Last week, I shared how my father-in-law passed away last Tuesday.
We had very specific prayers we were praying for last week. Here were just a few of them:
- For my husband as he had to deliver the sermon for the funeral. Since it was his dad, this was naturally hard. But he is also the only family member who is vocal about his Christianity. What to say weighed on him heavily. We prayed that he would be able to get rest and that the Holy Spirit would give him the words to say. We also prayed that he would be able to deliver the sermon/memorial and not break down where it would hinder the message.
- We prayed that our Christian friends would come to the funeral to show my mother-in-law and family how Christians love others and support others.
- We prayed that we could be a help during this time.
I believe all of those prayers were answered in at least the following ways:
- My husband was able to tell the stories he had of his dad and give the gospel in a very clear manner. Although he did get emotional, he was able to still get through it. Everyone who was there heard how we will all die and how we all need to be ready. There were many unsaved people at the funeral who heard a clear message of salvation.
- My church family was so supportive of us and our family. Many came out even though the service was at 7 pm on Saturday night. When I think of my dear friends who are in their 70’s and 80’s, and yet they drove that late at night to support us, my heart is touched. Some of my best friends are these dear saints who are in their senior years. I will miss them all when they go to heaven. Yet, we who know the Lord can be rejoicing for those who have finished their pilgrimage here on earth. My mother-in-law remarked a few times about how many people from our church came out to the funeral, and the funeral director was overwhelmed! Their Christian love was a great testimony to our family. One couple who came is a Filipino couple who are just a few years younger than my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law relates well with other Asians as they have an accent like she does and English is not their first language either. They have invited us to lunch with them, and they want my mother-in-law to come to eat too!
- We were able to help quite a bit over the few days before and after the funeral. My husband did outside work while I was able to clean, cook, wash dishes, and help get the pictures ready for display. We were exhausted by Sunday night, as was my husband’s whole family, but it was good to be able to do what we could do.
Funerals are for the living, not for the dead. So we have some continued prayer requests:
- For the seed of the Word of God to take root in the hearts of those who heard and for many to come to receive Christ as their Savior, especially for my husband’s family.
- For my mother-in-law to go to lunch with us with at the church members’ house.
- For the fruit of the Spirit to be evident in the lives of those who were at the funeral and claim to have saving faith.
- For us to have wisdom on how to handle family affairs. We want to show love to our family, yet bring our children up to hate sin and to love righteousness.
We know that God loves to answer the prayers of His children. With all that is going on– my father-in-law’s passing, our upcoming move to a different house, homeschooling for the first year five children, and regular life — it is easy for me to feel overwhelmed. I am so thankful that in one of my groups that I saw Alicia from Vibrant Homeschooling was needing some homeschool moms to review a course that she had put together. Taking this class has definitely been an answer to prayer for me.
I knew I was going to homeschool this next year, and her course title caught my attention:
Bloom: A Journey to Joy (and Sanity) for Homeschool Moms.
I know me. I can be grouchy and testy. I am not always the nicest person to be around; and I can take that out on my children, the people I love the most (besides my husband). (I am looking forward to listening to Class 6: Homeschooling Joy-Stealers Part 3: The Anger Monster.)
Sometimes the noise of the kids can get on my nerves. Sometimes I say things I regret later.
I don’t want my kids hate being homeschooled by me. I want them to remember me as a mom filled with the joy of the Lord–although I know I will not be perfect.
With all of life’s circumstances, I have not finished the course like I wanted to do. But it is a course that every homeschool mom should take as it gives practical advice on how to survive — and thrive — as a homeschool mom.
The tips on how to have a rhythm (not a schedule) for homeschool is invaluable. The advice on how to have a rest time takes the guilt off of me. It’s okay for me to make all the kids be quiet and leave me alone for a while while I get a nap or refresh my soul! Also the suggestions of not taking on more than I can handle is what I needed to hear. If my kids don’t do sports or a co-op or whatever else everyone else is doing, it is okay! Joy is more important than activity that stresses us all out!
Now, I know I will still have some activities. Karis will be in a band; we are planning to have Kaylin be on a basketball team. But not all the kids need to be in something — at least not right now!
As I went through the lessons and saw the worksheets where we can evaluate what we did previously in homeschooling and what we would like to change, I knew that I would want to do this course again next summer. I know from teaching in a traditional school, that a good teacher always makes adjustments every year. This is our first year. There will be changes. This course will help me to make future changes. But there is one thing I want to be prevalent this year, and that is JOY! This course is from a Christian perspective, which I believe is the only way a person can have true joy: through Christ!
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