Second Guesses

"Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not" (Jeremiah 33:3).

What was I thinking? In a few short weeks, I was going to be teaching my two oldest children at home. As I opened the boxes of homeschool curriculum that had just come in the mail, I reflected on my commitment. Already, the negative feedback from family and friends had caused me to second guess my decision, and I wondered if it was too late to get out. Sure, I had taught my children their alphabet and numbers, but teaching them to read and learn mathematics was a whole new ballgame. Could I really do this? What if I really made a mess of things or couldn't stand the pressure of being home 24/7? As I struggled with these thoughts and others, I took my fears to the Lord and asked, "Am I really supposed to be homeschooling my children, or did I just imagine all this in a weak emotional moment?"

The story of Gideon became a comfort to me as I wrestled with the answer to this question. Like me, Gideon was unsure of God's leading and prayed, "If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said" (Judges 6:36b-37). God graciously answered Gideon's prayer and went one step further when Gideon asked for the reverse scenario to take place with the fleece the following day.

Encouraged by Gideon's story, I placed my own fleece on the ground to confirm God's desire for me to homeschool my children. Asking for specific encouragement, God first led me to His Word in Deuteronomy 6:6-7. Feeling empowered by its truth and the Holy Spirit, my final confirmation came that evening as I tucked my children into bed. Grabbing me tightly around the neck and placing a big kiss on my cheek, my children said, "Thanks for teaching us, Mommy. We're going to have so much fun!" And guess what happened? For the next 25 years, we did!

Lord Jesus, thank You for being a loving God who answers me when I pray. Please, strengthen me now to give my children the best homeschool education and always come to You when life makes me confused and uncertain. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(18 comments)

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DIANA S 07/10/2009 06:46:56

I really felt the Lord speak to me through your devotional today. I am just starting the journey to do "real" homeschooling with our oldest this fall. I've been doing homeschool preschool, which everyone thought was just fine, but now that I have felt convicted and decided to do this further, so many people have been questioning it, or looking at me unhappily, but holding their tongue. It has really made me second guess my decision so very much. Even my husband has some doubts and concerns so this devotional really answered some of my own fears and prayers about starting out on this new adventure. Thank you!

BRANDIE S 07/10/2009 18:33:00

Brandie S. I really felt the Lord speaking to me through this devotion this morning. When I downloaded my emails, their were four Daily Focuses dated for today with four different subject headings. When I opened them all up the title was "Second Guesses". I had prayed last night that God would confirm my calling to homeschool, since I was beginning to doubt His calling on my life and becoming so overwhelmed with curriculum and the lack of confindence in teaching it and being persucuted by the people around me. I knew after reading your devotion (four times) this morning that homeschooling was exactly what the Lord is telling me to do. Thank you for all that you do!

arnita p 07/01/2010 04:57:46

I remember over five years ago the Lord telling me to bring my two sons home and homeschool them too. I wasn't sure if I heard the Lord correctly, therefore, I waited and waited until I was certain I heard him. It wasn't until my youngest son frequently became ill and my oldest son constantly having migrains that I moved on what I heard the Lord say. With enthusiasm and excitement I began homeschooling and continue to homeschool every year. However, my youngest daughter is starting Kindergarten this come August and I plan to send her out to school for a year or two. I am waiting on the Lord and his confirmation as to whether I should send her out to public school or homeschool her too. I believe this devotional has made it clear to me this day what I should do in regards to homeschooling my youngest daughter. Thank you

Donna K 07/10/2010 10:08:00

Just lovely! God bless you. As a veteran home schooler God's faithfulness has been my experience too.

RHONDA W 07/10/2011 18:17:07

Your timing couldn't have been better, I was looking at my many boxes of curriculm and worrying about my abilities to teach my children so they too can be successful in life. I pray to God that I can handle my everyday life along with teaching my children, maintaining our home, keeping up with our animals, and working parttime. And at the same time I thank God that I have all these to keep me going.

DEBORAH N 08/04/2011 09:19:10

Wow! Thanks for the encouragement. This will be a very challenging year for us as I struggle with a chronic health issue that sometimes confines me to a wheelchair. But, you have reminded me, that in the Lord, victory is the REALITY, not merely a matter the overwhelming odds against us.

SANDI S 08/04/2011 14:00:55

What awesome timing! I'm beginning my Homeschool journey for the first time this year and this article was more confirmation for me to go for it! While nothing in this world is easy, anything worth while is worth working hard for, and through home educating, my children will be taught God's principles in a safe environment while we grow even closer as family. May we all be so focused on hearing the Lord's voice, saying "Well done".."Keep going"..that we will not hear naysayers and those who don't understand what it's all about.

KATHY S 07/10/2012 02:02:53

The Lord did not speak to me in a traditional manner reguarding homeschool. Public (and Private) schools were a nightmare for us. 6th grade being the worst year ever, my son wrote a letter, he never gave it to me, when I was emptying the wastebaskets, I found it. The letter was heartbreaking, " Dear Mom, please. please, please, homeschool me. I will be good, I will listen to you and I will work hard in your school. I don't care to be with the other kids, they are all awful and I have no life anyway". The horrific school year was almost over, and I talked with the School Social worker. At the time, since he had not given me the letter, and she had been working with him 2 times a week, she said he was doing fine. I said "what about ther letter?" she said "if it was truly bothering him that much, he would have given the letter to me". Thinking about all this now, I should have never listened to her. My child was crying out for help, that was my sign from God. We went through the summer, and 7th grade started, Fighting with the school all this time, I warned them, the first problem that arose this year, my son would not return tom school. 3 days of school were attended by my son, I had meetings, made calls, emailed every single member of the school board, the Principal, V.P and the School superinttendant. I did get a private teacher provided for my son for a few months, outside of the school building. In that time I did my research and hired HSLDA, got the curriculum needed and was never so happy to tell the school, the district and the private teacher "GOODBYE". My only sadness is that I didn't heed my child's letter, even though I found it in the trash, I could have spared him from the pain he was suffering sooner. I hear and read so many horror stories of children hurting themselves, or even taking their own lives from "bullying". I just Thank God that my son has strong faith in the Lord, and that he held on until I got everything in place and got him out of that terrible enviornment. To anyone thinking about homeschooling, your thoughts could very well be a little "push" from God. Everyones situation is different, but, homeschooling has been wonderful, not always perfect, but God helps and guides me each day so we can get through. If I could do it all over again, I would have started homeschooling form the very beginning. And to all the friends and relatives who ask "will I be sending my son to Highschool at least?", I kindly let them know, he won't see a traditional school building until College. Thank you AOP, for the devotionals, for the opportunity to write our feelings and share our stories with eachother. It has become not only a guiding light for me, but almost like a "therapy" helping me to work through all the hurt and anger I still have from our experiences in P/P. schools. May God Bless AOP and all those who participate by reading and/or writing in!

JULIE P 07/10/2012 06:37:03

Your post was exactly what I needed today! My situation is very similar to yours, only my daughter is adopted and I\'ve struggled every day since I started homeschooling her two years ago. She starts high school next week & I\'ve been dreading it. My husband had an injury this summer which set us back financially & I began to think I should go to work myself & put her back in public school. Then, after reading your post, God confirmed the reasons why I pulled her out in the first place. Thank you!

ELIZABETH H 07/10/2012 06:48:44

I\'m in tears reading this. We don\'t have much money (which was a deterrent at first), and I too have second guessed homeschooling my children. Praise God for His comfort and confirmation to my soul, and now we are going into year 4 of our journey. I can\'t believe at times, that I\'m homeschooling my 9 children, but \"I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me..\" Thank you for sharing this and letting me know that I\'m not alone! God bless!

GWENDOLYN P 07/10/2012 07:25:36

Gwen P. I have home schooled before. Now, I am trying again. My concerns are financial...whether I will be able to afford the curriculum. I will be homeschooling my grandson. He is in first grade. God has heard my prayers and answered concerning I pray (and I am asking you to pray) for the finances I will need in order to provide the best Christian education for him. All homeschooling parents...and grandparents don\'t allow doubt to cloud your decision. In these last and evil days, we must do what we can in order to save our children for the kingdom of God and to be productive in this world. Be blessed everyone!

TERRI K 07/10/2012 07:44:57

The most perfect article at the most perfect timing! God truly answered my prayers and continues to answer them even days after I confirmed that I should homeschool. It was a peaceful experience when i realized it was God speaking!

TABITHA J 07/10/2012 08:55:58

Some may believe that the school setting is the only place to learn, but it is not. A child does not learn life skills at school, being lazy, nor say bad words, but rather they learned that from their parents, whatever or not the parents realize it or not. Parents need to step up and do their job as parents, not to treat the public school system as a free babysitter. My husband and I talked about this issue when we were discussing about homeschooling and we believe that it is best for our kids to be homeschooled and his parents support us of our decision. I have not told my family about the decision yet.

JENNIFER S 07/10/2012 09:03:07

Thank you so much for this. My husband and I are beginning our homeschooling journey with our two children in less than a month. Although it was the Lord leading to do homeschooling, as it nears time to begin our first school year as a homeschooling family, I\'ve had countless thoughts running through my mind. Is this really happening? What have I gotten myself into? Lord, what if I\'m not good enough? My children, too, have reassured me without even realizing it. This is just another confirmation for me. I know I\'m doing the right thing, and I know that the Lord will help us all in our homeschooling journey. I\'m looking forward to it, as are my children, and my husband. Thank you so much for the encouragement that you continue to give through your daily Devotionals. You\'ve helped me more times than you can know. You are a blessing.

SHIRLEY C 07/10/2012 11:01:49

For those concerned about finances and buying curriculum: There are SO many great resources available online for free ! The library comes in handy, too.

CHRISTEENA P 07/10/2012 15:03:17

Thank you so much for this post. Today I decided to do just this, homeschool my TWO oldest children. I had educated my eldest child last year while my other children attended our local elementary school. This year I really feel the Lord calling on me and I am SO VERY scared to answer. I am so worried that I have the chance of failure. I mean these are my children we are talking about. What if I am simply no good at this? What if my \"some college\" is not enough to really give them what they need. But, I hear God\'s calling and I am convicted. There is no way I can give them what they need, but he can... and he will.

Jennifer Maxwell 07/10/2013 13:05:45

Oh my goodness! I have never had someone so perfectly sum up the overwhelming worry that I felt when we started our own homeschool journey! I was so excited, and felt like we were really following a call from The Lord to teach our children at home. But after hearing the negative things people said I started to question if it was really God leading us, or my own desire that was compelling me to homeschool. I was so full of self doubt that I checked all the return policies and eBay prices before I purchased my curriculum to make sure I could get my money back if I changed my mind! What finally gave me the reassurance I needed was a bible study leader and dear friend telling me I couldn't do it. Well what she actually said is,"You can't do this...but The Lord can. You don't have the patience or the knowledge...but The Lord does. When God moves us to do something He stands with us every step of the way, so when you are at your wits end and ready to give up say, 'Okay, Lord. This is yours, so take it.'" After six years I can see that this was definitely a divinely guided decision, and that the good far outweighs the bad. That's not to say that I don't still have times when I want to pull my hair out, but when those moments overtake me I admit that I can't do this and give it back to God. He never fails to take the burden, and get us back on track.

Carrie Ellis 07/10/2014 12:49:47

I have 2 sets of twins. Seventeen year olds and 13 year olds. Every child is different and every situation is different. I don't think that uncertainty is always an answer to keep doing what you are doing. I think sometimes it is a calling to do something different. The Lord might be telling you to not be so bull headed and to look at other options. Classroom learning is not a bad thing. It is what is being taught, Kids need to learn to learn in different ways because that is the world they are going to be in. I don't even like the word homeschool. I call mine alternative schooling or something! In Georgia we have Georgia Virtual school, ACCEL/Dual enrollment, Veritas and even some homeschool classroom type school starting up. I have dived into all types. Not just at home stuff. I do believe there are some that can't do it. I do believe there are some that can that have no confidence. But either way, once they are in middle school and highschool you have to listen to the child to see what they need (not what they want although to some degree that needs to be heard). Praying is the most important but you do have to be careful not to morph it into what you want to hear.

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