Tag Archives: homeschooled

The girl with the black hair.

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I’m writing to the girl with the black hair. I know you felt so out-of-place today. I mean I know you listen to us say things like we ought to love our neighbor and reach the lost. You heard it in church. We told you we want you to come as you are, today you did, and it wasn’t good enough. You asked me before why your mom didn’t want you ” I mean I wasn’t a bad baby Mrs. Barker, why didn’t my birth mom want me? What you don’t know is I held back my tears and my hatred for your real mom. I know I’m supposed to love her, but she is so selfish and I just can’t imagine a mom keeping some children and abusing others.I wasn’t abandoned by my mother and I can only imagine what that feels like. So girl with the black hair, I wish I could say she was having a hard life or she didn’t have money, but honestly she was selfish and cruel, no child deserves to be abused. No child. I don’t care if you cried all night, spit in her coffee or said I hate you( which you didn’t) No child, None.
So now you have come to us, the people of God, and you want to be loved, accepted ,you want to know we want you. I’m sorry girl with the black hair that you have come to us and we want you to be like us. I’m sorry that we say come as you are, but we mean come as WE are. I m sorry that even though I take the time to love you and have you over, that I too fail you. I know you are so desperate for that feeling of acceptance and sometimes it’s all I can to tolerate my four kids. I don’t know why we can’t love the unlovely. I don’t know why we say we want to reach people and then we nit pick the very people we are trying to reach. I know what you feel like, girl with the black hair. I used to be you.
I came to Christ at the age of 14. I didn’t know the Christian lingo, the terms, the proper dress or the proper etiquette in church. I was just so happy to finally be loved by God. My soul was so empty and I was finally in a place where I was loved. Then one day I was out with my sister. We were shopping and I was wearing black jeans and a t-shirt. I walked into a store and saw a church member. Man I was so excited. I never saw church members outside of church. I smiled real big and held the door for her. Then my heart sunk. This woman whom I absolutely looked up to, looked me up, then down, then put her nose up in the air and walked right away as if she did not know me. I was devastated. If that women only knew. If she only knew how broken and fragile I really was. How I craved acceptance. What she knew though was she was taught certain things. The number one was to shun what she did not understand. Yeah it’s just ignorance and I too can be so guilty of it. God brought me back to him after that day. I Left for quite a while but He showed me what He was really like and that He in fact did love the unlovely. He .Loved. Me.
So here I am in all my honesty. People suck. They do.
Jesus holding girl
But our God is in the dark places. He is in the cry of a child forsaken by her mother. He is in the heart of a child so desperate for love, even in a church that only cares about not soiling their little blessings with the likes of you. What they don’t know is it will be someone like You who will reach the world. It was someone like you that JESUS died for. The ground at the foot of the cross is equal. We are all sinners before a Holy God. There is NONE righteous, no, not one!!! God is not a respector of persons girl with the black hair, but people suck, and we are.
You see He was broken for us, isn’t that what The Lord Supper is about? Remembering his bruised broken body, His beatings .He was bruised for our iniquities. His body was broken. Yet girl with the black hair, He tried to reach the world. He did not stay in His perfect Sunday best, in His perfect Sunday church. He did not stay away from the likes of you. He went to the publican and sinner. I think some of us want to keep them off our pews. Wouldn’t want the unchurched to spoil our perfect little blessings. He was broken for YOU though, so I think , no I know he wants you there. Bring your stuffed animal, even if they tell you otherwise(in fact sit next to the homeschooler who brought her doll and look them right in the eye and dare them to say something). I will fight for you, He fought for me. He pulled me out of the miry clay, He continues to pull me out of the darkness. So girl with the black hair, He knows your name. Even if they didn’t.(Psht.) He knows your name and HE wants you there. Come as you are but don’t ever leave the way you came. Let HIM change you on the inside, and when you look at them smile knowing He sought you out and loves you. Let them have their judgement. When you stand before that loving Savior, naked and complete, none of it will matter.
You. Are. Loved.

People

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She posted again. her fantastic recipe for homemade laundry soap. I just bought my Arm-n-Hammer from the grocery store. Well, at least I used a coupon? Scrolling through Facebook another friend was telling me how to home-school. If I even dare consider Common Core I must be a communist or something. The handwriting program I have for my son is Common Core aligned. “Heil Hitler? Another mom posted on modesty as my daughter ran by in her bathing suit to swim in our pond. Oops cross that off the list. I also must make Kombucha, If not I am not the Homesteading mama. I am a failure. Oh and sleepovers are completely sin. Any mother even considering it is worldly and asking for trouble. Sorry kids, I failed that one too. I guess ministering to those girls was a mistake? Teaching them to pray, to shower, to love. allowing them to have fun without judgement. Psht, what a terrible idea.I just got my scores back from the standardized testing my kids took. I have now allowed them to be data mined in the system. What a complete ignorant socialist I am. My unsaved friend told me yesterday another Christian won’t let her 17 year teen over because she is not a “true blooded Christian”. ( she meant saved) . I guess I’m not either, I allowed my son over. She’s been at my house chatting, laughing, talking about family, struggles and God.

Friends whatever happened to caring about people?

My husband taught me this the other day. We have a neighbor who is a Vietnam Vet. He is gruff. He will talk of Dem.O.Crats,( pronounce each syllable, it sounds more disgusting) women and possibly a various ethnic person. He has one eye. You can’t tell because He has a glass one. He smokes and swears. He is also very alone and will NEVER talk about Vietnam. He changes the subject and gets that faraway look. He’s worked in factories and hard construction. He has asbestosis  in his lungs. He tends to come over when my husband is working on a project or we have company. He talks and talks. My husband came in and said “Barb when did life get like this? I looked at him. He said, “so and so was over and I was getting really agitated. I wanted to get that building done. He was driving me crazy. All of a sudden I just realized. Who cares? There is nothing more important than people. When did people stop being the main thing?”

Friends people ARE the main thing.

I know, especially in the home-school community we think making our own laundry soap, resisting common core, remaining separate, all of those things they are the main thing, But when you stand before that all-wise, ever-loving Creator, do you think he will care if you made homemade laundry soap? I mean honestly okay you milked your goats and it’s hormone free. But he called, and he needed to talk. So your children were on that schedule and you had to put them to bed instead of coming to church. But she was struggling with the diagnosis she just received.You weren’t there and she gave up, most likely not stepping foot in our church again. How about you were so busy making that utopia, you did not know your child was struggling with porn. It’s happened.woman-consoling-her-friend

Life is not supposed to be this hard. Cherish the seconds. Take advantage of the cup of coffee. Talk of our Savior at the Beach. Invite that dirty family over for supper. Love on those two unruly girls at church. Show them the Dad they should see in you. Not a man who only concentrates on rules and order. Learn to love. Learn to put people first. I will warn you. You will get hurt. They will abuse your love. I know. In light of eternity, it’s so worth it.

We have made Homeschooling. homesteading, and homemaking our idol. We have forgotten Jesus when he said, “John 13:34 – A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Be the person who is like this,

Jude 1:22-24

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Friend it’s about them. Not our perfect, little obedient homeschooling families, it’s about people. I might add that your kids matter, laundry soap might make your clothes clean but it does not tie heart-strings or cause sticky kisses and hugs from your son.

For Christmas our gruff neighbor gave money for Christmas, for my kids. He said we have always been good to him and he wanted to help. ( What he did not know was we had taken a huge pay cut so my husband could get closer to home, we were struggling with doctor bills and having trouble with our mortgage. We had been agonizing over Christmas.)

I was making dinner the other day. my son came in from visiting a friend. He walked over to me and hugged me. He said,” Thank You Mom”. I said for what? Knowing my 15-year-old teen usually wants something. He said for teaching me my faith is not blind. I was able to talk to so and so about God. You taught me to defend my beliefs with or without the Bible. I just wanted to say Thank You. I never appreciated it until now.” What he will never know is that every night I pray for my kids and ask God to forgive me for failing them. This meant more than any A or academic achievement. People matter. If he learned nothing else, at least he learned this.Helping-Hand

Hannah Forgotten

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Can you imagine it? Dropping off your young child at the Prophets house. I mean this is the child you cuddled, held at night when his cries pierced the silence. This is the child you nursed at your bosom, and  the child that made you feel whole again. For this child you prayed. All the hope wrapped up in this boy. So much potential. Watching him grow, listening to his giggles full of life. The running, happy son, so full of life.

Woman-Praying

I think it’s probably the hardest scenario for me to read. How did she do it? She must have been some woman. I think I’d never stop the ache, the longing for sticky kisses and soul melting hugs. How do you ever get over it?

Friends we have forgotten about Hannah.

I remember when My first son was born. I told the Lord that He had all of me and I promised I’d give my son to Him. Somewhere along the way I forgot about the job God gave to me. My kids do not belong to me. God gave me a job to do for a little while. I should be working myself out of a job. 

But God I have to protect my kids, I have to micromanage their lives, and at all costs I need to make sure the family unit is together, no one breaks the family, it is first.

I don’t really think like this, but that’s what has happened. I mean I teach my kids about this Living Savior and I trust Him with my salvation, but then I become fearful. If I really believed what I say I do, wouldn’t Christ be sufficient? Why do I, you,we grab on for dear life and don’t let go?

Recently in a Home school group the discussion of the infamous Duggar scandal created like 43 different posts with a zillion comments and opinions back and forth. OBVIOUSLY if you read my blog at all, I am not in favor of the perpetrator . How can I? Anyway I was kind of appalled at the Christians saying what Josh Duggar did was “just a mistake“, “teenage Curiosity”, and “no big deal”.  I thought Lord don’t you say,

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:14temptation-apple-and-snake

I just shook my head. Then I just thought, “but that can’t be it. Is there more?”

I think there is.

I think we have made our children our idols. (I know inflammatory words in the home school community)  What if we have forgotten Hannah? I mean I think what those moms were getting so defensive about was the fact that he could have been their son. They could be suffering public humiliation. They could have been the ones to decide if they should call the police and put their Dear son in prison, thus ruining his life and the image of their family. I totally get it. I have four children and I cried almost every night after my daughter told me she did not feel safe while having seizures. I mean what an awful feeling for a 6-year-old to say. How could I help her?

The only problem is we don’t get to decide what constitutes justice. If someone breaks the law in a way that harms another human being, then for the sake of others in society we should definitely go to drastic measures. That might mean you feel like a traitor and turn in that boy who once gave you sticky kisses and soul melting hugs. The boy whose first smile lit up your world. I don’t think that is easy. I think it is the most devastating choice a Mom or Dad could make. How do you turn in your own flesh and blood?

I don’t know.

I do know what it feels like to have the same reoccurring nightmare of a two-legged panther, who steals you away. I scream and scream. The back light collects moths and night insects. My brother has his tackle box on the picnic table, he can’t hear me. My neighbor is in his yard and my voice is gone unheard. I’m so scared because he’s heading for the basement. I know what that means and I claw at him I scream and scream and wake up thanking God that this time it’s not for real. I know what it’s like to have to shower after a family campfire because the smell makes my heart race reminding me of a 16 year old I’d rather forget.. I know what it feels like to not trust people, to know when that “spidey sense” goes off and you stay away from certain individuals. I have extra special warning system for abusers. I know what it’s like to have my husband morph into a monster after spending the best day in the world with him. I know what it’s like to be on the other end.

So what of Hannah? Do we trust that what we taught our kids will keep them? Do we give our kids to God and say no matter what I will do right, or do we decide based on appearances  embarrassment to the family, and the fear of losing our children?

How can we  say we are called to a” higher standard”  then forget the suffering and hurting. How can we make excuses for sinful behavior?

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Proverbs 20:11

How can we sit in sermons and hear how our children belong to God and,  “AMEN!” when Hannah prays to give the child to God, then when God asks us to do the same, we( bow at our man-made idols) keep our children to ourselves out of fear?( I realize at this point you may be saying” There is nothing wrong with protecting my kids from the world”,. or There is nothing wrong with defending my kids). No there is not, but we have long since left the protecting from the world and created a very introverted lifestyle. It is no longer about reaching this world, it is about keeping our little world.It is about how many children we have and the image we want to keep. It is all about us.We think love is holding on, but really that is not love. It is fear.

The two are not compatible. Perfect love casts out fear. We live as if what God says He does not mean. We are so afraid one day with Grandparents ,who have different standards, will poison our kids. (Forgetting that our parents once raised us, deserve to be respected and a part of our children’s lives), We think that going to church instead of sticking to a schedule, a nap routine, will hinder our kids for life( Forgetting the Bible says not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together). We think that going to the church fellowship ONCE a month and eating with the church family will forever shatter our kids healthy eating.( Forgetting that their are hurting souls who just might need us there).We are so fearful for our children that we won’t even allow the other children in church or neighborhood to play with them, thinking they will be corrupted(Forgetting that we are to be light to the world and maybe they need to see and know your family to see a real Christian home) When did it become about us and ours. Whatever happened to them and theirs? 

I can think of no better thing then for my son to hear the voice of God.This is what Hannah paved the way for when she gave up Samuel.

I mean I definitely have failed my kids. Who REALLY does their best? We ALL could do more. I know that when my kids talk to their friends about Christ, invite friends to church, when they come to me with their failings and we get it right, when my kids are mad about what makes God mad, it makes me think of the day I gave them to God. I think of the hard moment of opening my hands and saying” here God, they are yours”. It’s kind of the defining moment when you realize you can do everything right and they STILL could choose to go a different way, maybe even a way that goes against God.

Let’s give our children an authentic life, built on love and not fear. Teaching them to do what’s best for those who are suffering, for the lost and dying world, for the child who does not know unconditional love, who never had a dad, who wants more than anything to have a real home. This world needs us so bad. Please remember, “you are not your own, you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God..”.. Glorify God in your home, but don’t make your home your idol.

For this child I prayed and well for this child, I. Let. Go. 

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Don’t forget Hannah.

What a good job. Here’s a sticker.

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I was thinking about that meme this morning that says,” Post a picture of my dog. Get 35 likes. Post a meaningful topic about NSA spying( or Ron Paul) , get 1 like.” So the story goes. There isn’t always a visible reward for doing right. It is a grave error we taught our children. Look mom, I got a sticker on my paper!! It has wiggled something at the back of my conscience. What happened to Jesus disciples? The founders. They died prosperous , wealthy people right?. Wrong. What has happened to this country where we have forgotten that doing right is its own reward. Honestly, I forget too. I get discouraged like you. I want to see it. I want the visible proof that what I am doing makes a difference. I want to change a life before I die. I try to teach my children this in the little things. If your room is a mess, you live in that cluttered, disgusting, pig slop( nice words huh?).When you clean it, that feeling you get, when your head hits the pillow, knowing you did the work . That feeling is entirely yours. That is your reward. You don’t need to be bribed or begged. The work and the accomplishment IS the reward.Why do we need to bribe kids to memorize verses? Isn’t knowing Gods Word enough?” If you give a mouse a Cookie..” If_You_Give_A_Mouse_A_Cookie
People want a reward for their deeds.They want to be noticed. They want recompense. I want my kids to be like their Dad. He never does what he does for glory. Believe me he has his opportunities too. He’s a linemen but besides that he can do just about anything.( It’s so annoying!!!) He was waiting in line one day at a gas station, he was at the back. It was around Christmas time and the station was buzzing with people. A young mom was up front buying formula, milk, bread and eggs. Her card got denied. Now with all of the “men” in front of my husband you would think someone, anyone would say, “hey let me get that.” She wasn’t buying booze or anything. No-one moved. So He comes from the back of the line and says I’ll pay for it. That is not the first time he’s helped people either; He’s changed tires, driven people who were stranded, helped neighbors, saved someones life, payed people’s rent, moved my friends out of situations and on and on. All the while he will never tell you. He never wants people to know and never tries to lift himself up. He didn’t do that,that day because he wanted everyone to see how great he was. No he did it because there was a need. If he didn’t do it. Who would? Who will help the orphans and the widows? Who will feed the poor and help those in need? You cannot wait for someone else to do right. They are not going to. Do not expect a tangible reward. Do not expect people to think you are so wonderful. Sometimes it is a lonely path. Just ask Ron Paul.

Benjamin Franklin was known to have started many things like Libraries, fire departments etc. He apparently believed Virtue was its own reward( not believing that it granted him salvation though). In a conversation with his mother he said” I would rather have it said, He lived usefully, than he died rich.” I guess he didn’t need a sticker.
ben franklin virtue