"A study by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development found that children do best if they're cared for by someone who is genuinely concerned about their well-being and development, and who makes sure they're doing a variety of age-appropriate activities. They needn't be enrolled in an organized preschool for that."
Taken from this babycenter website.
I read babycenter.com updates for both my children (have been since they were in my belly) and this week's article really encouraged me. I am not sending my daughter to pre-school and have felt a disapproving vibe from some.
Like I have mentioned many times in my blog in times past, as a young girl I never dreamed of being a mother. Honestly I just always pictured my future ministry career and figured family would fit in there somehow. Now to be a stay-at-home mom of 2 little munchkins homeschooling my 3 year old- that really would have blown my 16 year old mind!
One particular evening when I was pregnant with Sitora, I sat crying on my bed. I kept asking the Lord, "I don't want to mess up this child. I want to raise him/her well. Please help me not to mess up, Lord!" Instantly I felt Jesus speak softly to my heart this simple phrase: "I will teach you how to be a mother." It was the most beautiful thing I could ever dream to hear in a response to my question.
Those words have resonated deep within my soul these past few years of child raising. Yes I love books, advice from friends, and blogs that give wonderful ideas and inspiration for being a mother. But truth is, the Lord has been my number one source for motherhood training.
Many things in the past few years relating to motherhood for me have been purely inspiration from the Holy Spirit! Many of these things I have implemented into our lives and then come to find them in a book or blog and think, "Oh, I was already doing that!"
There are, of course, loads of ideas and opinions I have come to form due to research and discussion. I am eternally thankful for these sources. But I am not the kind of person who will follow the crowd. I do my own thing depending on how the Lord leads me. If I am going to do something, then by golly, I'm going to do it! And just because someone tells me to do something, doesn't mean I will. I think this might have something to do with being the first-born. I like figuring things out myself and I usually don't want help. (I have learned over the years to accept help from others and ask for advice... it's been a long journey though!)
So if someone said to me, "Hey, you should homeschool your kids because of x, y, and z." I'm not going to say, "Alright!" Nope. If I'm going to do something, it's because I've decided to on my own and I know it's what God wants.
And lately I've felt very strongly that the Lord is directing me to homeschool Sitora.
I have no clue if I will homeschool her for 5 years or 12 years. All I know is I am to obey the Lord. And you know what? I'm really excited. I've been working on "school" with her for ages anyways, so it just feels natural to continue.
My heart burns with passion to disciple my daughter. Like Jesus would. I want her to learn how to hear Jesus speaking to her. I want her to learn how to study/memorize Scripture and apply it to her life. I want her to know her talents and giftings so she can serve the Lord with excitement. I want her to know how to serve others.
I want her to know how to cook, clean, host, care for others.
I want her to know how to explore, dream, imagine.
I want to be her teacher. I want to be the one mentoring her.
I was the one to see her face light up the first time she wrote her name by herself. I want to be there so see many more "firsts" in her education!
You see, this excitement has to be from God, because I normally do not consider myself a teacher. Yes I teach Bible studies and worship leading, but not school subjects. But when I teach my daughter, I can feel Him leading me. I know He is giving me the strength and wisdom. And He will continue to do so in years to come.
One thing that is important to me is that Sitora has a firm foundation in her faith. I think it's important that if she is going to be "light in the darkness" (sharing the truth of the gospel through word or deed) then she needs to be equipped. Going to church once or twice a week isn't what it takes to disciple her. I need to spend quality time all throughout the day teaching her and being an example by my actions as well. And that's the beauty of keeping her at home. I have so many wonderful opportunities to drop everything and speak into her life if I feel the moment calls for it.
One thing I love about our job as pastors is Sitora is involved in ministry with us! We invite people over to our house, she gets to sit in on youth group in our living room, she hears me practicing on guitar and piano, we pray for the people in our lives together with her. I pray that she sees Jesus in us every moment of the day and yearns for that in her life.
Sitora Faye means "star of faith". That is my deepest desire- that she would be a shining light of hope to the lost and broken in this world. That she would illuminate with the love of Jesus.
Thank you Lord, for showing me how to be a mother. I couldn't ask for a better teacher.