The tables are cleared, pencils sharpened and the schedule printed. Does that mean we are ready? Ready for what?
Hours are spent making preparations for a budget, choosing curriculum, planning space and a schedule and trying to forecast the temperature of the upcoming homeschool year.
Two invaluable lessons I have learned after 14 years of homeschooling.
The temperature is going to fluctuate! Some days are going to be balmy, some are going to be hot and some are going to be frigid. One of our sons recently went on a trip to Arizona where he had the privilege of experiencing the Bad Lands. My husband likes to read Louis L’Amour westerns and the Bad Lands are glamourized into legendary status. The dry, quiet beauty, the desperately dry heat that leaves one physically aching for the rejuvenation of even a drop of water and the history of a nation carving out its future all resonate in the splendor of the cliffs and majestic power of the buffalo. Compare that to the crystal brilliance of the frozen sea and the impossible challenge of the Chilkoot Trail that inspired perseverance and personal excellence, islands of men (and even some women) surrounded by mountains of snow and ice, crisp clear air so cold that a person’s lungs could burst at the pain of a single breath and the dream of a multitude aspiring to achieve greatness in the Yukon and both hot and cold have a lot going for them.
Lesson number one is that no matter what is going on, make the most of it. All hot and you miss the pleasure of a cool breeze or the excitement tied to the first snowflake or the simple beauty of a white Christmas. All cold takes away the feel of the sand between your toes as you frolic on the beach with your children, the lifted burden of snowsuits and sweaters as the mercury rises and the fun and fellowship of barbeque season. Enjoy every moment, seize every opportunity to be the very best you can be and cherish those with whom you are making this phenomenal journey.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
No matter how much I plan, I am not in control! I am a planner. I am not a micro-manager, I do not need to lead every charge but I do like to know that I am moving forward. I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and I have squandered time and opportunity by not being prepared. That, I think, more than anything drives me to be ready to go. There is a catch.
God’s plan for me is not always the same as my plan for me.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Renowned Scottish poet, Robert Burns, wrote a poem entitled “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough” . In the seventh stanza, Burns provides a quote that became more famous than the whole of the poem ever was, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley,”. In other words, ‘The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Learning to be prepared, I believe is God honouring.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season;
1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
I am ready to go in the direction I see that He has laid before me. That doesn’t mean that the direction will never change. When Jesus calls me, I need to be like Isaiah.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
As we prepare for our upcoming homeschool year, we are also preparing for another year with family, friends, and personal growth.
With this devotion, I challenge each one of us to not only go forward into the year, but to embrace it and all of the challenges, joys, tears and answered prayers.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it, without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”