family. I can begin by studying my husband, learning what blesses him and ministers to his heart. Focusing on our children, giving deep thought to how we can train and disciple them. Seek the Lord above all else, knowing He is the only expert we need.

I want to become an expert of my own life and family. I want to increase in wisdom to better meet my own family’s needs; to be a more loving wife; to be a patient mother; and the best homeschool mom I can be. Frankly, my plate is already full trying to be an expert on my own family, much less be an expert on how to minister to yours! The truth is, this side of heaven, an expert I will never be. But, until I finally go to be with the Lord, I have every intention of seeking that goal.

If you happen to stop over one day and read my blog, or I have the blessing of meeting you in person, I hope one thing always stands out; my heart is to encourage you not to follow me, but to follow Christ’s leading in your life, family, and home. Sure, I may have a word or two of advice on what’s worked for us and what hasn’t. I might even have little tidbits of wisdom to share regarding things the Lord has shown me – and tidbits is just what they are – but I will never claim to be an expert on your life. That job is the Lord’s.

May we all seek wisdom from the one true expert… Christ.

“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”
~ I Chronicles 16:11

Your Turn!: Are we studying our husbands and children more than we’re spending time elsewhere? It might be time to take stock of our priorities!

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Our Children are Hearing, But Not Receiving

Our Children are Hearing, But Not Receiving“Son, are you hearing me?” His voice filled with agitation, he gives a curt, positive response. I begin again only to find his eyes wandering out the window and his mind engaged in other activity. I gently ask him to repeat what I just said. He gives me back the words, but we both know… he’s hearing, but not receiving.

I do my best to keep our homeschool lessons short and sweet, especially for the younger of my children. Testing their patience is never pretty, and we want learning to be an engaging activity. Something our children love to do, and will continue long after I’m gone. No matter how good a teacher I think I am, there are going to be days when no matter what I do, my children are not going to receive what I’m offering. For one reason or another, they are hearing my words but not taking in wisdom and knowledge. Maybe it’s time I explore the reasons why.

Prayer – I can always tell when I’ve been slacking in my prayer life, tough as it is to admit. I become short-tempered and we start going through motions of doing school instead of actively using this as an opportunity to reach my children’s hearts for Christ. One of the reasons we might be having learning issues is because I need to repent of my disobedience and ask the Lord to meet my children where they are.

I am Over-Burdening Them – Another confession: In my desire to teach my children “everything”, I sometimes try to fit in everything. Now there’s a recipe for danger. Four active kids, too much book work, add an overabundance of lecturing and there you go. A bomb which leaves a hideous mess in its wake.

It’s All Just Words – How much is too much? I wish I knew. Some amount of lesson giving needs to take place. I wish I could say its only different for each child, but it’s not. It’s different for each child, each day of their lives. Some days are better than others. Some days all words fly right out the window and being out-of-doors is a fantastic idea.

They Have a Physical Need – This is a little easier to understand. Lack of sleep, food, water, exercise. There’s a physical reason which requires a physical response. If only all of life’s challenges were this simple.

This Is a Character Issue – Here is a tough one. This takes time, energy, care, and gentleness. This is when everything else stops – and should – so we can get to the bottom of the issue. Are my children experiencing a spiritual attack, or is this an act of laziness; worse, rebellion?

It’s Not What it Looks Like – I had visions of what learning would look like. Eager faces turned in my direction, excited answers and anticipation of lessons. Yeah. Don’t get me wrong, this happens sometimes. Sometimes. And that’s not a bad thing. Just because learning doesn’t always look as I imagined, doesn’t mean my kids aren’t learning. It just looks… different.

Turning Hearts, and Minds, is Not My Job – (This one thought deserves an entire blog post, which we might come back to later.) After all is said and done, I need to leave the issue – whatever it might be – at the feet of Christ. If I have done my part by praying over my children, changing learning to meet needs, dealt with physical and character issues, and more, the rest is up to Him. We only need be faithful in what God is calling us do. He will see His work is done.

As a parent and educator, my job isn’t to force my children to receive wisdom. That is impossible. It is my responsibility to lead my children to Christ, by example and deed, encouraging them and training them. It is my privilege to instruct and teach, continually stimulating growth. Reaching my children’s hearts and minds is God’s work.

When I become discouraged or distracted because it appears my children are not learning, may the Lord prompt me to pray and leave it at His feet. May He meet my children where they are; opening their hearts, minds, and ears to hear. May He soften them towards learning and grant me wisdom to teach as He would lead.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
~ I Corinthians 3:6-9

Your Turn!: What helps redirect learning when it appears your children are not receiving?

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Celebrating the True Meaning of Easter!

CG_Easter_logoAside from Christmas, Easter is the most significant holiday for Christians. This is more than just an opportunity collect eggs, wear cute bunny ears, and hoard candy. Easter is amazing, redeeming grace. For our family, this is a time to put aside outside responsibilities and simply focus on the true meaning of this holy week. From this Sunday till next, we will focus on all things Easter.

It is our desire to use this week not only for encouraging our family, but to learn from yours! Join us as we focus on the true meaning of this special holiday. We hope to share some of our favorite games, activities, crafts, and recipes which all point towards Christ and His love for us.

Easter Fun: Easter Week Begins
Easter Fun: Resurrection Eggs
Easter Fun: Books
Easter Fun: Egg Decorating
Easter Fun: Resurrection Garden
Easter Fun: Resurrection Rolls

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,”
~ John 11:25

Time to Chime In! : What is your family’s favorite homeschool resource for learning the true meaning of Easter?

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Boundaries vs. Individuality: Is There a Conflict?

“If your boundary training consists only of words, you are wasting your breath. But if you ‘do’ boundaries with your kids, they internalize the experiences, remember them, digest them, and make them part of how they see reality.”

~ Henry Cloud

Boundaries vs. IndividualityShe was frustrated, it was written all over face. She wasn’t asking for the moon, merely an opportunity to make her own decision. My daughter had thought this through, felt she was able to accomplish the task, and only wanted the freedom to move forward. It was time to ask myself an important question: Was she crossing a boundary here or just expressing her individuality?

It seems obvious, before we can determine whether our children have actually stepped out-of-bounds, we need to determine exactly what those boundaries are. Some of our boundaries might include:

  • You shall have no other gods before Me (the Lord).
  • You shall not make idols.
  • You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  • Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  • Honor your father and your mother.
  • You shall not murder.
  • You shall not commit adultery.
  • You shall not steal.
  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  • You shall not covet.

While this list could go on, by now it should be pretty obvious where we’re going with this. We are to follow God’s commands, live righteously, and love our fellow-man.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” 

– Micah 6:8

What about those choices we make for our household, the ones that aren’t ‘officially’ spoken of in the Bible; things like tattoos, staying out late with friends, dating, and more? Do these fall under the heading of boundaries or individuality? In response, I would ask my child to look at commandment (boundary) number five above: Honor your father and mother.

As parents, we aren’t making decisions willy-nilly; we’ve made them through careful consideration and hours of prayer. Our children are commanded – and expected – to obey these boundaries, understanding our choices are made with their best interest at heart. Each family needs to be on their knees in prayer, asking the Lord to give their family wisdom in making these choices.

What about things that aren’t technically forbidden, however for any number of reasons, should be considered carefully? As Paul noted in 1 Cor. 10:23:

“All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.”

In a nutshell, Paul was writing this to the Corinthians to advise them not to use their liberty in a way which might stumble new believers. There might be things which are not necessarily wrong, but would give a bad witness. Where do we draw the line? Unfortunately, there is no black and white – one size fits all – answer. This is where wisdom comes into play. We need to be encouraging our children to seek the Lord in all things and prayerfully allow us to advise them in such choices.

Does this mean our children are never free to express themselves and make individual decisions? Of course not! There are many areas in which our children have liberty. As parents, our main concern is the training of the heart and discipleship. When our children wish to express themselves in various ways, this is a perfect opportunity to lead through questions. We ask them to consider what God wants of them, whether He is in this decision, and if He is glorified through their actions. We pray together, and allow God to lead.

What we ought to be asking ourselves is this: Where is my child’s heart? Is this an act of rebellion or just a fun idea that’s been rattling around in their brain, waiting for an opportunity to be acted upon? If my baby’s heart is right with God, and they’ve sought the Lord in their decision, what is the harm in letting them try something new? There is no danger to their soul; no physical harm involved. My child is merely asking to try something and venture into the unknown.

What about all those nay-sayers who might think something’s just a little off in your household, especially when they see the purple hair your child is sporting this week? Well, does their judgement say more about your child or about themselves? Remember the old saying, “Never judge a book by it’s cover.” My child’s hair may be purple, but the soul underneath would die doing the work of God, and, after all, that’s what it’s all about.

Time to Chime In! : How do your children express their individuality?

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You Are Not Alone!

You_Are_Not_AloneHow had it come to this? This wasn’t what I envisioned when I first started on this journey. My spirit is warring with my head. It’s as if I have been dragged through the mud, and my soul is feeling the abuse. I am tired. I feel alone.

All around me people are under attack. Some are going through marital problems. Others are struggling with strong-willed children who push their limits daily. Finances are in crises, health is failing, and life continues pouring down upon them with no end in sight. A voice whispers in their ears, telling them they are not enough. A nagging guilt overtakes them; preying on their fears, telling them they are alone. No one could possibly understand their struggles.

Perhaps this may be you right now.

With all gentleness, I remind you – Don’t believe the lie. You are not alone! This is a falsehood our enemy, the devil, wants you to believe. He wants you to feel helpless. He wants you to feel hopeless. He wants you to feel alone.

The truth is, I don’t know the details of what you are going through right now. But I’d like to. I’d like to hold your hand, listen while you pour out your heart, dry your tears, and tell God is with you through it all. I’d love to hug you and remind you that you are not in this by yourself.

The truth is, we cannot be with you every moment of the day, but God can and is! He sees your heart, your tears, your fears, and His hand is upon it all. He sees what brought you here; He sees right where you are; and, best yet, He sees where it leads.

I may not be walking in your shoes. but I do know what it’s like to be tossed in the storm and wonder if I’ll ever come out the other side. I know what it’s like to be lonely, hurt, and lost. And, I know I don’t want that for you.

Do not remain silent, hiding away from the world. Reach up. Ask God to strengthen you and surround you with the truth. Reach out. Ask those around you for prayer, encouragement, and a willing ear. Choose not to remain alone. Allow us to come alongside you and shower you with love. Allow us to share the burden and edify you before Christ.

I’ve had friends move all over the US. To each I say the same, and I say it again to you. Distance may prevent me from holding your hand or hugging you in your moments of greatest need, but distance cannot prevent me from loving you. Distance cannot prevent me from lifting you before the throne of heaven, begging our God to hear your request and answer the needs of your heart.

Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:31-39). In Christ, we stand as sisters and brothers; ready to defend and edify. In Christ, we are one. In Christ, we are never alone.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” 

~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Time to Chime In!: How can we pray for you?

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