I can trust Him for the future!

This stack of books is a lovely sight to my eyes because it means it is almost time to open the doors of The Eastman Academy for the 2014-2015 school year!
Our 10th year of homeschooling! WooHoo!

We are going back to a completely pure homeschooling model this year. No classes, no outsourcing - just me and my children day by day as we pursue the course of study and character training the Lord has called us to ... for such a time as this.

My highly-skilled, and more-than-qualified groom has been gracious to talk, plan, pray, and read with me as we prepare for this year. And there is much to prepare for, though I remind myself continually, "The Lord has this, Michelle!"
Much like the apostles in the boat being tossed by the storm who cried out, "Lord! We are afraid! WHY are You sleeping?" - I have to be reminded by my Savior that HE is not afraid. The same God who controls the wind and the waves and the salvation of my children also controls their character, intellect, and spiritual gifts. What curriculum we use and where they go to college is hardly a cause for an emergency meeting of the Trinity!

Over the past three years the Lord has graciously freed me from the burden of believing that the future, intelligence, and success of my children rests on my shoulders. I cannot do anything to "create" who they are or what they will become. Nor am I called to do so!
The Lord commands us as parents to train our children in righteousness ... to discipline them ... and train them in godliness and wisdom. But never does He command us to secure their futures or prepare them for the workforce.

HE is the One who created them!
HE is the One was has a plan and a purpose for them.
HE knows their every strength and weakness, their passions, skills, and desires.
HE is the One who will continue to mold, shape, prepare, and purify them for the calling He has already placed in their hearts.

My responsibility is to show them the face of God - every single day.
Pray for them - and with them.
Model Christ in my actions, words, and relationships.
Remind them that the Cross is the only place they will find healing.
Teach them the Word of God so they can hide it deep within their hearts so they are able to turn away from evil.
And remind them day by day the beautiful truth that their Lord is ALL SUFFICIENT - in all things - and He is FAITHFUL.

Math, science, history, writing and grammar - they will happen.
But if my children gain a terrific education while following the way of culture, living like the world, and rejecting the Savior ... I will have modeled for them the frightening verse that declares, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?"
And my labor will have been in vain.

I LOVE that the Lord has released me from the burden of claiming the successes and failures of my children.
I love that He knows them intimately and designed them not only in His image, but fearfully and WONDERFULLY.
I love that He has shown me boldly, and without room for doubt, that each of my children - Micah, Luke, Caleb, Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie - are not my children ... but HIS.
He created them in the secret places of the earth, and His work has never ceased since the moment they were formed.

I remember the first year we opened the doors of The Eastman Academy. Micah was going to be in Pre-K, and the night before our first day of school I broke down with Dennis crying, "What if I ruin him? What if he never gets into college because of my mistakes? How will I ever be able to DO THIS?"
He waited until I finished, looked at me very seriously and said, "Babe, he's FOUR. Read some books, pull out some Play-do, teach him to cut with scissors and call it a day!"
The father of our child was not at all worried about what was going to happen to his son during the day - because he trusted ME. He knew that my love for Micah would overpower any deficiencies in my lesson planning or craft ideas. His confidence in me was greater than the confidence I had in myself.
And guess who had it right?
It wasn't me.

I can recall that night with the utmost clarity, and I am so glad I am not that same woman!
I have made mistakes in homeschooling.
I have made mistakes in their Biblical training.
I have failed to show them a gentle and quiet spirit, and responded in anger instead of grace.
I have been lazy when I should have been diligent.
But you know what is amazing about all of these failings? The Lord was right there for every single one of them! In all of my selfish and sinful moments He never left me. And what's more - He never left my children.
He was there ... watching ... convicting ... challenging ... and encouraging me as I moved through each day. The good and the bad. The exciting and the discouraging. The fun and the frustrating.

And now, as we are about to embark on our tenth year of homeschooling, I am more passionate and excited than ever before. Nerves, insecurity, and fear are no longer a part of my curriculum. Not because I have it all together - but because I know the God who DOES!
He promises that I can do ALL THINGS through Him. And when He makes a promise - He means it!
So I can surrender this school year to Him. I can surrender each of my children to Him!
And I can trust that the One who created each of them will guide, shape, and prepare them for the future
that HE has planned.

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