It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

A New Perspective

Imagine going to a job each morning where you can set your own schedule. You arrive when you want, take breaks whenever you want, and leave for an extended lunch hour without anyone breathing down your neck. Answering your phone calls and emails is regulated to a minimum each day, and the work responsibilities and goals you have are varied. There is no dress code or security passes to wear around your neck, and no one cares if you eat at your desk or play your favorite radio station. Your boss is off-site, and you can manage your workload to best suit your needs. Your work is rewarding and exciting, and you usually see immediate results from your efforts. Wouldn’t we all love to have a job that fits this description? As a homeschooling parent, you do!

Many homeschooling parents get caught up in the fact that they never receive a paycheck like their working counterparts. However, if you look at the God-given task of teaching your children at home from a new perspective, you begin to see what a blessing the career choice of homeschooling is for you. So many drawbacks of the typical job do not relate to your world. You have the freedom to pursue your position in ways many parents who work outside the home never do.

Too many times in my years as a homeschooling mother, I failed to see the bigger picture of what God was doing in my life and the lives of my children. I needed to have my eyes opened like Elisha’s servant who saw the whole army of heaven around him (2 Kings 6:17). From God’s perspective, what you are doing as a homeschooling parent has long-lasting and eternal value.

As you homeschool today, picture yourself at the best job you could ever have. The grass is greener on this side of the fence, and your regular paycheck of hugs and kisses from your family is more rewarding than what any company can pay you. Enjoy the freedoms you have as a homeschooling parent and be the successful teacher God intended you to be! “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).

Jesus, what a wonderful opportunity You have given me! Not only do I get the blessings of being a parent, but You have also blessed me with an awesome career of being a teacher. Help me keep my eyes on You each day as I homeschool. In Your name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Dead Pencils

“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17).

My children hated pencils without erasers. Being a thrifty homeschool parent, however, I couldn’t understand the thought of throwing away perfectly good pencils just because they didn’t have an eraser. Purposely, I left these “partial performance pencils” in the supply cabinet; however, each morning when we started to homeschool, I would hear my children rummaging through the pencil can until they found a pencil with at least part of an eraser. Even though I bought new replacement erasers to put on the ends, nothing changed. The substitute erasers would crack or fall off within a few days, and unfortunately, I had to admit my children were right. There was simply no use for a pencil that couldn’t write and erase.

Like pencils without erasers, so are Christians who have lost their saltiness. Christ tells us in Matthew 5:13 and 16 that we are the salt of Earth, and we should demonstrate our faith in Christ to the world through acts of love and service. If we don’t, we are as useless as salt without taste or pencils without erasers. “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13).

What about you? Are you known like Dorcas in Acts 9:36b for being “full of good works and almsdeeds?” Even though your days may be full as a homeschooling parent, God still desires for you to share your faith with your hands, as well as your lips. Why not let the Lord use you today to bless someone in need? “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18).

Lord, so many days my energy is gone after homeschooling, and I have nothing left to give to anyone else. Give me the desire to see the needs of others and fill me with Your strength to reach out in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Obedient Love

Homeschool disciplining would be easier if, like new clothes, our children came with a label.  Directions would clearly state whether to use hot (spanking), warm (time out), or cold (grounded) water and when to line dry (take away privileges) or tumble dry (extra chores/community service).  Unfortunately, our children don’t come with wash and wear tags. We must rely on the Lord’s wisdom to guide us when correcting and instructing our children in obedience.

Since all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), teaching our children to be obedient is a big part of a homeschooling parent’s day. Training in righteousness falls on us, and we must teach our children to embrace the truth of Ephesians 6:1: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” However, building this godly character trait takes time. As homeschooling parents persist in their disciplining efforts, children eventually learn to be obedient both to their parents and the Lord.

Christian parents must also learn to be obedient to the Lord. We may say we love the Lord, but often we fail to prove this love with our actions. Like a rebellious child, we pout, talk back, and demand our own way. God gives us the example of obedience in His Son: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Will you seek to show your true love for the Lord by obeying and doing what He asks? “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21).

Lord, help me to honor you by doing what you have asked of me.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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If I Had Known

Looking back over your homeschooling experiences, what would you do differently? Enjoy these reflections gleaned from other homeschooling parents just like you:

  • If I had known that teaching my children would be so much fun, I would have started homeschooling sooner.
  • If I had known my children were going to grow as fast as older women said they would, I would have treasured our time together even more.
  • If I had known that my son was going to become an archeologist and dig in the dirt for a profession, I would have never worried about removing the stains when washing his clothes.
  • If I had known that all my children would go on to receive college degrees, I would have never second guessed my curriculum choices and teaching abilities.
  • If I had known how unimportant it was to keep a spotless house, I would have gone to bed on time instead of spending countless hours cleaning, organizing, and tidying up for the next day.
  • If I had known how living on one income would build a solid faith in God, I would have gladly lived with less without all the complaining.
  • If I could only experience the thrill of one job to last an entire lifetime, I would homeschool my children all over again.

Whatever lessons you’ve learned from homeschooling so far, you’re incredibly blessed to teach your children. Praise God for the wonderful opportunity to be both your child’s parent and teacher! “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Lost Car – Found Faith

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

My six-year-old son came running to me with crocodile tears in his eyes and cried, “Mommy, I can’t find my favorite car! Can you please help me?” Walking with him into the living room, we proceeded to look for his favorite toy race car that he had just received for his birthday. However, our efforts were to no avail as it was not to be found anywhere. I saw the anxious look on his face and knew we had to do something. Taking him by the hand, we sat down together on the couch and prayed.

“Let’s ask God where it is. I’m sure He knows,” I said.

After we finished our prayer, we returned to our morning homeschool routine. Little did I know, God had already prepared an invaluable lesson for both my young son and me. As we sat back down on the couch to read my son’s science lesson, his lost car popped up between the cushions. Excitedly, we thanked the Lord for showing us the car’s location, and the answered prayer was forever cemented in my son’s mind.

The lesson my son learned was that an all-knowing God was big enough to handle any problem he might have in life. God’s lesson for me was that He was the better teacher. He had a syllabus of truths for my children to learn each day. My job as a homeschooling parent was to be sensitive to those Holy Spirit subject areas, so my children wouldn’t miss the most important lessons in life.

How about you? Are you so structured in your homeschool day that you cannot allow for any deviations for God’s instruction? If so, pray for God’s wisdom and will to be revealed. Don’t lose the opportunities for you or your children to find the greatest truths in the world. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
AOP Homeschool Devotions
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Peaceful Sleep

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
The human body’s need for sleep has always amazed me. God has designed us to literally turn off like a machine for eight hours or more each night. Science tells us sleep is something our bodies need to do. It is not an option. During our sleeping hours, some parts of the brain actually increase their activity dramatically, and certain hormones are produced by many of the body’s major organs and regulatory systems that continue to work.
Unfortunately, as a young homeschooling mom, I was missing out on my much needed sleep. I struggled with daily worries and anxious thoughts like “Will my children turn out okay if I homeschool? How can I teach a subject I don’t even know? How will we pay the bills if I homeschool?” Household chores were also keeping me up late into the night, and I was exhausted as I tried to do too much.
Then one night, I read a promise God seemed to write just to me: “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2). What an eye-opener! God only had so much for me to do each day, and what was left undone was not important. All He asked of me was to pray for wisdom to accomplish His perfect will each day. His provision to meet my unfinished tasks would come by sending extra help, inspiring new ways to organize, or miraculously providing whatever I needed.
After that day, my life changed. I was able to lay my head on my pillow each night and not worry about the basket of laundry waiting to be folded or the unfinished lesson plans for tomorrow’s schoolwork.
When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? Do you struggle with trying to do more than God intended? Bringing your homeschooling worries to the Lord means trusting Him for wisdom and provision for all your needs. Will you rest in Him tonight and experience the peaceful sleep He intended? “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself” (Matthew 6:34a).
AOP Homeschooling Devotions
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