Down, but Not Out

You know your homeschooling day hasn't gone well when your husband comes home from work and finds you crying. Some days being a Christian and a homeschooling mom puts you into situations that tear you down and bring you to tears. The rejection by others overwhelms, frightens, angers, and discourages you. The world does all it can do to convince you that you are a fool for following Christ and His call to educate your children.

Opposition to following God's plans is nothing new. In the Bible, Nehemiah faced ridicule for carrying out God's plan to rebuild the broken wall around the city of Jerusalem. Led by the Lord to return to Jerusalem after years of exile, Nehemiah faced a huge task and the negative harassment from enemies like Sanballat and Tobiah (Nehemiah 4). The secret of Nehemiah's success in rallying the workers and overcoming his enemies' discouragement is said in verse 16a: "And it came to pass from that time forth, that the half of my servants wrought in the work, and the other half of them held both the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the habergeons." Praying to the Lord and setting their mind to work, Nehemiah grouped the people together to build the portion of the wall nearest their homes. With half of the people standing guard and half of the people building the wall, the work was soon finished in the face of those who opposed them.

As homeschoolers, we need to set our minds to the work of educating our children. Divide the task of homeschooling your children. Enlist the prayer support of your spouse, homeschooling friends, and others who will guard your back with the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) against Satan's fiery darts of discouragement. God's strength is available to succeed, but you must set your mind to work and pray.

Father, the task of homeschooling seems huge, and the discouragement I am facing today seems even larger. Help me to set my mind toward the work of homeschooling our children today and send prayer warriors who are willing to defend me. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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AMANDA G 12/09/2008 13:47:26

Thank you this has been my issue lately I'm Homeschooling my four boys for the first time this year and I was just crying the other day thinking what was I thinking should i do this can i do this i mean i want to do this but was getting scared now i know its not only me thank you for the pray i will be useing it and passing it along

SHARON R 12/09/2008 20:56:04

I have been in your shoes many times with homeschooling 3 children of my own and if I can give one bit of advice, it would be to just "relax" I know I use to ask myself the same question, "why, why did I do this and/or what was I thinking" but honestly, I'm glad I stuck with it. After I learned to relax and just let my children learn at their own pace, it made life so much easier. I even thought they would't never pick up another book, they surprised me and learned more than I thought they could. My kids are older now; one is 20 (boy) who is in college full time... working full time to put himself through school and is an amazing Christian boy! He gets many compliments at work from people every day who say that he "must have been homeschooled". My daughter who is 16 is in public school and will graduate this year. My youngest is 14 (boy) whom I still homeschool. All of my kids are very smart and I thank God for them every day. I have learned so much from them; even though I'm the one homeschooling :) my children have taught me a lot. Relax and enjoy your children and understand that they don't have to learn at someone else's pace... give them room to learn what they want to learn. Trust me, the harder you try, the harder it will be. I know this was lengthy but I hope I helped in some way. Thanks for listening :) God Bless, Sharon in Texas

Donna K 12/06/2009 12:03:59

I have been homeschooling for 20 years and still have a 17 year old, 13 year old and 9 year old at home with me. I still have those hard days too but the advice in this devotion is really good. In due time we will reap if we faint not. My adult children are choosing homeschooling too. Bless all of you as you continue to choose God's will.

HANNAH S 12/06/2009 13:37:12

Great Post! I really enjoyed reading it.

MICHELLE O 12/06/2010 01:22:52

I cry over what my 11 year old is going through. I want to take him out but I just don't know if I have what it takes. I already have a hard time being a stay home mom for the last 13 years. I'm worried I will go deeper into my problems. If I pull my 11 year old out, my 13 year old will want to be homeschooled to. How in the world will I do it? I truthfully don't feel I am smart enough to do this. I have taught my children a lot about God but teaching them things I did not do well myself in school. It is very scary. So is seeing my 11 year old get "F's" in school for who knows whatever reason. He won't tell us. He just doesn't bring homework home or turn it in if or when he finishes it. If he would put forth effort, he would get all "a's". He gets 100's on almost all of his tests so we know he is very capable. I sure wish I knew what to do?!!

THERESA S 12/06/2010 04:57:22

This is a response to months of these discouraging "kids wrecking each others stuff devotionals." (The first one of these I got this year was about a sibling ruining another siblings project. Were you behind from last year or what! Lighten up!) Each day I read the first two or three words of these before deleting them. They are simply short, religious, published whines and not devotionals If someone's homeschool experiences are this terrible I think you need something much more than reading these daily. Finding a source of non homeschool related, encouraging devotionals might be better for you or getting help with homeschooling or backing off and building a rapport with your kids (and building a rapport between them as a foundation for peaceful, loving experiences of learning.) Decorate the tree today and go sledding rather than have another day like these devotionals chronically depict. This CAN be done! People have wonderful , peaceful days of love which will be all that matters in the end. My sons love one another and are on grade level. I am enjoying the miracle of an adult home schooled daughter who loves me and is walking with God and going to school and college in the City. Train them up in the way they should go and when they are older they will never depart. Learn first to LOVE them!! What matters is that they love each other and love Jesus. Then you can do school in peace. It is like sitting by a chaotic table in a restaurant. You know it is chaos at home. If you have chaos at home how do you expect to make a little homeschool there. Invite the Prince of Peace in ladies!!!!!!

THERESA S 12/06/2010 05:00:01

My reply is to the printed devotionals not the honest cries for support and comments. Just wanted to clarify.

DARLENA H 12/06/2010 15:13:18

Theresa, I believe that often times the writers of the devotionals are just trying to relate to the difficulties that we all go through at one time or another. They are not trying, in my opinion, to say that these "bad days" are the norm and a good day is the exception. I think that if a home schooling mom is facing nothing but chaos and upset everyday, there definately needs to be some serious changes made. But, if like me, a home school mom feels like, every now and then, the enemy tries to steal the joy that is so much a part of their home school days, then these devotionals are a welcome spring of wisdom. And if I find one of them every once in a while that I do not relate to or agree with, I just delete it from my mailbox :)

ASHLEY M 12/06/2010 23:07:17

As a first year homeschooler who has had to grow into homeschooling with a lot of help from the LORD I have felt encouraged by these very devotionals. It is hard to homeschool at times. Kids don't always want to work and there have been days I went to the LORD for lots of wisdom and help. The devotionals I have treasured the most are the very ones I think Theresa, you are talking about. Sometimes I think we often forget that not everyone transitions into homeschooling without ups and downs. My kids are in kindergarten and first grade and the curriculum we use is downright challenging at times. It is worth the sacrifice, but sometimes it's nice to know I'm not alone in my own imperfections and my kid troubles. Praise GOD He has placed women on here to encourage other women who can relate.

AMANDA W 12/07/2010 06:54:17

Amanda W Today this devotional was an encouragement for me. Yesterday I was very distraut. I have a lot of pressure at home from my husband about homeschooling. He wants me to push our children so they are not behind other children and I want to let them learn at their own pace. I have four children from ages almost 9 to 9 months. The oldest has some special needs. My husband does not want to help me and says that I just need to get a job and send the kids to a private school. I could not get paid enough for private school and child care. Besides all of that, I know that God put it in my heart to do this, but there are many challenges for me. Is it because of a lack of! I truly need the enlistment of others praying me through this endeavor. We must not underestimate the challenges that some moms face when homeschooling. I know it will be a blessing. This is an enteral investment just as Chirst laid himself down for us was an eternal investment, and He went through some major suffering to bring us the joy, hope and peace that we enjoy today. Please pray for me!

MARISA M 12/07/2010 15:37:13

Amanda W, I will be praying for you. I know how it is to have a husband that pushes and doesn't get the total picture. These devotionals are definitely encouraging. Thank you for sending them daily, they speak to so many people and help to lead us to make a change for the better. It is good to know that the Lord uses these simple devotionals to help some of us keep moving. Thank you!

CHRISTINE K 12/06/2011 06:09:36

Theresa S. These devotionals have been such a tremendous encouragement to me. I am homeschooling for the first time this year, grades 5th and 8th. It has been a struggle. It's a constant Spiritual battle, because the enemy would like them to be sitting in the public school where my daughter was shown a r rated movie with nudity last year in 7th grade. We are at war with the enemy and it's not all peace and tranquility. These devotions help me to specifically focus on my homeschooling, and give me encouragement in this area. I don't use this as my sole source of devotions. May I suggest that if the devotions are being a hinderance to you, that you unsubscribe, because to the rest of us, they are greatly encouraging and much needed. Praise the Lord your homeschool experience was fun, but to the rest of us, it's met with challenges...sometimes daily :) Blessings to you :)

ANNE L 12/06/2011 06:25:16

Praying for you, Amanda W. Stay strong in Christ and pray that your husband's eyes will be opened to what you and the children need most. I have been amazed at the power of prayer in Christ to change minds and hearts. It may take a while, but answers will come. God bless.

KRYSTAL S 12/06/2011 06:58:14

Oh. My. This was my day yesterday (and many other days in our 3 year homeschool experience) My great love for my children and my desire to obey what I KNOW God has called me to do has been the only thing that has kept me from throwing my hands up and saying "You think doing your schoolwork at the kitchen table is tough work? Fine. Get up before sunrise, get on a cold bus, ride to a room full of kids, work under a teacher who is not going to get you like I do, and tell me how you like that!" The challenges that face me in educating my children sometimes seem unconquerable, but I know that through Jesus, I am more than a conqueror, and this task isn't just about teaching 1,2.3's and A,B,C's, this is about shaping and molding the future for the Kingdom. God remind me of Nehemiah and his perseverance for you!! Thanks for the devotional... so often I open that email and it says EXACTLY what I need to hear!

NANCY P 12/06/2011 07:36:41

This is for Michelle O - Please be encouraged! I understand your feelings because I had the same feelings of frustration and inferiority regarding teaching my son academically at home. We bagan homeschooling about two months ago due to bullying at his school and the school\'s inability to meet the special academic needs of my son. I was scared at the thought of homeschooling, but I feared for my son\'s personal & academic growth much more. Please trust me when I say that you have the best qualifications to teach your son because no one knows him like you do and can connect with him - spiritually, emotionally & academically. Together you can design a pace and method of learning that works for both. Homeschooling is more than developing the mind, it is the opportunity to develop the whole person in a loving & positive environment which will have lasting results. I have found that my son is much more relaxed, his disposition has improved simply by knowing that he is in a supportive environment. As a result, together we have discovered that we are able to accomplishment much more than we ever thought possible. Please know that I will be praying for you. May you feel God\'s comforting and guiding hand in this situation. God bless you and your family always!

MARY S 12/06/2011 07:43:12

Mary S I\'m so thankful for these beautifully written devotionals. Each one speaks to something that needs improvement in my personal life and in my homeschooling. These devotions are a life line many days and I am so very grateful for them.

CHRISTINE M 12/06/2011 08:16:48

Will pray for you all! I read these because I am preparing to homeschool my 4 children next year. They attend a nice, private Christian school. But I WANT to be with them! I find these encouraging even though I only have one or two at home on any given day. All moms feel these things--these are encouragements on the hard days. If you are doing awesome and don\'t need these devotionals, then praise the Lord you an encourage the rest of us! Parenting is hard but rewarding work.

JILL M 12/06/2011 08:30:13

To Michelle O, from what you are saying here, you have nothing to lose by pulling your son out of the system, and everything to gain. He\'s pulling F\'s right now? So, how would it be possible for you to fail him? I know that it seems daunting, but it is so worth it to homeschool. I have 4 children and have homeschooled them since they were 4. (my oldest is now 16). I tell her constantly how glad I am that she is smarter than me. God has always taken care of our academic, physical, emotional, every need! If I were you, I would pull both children out of the system. There is a DVD series by a man named Dr. Kent Hovind. He was a science teacher and went on to become an evangelist using science. He does NOT believe in evolution, and DOES believe that every word God says is true. I got the set from the library. It\'s called \"The Age of the Earth\". I am saying all this to tell you that your children are worth the hard work of homeschooling. Find a group in your area. I am on a Facebook page called Fort Wayne Homeschool moms. It\'s not necessarily a group that physically gets together, but it\'s a forum to get help, get prayer, get advice, even get resources. I flew solo for probably 8 years, and God was with me every step of the way, but having others in the same struggles that I have has helped. If you are in the Northern Indiana area, join Fort Wayne Homeschool Moms, it is a closed group, but I think you just need someone like me to add you on. Find me on Facebook, if there\'s any way I can help. Jill Meredith. God bless you on your new adventure ! And don\'t worry, God has ALWAYS provided academic help when I\'ve needed it!

TRACIE F 12/06/2011 09:33:03

I am homeschooling my 11th grade girl after years in public school. We decided to homeschool because of all the \"drama \" with other girls her age. She literally couldn\'t take it anymore. The best solution was to walk away Now after 9 weeks of homeschooling I am very comfortable with a lot of subjects but have serious issues with math and science. I have been unable to help her with math since about 7th grade. My husband has offered to do the math and science with her in the evenings. He is a very busy man and Has not been able too keep up as easily with the demanding pace. I am frustrated with my lack of ability and frustrated about keeping her engaged and not feeling lonely and isolated. Please pray to give us strenghth and fortitude. These daily messages really helpThank you

KRISTIN C 12/06/2011 09:56:17

Theresa S, Wow. My heart hurts for you. You sound like one of those people who stare me down in the grocery store when my, normally well behaved son is having a bad day and not listening, while you judge on how perfect your children are and would never behave in such a manner. I feel that is a very sad place to be. How terrible to be the one sitting by a \"chaotic\" restaurant table judging how their lives at home must be. It is probably fun, loving and exciting! They probably enjoy life and have not a care in the world, especially regarding the judgemental person sitting next to them. I would rather my children grow up knowing that it is ok to make mistakes and learn from them, than to see a mother who wants to always display perfection for the sake of what others may think. There is always a rude awakening for such people, it\'s only a matter of time.

TRISTA J 12/10/2011 16:04:12

Theresa S. I am praying for you! May you feel God\'s love, today and always.

SARAH N 12/06/2012 06:26:44

You know, it\'s so easy to get caught up in the anonymity of the Internet where we say and do things online we\'d probably never say in real life. Homeschoolers are typically very tolerant of orher\'s viewpoints, even when someone has a different way of going about homeschooling. Typically, but not always as I\'ve seen today in comments. If you knew Therese in person, would you give her a thumbs down to her face after she shared her heartfelt thoughts? Would you say the things to her face that you\'ve said in your comments? Now before you get out the thumbs down :/) for me saying these things in gentleness, go back and re-read her post. She is encouraging you to go to the God of Peace when your days are crazy. She\'s encouraging you to do what the Bible says- think on what\'s pure, lovely, good, uplifting, etc. I honestly believe that we all have a tendency to dwell on the negative, and that\'s what she\'s been seeing. Because we all have bad days it\'s easier to write devotionals about them. I\'m not judging, blaming, or preaching. Just asking folks to season all responses with grace. Because the God who gets us through the bad days and the good days still expects holiness in us- including what we write, say, and do. And this comes after totally blowing it yesterday. Give each other grace as God has freely given it to you. Be lights shining on a hill in all things.

ELIZABETH N 12/06/2012 06:38:30

I have been contemplating removing my 8 yr old from public school and homeschooling him. For now, I have added some extra \'classes\' at night to help him and as a way for me to get my feet wet as a homeschool Mom. I truly believe that God is calling me to homeschool, and these give me a glimpse into the good and bad. Thank you for your honesty, encouragement, and insight. I\'ll pray for all of us. Becky N. Texas

CHARITY L 12/06/2012 10:59:32

I am not a homeschooling parent but have felt that God was/is leading me to this. I have not had the support from my husband or children so I am trusting and waiting on God to make the way if this is \"His way.\" I read these devotionals everyday and they are always meant just for me. God always knows just where I am at and through these devotionals I have felt His precense. I have been such a fool for Christ and can personally relate to \"The world does all it can do to convince you that you are a fool for following Christ.\" I recently quit a good position because the organization I worked for was supporting things that are contrary to the word of God. I have been persecuted because of this decision, I have been critcized and spoken ill of, I have also suffered financially because of quiting my job. I have certainly felt the fiery arrows of the evil one. I have spent time crying and feeling like a fool until I return to the word of God and He renews my mind and spirit. I have been humbled to return to waitressing which I did 20 years ago to help bring in money all in the name of Christ and for the wellbeing of my children, to be available and to be a Teacher. I encourage the women who are homeschooling their children. Look at the blessing that God has allowed for you to be a Teacher to your children. Love your husband and thank him for supporting your decision. Focus on the positives of everyday. One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:4-8. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whaterver is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or receied or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ... Charity-Arizona

KATHY S 12/06/2012 21:07:57

It\'s the \"Tone\" of the comments that have others upset I think. These are \"FREE\" Devotionals. We should be thankful for them and try not to be critical. getting that over with....I really needed this devotional today as we have been struggling latley. I appreciate the examples and advice and sharing from the Author.

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