Serving while schooling … Using the opportunity to be servants to bring blessings
When we give of ourselves, we receive more blessing than the withholding would retain.
Whoever loses his life shall preserve it. ~Luke 17:33
It is amazing to me how few each of us realize the gifts we bring to our support groups. Each person represented, every single homeschooling family has something to share. Whether it is a knowledge of a specific topic, subject or concept… or perhaps just a set of willing hands to help. Luke 17:33 says, “Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” When we willingly set out to serve one another in our homeschool groups, in our relationships and in prayer, we open the door to multiple blessings in our own lives. This, of course, shouldn’t be our aim, but the result of diligent service.
When the Lord called me to step into leadership, it was with a humble heart as I felt I still needed to be led. He is so good to equip those whom He calls. Do you realize that rarely does he call the equipped? It is in our weakness that He is strong. It is in our foolishness that His Wisdom is made clear. It is in our service to each other that we are most like Christ. As I stepped out in faith, I also stepped out in prayer seeking His face in all that I did. To be clear, I have made many mistakes in my day but there is a freedom in being able to rest in the knowledge that he is leading me forward and giving me the opportunity to bless another by the lessons I have learned.
The reality is that as a homeschooling mom I have often found that I operate under a spirit of fear. 1 Timothy 2:7 reminds us “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Let me paint a picture for you:
There is a woman, desperate and weary seated at the table, her head laying upon her hands. She is burdened and wondering if she doing anything right. A prayer leaves her lips, she hopes it has made it past the ceiling and she is trusting Him to answer. This heart is needing to be built up, to be reminded of Galatians 6:9 and Isaiah 41:10, this thirsty mom is needing a drink and a hand to hold it out to her.
Just as she is tempted to lose heart, the phone rings…on the other end is the voice of a familiar traveler, symbiotic- soul who just had her on their mind. Have you been that weary woman lifted up by the encouraging friend? I have. I have found myself storm-tossed and broken in the days of our homeschool journey wondering why and just when it will feel right. Those moments of wonder, when a friend calls to pray, have always taken my breath away. That God… our Great God…has me in mind. Read through Psalm 139 and take in the Truth of the depth of His thoughts towards you.
Let’s go there together, Psalm 139:17-18 trumpets forth these promises, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them they are more in number than the sand.” The entirety of this Psalm reminds us of just how much our lives matter to Him. If we matter enough that He says in His Word all the days of our life were written in His book before it began (vs. 16), then we can know that our homeschooling journey matters to Him as well. It is here, in the knowing, that we can believe He is faithful. It is here, in the faithfulness of His love, He brings obedient stewards to our rescue, in the hour of our need.
The joy we feel in being remembered is multiplied in number when we are the obedient servants of His heart; when we remember to serve one another. As I have walked, sometimes the indecisive road, I have known one truth for certain…He is faithful. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 tells us of His faithfulness. “Faithful is he who calls you.” Serve one another in faith. Seek His heart for you as you serve others and ask Him where He wants to place you; then obey. At times it may seem awkward, but how much better to obey and walk in blessing than hesitate and miss the chance to be the vessel He is working through.
How can YOU serve?
Practically, we can serve on many levels, but let’s start with what is close to you. Be a faithful prayer warrior for another mom. The time it takes to become prayer partners creates a level of intimacy which opens the door for healing and blessings. James 5:16, “Confess your faults to one another and pray on for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. “ It is in those times where our reality shines, that we are the hands and feet of the body of Christ to the dear hearts He brings into our lives. Praying with and for these friends I treasure is a bond which creates unity and blessing. We are living in the spirit fellowship which brings encouragement; that encouragement is the type of support which can build strong foundations, foundations that withstand storms.
Veteran mothers need to reach out to the moms of younger children, and new homeschooling mothers. One of the most valuable aspects of support we can provide is the opportunity to be a Titus 2 woman in the life of another. Going to His Word we find this admonition, Titus 2:3-5, “Be teachers of good things; ..teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” The homeschool community is in great need of Titus 2 women to come alongside of the younger moms and encourage them not to give up. The veteran mothers need the excitement of the new moms to refuel their tanks and remind them of why they started this journey. It is also a stark reminder that we only have so much time with our children. We need to guard it dearly. There is a beckoning to speak truth into each other’s lives and to be steadfast. Remind each other of God’s faithful promises which are always true and have not failed. (Joshua 23:14).
The kindred spirit forged as we stand with each other when the valleys of life threaten to consume us, create the path that others can now walk more easily. As we are honest with each other, to the point that we can demonstrate humility in trials and tribulations, we unite hearts that can affect future generations. The Word of God reminds us to praise Him in all things, especially tribulations. I would challenge you to be willing to seek the fellowship of another in those trials so that you may receive the promise of James 5:16, “Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed.”, and know the power of Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” and see the manifestation of Matthew 21:22, “And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing you shall receive.”
Be Intentional in your Service
Being willing to lead a class or demonstrate a skill to a homeschooling family initiates a level of learning which can rarely be duplicated. In ages past, children were apprenticed at tender ages to learn a trade. This generation has become a trade-less generation; a generation that does not appreciate the wisdom which comes with age and experience. Homeschoolers, however, have often embraced the gifts of creative minds and willing hands. By orchestrating classes in life skills, we can teach useful talents to our children while opening a door of blessing to someone who would enjoy our company. Perhaps, you can find an elderly woman or gentleman to teach your children something you don’t know how to do like sewing or carpentry. The benefits of this are multiplied infinitely when we see how the beauty of relationship adds to the learning. If possible, set up this class for a group of students and let them learn together.
If you have a gifting in a certain subject, take the time to teach another mom or her children this skill. As I said, when you love something, even the most difficult or boring subject can become interesting. Setting up a co-op with other families provides the accountability and resources of diversity in our homeschooling while all the while maintaining control of our children’s education. Utilizing the concept of service in this atmosphere not only unites families, which then binds us together and encourages us, but it equips us to educate with confidence.
Organize Events for Homeschooling Families
An area of support which I have found is utilized less than it could be is the organization of events for home educated students. Without crossing a line of personal choice, let me say that the provision of the events exacerbates the freedom to choose what is doable for each family. When we step out and walk in obedience to God, He sees that we can be counted faithful. Think of the parable of the servants and the talents. (Matthew 25:14-30) In the end it was the faithful servant who not only sowed his talent, who traded his talent; it was he who received the admonition of praise from the master. We find the result of this obedience in verse 29. “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be take away even that which he hath.”
Not only do we provide a service in organizing things like science fairs, spelling bees, geography bees, math competitions, debate clubs and youth orchestras; we provide experience for our students. In our experience we can fulfill the great commission of spreading the Gospel and presenting truth to all those who the Lord brings in our paths. Not only do we bring in experience, but we can add depth to our children’s transcripts, and ideally to their lives as they prepare for college. Even though we are home educators we do not have to close our doors to experience and opportunity through planned events for our children. If something is not available in your area, seek the Lord’s guidance and step out in faith to begin the process of seeing it become a reality.
( Continue to Part 5 – Giving Grace and Receiving Blessings)