How Much Wood?

Living and homeschooling on one income forced our family to heat our old farmhouse with wood for the winter months. Although our money was limited, the endless supply of wood available in our grove and the groves of neighbors was not. One math lesson my children wished they could have skipped learning was the dimension of a true cord of wood — 4' x 4' x 8'.

Since we needed seven or eight cords of wood each winter, we had to begin our work during the summer months. Working together as family included big hands, medium hands, and even little hands to put up our needed supply. However, one year, our wood cutting plans were changed by an unexpected course of events. My husband, who was the first link in our wood cutting regime, was hurt when cutting down a tree. As the tree fell, it twisted and hit him in the head, knocking him unconscious and leaving a huge gash in his forehead. My children and I were able to get him to the doctor, but we now faced the chore of cutting wood alone.

I normally cry when I am faced with overwhelming responsibility, but there was no time for tears. That fall, I forced myself to learn how to operate the chainsaw as proficiently as my husband. My children stepped up and took on my usual tasks, and somehow we completed all the work. We finished and stacked the last piece of wood just before the first snow.

Have you ever wanted to cry when facing the enormous challenge of homeschooling? Teaching our children, maintaining a home, and fulfilling the duties of a wife can bring you to tears. The responsibilities are just too much! Where will the strength come from to knock down each day's work? God is the One who will pick you up and give you the skills you need to teach your children. Even when you face topics or concepts you don't know, He will lead you to the right person to help. God has a burning passion for His children, and He won't leave you out in the cold. "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed" (Romans 5: 3-5a).

Lord, thank You for being bigger than any giant I may face in homeschooling. Teach me how to be the best possible teacher for my children. I love You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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CYNTHIA O 12/09/2011 05:19:57

As always, this devotion is very timely! Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed with schooling three of my girls and having three little boys underfoot. I know that I need to buck up, so to speak, and get it done. This schoolyear has been all about learning to lean on God for help in those tough situations of parenting and homeschooling. Thank you, and blessings to you!

ARACELIS W 12/09/2011 09:37:04

gosh, i guess I wont complain when the house is a wreck; Now that is only strength from above!

KIM H 12/09/2011 11:13:30

Praise the Lord! This is so true!

HEATHER B 12/09/2011 11:36:36

Thank you for this timely reminder! I mentioned before about our housefire and that added to my responsibility things I\'d NEVER considered before. Water, sewer, garbage, PUD (all things taken care of at the farm we worked on)...all of it just seemed too much. Praise God we found an affordable home large enough for my family...and room to home school. His Grace is sufficient for me, I just needed to remember to seek Him for the peace that goes with it!

JENNI C 12/09/2011 15:37:38

Wow, we have a large home we heat with fireplaces, and as tired as I am from loading wood in them during the middle of the night it saves a ton of money. My husband is the one that runs the chainsaw during the summer and me and the girls stack the wood. If something happened to my husband I have no idea how to run the chainsaw and would be in tears if I had to. I fear so many things and this is such a concrete example of the things I worry about. If I can just remember to put my faith in the lord I can weather any storm! Thanks for the devotional.

LAURA S 12/09/2011 20:55:29

This is so very familiar to me. We had a wood burning furnace for the last 6 years of our lives. The first winter went by ok, we all pitched in when needed and got through it. The second winter, my husband was working two jobs and managed to bring home all the fire wood that we needed for the winter with our help, but the kids and I went to work on splitting all the wood by hand. We where splitting wood during the first month of snow as well. He split when he got home by the lights of his truck, but he was exhausted and still had our buisness paperwork to complete each day. We relied upon the Lord to provide and did he... I know that without him I would have never been able to do all that.

AMBER A 12/17/2011 08:50:29

We have a wood burning stove to. Its LOTS of work but worth it. First few years we have to \'find\' wood but now it \'finds\' us, now we have to turn wood away. Keeping the stove going is a full time job in itself. Ive been feeling overwhelmed lately with all the wifely things i have to do on top of all motherly, Christmas, family drama, and anything else that comes up. My husband has been stressed about work and money, so anything seems to set him off :( But God is in control; everything happens for a reason; things happen in God\'s time NOT ours!

LYNNE F 12/09/2012 06:25:06

Thank you for reminding me that I am capable of more than I ever thought possible. Being a woman does not mean being weak. It means being made able to step in and do, when necessary. God made us to be strong in the event our spouses become weakened.

KATHY S 12/09/2012 07:40:22

Well, I\'ve never had to \"chop wood\". To the Author, you are one strong lady! Farm life sounds extremley hard, and with lots of children it must have been even harder. I give you alot of credit! As a single Mom, there is lots of other unpleasant things I have had to do. We have had a fire, I spent 6 months cleaning what was left with \"Chemical pads\". I had to \"break into my Moms front porch when she locked herself out (she is a widow). The policeman said my idea was ingenius! lol) Every year at my son\'s Birthday and Chritsmas, just like everyday, I am Mom and Dad, as my son\'s biological Father has just up and decided not to show up for the last few years. I have had to trap a mouse and dipose of it, with much screaming involved on my part. I had to explain to my son alone, that he has a form of Autism. Pumping gas, checking oil, antifreeze, I used to Shovel snow, now, I am not able anymore. These are surley not jobs that I wanted. But, that\'s why God says \"we reap what we sow\" in my case, had the \"planned marriage\" that we had not ceased,(my choice, I found he was an alcoholic, just a litle too late, my son was already started) I would have a husband to do this stuff. I sinned, but God has been Merciful, and I wouldn\'t trade my son for anything in the world. God is good, and as I tell my son, God says he will be a Father to all those without one, and that\'s him and I both! Thank you Jesus!

TELENE C 12/10/2012 07:52:13

This hits the nail on the head. My husband is disabled and we heat our house by wood by choice. We have electric heat pump, but it dries our sinuses out and the heat is just not as warm. With my husband being disabled and me working while he and I both do the homeschooling, we have chosen to purchase the wood. God has been greatful to us in providing us with enough to purchase the wood. I would love sometimes for the family to just go out in the woods and be able to cut the wood ourselves and just make everyone appreciate the value of what it takes just to get the nice things that you have.

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