Getting Experience...Gaining Hope
by Debe Haller
The Lord has a lesson plan for us, things to teach us through our daily activities. Some learn these "lessons" the first time, while others need to experience them again. As we gain experience in home education, we can see God has enabled and equipped us for this calling. This gives us hope for the future!
God's Word tells us that persevering through our problems not only teaches us patience, which gives us experience...but through our experience we gain hope. Consider it pure joy, my home-schooling friends, whenever you face different problems (laundry, uncooperative children, dishes, illnesses, etc.) because God's Word tells us that the testing of our faith develops perseverance (James 1).
Perseverance must finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Eventually we want our children to be mature, complete, not lacking anything. We need to have the same goal for ourselves. We do not need to live life hopelessly! The incidents in our lives are not accidents to God, and they will not last forever. The Lord has taught me more about my own limitations and weaknesses, pruning me in His process, during six years of home schooling, than in any other period of my life.
The first step is to be willing to "be willing to" learn whatever it is that God is trying to teach us. Through each experience (trial) we need to give thanks to God realizing that we will grow because of it.
Our heavenly Father will strengthen and expand our patience, which in turn gives us experience and hope. This broader hope within us enables us (because God is our Enabler) to minister to our children more effectively.
If any home schooling parent lacks wisdom, he/she should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault. We need to pray often that we will learn the lessons the first time, building our experience and hope. If there is a recurring problem in our life, we must search deeply to see if there is an unlearned lesson. Sometimes we need to get to a place where we realize that we cannot do it without God's enabling power. The most productive lessons in our lives are the ones that we recognize God's hand in.
I find that reading God's Word daily, and writing in a spiral notebook verses that speak to me, keeps my perspective straight. I also write down my praises, prayers, frustrations, and concerns. This has helped me to experience the joy of falling in love with my Lord and to truly know His love.
Isaiah tells us that God "gently leads those that have young." He also uses our young to teach us of His love for us. When our youngest daughter Becky was learning to walk, she eagerly clasped my hand for the support she needed to maintain her balance. If she pulled her hand away, she would eventually topple over no matter how much confidence she had. She would come back to me and willingly stretch her tiny hand up for me to take. She knew I would keep her safe, and that she could walk faster, farther, steadier, with true confidence, as long as she held on to my offered hand.
I must continually be reaching up and taking hold of God's offered hand. Psalm 73:23 tells us that "But even so, You loved me! You are holding my right hand." Whenever I face problems, I will literally reach up my right hand to the Lord to remind myself to keep holding on to Him. As it was true for Becky, it is also true for me. I can walk faster, farther, steadier, with true confidence, as long as I KEEP REACHING UP!
"We know that our (problems) produce perseverance, character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts." (Romans 5:3-5)
Danny and Debe Haller began homeschooling their four children in 1984, graduating their three eldest. As a twenty-year homeschooling veteran and grandmother of five, owner of a bookstore, and administrator of a PSP, Debe encourages wives and moms with practical biblical principles applicable to ordinary life situations. Debe is the author of The Challenge of Raising Cain, and co-authored Mrs. Mom: Agonized or Organized? with Bethany Bennett.