03 September 2018
I am not sure how it came up, but somehow it dropped that my boys were learning 3 sets of verses for different groups.
She gave me this look of confusion. "I can't believe it," she remarked "when we send verses home with the kids for Sunday School the parents tell us it's too much, because of the ones they are learning at the Christian school."
In my head I was laughing. Oh no. We take what we can get! I am not saying I am on top of it all, but we are there with bells on. Hear me?
I remember fondly this preacher who had locked himself in a basement trying to get over an addiction to pornography or something, drinking, maybe? Depression....I don't know. He was stuck somewhere and decided to retreat to the basement and learn scripture.
He preached at the front of our little chapel on the Christian campground, pointing into the air in front of him, seemingly being able to view the scripture we could not see, and tell us "In Romans, about the 6th chapter, a few verses down, it says..." and then recite it to a dumbfounded audience.
This was the same guy who I will never forget said, "pay your kids to learn verses. It doesn't matter how, or what motivates them. They are getting the word in their hearts."
Now I can hear the naysayers. "Pay my kids to learn God's Word? Perish the thought."
This is where I would side with the "we don't worship the Bible" syndicate. God gave us this Word to learn and learn well. These words change lives. It changed the life of this man standing right in front of me at that little chapel in the woods, to the an astounding degree.
What I am saying, and I sincerely hope I am not wrong, that it isn't, for sure, beneath me to bribe my kids to learn it with treats or money, and I don't think it's "beneath scripture."
Having said that. In our house we have what we call "Judo Verses". They learn the verses, they get a prize. We learn them around the time we go to Judo class every week (so we don't forget). We don't have the blessing of Awana in our area, so we connect it to something.
This fall we'll learn this. To show you how little I had to work on it, I pulled it straight outta my own Bible study by Beth Moore (The Quest).
Tape it up on the kitchen cupboard. Done.
Lastly, I know that Americans are super over their heads, most of the time, with stuff to do, but if you are like me and you don't have access to Awana, i.e. a group of peers for your kids challenging them to learn scripture, my friend started this super simple format for neighborhood outreach and verse memory, and I just have to pass along the method.
All that it takes is one hour per week, one friend to help you from your church, a passage of scripture to memorize and a pot of chili (or whatever. We rotate the same meals and start over every month. Nobody is joking around about streamlining. Nobody.). She, in sincere seriousness, starts at 5:30 on Wednesday nights, her husband sings a song to get things started, she does a little song and/or game over a verse or two, the kids split up to tell their verse to the likes of me (who brought the side toppings for potatoes and made sure the meal was set up), feeds 'em, and kicks all the neighborhood kids (unchurched kids who were actually excited to come) out the door at 6:30 with a passage started of God's Word, and a belly full. That's literally it.
Scripture memory with peers- check
Feed people- check
Show God's Love- check check check
one. stinking. hour.
None of those things have worked out, except for the having kids part. I wanted five, I have two beautiful boys.
I am not pushed out of my box very easily, but the first shock came when I discovered my husband had no intention of moving from Germany back to the states, he was staying in a place where homeschooling is illegal. I might not have been in panic mode, exactly, but I was definitely relieved to discover that there was a Christian school within 2 hours (just kidding, but for real) from my house and quickly made friends with like minded isolationists. ;) Fear of the outside world, I have come to discover, is not a proper motivation for Christian schooling or homeschooling. "Greater is He that is in you." I would definitely argue, however, that it can be a better education. The same God that is over your school or church, is the same God over that scary place over there.
The hardest blow, as far as schooling was concerned, came when I petitioned a different Christian school to accept my children for the following year. The youngest one they would take on, the oldest one "had a learning disability, we won't take him." I. was. devastated.
It wasn't that I didn't know that he had difficulties, that was why I wanted him to repeat a grade at a different school. It wasn't that I had not had conversations with his teachers on the subject of comprehension. It was that he was rejected from a Christian school. My catch all. My "rock of ages".
Talk about the earth caving in. For a solid month I was searching for schools. I had to get him out of the current situation he was in. He was just sinking, present, but not there. Email lines were in a frenzy with the family, I'm hearing "there's nothing wrong with him" to "homeschool!" <---technically illegal, but feeling so absolutely hopeless over the whole situation and very tempted to break the law. (He was coming home every day telling me how dumb he was, how his brain didn't work). I had to find a place that A) wasn't a drop off zone for kids who didn't fit in the mold B) a place where he was accepted for who he was, met where he was, and believed in.
Before I tell you how God answered, I guess I need to tell you what He did in me. It wasn't pretty. I was a wreck. I wanted to dust off my feet right in front of that school and leap right on out of the whole German school system. There was no consolation. There was nothing anyone was going to be able to tell me to make me feel better, yet, that was precisely when everyone had an opinion, as if timed, amIright?
I laid on my beautiful son's bed, tears streaming down my face. In that brokenness came heart redemption. It was an opportunity to lay down more of my life. It was the opportunity to see, though I could not see at all. Rest, when there was no place to lay my head. Quite the conundrum. But it is to these conflicting places God calls us.
As a last resort I halfheartedly walked down to the tiny, one building school in our town (there is a fellow believer in my town, who had been praying we would come and be a light, incidentally.) I sat in the Principal's office wondering if I should even mention what had been said about my oldest, as she was inquiring as to why we had all of the sudden decided to come (she knew where we lived and who we were....creepyish). I gave my explanations as plainly as I could, striving to not sound like a lunatic who would drive an extra 2 hours a day, just to go to a different school, that I now wanted to remove my kids from suddenly. "I want my oldest to repeat." Those inquisitive eyes. "We were turned down from another school because they say he has a learning disability."
She inquired some more. Well, can he read? Yes. Does he know German? Yes. The inquisition turned to a subject change. "I am going to need you to fill out these papers and turn them into me soon...."
"Wait, what?....I mean, is it going to be a problem?"
In her German way, "I don't see why." Off to the subject at hand, emergency numbers, etc.
"It can't be." I thought to myself. Just like that.
What I knew then was that God had stopped the search. Stopped the driving for hours on the road. Stopped the always seeking to isolate into Christendom, and was endeavoring to stop the fear, and begin a new work in my life and my son's lives.
However, I could not very well send my oldest to another year of sitting in class but with his eyes glazed over and his mind far away, and now with little spiritual influence from his teachers. No, we aren't just going to repeat things, hopelessly. We will try to improve the situation with resources available to us. This isn't against God, this is WITH God.
I believe that while I was searching through possible homeschooling curriculum,(I am telling you, a full month of frenzy), He brought me to "GEMM". Check it out over in the links, as well. Keane has started the program with flying colors and great enthusiasm.
I also have found new enthusiasm for, not just my kids, but other kids in my church to be in the Word. We recently went camping with a small group of kids from our church, all attending public school. Right before my eyes, my kids were surrounded with their peers...going through the same thing. One is transitioning to a public school at the same time my kids are. We talked about staying in God's Word, and keeping each other accountable, you know, between the hiking and the swimming and the marshmallows. As a side, wonderful note, the oldest boy took my son, MY SON with bones like stones, and minimal swimming skills, to the deep end of the pools and OFF THE HIGH DIVE, or the one next to the highest! He was so proud of himself, he insisted I retell the story, I think so that he could actually believe he did it.
God was not asking me to stop intervening. OH no. But intervene His way, and for His kingdom. Not asking me to give up. Nope. He wanted me to give up my way. My viewpoint. My perspective for His.
btw, His is way better. srsly.
17 March 2017
07 March 2017
04 March 2017
02 March 2017
The section with two blocks in the center represents emotional/relation perfection. Basically Jesus. Bad news, you won't ever rest here for long, good news, definitely, at least for Christians, it's ready to aim at, through Him.
Always forgiving. Prepared to confront in an informed, rational manner while maintaining the dignity of the other person. Kind. Generous with resources. Always looking for ways to invest in the other's wellbeing without giving over their own soul. Ladies, your husbands don't get your identity. Normal men don't want this anyway. Avoid the four block and stay out of that kind of desperation. Jesus never relented His identity to anyone and they threatened his life and killed him for it. However, He honored His Father and obeyed unto death. He had given up his will, not his soul. One frees you the other leaves you hopeless.
Back to Perfection. This person loves unconditionally. They are committed to integrity and they seek restoration even through personal sacrifice. *le sigh*