Training verses Teaching there is a difference

Since December I have felt the “gentle nudging” of God that it was time to put aside my own agenda and begin to invest more deeply into the life of Cayley, our precious 6 year old.  Yes, I used the words gentle nudging because these last 10 days I believe God has been daily showing me that it is His will for us to be training Cayley.  After all, I began the home schooling journey in 1996 (after saying never, not me) with Caryn and Courtney which ended in May 2007.  They are both in college and the results have been very positive so far!  I just didn’t feel like I enlisted for 20+ years :-)

When I first felt the nudging I reasoned with God that it’s good to finish what you begin so I thought I would finish out Cayley’s 1st grade year at Veritas as we have really enjoyed her teacher and classmates.  However, Cayley has struggled with the course work and I with following the academic rigors that rub up against many of my personal convictions such as: 

1) The best learning happens through an informal “relational process”

2) During the elementary years education has been more about training than teaching as parents are called to train up their children.  This looks different as training has to do with the heart issues (character, discipleship, maturity, etc.) which will greatly impact all future teaching.

3) Also I don’t feel the need to rush learning as I know that all children will eventually grasp necessary concepts but keeping their confidence and spirit in tact in the process is important to me. 

 4) God has already put within our children the drive to learn, question, discover, and explore.  They do not learn because I show them how to make sense of things … they make sense of things because they were created to learn.  What a joy it is to see them excited about learning.

George Simmel said “He is educated who knows how to find out what he doesn’t know.”  Thus I set out to show my girls how to learn and the joys of learning.  Thus this week will end and begin a new phase of learning for me as home education was God’s way of growing and maturing me in so many ways. 

Let the journey begin!

Do Not Complain About Anything- not even lice.

One of my favorite books is “Calm My Anxious Heart.” I appreciate how the author Linda Dillow, guides the reader to a better understanding of contentment and worry free living. These past five years God has had me on a training course of learning to be content in all areas of my life. He has also given me many opportunities to practice contentment. Linda Dillow says that contentment begins with an eternal perspective and shares Ella Spees’ prescription for contentment:

  • Never allow yourself to complain about anything – not ever the weather (this lady lived among the pygmies in Africa where the heat was often above 100+ degrees)
  • Never picture yourself in any other circumstances or someplace else.
  • Never compare your lot with another’s.
  • Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  • Never dwell on tomorrow-remember that [tomorrow] is God’s not ours.

As you can see from my title this weeks lesson in contentment came in the form of lice. They were first discovered Tuesday on Cayley and then I found several of the nasty bugs on me and another family member, YUCK!!! Now how am I not to complain about lice as this is round two for us in three months? I hope you never have to experience lice. Until Cayley entered a school setting we never had this experience.

I thought I would share a few thoughts about lice. First, an observation is that people do not like talking about lice and rarely will share that they have had it. This makes matters worse for others. In fact both times it was not until I called Cayley’s teacher that I learned another student had lice in her class. Guess the school thought it was an isolated situation and no need to alarm others. Also you can get lice from movie theater seat, airplane seat, just about anywhere so you will never really know where the source is. Second, once you have had the lice experience there are certain things you will remember. 1) Confusion on how to treat yourself or children with the various treatments. We opted for the prescription Olvide which was like soaking your head in a nasty alcohol solution then trying to sleep :-) I’m surprised I didn’t wake up with a hang over. I did however have huge bags under my eyes. 2) Confusion over what you are actually looking for. I researched many websites to try and understand what lice were and how ones gets them. Sadly I can’t say I learned much. 3) Exhaustion from cleaning house. I kid you not we washed 12 loads of clothes at the local Laundromat on Wednesday (all the blankets, sheets, pillows, etc…). Treated dress up clothes, stuffed animals, and toys. We have vacuumed the entire house 3 times since Tuesday.

How have I found contentment amidst lice. We still had to battle the lice but Christ was able and willing to provide the strength I need to be content. He infuses contentment into my life through His Word by dwelling on truth (Phil. 4:11-13). My focus was more on the positives vs. negatives of the situation (a blessing list) Courtney and Caley brought much humor to the situation. Courtney was a real blessing. We have connected as we sit and comb through each others heads 2 times a day which can be very relaxing. Reminds me of the documentaries I watched on TV about gorillas preening each other. Maybe this situation is what I needed to give me the peace about bringing Caley home to home educate her myself as our school day on Thursday was sweet and insightful.

Father do not let this lice experience be wasted. Use it to teach me how to be content. I will trust you to be my Blessed Controller and I surrender my life to you.

Below are few helpful links to better understand lice.

http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/lice/headlice030.shtml

http://www.headlice.org/faq/lousology.htm

http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/infections/common/lice.html

pediatrician recommended: http://www.nuvoforheadlice.com/method_explained.htm   Non toxic – It is just putting Cetaphil cleanser on your head.

The Why behind the No

  “The secret of contentment is the realization that life is a gift not a right.”  ********  But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 1 Timothy 6:6-7

There are things in life that happen and we question why.  Such has been the case this past month, i.e. The company not being bought, continued financial struggles, friends struggling with health issues at a such a young age, aging and memory loss of a loved one, and even the unexpected death of a young (42) man leaving behind his wife and two young daughters on Christmas morning.

Early yesterday morning as I lay awake at 3am I asked God, “why did you allow BiM to get to the very end (all paper work signed and ready to go) and then not allow the company to sale?”  God is big and I think he is ok with our honest questions (see the Psalms). It was so cool when Jon called me at 9am to let me know that the once interested company who at the last minute said, “not at this time”  is now up for sale – a big deal stopper.  Thus was the WHY behind the no.

However, there are many things in this life I will never fully understand but I know God is in control and I can trust His best for my life.  Psalm 63:8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.  Jeremiah 17:7 blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.