Getting ready for Judah's arrival has reminded me of preparing the last couple of weeks for Kaira. God was doing some pretty big things in my heart just before she arrived. Only God could change my life so dramatically two weeks before giving birth to my third child and keep me in His perfect peace. Here is part of the story...
The last two weeks of my pregnancy with Kaira (September 2006) the Lord began to speak to me about homeschooling and I was receptive, so I know it was Him. I had never planned to homeschool (unless the Lord called me to do it I would always say when asked) and it really was NOT something I had a desire to do. But you know when the Lord begins to change your heart and stir your spirit, EVERYTHING CHANGES and in this case it changed FAST.
For a period of about three weeks early in the pregnancy I kept running into women, friends and strangers, who were referring to mothering as “fun” – not a word I would have used to describe it. I began to ask God to show me the fun in mothering. What I realized is that the enemy had, from the time of Isabella’s birth, stolen my joy. Jesus clearly states that the enemy comes to seek, kill and destroy, but He came so that I may have life and have it to the full. Little by little God was replacing lies with His truth. He began to give me revelation of the gift that my children were. Psalms 127:3 became truth for me. It is hard to put into words, but the fulfillment of that promise brought me great comfort and hope that I had not had before.
Isabella and Annais were enrolled in preschool at the time and I looked forward to those two days alone. As in years past I could not wait for school to start, but this time once school started something had changed, I was not so eager to see them go and wondered what they were learning especially when them came home and I only heard bits and pieces. God used several events to remind me that He had a plan for my children’s lives and showed me that I was the best one to guide them on His path. He had instructed me and taught me the way I should go and He wanted me to teach my children. As I mentioned I never saw myself as a homeschooling mom, but always said if the Lord called me to it, I would. The first thing he said to me was, “You are their mother, and you are called”. That was all I needed to seek Him whole heartedly in the area of homeschooling.
A week after Kaira was born the Lord clearly spoke to me in the bathroom at Waffle House of all places. He said, “Invest and I will bless.” I knew what He was referring to my relationship with my husband and homeschooling my children. He just did not give me a time frame. Then through a series of divine appointments I began to gain a deep confidence in my ability to do what the Lord had called me to do. He says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I had been thoroughly equipped for this and I was to use His word as a basis to teach my children. I have watched Him repeatedly bless my minimal, but obedient efforts to educate my children. He has upheld His part of that deal – as I obey Him, He blesses our homeschool.
I pulled both my kids out of preschool that November, two months after Kaira’s birth, which was God’s time because I had planned on leaving them in until at least Christmas and maybe even year end.
During a conversation with another homeschooling mom while asking her about curriculum she told me she prays about what to teach her son. What? Amazing! Right then and there God gave me a revelation: If He knows the plans He has for my children and I ask Him what to teach them their education will be in His perfect will and time for their lives. I will be coaching them towards their God given destiny. What an awesome privilege and partnership.
Sitting at a ladies tea that December I listened to the speaker share everything she knew about tea and the history of tea. Coupled with her knowledge of tea was her knowledge of history and how it related to tea. I began to think about my lack of historical knowledge, the fact that I had dropped out of school and the Lord spoke to me. “Mari,” he said, “you had so much going on in your life as a child you could not retain all the things you were being taught, but I am going to give you a second chance with your children.” I could feel the tears fill my eyes and my heart swell with gratefulness. Psalm 103:4-5 says “Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”
Just before I got pregnant with Kaira I got on my knees and prayed that the Lord would give me an insatiable hunger for His word, He did and it has been an amazing journey. I have been truly transformed by the renewing of my mind which has graced me to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. That day was preparation for a time such as this, so I would clearly know and be able to test through His word all that He has been speaking to my heart and spirit.
God showed me that this was His plan all along, but being the loving and gracious Father He is He was patient with me. He carried me on a path of healing and brought me to a place of rest before He revealed His plan. He brought me to a place emotionally and spiritually to receive the gift.
People tend to think that homeschooling is something only some people can do and I am here to tell you that it is something that is proof positive for me, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". There is nothing special about me, I am just obeying my Father and He's doing the rest. The most work that has had to be done in our homeschool has been in my heart, actions and attitudes. I have had to give up my ideas of how things should be and submit to His. I have had to have my mind renewed and still do in His truth and let go of the lies. I have had to give up things that worked against me and family and submit to His ways. It is a continual learning process. The more I teach my children, the more I learn about the faithfulness of God to love me so much He will not leave me this way.
This song really speaks to the change that took place for me as He prepared me for His plan.
READY FOR YOU BY KUTLESS