We are sweltering here in NC, like most of you around the country. Temps are in the high 90's, and the heat index today and tomorrow is supposed to be well over 100. I pray that the power grid holds ~ we had a few fluttering power outages yesterday, I'm sure from the high demand.
Yesterday morning Jason and I met friends at the Wakefield Marquee Theater for the free kids movie ~ "Are We Done Yet?" It was an amusing story of a family that moves from the city to a big old "fixer-upper" in the country, which needs much more fixing than they initially realize. The theater shows 2 free movies every Tue. and Wed. at 10 AM in the summer; there were 3 theaters showing each movie, and they were pretty full! I think everyone decided it was a good day to do something INSIDE in the air-conditioning. Last night was the August Lighthouse meeting, the first of the new school year. There were over 100 people there, which is why we moved from our regular meeting spot at the book store to a church fellowship hall next door. Cindy B. did a wonderful devotion comparing homeschoolers to Noah as he built the ark. The Bible doesn't tell us what Noah's profession was before he started building the ark, but even if he was a builder, he had never built anything like the Ark before!! But he trusted the one with the blueprint, and God told him what he needed to know, WHEN he needed to know it. No matter what our academic or career background is, none of us feels "prepared" for the task educating our children. Even experienced teachers are entering an entirely new realm, nothing like the classroom they are used to. But God has the blueprint, since he knows each of our children better than we do and will guide us if we seek Him. Noah probably had a lot of unanswered questions as he went along ~ when will the rain start? how long will it last? how deep will the water get? how will I find all these animals? will they be dangerous? how will I ever get them aboard? etc. etc. However, he focused on the task he was given, and was faithful to complete it. Likewise, we do not know all the answers and are not guaranteed a certain outcome, but we are called to be faithful in the task we are given as parents. We are not to look around us at what everyone else is doing, to say that what we or what they are doing is "not enough". God tells us "OUR STORY", not anyone elses. This is even true for our children. Ultimately, what they do with their lives is between them and God - God will tell them "their story" and they can either embrace it or reject it. Noah certainly had detractors ~ those who thought he was weird or a fanatic or totally off his rocker. But he kept working on the Ark and also warning the people around him of God's disapproval and impending judgement! Homeschoolers often face outspoken criticism or quiet disapproval from family, friends, neighbors, even churches. Our decision not to participate in the public school or even private schools is seen as a judgement on those institutions ~ and in fact it is. We educate our children at home because we believe it is the best thing for them, for a variety of reasons! Noah followed God's instructions and pulled his "kids" ( grown and married) out of the world and put them on the Ark, and GOD shut the door and saved them. Interesting fact - Cindy said that the word translated as "pitch" in the passage about waterproofing the Ark was the same word later translated in the Bible as "atonement". The Ark was covered with pitch, to fill in the gaps between the boards so water wouldn't leak into the boat and it would stay seaworthy. Our relationship with God ( atone = at one ) fills the gaps that we worry about in our children's education! We can never teach them every little thing there is to know in the world. Every program has "gaps"! But we as Christians serve a great and awesome God who tells us to "seek first His kingdom, and then all these things will be added to you". We need to remember that spelling and math and geography and biology and economics and literature are important, but the main thing to focus on is our relationship with God, and discipling our children so they will know and love and serve the Lord with all their hearts and all their minds and all their strength.