“Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’
If this is true, and of course it is, then I have been looking at this wrongly.
Our family is not on a new path. We are on the same path that He’s had us on all along! We just didn’t know that this is where the path was leading! We still can’t see where the path is going up ahead of us, but we can look back at where we’ve been.
Looking back, we can clearly see that while we were blundering around ignorantly, God was working out His will.
Way back at the beginning of our home education venture, in 1998, God made it abundantly clear what He wanted us to do, and how He wanted us to accomplish it. He has continued to provide the resources and direction we need at every turn. Part of the vision He gave us is to train our children to be independent learners in the areas where He has gifted them. Another part of the vision is for them to learn to be competent teachers themselves, as preparation for their adult callings to disciple the next generation. We never do this as well as we would like, but God is gracious. We are already seeing fruit in the older children, and more shows itself with each passing year. We are just realizing how these two goals might fit into the learning we all have ahead of us in the area of special education and therapy, as well as many other possible areas. Practically speaking, the fact that the four older children are learning by leaps and bounds without needing to wait for me or be dependent on me is of immense value to them right now as well as to the rest of the family.
When we lost our baby in 2004, and then God did not send another baby for so long afterward, He used that time to bring me to the place of truly desiring what He wanted more than what I thought was best. This was a long and painful struggle for me.
My first experience with bedrest when expecting John Michael in 2005 was two months of being forced to the next level of learning in many practical areas. That entire pregnancy and birth was also a crash course in giving up my dearly-loved child to God.
The tough time we went through during the twin pregnancy and postpartum time during the winter of 2006/2007:
1. Opened our eyes to how isolated we were from other Christians, and gave us a passion to reach out and invest ourselves in relationships God opened up for us, and
2. Showed me that it was pride that kept me from asking for help from those who weren’t enthusiastic about offering it and mentioned that it inconvenienced them, or from those who see children as a burden, and would think that we were having too many if we ever needed help from others. (Notice I said He showed me this pride in myself. I did not say it was conquered! This is still a tough one for me.)
After many years of putting our armor on every Sunday to do battle with the culture’s perspective, in February of 2009, God moved us to a place where Sunday equals rest, being with like-minded friends who have built their lives on a Biblical worldview, encouraging one another, building one another up, being mutually edified with the Word, being strengthened and prepared to face the cultural battle during the rest of the week. This has profoundly affected our entire family for the better, and we are just as profoundly thankful to the Lord.
Last year from March to July, 2009, we finished the 4 1/2 month project of switching which bedrooms belonged to whom and re-organizing them, which has gone a long way toward simplifying how the household functions.
Toward the end of last summer, my mind seemed to be in a continual fog, and I was not accomplishing much at all. As scatter-brained as I was, I know that it was God who prompted me to look into what nutrients I was lacking. When we remedied that, what a difference it made! But before the B-complex and zinc arrived, the Saturday before we started the new school year, God suddenly gave me an idea. I know it was God because my absent-mindedness was so bad! I thought, “Hey! I could make all the meals for the next week, and that would free up time!” Everyone living within earshot of me already knows the rest of the story! Wow! This one change (one day a week to do all the kitchen work) turned out to be revolutionary for us in how much daily time it has freed up! With a little effort, we can be stocked up with meals for a month or more. And it has been loads of fun learning and trying new ideas!
I’ll mention one more area where God has been at work preparing us for such a time as this, all unbeknownst to us. Joseph’s computer skills. No Joseph, no blog.
There’s more that could be written now, and more that we have yet to discover. But for now, we are resting content in the knowledge that He is writing the story, and it will be good. Our God is good, His counsel will stand, and He is doing all His pleasure.