I recently began home schooling one of my daughters. It was day three of High School and she was completely overwhelmed. She quit swim team because of the work load -3 math classes, plus a mandatory online class added to a full day of classes. I went to the school counselor many times, but the counselor wouldn’t budge on the work load they had given her. I knew this wasn’t right. Within 24 hours, I read up on the laws, found a local home school group, selected a curriculum, asked millions of questions and sent my letter of intent to our county school board the next day. I always thought about home schooling but I could never figure it out, it seemed difficult and impossible. I know without a doubt, the hand of the Lord was leading in all of this. It was truly amazing to see how everything worked out. Even in my chaotic world, everything worked out perfectly as if pieces of a puzzle were all being pieced together.
It was as if I had jumped off the security of trusting in the schools and all they had to offer- like the safety of a ship and do something impossible- walk on water.
For me, it was about trusting God. It is about faith.
Fix your thoughts if you want to walk on the water
As I begin this unfamiliar journey, I know there is a lot at stake. It’s a huge risk but the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Will she make it? Will she succeed? Can I do this? Will she get into college? How can I prepare her for the SAT? How can I make up for all the lost years of knowledge she never received in the public schools? Is she learning enough? Do I remember World History? Can I teach? What if? What if? What if?
Those are thoughts I refuse to entertain. I know the Lord is with me. I started this race and I will run to win, and that’s it. There is no other thought than that for me to entertain. I have learned that our thoughts keep us grounded in our faith and trust in the Lord. I remember to Philippians 4:8 my thoughts at all times.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you”
Another version says “Fix your thoughts”. Notice how it ends with a promise of God’s peace. How do I keep my faith up so I don’t drown? I fix my thoughts. Maybe the last few (many) years have been my training ground to get to this point – where I have the strength and discipline to fix my thoughts.
You can’t walk on water if you are worrying and complaining – it’s weight that will sink you
The same rule of Philippians 4:8 can be applied for finances, sickness, family issues and other worries. Jesus said worrying won’t add one more day to our life. A few years ago I cried out to the Lord in my distress. It seemed like my entire world was about to fall apart. By the world’s standpoint, we couldn’t survive, it was impossible. I began to pray telling God about my situation and what was going to happen. As I was praying I saw a verse come out of the heavens towards me. I couldn’t read it at first because it was so far away, but as it got closer and closer to me I could see it. I saw “Isaiah 51:12” I got up from my prayer time to find the verse:
I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;
Wow, what was that saying to me? Was I trusting in man’s words and doom around me or was I trusting in the supernatural powerful hand of the Lord Almighty? Why should I put my trust in the words people say? The news I read? Or the worries of this world? They will all disappear. The Lord comforts me and He tells us over and over again NOT TO WORRY but to be strong and courageous in all you do, doing all you do as if you are doing it for the Lord.
- Deuteronomy 31:6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you
- Joshua 1:9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go
- 1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong
- Don’t complain: Numbers 11:1 [ Fire From the Lord ] Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp and Numbers 14:27 “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites
God will give you the strength you need
Feeling discouraged? Feeling down? The Lord is your strength. Ask Him for help. Consider Isaiah 41;30 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint
The Lord is always right beside you, but you need to reach out for His help. Call on Him and He will answer. Trust Him and He will carry you through. He can strengthen you when you feel week, He will lift you up when you fall and He is never too far way, but always beside us. Try and see, the Lord is good and His Promises never fail.
We walk by faith, and not by sight
Keep your heart protected so you don’t speak words of faithlessness
If I let my thoughts run away into negative and wrong things, soon they slip out of my mouth into the hearts of those around me. That’s no good! I said something this weekend to my youngest daughter I wish I wouldn’t have said. I had thought it for a while and oops! There it came out of my mouth into her ears and she heard it. Ugh! I need to shut out anything negative and keep my children protected also Prov 4:23
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
I know! I’m always quoting this verse – but it’s key and it’s connected like a puzzle to many things in the bible especially the teachings of Jesus. We need to make sure nothing sinks into the well of our heart unless it undergoes the Philippians 4;8 test.
Are our thoughts really important? Read the verses below. Consider the psalms of David. He would cry out in distress to the Lord and each time David would call on the promises of God in His prayer. He always spoke and prayed in faith even when he was in terrible trouble. Imagine what Abraham was thinking as he marched his son Isaac to the mountain. The only way Abraham got there was by faith and the only way he had faith was by looking straight ahead, not looking to the left or right. He put all his focus on the orders God gave Him and marched on without doubt. He fixed His thoughts. We see the same thing with Esther when she went before the King and many other people of the bible.
- Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
- Matthew 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
- Matthew 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
- Matthew 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
- Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof
- Psalm 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off
- Proverbs 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit
- Proverbs 21:5 The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want
- 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you
Beware of the Devil’s lies that cause doubt and discouragment
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints Ephesians 6
You also need discernment as you step out in faith and walk on the water. The Lord explained discernment to me by allowing me to see the fiery darts that the devil sends. They are just like arrows and they are aimed straight for your head. The arrows are full of wrong thoughts, blasphemy, discouragement, doubt and everything against Jesus and the Lord. Discernment is knowing what to allow yourself to think and ponder and what to throw out and refuse to think about.
- 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned
- Ecclesiastes 8:5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.
- Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean
What is of the Lord and what is not? You see, the devil tries to plant a poisonous lie into your thoughts so it sinks down into your heart and soon becomes a part of your every day life. That is just one of his tactics. You don’t have to think about everything that comes into your mind. Keep your eyes and your thoughts fixed on the prize-Salvation in Jesus Christ.
- James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour
Whatsoever you do, do it for the Glory of God
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites Col 3:23
Not with eye service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Eph 6:7-8
In everything you do, do it as if you are doing it for the Lord. Run the race to win. I started this race and I will finish. Don’t give up if you are struggling with doubt or discouragement. Lift your head up and keep going.
Persistance is key!
- Luke 18:1[ The Parable of the Persistent Widow ] Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
- Romans 2:7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
Persistance is a running theme through scripture. David didn’t give up! Noah didn’t give up! They all had difficult times yet they pursued through them. Isaiah, Zechariah, Jeremiah, Esther, Mordecai, the Shumanite woman, Rahab, Abraham, Jesus! Peter, Paul, Stephen – their lives weren’t perfect, they had struggles yet each one had persistence and endured to the end victorious.
I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me
From day one I can sense the darts of defeat and discouragement coming out me, but I don’t allow them to enter my mind. I remind myself that I started this race and I will finish this race and I run to win. Each day throws new challenges and new obstacles in my way, but I know with God I can do anything. With God I can jump the highest mountains, with God I can win the race. Now my 5-8 hours of bible study a day has gone down to 2-3 hours as I relearn biology, World History, Spanish and Algebra. I can see God’s handiwork in each of these subjects I am teaching my daughter. I remember these verses and they keep me going:
If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small Proverbs 24:10
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5
If I faint in times of adversity, how can I race against the strong? So each day I keep on and each day I see God’s miraculous hand on my life and my steps. Trust Him in all your ways and He will direct your paths.
Did Jesus promise the walk to be easy?
No, but He did promise to walk with us. He did promise to always help us. He did promise that we are overcomers in Christ Jesus and though Him, all His promises are yes, true and amen.
Why did I make this decision?
My 15 year old was never taught grammar in the public school. She can’t figure out multiplication because the way she was taught was so confusing. The kids are expected to type all their papers but no one has been taught how to type. The students hen peck at 10-20wpm and they cannot read or write cursive. How can they attend 4 years of college hen pecking the keyboard and using bubble baby print for note taking as they listen to their college professor? How are they going to calculate statistics if they have to draw boxes to figure out a simple math problem? I am ready to pull my second grader out as well. The math they teach is confusing. They try to teach logic without foundation. You need foundation first and then logic comes. An example of the new math is 436 + 249, instead of lining them up and adding them, the children are told to draw out 6 hundred boxes, then 7 ten lines, then 15 small circles for the ones, then they have to count the boxes, the lines and the ones, finally they must line up all those numbers and add them all up. Calculators are encouraged, homework and class time are spent playing games on computers to “tutor”. God is far away and non existent in the schools. “English 1” is 6 months of learning and studying all the greek gods, their offspring, and perverted affairs – for middle and high school- without grammar knowledge or writing skills. Who is behind this? Why are they dumbing down our kids? Why aren’t they teaching history? Why aren’t they encouraging students to read biographies ,autobiographies or something intelligent? The scholastic book bulletin just came out and 80% of the books are about magic. As I prepare for SAT teaching , I read that 22% of the biology exam is proving and acknowledging the evidence of evolution and patterns of evolution. Isn’t that a violation of my religious rights?
My daughter now has more social interaction than she did in school. She is able to join in at youth groups, drama groups, learn guitar and volunteer at a local ministry. These are all things she was unable to do when she was going to school. She is a different person, I can see her joy. She has always wanted to be in the famous Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant but homework made that impossible. Now she is able to be a part of this cast. She practices for hours every week. God is truly good and surely has taken care of my daughter because she belongs to Him.
Do you want to walk on water? Has God called you to a specific task and you think it’s impossible for you?
- Trust God, not man
- Fix your thoughts
- Refuse to worry
- Don’t let doubt and discouragment entertain your thoughts
- Call on God for Strength
- Watch your words- begin by guarding your heart
- Be wise to the devil’s lies and pray for discernment
- Stay Grounded in Gods word which gives discernment
- In all you do, do as if you are doing it for the Lord
- Don’t think it a strange thing when you run into trials
- Run the race to win
- See you at the finish line! 🙂
and fyi: homeschoolflorida.wordpress.com is a site I created to help my daughter out with certain subjects. This link lists all the sites that helped me make my curriculum decisions. If you are considering homeschooling, check out the sites and programs offered.