Out of my mind scared!
Standing in the kitchen just staring with blank abandon out the window of the screened door.
Waiting and watching as the skies went from sunny and fair to dark and eerily quiet in what seemed like only moments.
As I stared, I would wonder to myself, "When is it going to happen? How much closer will it get? Is it going to hit here?"
I was 4, maybe 5 years old living in West Texas where tornadoes were commonplace.
In all those times of waiting and watching for one, I never once remember my mother allowing me to bide the time out on my swing set.
She never taught me how to keep myself safe from one by pointing me to the best place of refuge in the backyard and telling me, "Now baby when it hits, you just run under there and hold on for dear life!"
And she never once threw me into the eye of the storm.
What she did instead was prepare her household.
She wiped the tub dry.
She grabbed the weather radio, which she made sure always had fresh batteries in it.
She gathered candles, matches, and a flashlight.
I don't remember for certain, but there may have been water, food and toys too.
I do recall that my favorite stuffed bear was always with me.
She stripped the sheets from my bed, and in what I now realize was supernatural strength supplied to her by God for that very moment, she pulled my queen sized mattress off my bed and all the way into our bathroom.
And when the skies turned almost black as night, and the pressure in the air got so heavy that we could feel it, she lovingly hustled us into the bathroom.
The bathroom in the middle of the house. It was the safest place in our home to wait out the storm, or to hopefully survive through it.
And then she sheltered us.
She instructed us into the bathtub and pulled the heavy mattress over our heads and she sheltered us.
When the whirling winds came, and panic would grip my little heart, my Momma would tenderly encourage me. She'd comfort me with such love.
I can still hear her asking me with a joyful lilt to her voice, almost like it was a game we were going to play for the next few minutes, "What verses can you think of that we can say together?"
When I had said all of the ones I knew, she'd share one of her favorites, or we'd sing together.
She sheltered me.
People sometimes like point out to me that we are sheltering our children by homeschooling them. There are a myriad of reasons that they give to tell
(Why no one ever talks with Shane about this, I haven't a clue. It's always me. Always.)
Finally I know.
In my soul, and from the depths of my heart.
I know how to respond. Finally!
Without a doubt, we are sheltering our children.
Just as my sweet Momma sheltered me from those storms.
There. I've said it.
Not only have I said it, I've embraced the truth of it!
We want to give our children the pure milk of the Word. On a daily basis, and not in a 15 minute daily devotional time...but in every single opportunity that we have throughout the day. (1 Peter 2:2)
And what JOY it is to see that they're getting it!
Just as exciting is the fact that they're chewing on some choice meat as well. (Hebrews 5:12)
Yes, we shelter.
The day will come for them to be closer to the tornadoes of life, but it isn't now.
I was so challenged by Professor Kevin Smith's message that I posted yesterday. In many, many ways! (Thank you, Professor Smith for your message of exhortation!)
We have been called by God to homeschool our children, and we can't quit.
When God calls His children to a task, to a commission, if we want to be faithful to Him we don't get to quit!
Yesterday was such a precious homeschooling day. I hope that I hold the memory of it in my heart forever.
It was a rainy and cool day here in TN, and the kids and I spent every minute of our lessons time on our screened in back porch.
We sat in the big swing that Daddy just put out there for us, all bundled up in blankets and snuggled together, and we studied God's Word through our latest inductive Bible study.
Brennan was following along in her book, her sweet little finger tracing under each word that I read and then she just took the reading reins. She didn't ask, she just went for it!
"So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers.
Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me; if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left."
Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar.
So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward.
Thus they separated from each other. Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom.
Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD."
It was exactly as Caedmon had done a few years earlier when he was her age.
There were very few words that she needed help with, and I gotta tell you...my Mother's heart wanted to explode with joy!
She's gotten it! She's exploded the code of reading!
And I had the great privilege of being cozied up right next to her when everything clicked in her little mind! (Thank you, Jesus!)
She's been reading beginner books. Some Abeka readers, some "Hop on Pop" kind of books, but to read the Word of God with such ease...words like Egypt and and Sodom and Canaan!
I'm so proud of her I could POP! Maybe I should write a new book..."Pop Mom, Pop!"
Shane has been concerned because she hasn't been reading much up till now. I kept reminding him that when Caedmon was 8, reading clicked for him. I suppose it's easy to forget when he really soared with it, because it seems he's been reading forever.
He's now easily reading at a High School level, and comprehending and remembering all of it.
So I'd tell Shane, "She'll get it. It will come. I can already see her progress. Please trust me."
Years ago when we started homeschooling I read Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore's work, and I believed and trusted their philosophies for educating children.
And they were right! (Insert great sounds of exultation here!)
But I digress.
The heart of this post?
Yes we're sheltering, but we're also teaching them and loving them and nurturing them and as a rich and amazing blessing, we get to soak in every minute that we can with our children!
All the while, our kids are getting the richest education that we believe we could possibly provide for them.
"Dear Lord, please help me remember to soak them in, and not to get so focused on the doing that the soaking is forgotten. Time feels like it's flying by, Lord!"
This picture was taken eons ago, or so it seems.
While God's calling on your life may be different than the one He has placed upon ours, I can assure you of this...
We are called to homeschooling, and we can't quit.
Much love to you today in Christ Jesus,