The Lone Tree

"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psalm 1:3).

Attempting to find a few moments with the Lord before the beginning of our homeschooling day, I hiked the ragged bluffs in the pasture near our ranch. As I walked through the dry stubble, sage brush, and yucca plants, I came across a small cottonwood tree. With no other trees of any kind close by for miles, it looked completely out of place. The rocky ground in which it grew offered little nourishment, and I knew months had passed since any rain had fallen. "How does this little tree stay alive out here all by itself?" I asked myself.

Reflecting on the tree's life, I began to see it as a symbol of my own. For the past ten years, I had been homeschooling our children and had felt like a loner. Not only was homeschooling going against the flow, but it was also completely out of the main stream. I found no encouraging nourishment from family or church friends and wondered, like I did about this little tree, how much longer I could survive. But then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and showed me something amazing. I noticed a difference in the soil's color near the tree's base. As I looked closer, it became evident that this tree's roots went down many feet below the surface. I remembered then what my son and I had learned when studying the topography of the area. Deep below the surface, there was an aquifer, an underground river bringing life-giving water to this little tree. I smiled and said, "Thank You, Lord," as I learned God's lesson for the morning.

For the next several years, I remembered the lesson of the lone tree whenever I felt lonely or homeschooling became difficult. Each time I felt used up and dry, I stretched my roots of faith a little deeper and found the nourishing water of God's love. Even though I couldn't see Him, the Holy Spirit's peace was always present. Best of all, this isn't just my story. If you are a homeschooler finding yourself alone in the middle of a dry day, the same life-giving water is waiting to bless you, too. "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

Lord, thank You for refreshing me when I am empty. Teach me to reach for You whenever homeschooling leaves me feeling afraid or lonely and fill me with Your strength and love. In the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen.

Comments(16 comments)


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LISA B 04/30/2009 10:55:36

I just starting receiving your daily devotions, I have been homeschooling my four children for two years now. I love doing it and know that I am doing the right thing but of course that does not mean that it is not hard and frustration at times. I love the devotions and they hit right at home. Thanks you for your encouragement. Lisa

SARAH J 05/01/2009 11:03:31

i just started recieving your daily devotions today. I have been homeschooled all my life. I am in the 10th Grade. It has been an awesome experience. I would recomend it to anyone. This is a great verse. Great daily devotional. Thanks. Cabe

JOYANNA E 05/04/2009 08:12:25

Thank you for the God given encouragement! Homeschooling has been very beneficial to our family. Over the last 12 years we have had our ups and our downs, but compared to others who don't have a God protected haven to grow in Him all of our downs are ups. Todays devotion reminded me that we are right where we belong with God as our source. Thank you Lisa, many blessings in return Joyanna

MARDI H 04/27/2010 07:19:31

Your devotions are very encouraging. Just started receiving them. Thank you for showing us we are not alone and that Jesus is still here.-Mardi

CYNTHIA P 04/27/2010 07:45:34

I, too, have only recently begun receiving your Daily Focus and I want to say, Thank you!' Each little gem has been flawless and encouraging. Cyndi

NANCY G 04/27/2010 10:38:35

Thank you, more than I can ever say, for making this wonderful devotional available. I never start my day without reading the day's selection and what a blessing and strength it is to me always! God bless you! Nancy

JACQUELINE W 04/27/2011 05:03:28

Thank you for taking the time to encourage those of us going through the homeschool journey now. We moved just a few months ago but since have not meet another homeshcool family, we\'ve barely met our neighbors. I\'m starting to feel lost and forgotten out here in the sticks where we wanted to be. I\'m home all day with just the kids and while they provide company and joy, they are not adult conversation. I love my husband, but sometimes a woman just needs other female companions. I know, and just some days need to be reminded, that with Jesus I don\'t need anyone else. In time he\'ll bring me to a friend here, when the time is right. Thanks for the reminder that we need to feed off HIM and not others around us.

NATALIE G 04/27/2011 05:19:20

God is so wonderful to show us that He is always around & listening & takes the time to show us that He cares! God bless you! What a wonderful revelation.

TRICIA M 04/27/2011 06:35:07

This is just what I needed today! So many times in my life I have felt like a loner. I had friends in school and even as an adult, but I never have seemed to be part of the \"mainstream\". For a long time I battled with they \"why\" but now I realize that it is because as Christians we are \"set apart\" for His purpost. I see now that God was preparing me to be home with my children and to teach the His ways, not the way of the world. Sometimes that can seem lonely, but the He shows us we are never alone. Jesus is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Tricia Murray

SUZANNE S 04/27/2011 08:26:15

I can definitely relate to feeling like a loner!!! Our small West Texas town doesn\'t think much of homeschooling...despite the fact that I am a teacher to!!! My girls have thrived so much at home and I wouldn\'t change a minute of it but sometimes the loneliness does set in. My Daily Devo always helps \"hit the spot.\" And I know that I am not alone for He is with me always!!! Thank you.... Suzanne

CHRISTINE K 04/27/2011 10:12:06

Mmmmmm...beautiful!

ASIA S 04/27/2011 14:47:44

Thank you, I relate to this story so much but even more so because I am so unstructured with regards to how my daughter learns. I believe that lessons come from any where at all times and aren\'t always found in books. So I am a bit of a Free Spirit with how my child learns. I believe I made the best decision with regards to how she is educated. I love the Devotions! Asia

DONNAMARIE T 04/27/2011 21:00:21

That was awesome! What a beautiful thing God showed you. Only God could teach you such a beautiful lesson. Thank you for you great encouragment and for sharing! DonnaMarie

LAURA D 04/27/2012 12:09:17

It is amazing how each of these devotionals touch on my very thoughts, circumstances or future concerns. Thank you so much... I am a first year homeschooler learning the ropes and these daily readings bring me much encouragement! I know that I am not alone in my appreciation for this blessing. :-)

SHANNON S 04/27/2012 16:46:38

I have just started receiving these this week also. I have not yet started homeschooling....we are still praying and one of my concerns is not having any help b/c my husband works off so it would be just me 24/7.....so this almost is like my answer I have been asking for about whether or not this is what we should do.....

DARLENE G 04/28/2012 06:57:33

Thank you so much....We have been homeschooling our 15,12 and 4yo since from the start. We have been going \"solo\" for the last few years after disappointing experiences with local homeschool co-ops, being only hs-ing family at church, and living far away from any family. We have tried reaching out to the few hs-ing families in town with no success and it can be really frustrating at times. Meanwhile, I have remained steadfast in my convictions to keep my kids at home and trust the Lord that we have all the support and encouragement we need from Him. My kids have their roots planted firmly in their faith, and have great relationships with unhs-ed kids, our neighbors, church family, and other blessings despite our decision to not do mainstream education or belonging to a homeschool community. I know I am not alone and feel so blessed!

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