of the Mind
POEM BY BARB SHELTON ~
It's TRUE! I actually wrote that mySELF!!!)
are in green
font and a green box,
this pink bear:
Answers from other moms
the same color box,
this watering bear:
and comments from me
NOT in a box, are in this
font and blue,
have this little bear beside them:
start out with a comment from a
mom who wrote to me...
"I have been working on "A Season of Re-Education and Renewing of the Mind" for about a year
now. When I started this season, I thought I would be finding out how to fix
what wasn't working in our homeschool. Through all of Barb's
(and others') resources in the course, God is helping me to understand what true education is all about. The Lord is doing a work in MY life, so that I can do His will for our family. Praise God!"
Pam Ickert; Homeschooling
of 4 for 4 years; WA
wanted to start out with the above comment because it so perfectly epitomizes
what this season is all about! We often start out with certain
expectations, but as we move along the path God has for us, we start seeing
something quite different! Be open to the possibility of this happening,
no matter how far you feel you have (or actually have) come in and with
of what's on this page was actually taken from ongoing conversations on the SHF-L list.
But I have heard many versions of these questions from many moms over the many
years I have been homeschooling. Because several other
moms (besides ME!) had some very good answers, I wanted to share them with you
because I know you will be blessed and encouraged as much as the ones to whom
the responses were originally addressed. I've woven in my own comments as well so they'd be "in context" with
everything else. It may be a bit
confusing as to who's saying what, but it doesn't really matter; just read, enjoy,
and glean whatever the Lord has for you!
here's the first concern we're going to address...
I'm a little worried (ok, A LOT worried!) about
not doing anything with my children for
any length of time since that's
basically what we
have been doing for the last two years due to "burn-out".
here's how Joan, a homeschooling mom in Wisconsin, responded...
I hate to be an advice giver, because everyone is different. But truly, you have
not done nothing for the past two years. Your
children have learned everything about you. Can you decide to put some time into learning something about them?
Don't kid yourself, your children have been learning in spite of what you've done or not done.
(Learning "what" is the question.) So you might as well learn to start enjoying them. Collect the excellent books that Barb recommends as you
can afford them. But don't put off following the Spirit in living daily life with your children. That must not wait.
(AMEN!!!! from Barb!!!)
I guess I am starting to
think less about doing, and more about being. God has shown me that my job as a mom
must be enjoying my children. They must enjoy me, and
they must know in their hearts that I love to be with them.. I can honestly say
today that I enjoy my children as much as my friends.
Face it, "schoolwork" (as the world knows it) is hardly a tool to knit hearts together. And I find that I must keep searching
can I knit our hearts together today? Maybe I'm selfish, but for now, that's my key purpose in life
~ a family whose hearts are knit
together. Is this the end "fruit" in Re-education? I don't know ~ when do
we know? After our children are all grown and gone, and the
grandchildren arrive? I don't suppose you want to wait that long to get some advice!
Follow the Spirit today. How would He have you enjoy your children today?
How would He have you be so that your children enjoy you? Surely that must be the path to follow in for today. What is "school"
~ even homeschool ~ if it is not a real part of you?
I hope I have
encouraged you a smidgen, not discouraged you further. Barb has a phrase in her
Guide-a-log that spoke volumes to me: REDEEM YOUR FAMILY.
Isn't this a biblical thing to do? Redeem means "to make good, "
take something of little or no value and replace it with something of great value."
Beg God to give you a vision for what can be so that you
can get on the right path. Don't allow fear to stop you. Barb recommends that you start (after the
Guide-a-log or articles here at this website) with two booklets: "A
Time to Seek God", and "Discerning of Spirits." These are very inexpensive.
Do it, you have everything to lose! Let God work in your
family for good. Seek Him and what He would have you do.
of what's in the Guide-a-log is now at my website! Here's the Homeschool Guide-a-log Table of Contents
if you'd like to see what all it contains. (Note: Not all of it is online;
there are some things I haven't gotten permission for yet.) ...
follows is actually an ongoing conversation...
I don't even know what communicating
to their hearts IS let alone how to DO IT! Isn't there is a book out by Gary Smalley about reclaiming a child's heart that has been
lost? Has anyone
read this one? As a matter of fact, it may even be one of the books Barb
Yes it is! And it's excellent!
It's called The Key to Your Child's Heart.
(We sell it on
It's the second item down as I write this, but we add and delete
resources, and I will not remember to change this link on one of the
400+ pages at my website! So if it's not the second item down,
just do a little looking and you'll see it!)
You won't really need the stuff
in the latter part of the book as that stuff is really for those whose kids are in school, but everything before that (and you'll know when it starts not
applying) is absolutely excellent! Many years ago, when I first read it, God used the checklist of offenses (that Gary Smalley or someone had collected
from kids) in my life to open my eyes to what was really happening in my
relationships with my two oldest. I ended up taking each of my kids aside separately, going
through the list with them, and tearfully repenting for all of
the things they, too, had against me. It helped give them words for things that they felt, but didn't know how to express to me!!!
It was like a
"roto-rooter" to our relationship!!!
And for me, it was one more trip to the cross!
I would like to step aside and point out something here... I would like you to
re-read this mom's first words here: "Boy! Is that where I'm at! Although I don't even know what communicating to their hearts
is let alone how to DO IT." OK, do you see into her heart here? Do you see what's
(And much thanks to this precious mom for being so open and vulnerable!!!) Many ask "How can I
know where to start in my "Season of Re-education and Renewing of the Mind"?"
THIS IS IT!!!! The Holy Spirit is speaking to this mom loud and clear!!!!
It's not this angelic tingly thing (though that can happen too!), but the Holy
Spirit is quickening this issue in her heart! THIS is exactly where she should start!
And THIS kind of stuff (and lots of other good, real-life stuff
too) is exactly what this "season" is all about! I'm so thankful for this real-life example to SHOW you!
We are all in different places. This is why I couldn't just give you a perfect, one-size-fits-all "To
Do" list for this season. A little scarier this way, isn't it? But it's oh
so much better to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Any mom who
is "hungry" is going to soak any of these books up like a sponge!!! ~ because it's right where she's
at, right where God is currently dealing with her!
It's not going to
just be "cerebral" to her! I guarantee that if those of you who
don't know where to start just go to God and ask, He will lead you too!
I wanted to point this out to help you recognize what His leading will look like! Isn't this GOOD!?!?!?
Please pray for me ladies.
I know I am at this point because I didn't
to God before. Pray that I will listen now.
already are! Just keep listening! Plus, I don't
think we need to ask anyone to pray that we will listen ~ that is our choice!
We can ask them to pray that we'll hear Him clearly (which is largely due to
our own honing of our ability to hear God's voice) and that any spiritual
hindrances to his voice being clearly discerned would be silenced. But if
we want to listen ~ all we need to do is JUST DO IT!
I have never felt such a drawing to God
all my Christian
Yee-hah!!!! You have NO idea what a wonderful place you
are in and how much of God's POWER you are releasing in your life simply because you are being obedient!!!
It's exciting and terrifying at the same
Yes it is! This is the unique
and amazing "fear of the Lord."
What is He going to tell me? Have I been wrong in homeschooling all these
He may tell you that, but you know what?
That's OK! God can't redeem anything until the "old" is admitted to and exposed to His healing transforming power!
And He NEVER condemns!!! So if that feeling starts creeping in there,
resist (and reject!) it in the name of Jesus!!!
Will He have me put them in school?
I can't imagine He would
bring you out of Egypt only to have you go back!
That's not "the word of the Lord" ~ just my opinion!
Have I just let it go too far?
"Is there anything too difficult
for God?" Of course the answer is NO!!!! God is in the REDEEMING business BIG TIME! He has
redeemed toooooo much absolutely hopeless-appearing junk in my life for me to think
that ANYthing is too hard for Him! You will just need to keep doing what you're doing; draw closer
and closer and closer so that you can hear His voice as He leads
you through this wilderness one step at a time. He knows how weak you are!
If He didn't know how to lead particularly weak people, I wouldn't be here!!!! (or have any good stories to tell, or any encouragement to give!)
Maybe I am so afraid to listen because I truly am willing to do whatever He
that IS where you are ~ or were! You can be afraid all you want, but just don't let
it "reign"! You don't have to stay "stuck" anywhere!!! And in the meantime, take those fears to Jesus' feet and let His
blood cover and His grace transform them! ... To the "redeemed" stuff
above, Debbie C. responded:
This just had me in tears! God is using all these posts to move
and shake me! How do you deal with the sometimes overpowering guilt that comes along with these
issues?! I know the enemy uses it to drag us down, but
how can we (me) get set free from it? Thanks to all you sisters who are being so transparent & letting God use
here is the response to "Carrie" (or any mom struggling with the same
thing) from Amy B., another homeschooling mom on the SHF-L list. (She
identifies herself as "the long-winded one," but I take that as a
positive! She always has wonderful things to say!
been thinking about your questions...
I don't have any super answers for you, but I didn't want you to think
you were all alone in the struggle.
share that last one because this is the kind of support the moms on my lists
typically give each other. If you do not have like-minded people to
support and encourage you in this "off the beaten trail" walk, here is
a good place to find fellowship! (See this
page at my website for all the lists and boards that are based on my books
and message.) And moving right along...
I have heard and read
about this "season"
of life that we need to go through. How long does it take? How do you
know you are truly done with it?
hate to break the bad news, but we will probably never be
done! Of course there is are times that are more intense than
others, maybe a month or 3 or 6 of more "struggle"; but it's all part of the big story of learning to listen to God and know Him
better and obey Him more closely and joyfully. It's like we're steering a
boat... it takes lots of effort and concentration to turn
the whole thing around, but once we're on course, it usually takes
only fairly minor corrections to keep on the right way. Of course
there are those pesky winds and currents to deal with, but... well,
you get my drift! (hahaha ~ I know, that was pretty bad.)
During this more overwhelming time when you're trying to sort everything out and to start hearing more of the Lord's voice in
it all, can you implement a simplified schedule with your boys?
(How old are they again?) If they are good and willing readers,
much of "your" work will be done for you as they read good books
and YOU work on your own reading and study. (Even if they are
not-so-willing!) A short "table time" of math, writing, perhaps
typing... and then they can develop their own projects if they have some in
I have LOTS of ideas
and helps in my Homeschool Jumpstart Navigator for Younger Children!
I struggle so much with obedience sometimes in some issues and self
discipline too. I feel like a poor example to my kids so often. It almost
seems too late with my kids, but the Lord has a plan in all this.
That's my feeling too. Mine are 11, 12, and just 15. And
know from my most recent "chore" post that I have that "poor
feeling too. Like "bad mom" is written across my forehead in red
I try to "push on toward the goal" as much as possible, forgetting
lies behind and looking forward to what lies ahead!
Instead of continuing to struggle, you (we) need to stop
struggling and surrender your will to God. "When I was a child, I thought
like a child..." but now it's time to grow up ~ into the full stature of
what the Lord has for us. I have heard (and like) the saying "We are only
one repentance away from experiencing full peace." We do not need another seminar or any more
"knowledge" ~ we just need to obey.
If I had to pick one or two of Barb's things
to purchase next, what would
AM going to purchase from Barb, because I
don't want to lose her as an awesome homeschool resource.)
This gal has obviously read my article "Frugal
vs. Cheap" and/or the article "Why
Don't You Discount" here at my website.
... And next, here are a few suggestions from Amy Beckel, who calls
herself "the long-winded one."
You mentioned things for the boys "school." What about one of the
Classics books? Or the book It Couldn't Just Happen? or the Book of
Barb: We sell all of these.]
Just some suggestions
from another mom who has sold several textbooks.
And yes, it was hard at first, but it gets
better. I'm sure others here have great ideas for you too!
Let's close with a comment from Susan Hitchcock, whose heart you've heard at
other places here at my website... (In fact, click on the graphic in her
box, and the one directly below my closing words to get to two wonderful items she has
written! WARNING!!! Her enthusiasm is very contagious, so if
you are feeling a bit "down in the mouth" today, and really don't want
to feel any better, or feel hopeful, then do NOT read these pages!
God is doing so much through your course,
Barb, that sometimes I feel my
head is going to
because I'm thinking so much!
I've really learned so much on HOW TO LEARN from your
course! It excites me because I truly think I'm going to be that HOMESCHOOLED
MOTHER that Marilyn Howshall talks so much about!
Eager and excited to learn right along with those kiddos! ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!
I hope that all of this has been an
to you as you proceed through,
considering putting yourself through my
Renewing of the Mind.
a season of
planting, sowing, and nurturing
precede the harvest.
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