This school year is shaping up to be quite a doozie. Between making sure Dee gets all her required classes in (including her dual-enrollment classes at the local college), and the other classes Star Child and Gladys Mae are taking this year, and the fine arts co-op, and choir, and music lessons…whew….life will be full steam ahead for the next nine months!
It’s kind of like having a baby, I suppose, only for us the “gestation” time will be the busy time. And at the end we will have another home school graduate, another high school senior, another high school sophomore, and then the little ones. In other words, it really won’t get better than this for a few more years. But a mom can dream of less hectic days, right?
Today I had a conversation with a friend who co-directs a women’s ministry called the Redeeming Love Center. It is all about emotional and spiritual healing for women. I took one of the classes there–Making Peace with Your Past–which was so instrumental in helping me heal from a lot of past hurts. I really want to do the next class called Wounded Heart, but I am just not sure I will be able to this year. The timing may be right, but the extra gas money would be difficult. (Even $10 a week really matters when your husband is unemployed!) If the Handy Man does have a job, then it will be on a day when I have no child care. So right now we are just trying to figure out whether I can feasibly take this class….
During that conversation, it dawned on me how much my Heavenly Father really does care for me. When I first started looking at our schedule for this year, I realized that I needed to start school fairly early in the year in order to get all the credits I need to finish here at home accomplished. It was the Lord’s providence that I had one full week of school, and then we added Fine arts co-op (art class and drama for Star Child and Gladys Mae) and Dee’s college classes. (Dee is taking English 101 and Music 100. She really seems to already be enjoying her music class. It sounds like she and her professor really hit it off. She is taking her English class very seriously, which is a great thing. I can’t wait to see how she does!) This week we are adding choir (Gladys Mae and Little Princess) and our regularly scheduled music lessons (guitar for Gladys Mae and Star Child, and piano for Dee). Next week we will add in the last of the mix: outside science classes (Anatomy and Physiology for Dee, Chemistry for Star Child, and Biology for Gladys Mae), Spanish III for Dee and Star Child, and beginning essay for Gladys Mae–all on Thursdays; Fridays we will add analytical essay writing for Dee and Star Child. (Dee and Star child will be finished with Spanish after the first semester, and Dee will drop the analytical essays second semester because that is what English 102 will be at college.)
If you got confused with all that, it basically boils down to this: it worked out that each week we added one or two more things. By next week, all the classes will be in place, all our extra curricular activities will be in place (except for Archery with 4-H. That is the Handy Man’s activity with his daughters, and it will be on Thursday afternoons after Labor Day.) I realized today how gracious the Lord has been to me in allowing my schedule to naturally absorb each new thing one week at a time. It is an example of grace to me in a time when I really need every tangible reminder that the Lord has not forgotten us.
When the children of Israel had crossed the Jordan river into Israel after all those years in the desert, God instructed Joshua to have each of the leaders of the 12 tribes erect stones at the place where the Jordan river had parted for them to cross. Much like the miracle at the red sea over 40 years before, when Moses had led the Israelite children away from Egypt, God again provided for his people to cross a large body of water without getting wet. These stones were to be reminders to the people of that miracle. The elders were told that when their children saw the stones at the river and asked why they were there, the elders were to tell their children of the marvelous and miraculous things the Lord had done for them.
The Lord has done miraculous and marvelous things for me as well. In my busy day-to-day life, especially when I am feeling the stress of a bill or of stretching the money just a little further, I tend to forget about all that He has done and I tend to dwell on all I cannot see just yet…in other words, I am prone to worry. I am choosing to look at the past few weeks with joy and awe, to see that the Lord orchestrated “my thoughts” about my schedule in a way that I did not anticipate in order to ease me into this school year without being completely overwhelmed at once. I did not do this on my own–it never even crossed my mind–but the Lord *did* know, and He mercifully provided for me to settle into this school year gracefully, one activity and class at a time. This is a stone of remembrance for me–something to which I can look back and see that my Lord cared for me even in this seemingly small thing. And if He cares for these small things, I know He cares for the big things, too–the job we so desperately need, the insurance we are lacking.
In Luke 11, we have these words of Jesus: “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” God gives good things to His children. I may not see the future, but He does, and He is saying that I must trust Him. I look back at the blessings as stones of remembrance. And I cling to this promise and affirmation of faith from Ephesians: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Do you have stones of remembrance in your life, things that you look back and see clearly where the Lord has blessed you, carried you, provided for you when you were in a land of doubt and scarcity, or even when you were in a land of plenty? I challenge you, if you haven’t already, to make a list. I bet you will find it is much longer than you could anticipate. God our Father in Heaven cares for his children so very much–so much that he sent a part of himself, his only son Jesus, to die for us. He is the ultimate stone of remembrance. God accepted me. He died for me. He lives for me. How could I doubt the immediate future when my eternity is already secure? The answer is that I cannot live in doubt when I behold his faithfulness. The two cannot co-exist.