Originally Sent: 5/1/2014
May 1, 2014
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Come Away to Refresh Your Homeschool-Weary Souls!
Editorial note from Diane: Becky and I have enjoyed writing the high school newsletter together for almost nine years. So it’s with sadness I let our readers know that Becky will be transitioning into a new season and retiring from her position as an HSLDA High School Consultant. I’m sure our readers join me in thanking Becky and telling her how much we’ve appreciated and benefitted from the wisdom, grace, and knowledge she added to the newsletters. I am confident the Lord has wonderful new plans for Becky as she leaves HSLDA, and we wish her the very best in her new endeavors!
Now back to our regular programming …
• • •
Hallelujah! Spring has finally broken the grip of winter. Dare you put away your coats? Air with a warm feel to it and flowers poking through the ground bring a lilt to our voices and lightness to our steps.
Spring is also evidence that the school year is coming to a close and summer is just around the corner. Some of you may be holding on by your fingertips to see this school year completed. Rather than giving you ideas on more to look forward to, this month we want to bring ways to find rest for your body and soul. (If the suggestions and resources we offer in this newsletter are not ones you use or prefer, please feel free to bypass them and return for the June issue.)
As you anticipate a break in your school routine, remember the words of an old, familiar hymn, “Take Time to Be Holy.”
Take time to be holy,
Take time to be holy,
Take time to be holy,
Take time to be holy,
(William D. Longstaff, 1822-1894)
Lewis Sperry Chafer at Dallas Theological Seminary used to stop his students when they sang this hymn and have them change the words to “Take time to behold Him â€¦.”
In the busyness of home, family, and school, it is easy to give lip service to Jesus without setting aside regular time to commune with Him. Don’t fall into the familiar trap of thinking, “He knows how busy I am and will understand if I don’t have time today to meet with Him.” We want to encourage you to seek His face and enjoy His presence as you bring this school year to a close and look ahead to the next one.
Prayer is conversation with the Lord, so we don’t necessarily need to limit it to a specific time of the day, but can incorporate it throughout the whole day. George Muller said, “I pray as I walk and when I lie down and when I arise. And the answers are always coming.”
Are you struggling with finishing up all the course work this year, or worrying about your teen’s attitude and heart, or wondering how you’ll pay the bills? Rest in knowing that you can take these cares to your heavenly Father in prayer for He knows and will provide for all your needs. He simply asks you to “call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3 NASB) So ask Him to order your day to give you time to spend with Him in conversation and to do what He wishes you to do. He is trustworthy.
Your habit of prayer can be caught. Do your teens see or hear you praying for them, the worries of the day, and wisdom? The adage, “a family who prays together stays together” has much truth in it. If you keep a family prayer journal, it will evidence to your children that God hears and answers their prayers. It can be a stone of remembrance to point back to when your teens question the validity of prayer. One of our sons called home from college because he was afraid he would not be able to complete the course assignments by the deadline. After being reminded of a similar situation in high school when his family prayed for him and the Lord answered through circumstances that extended the deadline, he was encouraged that God is the same yesterday, today and forever and could be trusted again.
Prayer is so powerful it can change strained relationships, whether they are personal, family, or work-related into harmony and unity. Sound too good to be true? God delights to use your willing heart to bring renewal and refreshment to you that will overflow to others. It will probably not look like you expect because it will be better than you imagine. It may not come in your perceived timing, but God is never late.
Since prayer is a conversation, there’s time for you to talk as well as time to listen to God talk. This is accomplished by spending time in His Word. It’s sometimes difficult for busy homeschool parents to sit still to read and meditate on the Scriptures. We remember the struggle during our homeschooling days, but the Lord will honor your desire to hear His voice through His Word.
Devotional times will vary during different seasons of your homeschool journey. Sometimes you may regularly gather the family around the Word and share insights, helping your children grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Committing passages to memory will hide truths in all of your hearts for the Holy Spirit to bring back to your remembrance in times of need. But don’t neglect to set apart time for each member of the family to slip away and delve into a few verses to hear what the Lord is saying. It will feed the spirit and soul to rejuvenate and satisfy you for the days ahead.
Another benefit to being hydrated by Scripture is the restoration that takes place in your hearts. Are you afraid that your teen won’t be able to accomplish his dreams because you are homeschooling him? Fears such as these can lead you out of the paths of righteousness right into the enemy’s way unless you are reminded of God’s promise that He “knows the plans that [He] has for you [and your teens]; plans for good and not for disaster, to give you [and your teen] a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB) Spending time in the Word will redirect your focus and trust back onto Jesus rather than on the circumstance.
The Word will completely quench your thirst. Remember the story of the woman at the well (John 4)? Jesus told her that whoever drinks the water He gives will never thirst again. Drinking in the Word must be done regularly to prevent becoming weary, tired or overwhelmed by school and life. It will be life giving as you serve your family.
Praise comes in different forms. Studying God’s Word and talking to Him in prayer will naturally elicit praise and awe of who He is and how He does things. Enjoy teaching your children hymns and praise songs, and practice them or play them quietly in the background throughout the school day. Songs can also help your children cement verses to memory. Often you may find yourself breaking out in song as God reminds you of one of His promises or you see an answer to prayer.
Did you know that when we complain to God or are in despair and recount it to God, it’s a form of praise? How can that be? Your openness and honesty is a reflection of the intimacy you share with the Lord. Whenever you take everything to the Lord, you are demonstrating that you trust Him to know what to do. That’s praise!
Praise lifts your heart to see the Lord more clearly and accurately. It changes your focus from the temporal to the eternal. It turns your mourning into joy and is health for both body and soul. Scripture says that one day we will stand before Jesus and praise and worship Him because He’s worthy to receive glory and honor and power. Why not start now!
If you need a place to find resources for jump-starting a walk of holiness for you and your family, we have recommendations on our website for you to peruse. There is a list of devotionals, for all ages in the Resource section, of the Homeschooling thru High School website.
Check out additional ideas in the parent/teen/family section. A list of books targeted to teens concerning spiritual growth is also available in the Resource section. (Though tucked away, this part of our website is chock-full of helpful information!)
Our “You Can Do It” section of the website has a section on “Encouragement” where you can access quotes and verses to lift your hearts. There are also songs that you will enjoy.
The best resource of all is the Bible. Reading through it together as a family will give you an amazing view of God’s redemptive plan for us. Enjoy the wonder of our Savior and King.
Come back next month for interesting ways to make the most of your summer vacation.
Delighting in the Lord,
Becky Cooke and Diane Kummer
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