Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My God Shall Supply All Your [Homeschooling] Needs

God taught me a long time ago to trust Him for food, clothing and shelter. I've never been without those things.


But somehow I had this idea that He would only provide the...

bare necessities, the simple bare necessities...

I wish I had a music note emoticon I could stick in whenever I've burst into song.

Anyway, I knew God would provide me with the bare (American) necessities, and I sort of thought He might, if He were feeling whimsical, give me some stuff in addition to that, if He were having a warm, fuzzy moment.

Beyond that persisted a nagging fear that if I asked for anything more...

(I've got clothing... I've got shelter... I've got my food... who-could-ask-for-anything-more...)

...I would go straight to purgatory.( And I don't even believe in purgatory!) Like He would say, "That's it. You have too many needs. You're outta here." Enter lightning bolt.

Well, coming into our second year of homeschooling, the spirit was willing, but the wallet was weak. We needed materials. But because asking God for them was apparently presumptuous, I figured I'd better get to work providing them on my own.

By worrying.

I made a spreadsheet in May of what we'd need for the coming year. And I worried over it.

I worried all through the month of June and well into July. No materials in sight, but heaps of worry.

And then my sister loaned me Sonlight's K Core for Jonathan, music stuff, art stuff, Spanish stuff, science stuff. I found a complete Core 2 for James on eBay with the easy readers I wanted to use for Jonathan.

Heading into August with half of James's curriculum and most of Jonathan's curriculum already in hand, I worried still.

Oh, me of little faith.

By mid-August, my stomach was constantly in knots, and I was in sore need of some surrendering.

But who wants to do that? No fun at all. I begrudged God a cranky prayer. "Fine, Abba. I surrender. Fine."

Then I emailed my cousin, Angi, mother to six of my darling first-cousins-once-removed, and ten-year homeschool veteran. She's my homeschool guru.

You know what Angi said?

You know what I usually do is scope out the school year with all the books/curriculum I would like to have and then I pray. I tell the Lord, "here's my list, you know what I really need. I know there's some extra stuff on here, but would you please provide our school books for the year, thank you." And so far, after most of 10 years we've had school every year! God always provides. Sometimes I jump the gun and freak out and try and make it happen so I don't worry down to the last day of school "starting", and usually right after I've bought something God provides something else that I end up using! So make a list, entrust it to Him and send me your list too and I'll see what I've got.

How did she know I was freaking out? I looked back over the email I'd sent her. It sounded casual to me. But she saw right through it. So here's what I said to Angi in reply.

First of all, I'd really, really, really like to say I *did* surrender our curriculum to the Lord and I wasn't freaking out about it.

But that wouldn't be entirely true.

I freaked out about it, and then realized I was freaking out about it, and then sort of gave God a half-hearted surrender-ish kind of nod, and then grumbled.

I don't think that counts as actual surrender.

So I can't say I didn't need to hear what you said. The fact is you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

So thank you.

And I loved your simple, straightforward approach. Just make a list and give it to God. Okay. I can do that.

Should be pretty exciting, actually.

I went back to the Excel spreadsheet I now had memorized (because I'd pored over it so many times hoping what I needed would magically materialize), offered it up to God, cried a few tears, and watched my Abba Father replace my desperate worry with a spark of sublime hope.

Then I drove out to Angi's. Not only did she loan me most of what I still needed, but she offered me parts I'd already purchased during the freaking out stage. Just like in her email! She had the easy readers I'd bought for Jonathan, she had the Core 2 I'd bought for James. She had all the advanced readers I still needed for James, she had language arts materials for both boys, she had science for James, and she loaded me up with Math U See, a curriculum neither Jeff nor I had even considered but which turns out to be the perfect method for this non-mathy-mama to teach to her mathy children.

I blubbered my gratitude to God most of the way home from Angi's house, and promised Him boldly I would never doubt Him again. (ha ha)

Then I watched for the next two weeks, as in His time, He provided what I still needed from my list. Every last item. Some things just as I'd listed them, other things by showing me I didn't need them after all.

I Heard Good News Today? Didn't need it because the Sonlight IG my sister loaned me was from a previous year that didn't use it.

Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Hill? James would run screaming from anything with girl names in the title anyway.

Getty-Dubay Handwriting? Got it from Sonlight on my last day as a Core Sonlighter with a 10% discount and free shipping. Cheaper at Sonlight, I might add, than at Amazon.

Art supplies?

Clay? Jeff's mom does pottery and will gladly contribute not only clay, but also her stellar art skills.

Create-A-Calendar? Dollar Tree.

Math Manipulatives? Jeff made them.

And we started school yesterday...

...lacking nothing.

(Except worry.)

"And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." ~Philippians 4:19 (niv)