Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Returning to the Gospel, Again and Again

We've had a hard day.  We all have them from time to time, don't we?  Nothing specifically went wrong; I just seemed to be unable to get anything done.  And the house was a wreck.  And I had to remind Ada over and over and over again to sit still and pay attention and get your work done.  And sweet Evie pea followed me around the house, undoing any cleaning that I actually managed to get done.  By noon, I felt very discouraged, and I couldn't even remember why I was homeschooling in the first place. 

But now, now the day is done, and I am making myself sit down and remind myself why I decided to do this in the first place, so that I can start tomorrow with fresh vision.

My goal here, which I forget over and over again, is to live out the gospel in daily life with my children.  I want them home with me, so that while they are young, I can naturally help them respond to daily living with the truth of the gospel.  Today, their room was so messy, and I have told them so many times to clean it, and I just lost it with them.  Lost it.  And I took a minute, and I texted a friend, and I called Scott, and I prayed.  And then I gathered them around me in their room, and I apologized.  And I reminded them of the reality of sin and the reality that we live in a fallen world.  That the mess and the chaos and the yelling--that is not how it is supposed to be.  And I reminded them that as much as I hate the sin and the mess (the mess of the house and the mess of us) that we have hope because God has promised that one day he will return and he will make all things new.  It won't always be like this!!  AND I reminded them that we also can have hope because in the mean time, God has given us a helper--the holy spirit, to strengthen us in our weakness, to convict us of our sin, to enable us to turn away from that sin.  And then we prayed, we thanked God for Jesus, who saw us in our mess and knew we had no way out apart from him.  And we thanked God for the holy spirit, who is our helper, and we asked for help.  Help us, Jesus!!  And we thanked God for the hope that one day he will return and make all things new!!!  Hallelujah!!

And, as I prayed, and as they prayed, John also kept getting up and running around the room and asking me if we were done, and Ada's prayer seemed very half-hearted, and even as I told them ALL of the above, I felt discouraged again.  But this is why I have them home with me.  Because living the ins and outs of daily life with anyone provides so much opportunity for gospel application.  One day, one morning, one hour of this life shows us the reality of our sin and this fallen world.  We are a mess, and I want to be here to tell them the answer to the mess.  It's Jesus!!  And they may roll their eyes or ask if we are done, but I believe that if we keep going back to the gospel over and over again, and if we keep going to his word together, it will not return void.  I am trusting that God will use my feeble attempts at gospel talk to change their little hearts.  Now, I know that he certainly doesn't need me to change their hearts, but what a privilege if he allows me to play a role.

My prayer is that he would turn their hearts to Him, and that they would love Him with all of their heart and soul and mind and strength.  I pray that they would love His word, and that they would love prayer, and that they would spend their lives surrendered to him, surrendered to His will for their lives.  I have them home with me because I want them to know this is what comes first.  Phonics and math and memory work and handwriting, all of this must center around the gospel, and so I homeschool. 

Also, I always pray, always, show me if I am wrong.  Show me if it would be better if they were in public school.  Because, I certainly might be wrong.  But for now, this is where I feel he has called us.  So, I rest in Him on the good days and the bad days.  We run to the gospel on the good days and the bad days.  We run to Him.  He is always the answer.

yesterday at CC, learning about Norman Rockwell. 

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