My sister-in-law Renée and I decided to meet up at the Teaching Them Diligently Convention in Omaha last week. I went into it prepared as usual and expecting to have the same uplifting and educational experience I get when I go to the Tulsa conventions. But last weekend was different… from the very beginning.
We arrived early to be part of a bloggers meet-and-greet with some of the speakers. It was a small group and included Rachael Carman, Heidi St. John, and Ann Dunagan — three speakers for the convention. I was not familiar with any of them, but in that short time of fellowship, God started working on my heart. I started to get an inkling that this convention weekend was going to be different.
In preparing for the convention, I had already printed out the sessions and highlighted the ones I thought would be useful for my season in homeschooling — having to do with boys of an elementary age. Well, that totally changed. Instead I went to many of the sessions with the three speakers from the meet-and-greet, because I knew God was at work and these ladies were going to speak into my life.
Many of the sessions left me in tears. Here is what the Lord spoke to me over those three days:
1. God LOVES me — and desires to spend time with me, to have a relationship with me.
I sometimes get to a point where I have tried to do things myself for so long, and I get so isolated, that I even isolate myself from God. My heart has hardened from past hurts, and I realize that I need constant relationship with God to soften it and to keep it soft — even if that means I cry more.
2. God’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.
If I will just stay yoked to Him things will go much smoother. He will lead and protect.
3. We are training warriors and arrows.
As homeschooling parents, we are not just seeking to protect our children, but we are to train them up to go out into the world on the offense! To take back ground from the enemy. Fear has no part in God’s plan: We are to walk by faith! This is definitely something I need to work on.
4. God is probably a morning person.
As my sister-in-law Renée shared this week, God wants to meet with us in the mornings before we go hurrying helter-skelter into our busy days. This is a hard one for me. I habitually sleep until I have to jump up and into my day, no time for devotion, no time to even fix my hair most days. I also have a two-year-old boy who wakes up looking for trouble.
But as Rachael Carman was talking about this, I saw a picture in my mind of God waiting for me to wake up, but me jumping out of bed and leaving Him behind only to be frustrated as my day controls me instead of me controlling my day. Then another picture of God waiting for me to wake up, and we have some time together and I ask God to lead my that day and be with me. Then although I may run into hurdles, God is there to help, and instead of pushing in frustration, we are breaking through in joy! I saw that picture in my mind and cried, because lately my days have just been one frustration after another. I need God to be with me to get through my days and to constantly remind me of what is important.
5. I need to spend more time on my flesh-and-blood relationships — my marriage and my children.
I need to weed out the time-wasters in my life. My two biggest ones are Netflix/Hulu and Facebook. We especially need to safeguard our marriages. Our homeschool and our children should never come before our spouse. When Satan can destroy a marriage, he has a straight shot at the children, Heidi St. John reminded us.
6. Educating my children should never come before my relationship with them.
One of the great things about homeschooling is that you can stop school to work on character training when you need to. Character development is more important than “school” education.
7. Seek First The Kingdom of God
I have a fresh perspective on Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” This probably goes with No. 4, but as I learn to first seek God, all these other things I need to do and want to do will be added into my life — but without the anxiety and frustration that comes when I try to do it in my own strength without God.
So it turns out that even though Teach Them Diligently is a homeschool convention, the message I received was really about my relationship with God. Because after all, how can we lead our children to God and expect them to have a relationship with God if they don’t see us having a living passionate relationship with God?
What is God showing you in this season of your homeschooling? If you attended any homeschooling conventions, what are your key take-aways? Do any of these messages resonate with you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
- Click here for Part One: Tulsa OCHEC, The Experience
- Click here for Part Two: Tulsa OCHEC, The Speakers
- Click here for Part Three: Tulsa OCHEC, The Vendor Hall