From birth to approximately 6th grade, my goal was to advertise the joy of wonderful books by reading aloud each day. If the book bored us in the early years, it was tossed aside. I knew there would be plenty of time to enforce assigned reading in the late middle school and high school years.
But the early years are meant for falling in love with reading aloud. And why not fall in love with reading aloud in the early years? All of education involves or begins with reading. By the time our children reached late middle school, my goals were that they are motivated to take on a complete education and know that all I required was for each child to do their very best. I was well aware that some of my children had academic weaknesses but, the goal always remained: do your best!
At this point, I need to ask all of you the same question I asked myself every new school year for twenty-three years: How am I doing in living the best I can live? This question is so broad that it is almost overwhelming to even begin to answer. So let’s focus on the most important aspect of our lives: our personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
As the mom and teacher, you are the one person your kids will witness day in and day out. I am sixty years old and, I have learned that none of us can consistently pour into anyone’s life from an empty cup. Our children will know if we are faking it. It’s funny how our children can see right through us. On a horrible morning of homeschooling, my then twelve-year-old son blurted out, “Mom! Have you had your quiet time today? You haven’t been very kind this morning!” He called it! He was right. I had not stopped to give the day over to the Lord and, it showed!
So, as you walk into September, I extend to you the same challenge I carried with me over the decades of homeschooling! C.S. Lewis once wrote: “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.” How true is that statement for a mom! There will never be an easy time to make time to meet with our Savior. It will never be smooth sailing. Our daily lives have a way of screaming at us, “get to work!”
But I can absolutely say that our lives in Christ are more “caught than taught!”. What I mean is that a godly life lived before your children, because He has empowered you for the day, will be the greatest gift you can ever give to your children. Some of the notes I most treasure from my children are ones that have reminded me of this great truth. With tears in my eyes, I have opened notes from my four children thanking me for my growing relationship with God. My kids fully know how desperately I need my Savior and my time with Him each day. But they know I have a Savior that I pursue daily who saves me from all I need to be protected from!
“None of us can consistently pour into anyone’s life from an empty cup” Loretta Lambert