Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Own Understanding


Psalm 3:5-6
I've spent years telling others to "Trust in God" because no matter how much I worry, it didn't make things better. But when I trusted that God had my back through the tough times, making me stronger and more knowledgeable, it was easier to bear. Even through the toughest trials, I could always see God when I looked back. That's how I get through my husband's unemployment, angry days of homeschooling, regular hormonal shifts and food sensitivities that bring on depression and anxiety, acceptance of having a large family through multiple cesarean deliveries, among other trials.
Now God is preparing me for the next part of his Word to us. "Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him [or 'submit to him.']" I don't do this in ALL things. Somehow I keep thinking I can outwit God, by justifying what I want to do, rationalizing and putting a twist in my favor. He's been making it clearer to me lately that it isn't going to work. Resisting God pushes him further away, as well as burdening other things in my life I thought I was justifying.
Most recently I've had doubts of my efforts in parenting, homeschooling, friendships, and use of NFP. I've hit some low points, weak moments and put my knees down in the confessional more often than usual. Last weekend a homily hit me so straight in the heart, I had to take a crying room break (in the restroom stall) for myself. The more I ask God to work in my life, the more he reveals himself to me. Sometimes in ways that make my life a little harder, complicated or stressful. But I keep reminding myself, "Trust in God.... Lean not on your own understanding, Melissa. He's always been there to comfort and pick you up. His plan is so much greater than yours!"
This was true a few months ago when I had all the paperwork filled out to send my kids to public charter school. I even sent it in and they were accepted. After 11 years of homeschooling, now with 7 children, I had had it. I was so certain this is what I had to do to bring some sanity to our family life. But when it came down to filling out the final registration papers and making it all official, I couldn't do it. I was being tugged at by my heart. So I prayed, I prayed so hard and reflected on all the reasons I was doing this. I asked God to make it clear to me and He did. It turns out the only real reason I had to send them off was my own insecurities and lack of discipline, not my children's. It was myself setting too high expectations for our academics and how I thought our days should look like. So it wasn't my children that had to change, it is me. I now feel my life is certainly not about me, it's about God using my talents in this world to bring others - to bring my children closer to Him. He has expressed in my heart that a home education is part of their path. I've spent every day since trying to work out the issues in myself and our homeschool expectations. It has lead me to a deep review of homeschool styles and curriculum, making some big leaps in what will do this next school year. It's helped me make some big leaps in my faith life and personal reflection. See, God knows better. Always in hindsight.
I think every trial I make it through with God at my side, that is how I acknowledge Him. That I include Him in every decision, every moment of anxiety, every outward act and inward thought.
So today I encourage you to keep this bible verse near to your heart, and posted somewhere you'll see it each day. Right next to that Serenity Prayer. Perhaps you too will realize that submitting to God's will can make your paths straight.

****** For those who are looking ahead to planning your next homeschool year, with trust in God, I hope you'll consider taking a look at my NEW Relaxed Home Education Planner for teachers and students.

Homegrown Catholics - Homeschool Planner


and coming soon a variation - a Simple Subject Planner


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