Psalm 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
Just this week:
My kids had really runny noses. I became determined to get ALL that yucky stuff out of their systems, and I implemented nose blowing times at the top of each hour. With these determined efforts, nobody’s yucky nose turned into ear, throat or sinus infections. Victory! I counted this as a benefit of homeschooling because even with best intentions, a teacher wouldn’t have been able to give this much attention to my kiddos. Plus, I let them sleep in a bit to get over this little bug.
We met a group of homeschooling families at a park at 2:00 in the afternoon. This simple event was filled with so many blessings. First of all, we were able to go at a time when the park was deserted. Secondly, some of the kids were able to strike up a great game of basketball, which gave them fun exercise. Others brought out art books and drew whimsical pictures while lying on a quilt in the shade. Still others played a great imaginative game on the park equipment. Thirdly, we moms got to visit, laugh, and encourage one another in the middle of a week. Before we knew it, two hours had passed, and we reluctantly packed up to head home for supper preparations.
Yesterday, which was a Monday, some friends from our old home town visited. We were able to finish our schoolwork in the morning and then welcome them into our home and to a trip to our neighborhood pool. We had fun catching up, playing together, and then enjoying a fun meal that evening. My kids not only got to have a fun day on what would have ordinarily been a typical Monday, but they also got to learn about hospitality by helping to get the house ready and prepare some food. These experiences help them to taste and see the goodness of the Lord, especially his gifts of friendship and hospitality. They also teach them how to practically show God’s love by opening up our home and fostering friendships.
And then there are those tender, heartfelt benefits. The ability to say, “I love you so much, and God loves you even more than I do,” countless times during a difficult school subject is invaluable. The time that I’m afforded to sit down and really listen to my teenager tell me about her concerns in her social life is a gift that I will never be able to measure. Telling my son that I see how hard he is working and that I know he will continue to make progress is changing his life in ways that I will never know. These are truly immeasurable benefits that God has given to us.
I’m sure your week consisted of a cumulative series of events like these. I share these very ordinary snippets from my week because I am trying to see and count my blessings in the part of my life which is homeschooling. I find that looking for God’s faithfulness cultivates joy and rest in my soul. I already understand the academic and practical blessings. I know some of the statistics of ACT scores and I enjoy not packing lunches and not sitting in a pick-up line every day.
But lately I’ve been seeing some new positives that maybe I’ve overlooked in the past: the benefits of being able to rest and get back to good health more quickly, of enjoying the outdoors and sports with friends, and being able to host dear people on a Monday afternoon were just some of unassuming, everyday things that surprisingly bring so much joy to my family. And I’m especially treasuring the seemingly small benefits of encouragement and relationship building, which deep down I know are the biggest treasures of all.
What are some of the hidden blessings in your life that come from this lifestyle of homeschooling? I encourage you today to give it a little thought, write down a few recent joys, or maybe ask your family to contemplate this question tonight around the supper table. If you’re struggling to see, ask God to show you. He’s so faithful to us!
Psalm 34:8a Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
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