Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Little Things Mean a Lot

I chose not to pursue a career so I could homeschool my kids. I don’t believe women should never work, or that children should never be schooled in conventional ways. But the decision to homeschool has been right for my family.
If you’re in a position similar to mine, you may have sensed the message that because you are not a career woman, you’re not very important. Even in the church, we can get the impression that real ministry is outside the home, and raising our kids doesn’t amount to significant “Kingdom work.” Add to that the sometimes low view of single parents and you can find yourself feeling pretty invisible.
I used to think this contempt for mothering was a modern phenomenon brought on by feminism. Then I found a sermon by John Calvin, written in the 1500’s. He exhorted women “to take pains about housewifery, to make clean her children when they be arrayed, to kill fleas, and other such like.” (Don’t you love the killing fleas bit?!) He continues, “although this be a thing despised… such that many will not vouchsafe to look upon it, yet are they sacrifices which GOD accepteth & receiveth, as if they were things of great price and honourable.”* Apparently, even 500 years ago staying home and raising kids was “a thing despised.”
The wonderful truth is that God sees and applauds every little sacrifice we make. What the world deems worthless is precious to God. Every mess we clean up, every lesson plan we prepare, every trip to the park, every luxury denied us for the care of our children – God sees and values them all. Moreover, “Whoever gives a cup of water to the least of these My brethren,” says Jesus in Matthew 10:42, “shall certainly not lose his reward.” I believe many of heaven’s highest honors will go to people we’ve never heard of, people who simply chose to forsake their ambitions and love those God had placed in their lives.
And you never know what God might do with your decision to love. One promising itinerant preacher cut back his traveling schedule so he could invest in his son’s growth. His career never recovered from that decision. I’m sure he didn’t regret it, though – his son was Dr. Dobson!

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. – 1 Corinthians 15:58

*As recorded in A Sermon of Master John Caluine, vpon the first Epistle of Paul, to Timothie, published for the benefite and edifying of the Churche of God (London: G. Bishop and T. Woodcoke, 1579), excerpted from Calvin’s sermon on 1 Timothy 2:13-15.


7 comments:

  1. HELLO LISA.
    I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?
    THE WORK WE DO FOR THE LORD IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT WORK WE WILL EVER DO BECAUSE IT IS ETERNAL! SEWING GODLINESS INTO OUR CHILDREN WILL REAP A REWARD OF GOOD AND LASTING FRUIT. AS CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH GOD WE AND OUR CHILDREN HOLD A HIGH POSITION!

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  2. Thanks so much for your encouraging comment, J.P. God bless,
    Lisa

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  3. Hear, hear! (or is that supposed to be "here, here?") Loved this post/reminder of the value of our sacrifices. Now in my 17th or 18th? year of homeschooling. People keep asking me how much longer and what will I do next, so I started thinking about it and started taking steps toward my next "career." But I hope I never forget how much more important my first one is/was. I will truly miss it.

    Especially loved your mention at the end of the result of Dr. Dobson's father's sacrifice. He probably didn't have any idea for a long time why God would lead him to do that. God bless you too, Lisa.

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  4. Hi Lisa, what a great post! You know, when I was growing up I never really had a lot of exposure to families who were homeschooling. Just one in particular. But it wasn't until I moved to Western PA that my eyes were really opened to the whole concept. I'm shocked at how many people in this area choose to homeschool. I think it's wonderful and honestly it has had me thinking about it.

    I know one thing, the children who I've met that are homeschooled are unbelievably polite and well behaved...more so than some that are in the public school system.

    Blessings to you!
    Rosann

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  5. Thanks, Rosann! You'd be a great homeschool mom. There are a million ways to homeschool. It's nice because it's so adaptable. I have never regretted it. As my kids enter their teens, I'm seeing how homeschooling has aided their development in many ways I wasn't aware of previously. You could visit HSLDA.org for a wealth of info.
    eSee you! ( :

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  6. I SO appreciated this post! I was homeschooled myself through 9th grade, back when it was highly unpopular to do so. Then when my sons came along, for many reasons it was important to homeschool my youngest. It was the perfect fit for us, and I've never regreted it. I also wanted to share with you something that happened in my life. When my son completed highshool, I returned to school. I hadn't completed my own college previously, and discovered that my dream of a particular (rather ambitious) career had been kept in God's heart all those years. I am now pursuing a graduate degree, and intend to keep going walking through whatever doorway He opens before me.

    All that to say - yay for yet another single mom who is following the Good Shepherd! Remember that when your kids are grown, God may direct you to a career that you only dreamed of before. I'm nearly 50, and will be entering medical school in one more year. ALL because I allowed God to direct my priorities.

    Sending abundant blessings!

    ~RJ, the Hope Coach

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  7. Wow, RJ! What an inspiring story you have. I can't imagine tackling graduate school right now, but as you say, you never know what God will do! Your beautiful writings suggest you have a wealth of spiritual healing to pass on to others. It's so neat to see how God uses the pain of the past to strengthen both us and others. God bless!
    Lisa

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