How to Trust God with Pets and Possessions

How to Trust God with Pets and Possessions

 

It’s time for another edition of the Trust Project. This month we will discuss how we can trust God with our pets and possessions. This may seem like a more minor issue than some others we’ve addressed in this project. But I know from experience that it can be a challenge.

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Trusting God with Friendships

How did trusting God with friendships go for you last month? It seems as though the enemy is challenging me greatly with every topic we cover. This month, a dear new friend of ours was given an unexpected terminal diagnosis. I spent a lot of time with God on this one. It’s hard. But I have to believe that God loves him, his family, and you and me. This upsetting news doesn’t change what’s true about God.

Why Trust God with Pets and Possessions

We will begin talking about pets and possessions the way we usually do. What are the benefits of trusting God with our pets and possessions? For me, I will have less worry, stress, and conflict with my family. What will I stop doing if I trust God in this area? I will stop threatening my husband if he allows our new puppy to get hurt or killed. Poor guy. I will stop thinking about what could happen to family photos in the event of a fire or storm. What will I start doing? I will start reflecting on the fact that God cares about my pets, and that he even cares about my photo albums and mementos, like the afghan my grandmother made for me. How will I know I’m trusting God in this area? I won’t have the anxiety and irritation I’ve had around the thought of losing my pets and possessions. I hope you answered those questions along with me.

T is for TRUTH

Now let’s work through our TRUST acronym. What is the truth about our pets and possessions? Our Scripture to meditate on is Nahum 1:7:

When we lose things of value, it’s easy for the enemy to suggest that God doesn’t care, when He absolutely does.

Our biblical account is from Job, Chapter 1. Job lost his children and his possessions, his animals. There is much to be learned from Job’s experience, but what gives me peace for this topic is that nothing was outside of God’s control. There are people who believe God created us and then left us without help. That is not the case. God is not too busy or so hard that He doesn’t care when a beloved pet dies or a fire takes all our worldly possessions. Like Job, we may never know the purpose God has in allowing these losses. But we can absolutely know that He cares. This month when you have thoughts that God doesn’t care, write them down and refute them with the truth.

The R is TRUST is for Remembering.

How has God proven Himself trustworthy with pets and possessions in the past?

I lost a puppy after three weeks of sheer joy. It hit me harder than I ever imagined it would. The day after she died, I had to travel three hours, early in the morning to a volleyball match. My daughter told me that the mom I was closest to wouldn’t be there. I had experienced several disappointments with my adult kids just prior to this. I felt so lost when I arrived at the tournament. Not a Job-like experience, I know. But it was all I could do not to sob in the stands.

But then the parents of another girl on my daughter’s team asked me to come sit with them. The mom kept reminding me how much God loved me. I hadn’t told them what had been going on. Then the two of them shared some of their adult children’s disappointing behavior but their belief that God wasn’t finished with them yet. I was so encouraged. I knew God cared because he had these dear believers minister to me.

I have since brought another sweet puppy home and our hearts are healing. God answered my prayer for healing and joy.

Over the years, God has been faithful with losses of vehicles, investments, and even photos. He is trustworthy! He has either restored what was lost or He has given me peace.

The U in TRUST is for Understanding.

What wisdom has God given you to believe and obey? Before I adopted our first puppy this year, I did not know that unvaccinated pups should not be allowed in public places where deadly viruses can live. I am going to obey that wisdom to keep my dog safer.

I have also moved all of my photos out of my basement where water leaking from appliances above is more likely to damage them. Of course, backing up digital and all precious photos is more wisdom to obey.

The S in TRUST is for Supplication.

What is your prayer in addition to having more faith? I pray that our pets will be safe and healthy, that are vehicles will keep running, and that our home will remain standing.

The T in TRUST is for Thanksgiving.

What can we thank God for now and in the future? My son’s car that we purchased for our family and were financing for him was totaled this week. It will be more expensive for him going forward, but we are so grateful to God that he is okay and that we have insurance that will help pay for a new vehicle.

I am also so thankful for the joy our dogs have given us. I’m thankful for the memories that my photos captured. And I’m thankful that God has provided through thick and thin.

I pray that you will grow in your ability to trust God with your pets and possessions this month.

Have you lost a pet or a possession that has been difficult to let go of? Tell me about in the comments.

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How to Trust God with Your Friendships

How to Trust God with Your Friendships

Do you trust God with your friendships? Do you believe He will provide you with friends? That He will provide your kids with good friendships? Do you worry about a friend’s health or salvation? That’s this month’s topic in the Trust Project.

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Why trust God with your friendships?

What are the benefits of trusting God with our friendships? One unique benefit is an increased likelihood of recognizing the new friends God has for us. Another benefit is peace and joy as we believe the Lord will work all things together for our good and our friends’ good.

What will we stop doing if we trust God with our friends? We’ll stop worrying about having enough friends for sure. And we may stop keeping to ourselves, suffering loneliness or difficult relationships in silence. Instead, we may start reaching out to new people, taking risks, and putting space in unhealthy relationships. We’ll know we’re trusting God with our friendships if we pray more than we worry and we recognize God’s activity in our friendships.

Let’s work through the TRUST acronym when it comes to friendships.

T is for truth.

Our Scripture to meditate on is Proverbs 18:24:

Have you ever had unreliable friends? Boy, I have! I have been so hurt and disappointed, but I have a friend who is always reliable. And so do you. Jesus is our friend who always says and does the right thing at the right time.

Our Scriptural account is from Mark, chapter 2. Jesus heals a paralyzed man when his friends lower him through the roof. The Scripture says, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

I’m not going to argue that our faith can save our friends, but I am going to say that our faith is effective. Do you have unbelieving friends as I do? Know that Jesus hears your prayers and sees your faith on their behalf.

This month, when you have thoughts that lead you to distrust God with your friendships, write them down. Then respond to them with truth. If you think, “I’ll never make new friends at my church, in this small town, or as a homeschooler,” refute that with truth. God gave David a very unlikely friend in Jonathan, didn’t He?

The R in TRUST is for Remember.

Remember God’s faithfulness in this area in the past. Do I have some remembrances to share with you!

I had a new homeschooling friend who had a heart attack and was in critical condition shortly after we became acquainted. Two surgeries and several years of great friendship later, I learned that she had had another heart attack. The doctors saw no hope for her. I was mourning her when I believed the Lord rebuked me for this and encouraged me to ask for a miracle. I asked friends and family on Facebook to pray, knowing there was a good chance that prayer wouldn’t be answered. When soon afterward I saw her wake up and recognize me, I had joy like I had never had before!

In the meantime, I heard from an acquaintance who was not a believer. She knew our friend was in the hospital and things weren’t good. She said she would pray, but I assumed that she meant something other than praying to THE God. Soon after our friend was in recovery, she called me and told me that while she wasn’t looking for Jesus, Jesus came looking for her. She had received Christ as her Savior! I honestly didn’t believe that God would change someone like her, but God is still in the heart surgery business. She is now one of my dearest friends in Christ.

The U in TRUST is for Understanding.

Often God gives us wisdom and it’s up to us to act on it. I’ll give you a current example. I have been a member of a new church for two years and have yet to form a new friendship there. I can keep praying for friends, but I know that the best way to make friends is to attend a small group Bible study — something I haven’t been doing consistently. That’s my plan going forward.

A number of years ago I was a part of a small group that God was calling me to leave. I didn’t want to leave it and risk losing friendships, even though some of them were difficult relationships, so I didn’t. The consequences of that choice were painful and still are to this day.

What understanding has God given you for friendships that you haven’t acted upon?

The S in TRUST is for Supplication.

This is where we pray after meditating on God’s truth, remembering His faithfulness, and acting on the understanding He’s already given.

Four years ago, I was lonely. Many of my homeschooling friends had moved on. I prayed for friendships and I asked a family member to pray as well. The answer came in an unexpected way. I started a Facebok group, then called HomeschoolScopes. Using live video, many of us made dozens of close homeschooling friends. I have met many of these women in person since then and I continue to talk to some of them daily. If you’re a homeschooling mom, join us in the Homeschool Sanity Circle on Facebook. But more importantly, pray about your friendships and your family’s friendships.

The T in TRUST is for Thanksgiving.

Thank God for the way He’s worked in your friendships in the past. I have experienced distance in friendships that at first I grieved but now am thankful for. I see God’s protection and grace in these changes. Thank God for your current friendships and thank Him that He will continue to provide you and your family with the friendships you need.

I am thankful for the friendships I have made through this blog! It’s such a blessing to hear from you, to get to know you better, and to have your prayers on my behalf. Please feel free to email me at psychowith6 at gmail.com any time.

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How to Trust God with Your Parents

How to Trust God with Your Parents

Many of us homeschooling moms not only have fears about our children but about our parents as well. This month in the Trust Project we will focus on trusting God with our parents.

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Why trust God with your parents?

What are the benefits of trusting God with our parents? For me, the benefits are less time spent worrying, a better relationship with my mom who is still living, and certainly a better relationship with God. What are the things we will stop doing this moth? I hope worrying is one of those. Perhaps we will stop trying to control our parents’ choices. If you have a parent who is not a believer, you might stop witnessing to them when it feels forced or fear based. What things will we start doing if we’re trusting God with our parents? Perhaps we will enjoy our time with them in the moment. If you are estranged from a parent, perhaps you will reach out to them. Or if your relationship with a parent is an unhealthy one, you might allow God to meet the needs that an earthly parent isn’t meeting. How will you know that you’re trusting God with your parents? You might have peace of mind, better conversations, or fewer conflicts with siblings over what to do about a parent’s care.

Next, we will work through the TRUST acronym.

T is for truth.

I love this Scripture. One of the fears we can have as our parents age is that we are now responsible for their care. Certainly we bear some responsibility, but God has never left our mom and dad. He is caring for them and we can rely on Him for that as much as we can rely on His care for us.

Our Bible account is Genesis 43. Joseph meets with his brothers in Egypt and asks after his aging father. It’s clear that Joseph is concerned about him. But he learns that he is alive and well. God had sustained him just as he had Joseph, even though he had suffered great sorrow in the loss of his son. God knows the number of our parents’ days and is in control of them. In fact, He doesn’t need our help to keep them alive and well.

This month, record the thoughts that lead you to distrust God with your parents. Then refute them with the truth. Repeat Scripture or just truths you would share with a friend who had the same fears.

The R in TRUST is for Remember.

At one time I thought my dad would suffocate and die. He had COPD. I know he thought that is how he would die as well. I also feared that my dad hadn’t put his faith in Jesus Christ. I wasn’t doing the Trust Project then, but I want to share what happened.

I received a call that my dad needed surgery and had only a 50% chance of survival. I was beside myself with grief. I cried out to the Lord for his life, opened the Bible randomly, and read words that gave me confidence he would live. He did.

A few years later, I happened to call my dad a day early for our weekly chat. Typically, when I had other plans on our chat night, I would forget to call until the next day. This was before I had a smart phone that would remind me. In our conversation, my dad affirmed his faith in Jesus. I was so happy. The next night, the night I would have normally called, I got a call from my mom instead. My dad had had a heart attack and died quickly thereafter. My father didn’t suffocate. And I knew where he would wake up. God can be trusted to care for our parents.

Remember how God has been faithful where your parents are concerned.

The U in TRUST is for Understanding.

What wisdom has God already given you for your relationship with or care of your parents. When a friend was caring for both her parents in their home, I sent her a book that was just for caregivers. She said it was a great help to her in a very trying situation. She knew from that book that it was critical for her to have respite care and take breaks. No sense crying out to God for help if you’re not using the wisdom He has already given you.

The S in TRUST is for Supplication.

For years I prayed that my mom who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 18 years ago would have more strength. The Lord answered that prayer far above and beyond what I imagined was possible. My mother’s illness went into remission two years ago. She is currently working as a caregiver for someone else.

Present your requests for your parents to God and believe that He hears them and will answer in His love and wisdom.

The T in TRUST is for Thanksgiving.

My father died when I was 31. He only met two of my children. I wanted more time with him, and I still miss him so much. But even as I mourn, I thank God for a father that was good enough to miss. What a blessing he was for over 30 years. I am thankful my dad is with Jesus and that he wouldn’t return here even if given the choice. I am thankful too that the Lord gave me men who served as fathers in my life after he passed.

Thanking God really does help to heal our hearts when something in our relationship with parents is lacking.

Conclusion

We can have peace and even joy where our parents are concerned when we believe the truth, remember God’s faithfulness, understand the wisdom He has already given us, pray for them, and thank God for all He’s done in our parents’ lives and in ours.

How do you struggle to trust God with your parents? Comment and let me know.

How to Trust God with Your Kids

How to Trust God with Your Spouse

How to Trust God with Your Finances

How to Trust God with Your Health & Safety

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How to Know if You’re Doing Enough in Your Homeschool

How to Know if You’re Doing Enough in Your Homeschool

One of the most common concerns I hear from new homeschoolers is whether or not they’re doing enough. If that’s your question, regardless of how long you’ve been homeschooling, I have six ways you can know that you’re doing enough in your homeschool.

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#1 Know you’re doing enough in your homeschool by comparing your plans to policies

The first way to know if you’re doing enough in your homeschool is to compare your plans with your state or charter school’s policies. Many homeschoolers are surprised to learn how few guidelines there really are for what to teach. I recommend that you visit HSLDA (the Homeschool Legal Defense Organization). This website lists homeschooling laws by state and also has curriculum guidelines for high schoolers – another area that causes homeschoolers a great deal of anxiety.

If you are doing what the laws or guidelines suggest, you can take a deep breath and relax. The standards set by others are typically much lower than the standards we set for ourselves. I am not suggesting that we do the least amount possible. We want our kids to have a rich, quality education. But neither am I suggesting that we should do every subject and use multiple curricula and classes to teach these subjects. I am here to promote homeschool sanity, and that’s the quickest way to the homeschool loony bin. Instead, use the standards to reassure yourself that you are in fact doing enough.

#2 Know you’re doing enough by comparing your hours

The second way to know if you’re doing enough is to consider the number of hours you might spend on direct teaching by the age of your child. RaisingArrows.net says that formal homeschooling takes 30-45 minutes for kindergarten and first grade, 1.5-2 hours for second to fourth grade, 2-4 hours for 5th & 6th grade, and 4+ hours for 7th grade and up. That doesn’t sound like a lot, does it?

My state requires 1000 hours of instruction. Let’s have a reasonable view of what that means. It does not mean that I must stand at my whiteboard lecturing for a thousand hours a year. Public school teachers are not held to that standard. In fact, public schools operate a bit more like I did when I practiced as a clinical psychologist. A counseling hour was really 45 minutes with ten minutes of that taken up with greetings and good-byes. Traditional school students spend time using the restroom, walking the hallway, staring out the window…you get the idea. We also have an advantage over traditional teachers in that we can count many informal activities as educational hours. Have your kids help you make dinner and if you are teaching as you go, you have life skill hours. When your child is reading the manual to understand a new game or toy that has been purchased, you have reading time. If you are balking at the suggestion that reading manuals counts as educational time, know that Common Core standards introduced the idea that this type of reading was valuable for students. I agree, but I don’t think it should replace literature. As homeschoolers, it certainly doesn’t have to.

I homeschooled for many years before I understood that educational hours did not always have to involve me. Kids can read and work independently. They can take classes, participate in extracurricular activities, and even help teach siblings. Begin to expand your definition of education, and you will be more confident that you are doing enough.

#3 Know you’re doing enough by developing key skills

The third way you can know you’re doing enough is if you are spending time developing key skills. My previous point may have had you thinking about unschooling. If you’re interested in unschooling, I recommend my podcast interview with Karla Marie Williams.  No matter how strictly you adhere to the unschooling philosophy, I believe it’s critical that we spend time developing key skills. Even if you don’t think your child needs to learn handwriting until middle school, Grandma may believe otherwise and give you a hard time. Your child may be thoroughly embarrassed if she doesn’t know her math facts while playing a game with friends. And while many children develop the ability to read later, it is critical that we spend time developing phonics and fluid reading skills in our students. You may choose to develop reading, handwriting, and math knowledge in whichever way you choose. Have your child use games to learn phonics. Use online programs like Starfall for reading. Or use  a book like Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Whatever you choose, reading instruction is not optional in my opinion.

Handwriting too is an essential skill. I’ve learned over the years of homeschooling five boys that slow handwriting results in reluctance to do any type of seatwork. In fact, even math homework can be a struggle if kids are not able to write their numerals quickly. Choose the handwriting approach that works for you. Teach your kids to form the letters by writing in Cool Whip, use the handwriting app on your iPad, or use formal curriculum like Handwriting Without Tears. Whatever you do, have your child practice for short periods and consistently.

The next area that I believe is critical for our students to learn is math facts. Some homeschoolers have told me that they don’t believe learning math facts is important in the age of calculators. I couldn’t disagree more. Have you ever made a mistake with calculators? I do it all the time. When I am totaling my sales at conventions and I am told that I had $300,000 in sales, I am not hooting and hollering. Instead, I groan and know that I have to re-calculate. If your kids don’t know math facts, higher level math will be impossible. Without memorizing basic math facts, your child will be that cashier who panics when the cash register doesn’t tell her how much change to give you back. Again, you choose how to have your child master math facts. Use flashcards, stories, games, or competition to complete math fact quizzes in a short period of time as is taught by Learn Math Fast. But make the acquisition of math facts a priority in your homeschool.

#4 Know you’re doing enough by covering some subjects every other year

The fourth way to know if you’re doing enough is you are covering subject areas like social studies, science, and fine arts at least every other year. One of the mistakes I made as a beginning homeschooler is I thought I had to teach every conceivable subject every year. That is a recipe for homeschool burnout. Public schools do not teach calligraphy, map memorization, and astronomy, in addition to all the core subjects they have to cover to meet standards.

If you want to study one or more of these things, make room for it in your homeschool schedule. I love history. But I didn’t realize that I was not required to teach it every single year. The same with science. These subjects and even fine arts will be a part of your homeschool education even if they are not a specific focus. Field trips we have taken almost always incorporate history. My kids did science experiments of their own for fun. In the YouTube age, that’s even more likely. And art and music appreciation can be incorporated into a fun Friday rather than being a specific course.

I know, I know. I want to do it all too. And we we can do a lot. Just not all this year. Just not all this week. If you’re struggling to determine which curriculum to use, I recommend that you read the article I wrote on curriculum paralysis.

#5 Know you’re doing enough if you’re reading a lot

The fifth way to know you’re doing enough is that you and your kids are reading a lot. Reading is the gold standard for education. In truth, we can teach our kids all the other subject areas with reading alone. Sure, mapping, experiments, and writing are important too. But primary education is to be found in books.

I learned best by reading. In fact, my teen son asked me while I was cutting his hair how I had learned to cut hair. I explained that I found a very old book at a used book sale and that was all I needed. If your child is not a verbal learner, audiobooks can be a huge help. I have spoken before about the benefits of audiobooks and reading aloud for building vocabulary.

If you are in a challenging time in your homeschool because you’re pregnant, traveling, or caring for an ill family member, focus on reading. It will be enough.

#6 Know you’re doing enough by talking to veteran homeschoolers

The final way to know you’re doing enough is to talk to veteran homeschoolers. I laughed so hard when my new homeschooling friend was worried that her son wasn’t willing to follow her plan. Of course he wasn’t. It was too much and I empathetically told her so.

Sure, there are homeschoolers online who present their homeschools as though they’re reading a novel or two aloud to their family each day, reenacting a new war every weekend, and building a life-sized model of the ark this month. But most homeschoolers will be honest about what they are able to accomplish. I trust the members of The Homeschool Sanity Circle on Facebook to be real with you. They will read your plan and will tell you if you’re doing enough or more likely that you’re trying to take on too much.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are following your state’s or charter school’s guidelines, spending a reasonable number of hours on school for your kids’ ages, teaching key skills, covering other subject areas at least every other year, reading a lot, and you’ve gotten the green light from veteran homeschoolers, you can rest assured that you’re doing enough.

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How Homeschooling Can Be a Fulfilling Career

How Homeschooling Can Be a Fulfilling Career

I wrote what became a very popular blog post about why I wasted my education to homeschool.  I will summarize by saying that there were people in my life who thought trading in a PhD in psychology and clinical practice in a Christian clinic to homeschool was a waste, an obvious mistake. I didn’t know if they were wrong at first. I didn’t know what to expect from homeschooling. If you’re near the beginning of your journey, you may wonder what the future holds for you too.

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The truth about homeschooling and feeling fulfilled

I’m going to be completely honest and say that when I began homeschooling, my question was what about me? What about my gifts, what about my dreams? I even wondered what about God’s other call on my life, which I knew was to be a writer and speaker. To say that I didn’t trust God to work all things together for my good would be an understatement. I only knew how hard it was to parent three boys three and under. How would I have time for anything besides parenting, homeschooling, and homemaking?

If that’s your question, I have some answers for you gained through experience.

Truth: Homeschooling leaves less time for personal pursuits

The first truth I want to share is that homeschooling and parenting little ones leaves less time for your personal pursuits. Yup, I’m being Captain Obvious here. But what might not be obvious to you is that this season is short. Even with six children, I see how short that season was. When your oldest is unable to help you with any chores or responsibilities around the house, you will be busy. But as your older children mature, you will have built-in babysitters and a home maintenance crew. By the time I had my last baby, I never had to get him out of his crib. The older kids vied for the privilege of doing that. My older kids entertained the younger ones, were able to read to younger kids, and took on the responsibility of doing their own laundry. If you will allow your older children to help in your family, you can free up more time for those things you want to do apart from homeschooling.

Truth: Help is available

The second truth about fulfillment in homeschooling that I want to share with you is that if you’re married and you communicate your desire to your husband, he will help you. Now some of you may be protesting. Perhaps your husband hasn’t been all that helpful to this point. I would say my experience was the same. When my kids were younger and there were fewer of them, my husband was not doing as much child care and managing as many chores around the house as he does now. I think there are a couple of reasons for that that are in my control. What I mean by in my control is that my husband is reluctant to do things because of his own reasons. I have no control over that and neither do you.

But I did have control over my attitude. I had two attitudes that got in the way of my husband supporting me in being fulfilled in my homeschooling. The first was my supermom persona. I honestly made everything look too easy. My husband thought I had it all under control and therefore didn’t need his help. Men seem to like helping people who have obvious needs. I didn’t seem to need anything. Why would he help?

The next bad attitude I had was just the opposite of the supermom. When my supermom attitude wasn’t getting me what I wanted, I tried on the martyr role. I was the suffering saint, always at home with the children and doing it all with very little help. Do you know anyone who is a martyr? Are they fun to be around? I didn’t think so. Men want their wives to be happy. Instead of being a martyr, explain how happy the activities you want time for will make you. Demonstrate that happiness.  Read my post on how to be happy and homeschool too.

Besides our happiness, we can convince our husbands of the benefits of the other activities we want to take on. I explained to my husband that while having a business selling books to homeschoolers would require more of my time and my absence for conventions, we would enjoy the benefits of an additional income. He has been very supportive of me for the that reason as well as for the obvious happiness it brings me.

Without appearing as though you can do it all and without whining about your lack of help, talk to your husband about what it is that you aspire to do.

If you are not married, perhaps you have parents who are involved in your kids’ lives and you could have a similar conversation with them. But realistically, we may have to consider getting help with the kids elsewhere. We can hire a mother’s helper. I hired my niece to come in once a week when my kids were young. My daughter is a mother’s helper for a mom in our neighborhood. It’s a worthwhile investment in your sanity. But if finances don’t yet allow for that, you could barter time with a friend. Have play dates and one mom takes a turn watching the kids. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Truth: Homeschooling itself can be fulfilling

To this point I have been discussing fulfillment as something that exists outside of homeschooling. So you need time to engage in a ministry, start a business, or start writing. But even though these extra activities can be fulfilling as they have been for me, homeschooling itself can be fulfilling.

One of my favorite things to do is learn. Studying history with my kids and following all kinds of educational rabbit trails is one of the best parts of my life. Teaching my kids has been more fulfilling than I ever dreamed.

Because of homeschooling, I realized that I was born to be a teacher. I didn’t even consider it because I felt  people expected me to do something that required more education. But I began my childhood teaching my dolls and stuffed animals every single night. Homeschooling allowed me to rediscover my true passion in life. Now that I am no longer counseling people one on one, I find myself teaching instead. I teach on my podcast. I teach through my books. And I teach in sessions at conventions.

But what if teaching is not your passion? There are so many other ways for you to find fulfillment in homeschooling. Are you a leader? The options for you to take a leadership role in homeschooling groups are wide open for you. Where you may have had difficulty taking on a leadership position like that in a large traditional school, the smaller groups of busy homeschool moms can afford you the opportunity to share your gift of leadership.

Are you a natural organizer? After you have organized your own homeschool, you can help other homeschooling moms get organized, either as a business or a ministry.

Do you have a skill in art or music or computers or science? You have the opportunity to share whatever your gift is through teaching other students or creating your own curriculum as I have done. My friend Gena Mayo has a passion for music that she has turned into not just local co-op classes but courses that are available to all homeschoolers online. Check out her courses at Music in Our Homeschool and listen to the interview I did with her on easy ways to add music to your homeschool.

My friend Beth Napoli is passionate about technology. She used that passion to create a Facebook group for moms who are interested in using technology in their homeschools and she has used it to create courses that moms and homeschoolers alike can take advantage of.

I have another friend who uses her flexible schedule in homeschooling to put her decorating and organizing skills to work in planning parties and coordinating weddings. I have a photographer friend who taught photography in our co-op. In the process, she realized she wanted to return to it as a business. I also know many homeschooling moms who love to counsel others. They make themselves available to advise new homeschoolers about curriculum, parenting, and homeschooling in general.

Conclusion

Homeschooling itself can be fulfilling as you teach your children and enjoy watching them develop as people. But homeschooling is also a flexible lifestyle that allows you to explore other interests.

I never dreamed that homeschooling would become my most fulfilling career. Not only has it met and exceeded every one of my desires for my kids’ education, their family relationships, and their faith life, but it has given me the opportunity do what I love. I don’t believe that my ability to write and speak would have enjoyed as much success outside of the homeschooling niche.

I am not suggesting that every woman must choose to find her fulfillment in homeschooling. Even if they could, eventually the kids grow up and move out. But I am saying that homeschooling can be fulfilling. It has been for me and I am so thankful to God for leading me to it. I encourage you to pray about how homeschooling can be fulfilling for you too.

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How to Trust God with Your Finances

How to Trust God with Your Finances

Trusting God with our finances can be tough. But if we are going to complete this Trust Project, we have to deal with our fears about money. Have your Trust Project printables ready, and let’s do this!

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What are the benefits of trusting God with our finances?

First, we won’t experience all the negative effects of anxiety: the sleepless nights, the G.I. distress, and the conflicts that inevitably occur as a result of financial worry. But we will likely make better choices when we are trusting God with our finances as well. Perhaps we won’t take risks or a job that isn’t a good fit for our family simply for the sake of making more money. When we trust God with our finances, we have the opportunity to see Him provide in ways we never even dreamed of. When we are striving to manage our finances ourselves, we will invariably take the credit for any extra cash that comes our way.

What will you start and stop doing if you are trusting God with your finances?

We want to ask ourselves things we will stop doing and start doing if we are trusting God with our finances. Maybe we will stop worrying, stop going over and over our accounts, and stop nagging one another about spending habits. Perhaps we will start praying with our spouse specifically about our financial needs and we will start earnestly looking for God’s provision. Perhaps we will start a financial course such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.

What are the benefits of trusting God with your finances?

We will ask ourselves the benefits of trusting God in this area. I covered a few of them already, but likely our mood, our health, and our relationships will improve when we are trusting God with our finances.

T – the Truth about trusting God with finances

Now let’s discuss the T in trust. It stands for truth. Our Scripture to meditate on this month is 1 Timothy 6:17.

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

Our Bible account is the feeding of the five thousand from Matthew 14. God isn’t hindered by any obstacles in meeting our needs. Whether our spouse is unemployed, the medical bills are mounting, or the economy takes a nosedive, God is still able to provide and provide abundantly.

Any time this month you have thoughts that lead you to mistrust God with your finances, record them on your Trust project printables. Respond to these thoughts with truth, whether that truth comes directly from Scripture or from what you know to be true. You might respond to a fear of being bankrupted by dental expenses, which is a thought I have honestly had recently, with a more reasoned appraisal of your ability to cover the expenses with financing, moving money in the budget, or asking God for extra income.

R – remembering God’s faithfulness with finances

The R in trust is for remembering. Remember God’s faithfulness to you with your finances. As a single woman, I was terrified that God would not provide for me financially. I had two credit cards. I would borrow from one to pay the minimum payment on the other. Not the best financial plan, right? When I met my husband, my financial status changed and so did my money habits. I know God provided for me in the form of my husband, but the truth is every time before that that I feared I would be out on the streets, God provided for all my needs.

U – understanding God’s wisdom for your finances

The next letter in our trust acronym is U for understanding. What wisdom has God given you in this area? My sister-in-law tells a funny story of her first days as a self-supported missionary. She literally sat at home, waiting for people to call and come over and deliver the finances that she needed to do her work. That is until her ministry leaders made it clear that she was to go out and ask for support.

When I evaluate my single days of financial trial, it’s easy to see my errors in judgment. For example, I lived alone in my apartment. Had I roomed with another graduate student, my housing expenses would’ve been cut in half. Had I paid cash for my recreational activities, I would have realized I was out of money long before I got the overdraft fees that were a regular occurrence in my life. We are blessed to have so much financial wisdom at our disposal. If you need financial education, Crown Financial is another excellent place to start.

S – Supplication for our finances

The S in trust is for supplication. We pray for our financial needs to be met, but we don’t dictate how they will be met. Or when. I once listened to a pastor’s sermon in which he said everyone wants a miracle, but no one wants to be in a position to need one. So true. Sometimes God will miraculously provide your needs financially at the last minute, without providing us with the immediate security we crave.

For years, my husband and I lived in fear that the company he worked for would go out of business. That fear hung like a cloud over our financial decisions. Of course, we prayed that my husband would keep his job. But one day, after 15 years of fear, it happened. The company was sold and my husband’s commissions were being cut off. Within about two weeks, however, my husband was offered a job with a competing company. His work with that company has been a joy. While with the former company, my husband constantly bemoaned the poor customer service and resulting disgruntled customers, the new company made those concerns a thing of the past. Our finances improved as a result of the job loss. We prayed that my husband’s company would stay intact. But we are so thankful God answered our prayer in a better way. Our prayer should be for God to meet our needs in the best way.

T- thanking God for our finances

The second T in trust is for thanksgiving. You’ve heard how rich we are in first-world countries compared to so many other places. It can be hard to believe that when you’re getting bills you can’t pay and you are unemployed. But it’s still true that we have advantages that much of the world would and do risk their lives to have. If we are not expressing gratitude for what God has already given us, why should He entrust us with more? I ask that not to invoke fear, but to provoke true gratitude. Thank Him today for His provision.

Conclusion

One of my favorite books about trusting God with finances is the biography of George Muller. I find lots of opportunities to talk about this book because I love it so much. Read it to your children and show them how God does provide, especially when our motives match His. We aren’t to believe God for a lottery win, but we are to believe Him for everything we need to raise our families and fulfill our calling.

Do you have a financial need I can pray for? Comment and tell me below.

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