Do You Have What It Takes?

I am not incredibly smart. I am not an expert in all subject matter that I teach my kids, but I made a commitment when I said yes to homeschooling. And it is this commitment that gets me up each day to keep parenting and teaching my kids.

Whatever fears parents may have about ability, it is not the biggest challenge of homeschooling. The hardest thing to do is to stay immovable, steadfast, resolute.

When Edric and I made the decision to homeschool our kids, there wasn’t any other option we preferred over it. We were dead-set on teaching them ourselves because of Deuteronomy 6:5-7. And we gave ourselves no exit. Indefinitely…until God says so.

My greatest hurdle so far has not been the actual teaching. My greatest obstacle is often ME. But when my commitment starts to wane, I hold on to a vision, a beautiful hope.

I look forward to the day when I can present my children before the Lord — grown men and women, who are 100% in love with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Men and women who are fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives and making a positive difference in the world, for the glory of God.

When I fixate on this purpose, it’s like getting my gas tank refueled with the motivation I need to press on. And my source of strength is not my own will or drive. As 1 Corinthians 15:57 and 58 says, “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

I love this passage. It reminds me that Jesus has given me the capacity to homeschool victoriously. Because of finished work at calvary, he conquered sin, death, limitations, human failure. His victory makes me able. I just need to wake up and be willing to homeschool one more day, one more week, month, year.

When I had my fourth child, I had the craziest homeschool schedule. It had to revolve around breast feeding, my exhaustion, and the demands of a baby. But I gave it what I could. I did not give myself excuses. And somehow, in spite of my great inadequacies and the many distractions that interfered with my daily routines, my second son learned to read, and my eldest scored in the 98th percentile on his achievement test. I am sharing these academic progresses because it matters to those who worry about the “school” part of homeschooling. In reality, however, it is the spiritual maturity of my kids that matters more to me.

But their academic progress represented God’s faithfulness. It was his personal encouragement to me. When I saw the results of my son’s assessment, I cried. It was God’s personal encouragement to me. If I could have put it into words, it felt like he was saying, “You keep homeschooling, just stay faithful, and I will be faithful. Keep nurturing your children spiritually. You do your part and I will do mine.”

God has not failed to fill in where I miss out, to remedy my errors, realign my perspective, recharge my battery, or take over when I have reached my limits.

Homeschooling, for me, is a testimony of the “in spite of.” My kids are turning out okay (so far and by God’s grace), in spite of me. I just do what is required. COMMITMENT. Duty not drama, faithfulness not feelings, resolution not revolution. Just do it.

My confidence is this — If I am homeschooling because of God’s call, through him and for him, then I can surrender that vision and beautiful hope of my children to him. He asks for faithfulness but he is the most faithful. His faithfulness is completely dependable and trustworthy. Like his word says, “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NASB)

9 thoughts on “Do You Have What It Takes?

  1. Hey Joy! I love this! Reminds me of something i heard from a really cool Bible teacher & friend – Faithfulness is simply obeying even when we don’t understand or when we don’t feel like it. Thanks!

    And it was great seeing you all at the wedding. Sad that it was so short but still happy to have had some time with you guys!

    1. Hi Joseph! It was great being altogether as a family. We will all be together again this Christmas! Yahoo!m

  2. Hello Joy!

    What achievement test is this? Is it OLSAT?

    I really love what you said… “COMMITMENT. Duty not drama, faithfulness not feelings, resolution not revolution. Just do it.”

  3. You and Edric are really doing a good job in your kids, I can see it in them…God bless you in this journey.

  4. Thanks Ms. Joy for such an encouragement. Truly, the Lord will be the one to sustain and enable you throughout all the ups and down of what you are doing. Continue to encourage everyone thru this blog. The one who calls you is faithful and He will never fail you.

  5. Thanks Joy for all your posts that encourages & motivates. We live in the United States right now so I would like to ask if you can refer any Christian based Homeschooling organization. By the way, what are the ages of your children & what materials/books do you use for Tiana, Titus & Edan? Thanks in advance for the help.

  6. Hi joy!
    I’ve been so blessed reading your wonder insights.
    Just few days ago I felt disheartened because of what my son did to his playmate. The mother who is our church member sent me a message of what my son did to her son. That my son hurt his son. In the message she sent I sensed this usual attacks/comments of some other parents have to tell about homeschooling “the social interaction issues etc”. Yes, I was hurt but I humbly acknowledge our son’s misbehavior. After I prayed, My husband and I talked to our son and told him that he will be disciplined with what he did. He admitted what he did. We realized that what he did has something to do with his patience along with that my husband and I made also an evaluation of ourselves on this area. This made us becoming careful with our actions. Before the spanking my son cried, prayed (i felt his sincerity). My heart broke but the rod wasn’t spared for he needed to be disciplined.
    Honestly, after I read the messagea thought of giving up homeschooling dawned on me but I was reminded of the vision “yes the vision” that God has placed in my heart early on even when I was still a single which happened during the launching of parenting seminar in CCF wayback 2002. God also reminded me those years when I prayed to God that he would make my husband agree to homeschool our son. Not long after he (my husband) watch the testimonies of TMA homeschoolers including your sister Caroline, he was encouraged and enthusiastically agreed. Praise God!
    After God has reminded me this, I said sorry to Him and felt his comfort but determined to work out on the issue of my son. Well, my joy is seeing my read his Bible and learning to pray. And ofcourse looking forward that our son grows loving God.
    I know we have so much yet to learn but my hope is in the Lord like you do.
    I am grateful to God for you & Edric with all what He is doing in your lives. May you continue to be a blessing specially to families homeschooling or not. You are doing great!

    By the way, I am Lannie C. Mendieta, a mother to a 7 year old boy. We are currently leaving here in Saudi Arabia.

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