Posted in Homeschool, Reflection

3 Ways to Make Your Homeschool a Treasure Trove

Through skillful and godly wisdom a house, a life, a home, a family is built, and by understanding it is established on a sound and good foundation, and by knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasure.”

Proverbs 24:3-4

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! (I know you sang that in your head.) If you homeschool with the traditional school year you are most likely wrapping up the second semester and you’re looking forward to some fun in the sun. If you’re like us, you homeschool all year round and take breaks when it’s most convenient for your family. Either way, there’s a good chance that you’re re-evaluating your homeschool, deciding what worked and what didn’t, and making adjustments accordingly.

I’m right there with you.

If we take Proverbs 24:3-4 to heart and apply it to our homeschool, we will be looking at more than new curriculum or healthier lunch options as we plan for the next school year. Instead, we will be looking for ways to make our homeschool a treasure trove filled with the rare and beautiful.

That sounds nice and poetic but what does that even mean? What does that look like fleshed out?

When I re-read this passage again, I immediately saw that I needed to inspect my foundation before I start filling rooms with treasure. Upon first glance, it seemed pretty obvious that God was the foundation of our home and our homeschool, but upon further inspection I realized that it was my own desires that held up the framework of our homeschool.

3 Ways to Make Your Homeschool a Treasure Trove

My desires were mostly godly, but they were still mine. They had my fingerprints all over them. No wonder the ground shifted occasionally and we often lost our balance. It’s hard to fill a room with treasures when the floor is wobbly beneath you.

That’s when I realized that I had not been using God’s blueprints to build our homeschool but I had unrolled my own plan that was similar to His, but not exact. Maybe you’ve made the same mistake. If so, here’s 3 ways both of us can re-lay a solid foundation and begin building a treasure trove in our homeschool.

#1 Examine Your Reason for Homeschooling

I know this one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s the most foundational aspect of everything we’re looking at today. Does God want you to homeschool? When you list your reasons for homeschooling, do they include a calling on your life or is this just something you’re wanting to try?

Are you tired of paying for private school and worried about sending your kids to public school or do you sense God moving upon you to invest in your children by educating them in the safe, encouraging, Spirit-filled comfort of your home? There’s a difference, so make sure you examine your motives closely.

I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with giving homeschooling a try or shifting to a home education for safety or financial reasons. Not at all. That’s exactly how we started out! What I’m saying is that after five years of doing this crazy life of ours, I’ve realized that God has so much more for us and He wants you to swim in His abundance, too.

#2 Determine Your Starting Point

When we began this journey, I sat down with 2 homeschooling friends and asked them to share everything they knew about homeschooling with me. That’s not a bad place to start.

The next year when we moved to Florida I went straight to the state website to learn what would be expected of us and I began building our schedules around their recommendations and requirements. I looked at the state’s guidelines and then looked for Christian curriculum that would meet those objectives. It seemed like the only logical way to go about it, but I was slightly off-base.

I did manage to graduate our oldest child this way and she’s moved on and is doing well in college right now but I missed the opportunity to properly lay her foundation.

My starting point this year is Christ, our Foundation. Instead of adding Christianity to our homeschool, I’m going to add a home education to our Christian walk. Our education will start with Bible study and prayer and then learning about the world God created. A deeper faith and closer walk with God will be the expectation and a solid education based on a Christian world-view will be just one of the ways we go about achieving it.

#3 Recognize the Treasure

We’ve all heard of fool’s gold and cubic zirconium. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize a treasure when we see one and sometimes it’s easy to overlook a rare and precious stone. As we build our lives, our houses, our families, our homeschools on Christ the Solid Rock, it’s easy to misidentify the accessories that we collect along the way.

The above-mentioned passage in Proverbs tell us that it is by knowledge that our rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasure. Knowledge. We must be walking close with the Father, spending time in prayer, spending time listening for His voice if we are going to acquire the knowledge and ability to discern what is junk and what is jewel.

Is your daughter’s strong will an asset or a liability? Can you help mold her into a confident leader or do you need to teach her to soften her heart and bend her will towards God? Only God can answer that.

Is your son’s constant curiosity an attempt to stay off-task or is it a God-given gift that will motivate and encourage the rest of his life-long quest to learn? Only God can answer that.

When we see our children being kind, showing compassion, putting others first, using good manners, or serving others, we are recognizing rare and beautiful treasures that God has given us. Our work as parent educators is rewarded in the maturity and Christ-like development of our children.

Please join me in prayer for our homeschools and our families.

Father God, You are the foundation of everything that is good in our lives. Help us to build our lives and our homeschools upon Your Truth. Help the mama who is reading this post learn to recognize the treasures in her home. Fill her homeschool with laughter and love. Give her wisdom to lead and instruct her children so that they will follow after You for all their days. Help us to keep Your blueprints front and center so that the things we build here on earth can bring You glory and further Your Kingdom. Amen

Posted in Bible Study, Cooking, Crafts, Friendship, Homeschool, Illness, Marriage, Motherhood, Politics, Prayer, Reflection, Uncategorized, Writing

The Blueprints Behind the Blog

Every well-built house started in the form of a definite purpose plus a definite plan in the nature of a set of blueprints.”

Napoleon Hill

When I look back over the path of my 40 years on this earth, it is hard for me to imagine that any kind of strategic planning ever occurred before I drew my first breath and plunged head-first into my awkward existence. Like many babies, I was a surprise, and the plan and purpose of my life have remained unclear ever since I arrived.

Sure, I was taught that ultimately my greatest aspiration should be to bring glory to God in all that I do but I have wondered for years exactly what that should look like. It’s like telling someone that their assignment is to build a beautiful house without telling them what kind of design might appeal most to the future occupants of the home.

A few months ago I found myself in an overwhelming and frantic search for my dream kitchen. Water was leaking into my kitchen floor caused by a leaking pipe between my exterior wall and my kitchen sink. The initial assessment indicated that we would need to replace a wall, our cabinets, our countertop, and our flooring. In short, I needed a new kitchen.

While this sounded like an absolute dream come true at first, I quickly found myself overwhelmed and frustrated. My judgmental spirit is quick to decide if I love or hate something whether it is a piece of art, a book, or a tiled back-splash but I found that I have absolutely no earthly ability to design anything. None. I know what I like but I am not good at creating something from nothing.

This should not have surprised me because this has been an overarching theme throughout my life. I have strong opinions but I don’t know how to build anything out of them. I’ve struggled with my identity and been embarrassingly envious of women who have found their niche, their purpose, or their dream come true. I’ve prayed that God would give me something that would steer me in a clear direction. I’ve asked Him to pick a path and set me on it. Yet, for years I’ve felt stuck in the middle of the crowd, wandering aimlessly towards nothing.

Instead of meticulously sketching out my dream kitchen, I found myself pinning countless kitchen cabinets and counter tops to my Pinterest board declaring, “I like this one the best” about ten different times. Seriously. I made up my mind and changed my mind and made up my mind again over and over until I no longer believed in my own ability to make a decision. I took every “What Is Your Design Style” quiz I could find online and shook my head in dismay when the only style match that I received repetitively was “Eclectic”.

When the final inspection revealed that the massive air dryers in our kitchen had done their job and removed all the moisture from our cabinets, walls, and floor and that a kitchen re-model would no longer be necessary, I sighed with relief like a prisoner who had just been pardoned. Deciding what I wanted most was no longer my responsibility and I was relieved.

Over the past 20 years as an adult, I’ve embraced a plethora of architectural and decorative design styles for my life that have never felt complete. I’ve tried to paint myself as a military wife or a wounded warrior wife. I’ve attempted to drape my motherhood with my experience as a homeschool mama and co-op leader. I’ve wired my heart for being the mama of a child with cancer and for being a lupus warrior, myself. I’ve adorned my walls with this ministry and that ministry and many fun hobbies that I picked up along the way. I’ve furnished my life with everything from expensive investment pieces to flea market finds and nothing has ever felt cohesive.

And then I re-read this verse.

Through skillful and godly wisdom, a house, a life, a home, a family is built, and by understanding it is established on a sound and good foundation, and by knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasure.”

Proverbs 24:3-4

That’s when I realized my life wasn’t quite as disheveled and mix-matched as I thought. Yes, my interests and my choices have been quite eclectic over the years but that does not make me any less Me.

The rooms in my house match the rooms in my heart. They are varied in size and style and color but they are each uniquely and beautifully mine. I can change up the paint and the flooring and the furnishings as often as I like but that won’t change who I am because I will always have the same solid foundation.

My faith.

My faith is my foundation and it is what my entire life is built upon, no matter what it looks like today or tomorrow. Storms have come and gone, knocking down walls and breaking out windows but my foundation has never wavered because my faith is built upon the Solid Rock. Jesus Christ is a “sound and good foundation” and by my hungry quest for more knowledge of Him, the rooms of my life are being filled with “rare and beautiful treasure”.

The foundation was poured years ago and I have fabricated rough walls and doors along the way, but they never connected cohesively because I wasn’t looking at the blueprints. I’ve been trying to figure out how to tie in my faith with my role as a mom or as a writer or as a student, when all along I should have been trying to figure out how to tie in each of those roles with my faith. A builder never builds a room first and THEN sets it on the foundation. A room is always built ON the foundation.

So today, with the launching of this blog, I’m unrolling the blueprints that God has given me. I’m not focused nearly as much on the decorating right now as I am with the foundation and the structure of each room. I have been neglecting the passions that God planted in my heart years ago out of fear that I could never make them match with the rest of the life I was building. Now I know that the passions of my heart are part of the foundation of my faith. They are God-gifts and if I don’t use them, I could very well lose them.

Welcome to She Builds Rooms of Treasure. I hope you will examine the blueprints of your own life as we do life together, filling the rooms of our lives with rare and beautiful treasure, for the glory of God.

May 25th will be my 41st birthday and with that, I will be making an exciting announcement. It will be the wall-raising of a new room in my life upon the foundation of my faith and I cannot wait to share it with you.