Sacrifice or Blessing?

"For when I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10b).

God allowed me the privilege of teaching my children many things in 25 years of homeschooling. However, during those same years, my children also taught me several important lessons. First, I learned to savor the joy of life's moments. Reading a story or having time to talk was far more important than keeping the house perfectly organized and clean. Second, I learned to experience the wonder of God's creation through a child's excited eyes. Everything is fresh and new to a little one, and God desires me to experience each new day in the same way. Perhaps the most important lesson my children taught me was to have an unquestioning faith in God. Even when homeschooling cut the family budget in half, my children's faith challenged me to trust God for every need. Undoubtedly, I was the one who received the better education in our family's homeschool.

God's Word declares that if we choose to follow Christ in this life, we must be prepared to suffer (1 Peter 4:1). Showing the love of God to others isn't easy, and many times we may think God is asking too much of us. However, the blessings God imparts to those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus far outweigh the sacrificial obedience required in learning lessons in God's schoolroom. Not only does the Holy Spirit intercede for us on our behalf (Romans 8:26), but He also guides and fills us for each day's tasks (John 16:13). The more we deny ourselves and give in serving the Lord, the more we experience the sweetness of His fellowship.

Have you experienced God's sustaining power and love in your homeschooling? When the days seem long and you feel like you've given everything you have, let the Lord show you a better way. As you allow Him to guide you, you'll discover His promises are true, and His blessings are far greater than any sacrifice made by you. "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9b).

Father, I praise You for the great privilege of being Your servant. There's no way I can outgive You, and I thank You for Your abundant love that never ceases and encourages me through life's problems. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(14 comments)

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THERESA B 06/27/2009 00:18:53

When we decided to homeschool our children the decision was based on the suffering our family was going through right then. We had one child fighting for his life and starting chemo, another child struggling to understand why mommy was always at a hospital, and our oldest struggling because he was bored in school and not understanding why his baby brother was so sick. I remember one day sitting with the kids at the hospital when I suddenly looked at the baby, as sick as he was, and knew that God's plan was playing out and we had to trust in Him. I then picked up my daughter, sat her down next to me and called our oldest over. I told them "Your brother is sick but God loves all of us and will help us through this." My oldest then suddenly looked at his brother and sang Jesus Loves Me to him and I knew then that no matter what pain this was bringing us, it was also bringing us closer as a family and when trusting God is all you have left at that exact moment, it is more than enough.

DONNA J 06/27/2011 05:15:26

Bless your sweet heart!! Hope and pray your baby boy is ok now:) What a sweet story. We do learn so much from our kids!

RHONDA W 06/27/2011 05:54:29

I sang Jesus Loves Us and Amazing Grace to my baby everyday he was in the NICU. After the doctors told us he wouldn't make it more than a couple more days God proved them wrong, he is now 5 years old and healthy as can be!!! Thank you God for all you do for us!!

SANDRA L 06/27/2011 07:20:55

The Lord took our second son home to be with Him when he was an infant 14 yrs ago, but now it seems that it\'s the little things like my daily life homeschooling our remaining 5 that throw my life into a whirlwind. I seem to forget His unending faithfulness, Grace, and Love. Thank you for your work through Him and bringing His message of Hope and promise. Just yesterday, I was almost brought to tears from the sight of a messy home, wondering if I would ever have the energy to have a presentable home for guests and have the energy left to entertain them. Then our 3 yr old said the dinner blessing. It is true that I am learning more through our homeschooling that our children! I am constantly challenged on our decision to homeschool. Well, thank you Lord for yet another well thought out reason. Thank you for your unending Love and Grace!

MAYA T 06/27/2011 08:03:01

I am so convicted. I am the one who is going through illness, yet we (my husband and I) decided it was better to homeschool our children because of the individual needs that they have. I do well at times, but once I go through and episode or two, it is so very hard to refocus and get back to doing it again. Even though we just started this summer, sometimes in my mind I think that I could just send them back to regular school and I not mess them up. But I know that is completely against the plan of God for their lives and for mine. I am so weak. Even the Pastor spoke on that yesterday at church. And then this morning to read this devotional. But I choose to make a decision to move forward with the Lord and not to dwell on sickness or my failures or shortcomings. He is with me. I choose not to slip out of his hands. I will press forward and walk in the strength that has been given to me in this time of weakness. Amen

SORETHA P 06/28/2011 02:46:38

Soretha P from SA Thank you so much for all of you sharing \"einas\"-afrikaans for very sore.It always minister to one if a person talks about very difficult areas or situations.The geniusess of the story touch us as Jesus paraballes do! Sorry for them that have sick ones and loved ones that left us for a while! About the devotion-I learned that sacrifice IS A Blessing! God\'s love for us was/is sacrafical if you take Jesus and the cross in consideration. God\"s grace is enough to get us through! Sandra L we had lost 2 during miscarraige and have 5 left so ditto to you! feeling the same as you !handful of grace! Maya TLike you wrote in second par first 2 sentences-I feel the same! God bless all of you! Maya T

ANGIE W 06/29/2011 04:53:24

I pray mountains of blessings to each one of you.

KATHY S 06/27/2012 07:36:07

My Dear sisters in Christ. First, I cannot imagine losing my child, he is my life. And the thought of having to go through chemo with a sweet little angel, I cannot bear. Tears run down my cheeks now as I write this. You are so very strong Theresa and Sandra. May Jesus just \"pour\" his Love on both of you and your families. I will be in prayer for you both and all on this site. Your strength is a testimony for me. Thank you for sharing your stories, it makes all of my daily trials seem completley trivial to me now. Rhonda, I am glad that your little one is o.k. now. And Maya T. I pray a healing for your health. And Lauraleigh, you are always in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you and your boys are having a great day today! May God be with all of you today and always!

CONNIE F 06/27/2012 08:09:36

I have been struggling for the last few months about sending my two girls back to private school or continue homeschooling. My mother was diagnosed with non alcoholic Cirrhosis of the liver 8 years ago. I was working at a private school where my girls attended at the time we found out. We live in south Georgia and her doctors were in Atlanta at Emory University Hospital. After countless long trips and stays in the hospital, my husband and I decided to homeschool so that I could be there more for my mother. I was also taking care of his parents also who are in their nineties. Four years ago, I began homeschooling. The first few years were wonderful. We became part of a homeschool group and became friends with other Christians. With my mothers failing health, my father-in-laws failing health and the changes my mother-in-law was dealing with in her life, I found myself getting behind in my homeschooling. My mother got very sick in November of 2011. I helped my Daddy take care of her until her transplant in January. Three weeks after her transplant, she developed a bloodclot in the main artery of her new liver. After a second surgery to remove the bloodclot, the doctors discovered it damaged her new liver. She was placed on the list again for another liver. While she waited, her liver became infected and she was deathly ill. My girls and I stayed with her throughout her ordeal. My Daddy and other members of my family came and would have to leave because of work. There were days when she felt good and we spent precious time together. She went back into the hospital on April 1 and died May 6, 2012. All of this time we shared matured my daughters and they saw how important life is and how important family is. They saw sacrifices that were made. I have really left out a lot of details to keep this short but the bottom line is, I feel guilty that we put homeschooling on the back burner and I may be jeapordizing their future. I want to do the right thing. I have been praying for God to lead me in the right direction. I feel burned out.

GWYNETH K 06/27/2012 14:31:25

Connie F... God will take care of you and your children. Trust in His perfect ways, He can fill in the gaps in their schooling in His time! God bless you for the sacrificial love you\'ve given.

TERESA S 06/27/2012 15:06:19

Connie F. The most important lessons learned is from life experiences, not books. The girls will eventually catch up. That is the beauty of homeschooliing. Some subjects (depending on their ages) are not as important as others. You may need to look at the information being taught at their \"shoud be\" grade level and decide if some subjects can move at the \"should be\" grade level, and which you need to catch up on. I had trouble getting the work done when I decided to homeschool last Feb- put my kids in private school in April. And kept thinking- \"what can I do to make this homeschooling work\" I looked through their Omega books for the fall, and found a lot of repetition for the last semester. What slowed us down was Math. Sp I am taking them next Tuesday to A Sylvian Center to get tested and tutored on math. My youngest has significantly improved in her reading, but I plan on startomg spme short science readings for both girls to improve reading comprehension and science knowledge. I keep reminding myself, in the end, it will be worth it. I have done a lot of self studying myself, if I apply how i LEARN to my teaching, they will learn..

CONNIE F 06/27/2012 21:22:19

Thank you Gwyneth K and Teresa S for your comments. It really helps to have support from others. I have seen where God has been with me and gave me strength to get through obstacles and I know He will help me through this also. God bless you.

ANGELA H 06/28/2012 06:53:02

Connie, The beauty of homeschooling is that you can work ahead if you want to and catch up when you are behind. There is no set schedule. I was concerned because my son had gotten behind in his math this past year because we swapped curriculum in the middle of the year. I was considering having him \"catch up\" this summer. But, after taking his SAT I was no longer concerned. Tho he was \"behind\" in my eyes he still tested a grade level ahead of his \"peers\". I decided we would start at the next grade level at the beginning of the school year instead of trying to catch up. I have learned from other home school moms that most curriculum is at least a year ahead of what is being taught in regular school. Either way God will give you peace about which direction to go. Remember that you children learned more from their experiences over the last years than they would have ever learned sitting in a class room with children their age, doing the same things, and not being exposed to real life. They got to see what real life is, how to handle it gracefully and lovingly. The problem with alot of children these days is that they are protected from life. And then they are set loose to deal with it as adults and they have no skills. I don\'t care how much math, science, or history you have stored in your brain. It does not help you when you are hit with illness, job loss, death of loved ones, etc. You can always start where you are. God will handle the rest.

ANGIE COORS 06/28/2013 13:00:16

I too got behind with my 4 kids schooling. I took care of both my grandmothers in their last months of life. Which occurred within the same year. But I wouldn't trade it for the schooling of books ever. The kids learned compassion, patience and got "socialization". They saw hospitals, nursing homes and hospice. They spoke with people of all ages and professions. They learned and gained something that year, time spent with their great grandma's. They looked at pictures, learned about grandma's childhood, heard stories about growing up in the depression, etc. etc. I figured it was a plan God allowed for us. He will provide what my kids need. That was two years ago. They have caught up fine even surpassed their grade levels. But what we learned that year can not be measured in tests.

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