One of the things I’ve observed over three decades of homeschooling is that there are different seasons and life lessons through which God brings us.
There are times of great refreshment and encouragement where it seems like everyone is on the same page, working together. There may be dark times due to health issues, financial crises, marital struggles, prodigals, etc. There are times where it seems like we are just doing business, not much joy, just the perseverance of doing this one day at a time.
I think of life from the perspective of Solomon in Ecclesiastes:
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven — A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
We have been through a time of eight births and the deaths of both of our children’s grandfathers. We’ve had great gardens in the country and then moved back to town with a small herb patch. We’ve sent sons to Iraq with the Army and to Afghanistan to rebuild a women’s medical clinic.
We have wept, laughed, mourned and danced at different times. So much of the storyline here in Ecclesiastes describes our family life.
No one facet has been dominant. We don’t know how long a season will last or which one might be next. We live the Christian life by faith. Our plans are sometimes uprooted because God loves surprises. His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9) and He knows we need to see our own helplessness from time to time.
I know, though, that during the appointments God has arranged for my family and me, I’m certain of one thing: He is with me and there is something special in store. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The roller coaster of emotions may be a part of your homeschool experience. We’ve invested with the best efforts we can muster, hoping for the best of outcomes for our children. During daily life while at home or after leaving the nest, they may either live like saints or sinners. One gives us cause for joy, while the other may create fear, shame, or guilt.
My encouragement for you would be that no matter what season you are in, remember God is in control and is working something awesome for you. So when the seasons of life are challenging, almost unbearable, someone is working something wonderful in you.
And He delights in you during the process. He knows the outcome because His view isn’t obscured by the swirl going on around us. That’s why we are commanded, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
A new birth, be thankful. A death, be thankful. Each situation we face, be thankful. This is so important for our children who observe our faith as we go through various seasons. Is our attitude one of gratitude or whining and complaining? In good times and bad, be thankful because you know God is working something for good. Look at the coming seasons as opportunities to grow in faith.
There are some very desirable outcomes of developing our faith; Hebrews 11:6-7 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household…”
The first result of growing in faith is that we are pleasing to Jesus and rewarded by Him. Secondly, we become like Noah preparing a place of salvation for our family. Let each and every season be a faith lesson time.
Be thankful. Remember God is working this situation for your good. You are developing a God-pleasing faith, which I believe makes your home a safe place for your family and a great environment to teach them the truths you are learning.