Friday, October 10, 2008

A Burden To Support Christian Public School Moms


I'm sitting here getting ready to blog this and just awestruck to be here. The person I was a year ago would not only gasp at the change, she would have legalistically condemned it. I just can't believe the journey God has me on. It went from hating the public schools and absolutely sure it was not an option (or further more, a great evil) to sending my kids, to being involved there, and now to a burden I'm developing for christian mom's out there in the schools as well.


This burden is growing as I've slowly been reading vibes out there in the christian world on the subject of school. In researching I have found shocking opinions from christian people on public school. This one down right disturbed me. One man said to the Pitchard Family who wrote the book "Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive In Public School":


"You will lead millions straight to hell by encouraging them to go to government schools!"


Wow, I never knew there was such hostility out there toward our fellow believers. Since when did God get so small that He is unable to sanctify our children when they are in the public arena? Is He only in charge when we are keeping them at home? Does this mean that homeschool sends every child to heaven? Let's think about what were are saying here people. We are in the world and Jesus does not want us to be removed from it:

John 17:15
"I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.

Of course the world is evil! What do we expect?
1 John 5:19
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
1 John 4:3-5

But when someone doesn't say this about Jesus, you know that person has a spirit that doesn't come from God and is the enemy of Christ. You knew that this enemy was coming into the world and now is already here.
4Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God's Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world. 5These enemies belong to this world, and the world listens to them, because they speak its language.

We have a victor, and we do not need to fear or hide!
1 John 5:4-5

whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

John 16:33

These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


This thinking of always hiding away is a slippery slope when we carry it all the way through. Should we all just congregate and live together not exposing ourselves at all to the world? No? Just the the kids because they are the vulnerable ones right? Well, the fact is, we are all vulnerable and we all need to be strengthened in God's truth and learn to stand up for His gospel. Whether we are 5 or 95. Otherwise we will start looking more like a cult than Gospel. Good news is not meant to be kept to ones self. Otherwise it is news to no one.


If you are so called, you children, my children, can learn these truths as they grow up in the world just as thoroughly (if not more so) than if we shelter them from it for 18 years. Further more, if God calls you to keep them at home, he has a special purpose for doing that as well. What I have a problem with is Christians saying there is one formula to godliness in the area of schooling. God certainly puts limits on us, we are NOT to put limits on Him.


Many of us need to ask if we are answering God's call or just following a "look good" christian movement. More than anything we need to be saturated with the fact that God is bigger than the world and He will use everything for His glory in our children if they are called. We need to ask ourselves if we are putting our faith in a formula, or our faith in Him. Our faith is small when we put limits on God. Our faith is big the bigger we see God. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. Therefore homeschooling without faith, is not pleasing to God.


The fact is, I don't want to start a movement away from anything, including homeschooling. I want to start a movement toward something. God's will for women and their families. I don't understand, the more I read, why people think they are on different sides of the fence when they are all in the body of Christ. I don't' know why I thought that. I hope to save others from my dogmatic thinking. I hope to encourage a spirit of unity and help quiet the "mommy wars" on this subject. I don't even really understand why I've been given this burden but it's there let me tell ya. A woman should never have to feel condemned for not homeschooling, or even having to work for that matter, but that's another topic for another blog. If homeschool women are so legalistic in their writings that women in the schools are beginning to feel that way, then something is wrong. The encouraging of one another is not taking place. We have taken our eyes off Christ and put them on ourselves. Yes, even in the homeschool world personified by great "godliness" is taking it's eyes of Christ when it does this. I am not immune to it either let me tell you. Even when God called us to the public school I felt for a while so convinced that this was really the mission, I started to feel that my homeschool friends should join me. The Lord right away corrected this thinking and has set me on a path to pursuing encouragement for women in their intimate relationship with God and the individuals He created them to be. I am very much an all or nothing person. God does not work that way with people because as the orchestrator he has designed each for it's unique purpose and with it's own gifts. To say that everyone should do what I do is looking at one person...ME.

I do think there may be women out there who are not doing well with the homeschooling but feel there is no other option because public school would be wrong. After all, that is what has been preached to them out loud, and in a much more powerful undertone. Those are the women I want to talk to here. I was one of those women. Perhaps they feel like failures and their children are miserable. Perhaps they jump from one method to another only to find themselves still overwhelmed with no energy for the children outside of getting school done, and no energy for their husbands at the end of the day. Perhaps they play the TV all afternoon to get a break. Perhaps they dread the coming of the new day because of how hard it is. Yet, they think they are just not spiritual enough and need to try harder. They need to be more unselfish. Perhaps God wants them in the public schools, but when they think of it they think that's selfish of them, or that there is no way that can be because the public school is not godly. Surely, homeschooling is the godly choice, no matter how miserable they all were. That woman was me.

Or, perhaps there are women out there who are in the public school and they wear a burden of guilt because of the persona that real godly women homeschool. Since they don't, they feel insecure and they consider themselves bad mom's.

When will we stop measuring ourselves and let God be God?
When will we stop saying there are things we would never consider an option and seek God in prayer for his will every step of the way?

When will we stop looking to formulas and look to God?

When will we stop acting like we are on different sides of a river when we are all actually in same the river flowing up to the glory of God and His purposes.

Why do we feel that if God wants something for us, he must want it for everyone?

This is the boldest statement I've made thus far on this journey but it's burden the Lord has given me. Before I say it, I want to remind the readers that I am certain that God calls women to homeschool. That is absolutely certain and they are in God's will when they have sought Him and obeyed.

Still:

I believe the enemy is thrilled that all the Christians have left the public schools.

I never saw this before till now. He must be elated we have all left to huddle in our own masses. We are no longer a threat to his moving and working among all those children and families who don't know Christ. Legalism is not of God and therefore a tool of the enemy to direct us away from His will. He will use even this to take our eyes off God and to make us ineffective in the world.

So, this message is for one type of mom. The mom who's husband and she are restless in homeschooling and wondering what to do. Pray, and ask God if you might be called to be a bold and brave mom in the public school.

Also, for the mom who has been called there. Do not be discouraged. Seek out MORE ways to be involved. To be Christ to those kids and teachers and parents.

I want to thank my personal friends (all of whom homeschool) who have been so gracious to me in this change the Lord has led me on. A year ago, I don't know if I could have been as gracious as you have been if you told me you were moving into public school. God has humbled me greatly through your testimony to me. After seeing how much is out there that is pridefully condemning, I am blessed so much by the sisters around me! I pray God continues to work out his unique purposes in each of your families.


To those who I know, and who have commented that they have children still not ready for school, I found your statements wise. You are absolutely right to wait upon the Lord and seek Him when the time comes. In fact, you should continue that for the next near 18 years of each child's life. To say now that you don't know what you'll do is the best place to be. I use to say a lot that I will do this, and I will do it forever. Oh, God humors me. :) I have learned to say only one thing:

I will do what God wants, when He let's me know to do it. More than anything, I will remember always how big he is and how great my tendency is to put human limits on Him. God is big, I am small....and that's just the way I like it!


I am going to create today a section on the sidebar for links for women in the public schools. It will be blogs of mom's who are out there and have a heart for the glory of God as well. There will be a link for the Pitchard family as well, and information about their book.


I will also be starting a new element here on the blog. I'm calling it "Seek the Lord in Schooling Saturday". Saturday will be a day I may share updates, and prayer concerns. I encourage readers to post comment if you have any specific praises or prayer concerns for your school week. Homeschool, Christian school, Public School....each and every one.


Thank you to you mom's who have agreed to be links on the new blog list, and welcome!

11 comments:

Judy said...

HI Alicia!

I am sorry it has taken me a day or two to get back to you. I am computerless at the moment as my laptop won't even recognize the Blue Screen of Doom at this point. Yeah, not a pretty picture.

This is a GREAT post. Thank you so much for writing it. My main goal with my boys is to keep them in public school. We look at it as our ministry to others - his friends. My 9 year old sets the example for others. It was definitely an adjustment to go from our church-based school to public, but I am so glad we did it.

I wish I could help you locate the post you are looking for. I have commented so many times on this very subject, I may or may not ever be able to locate that particular blog you are referring to! Do any of these blog titles sound familiar to you?

Fireflies and Frogs
A Word Fitly Spoken
It Will Be Funny Tomorrow
It's My Pad
Rants and Whimsy
Sandy Eggo
My Ebenezer

I'll do some digging - if I find anything, I'll let you know.

Blessings,
Judy

Alicia said...

Thanks Judy.
I wanted to link your blog too but I was not sure which one was your normal every day one?:)
I'll check out those links .

Jane said...

HI,

You asked about a post I commented on...I remember it, but not what blog it was on. I tend to surf randomly some days. Anyway, I salute your efforts here! As a public school teacher I pray for my students each day. Some, multiple times :). Thanks for encouraging support of our public schools. They really should be for everybody!

Alicia said...

Jane,
thank you, and thank you for your work in the schools and your prayers for the kids.
I do think it should be an option for everyone, but I know God leads us all in different directions and I want to encourage women to seek Him before anything else.
blessings,
alicia

julie said...

you go girl!
let's bathe our kids in prayer no matter what camp we're in!!!
keep encouraging!
julie

tricia said...

Alicia,

I am so excited by what God is doing in your life. I think as christian women we need to encourage each other and love each other. That does not mean all of us must do the same thing. God has blessed each of us with different talents and strengths and together we make up the church. Our goal in life shoud be to glorify God and to encourage others to glorify God.

I look forward to reading your posts on Saturday. love ya, ;)

Sugar Momma said...

Great Post Alicia! I too was completely terrified at the post you linked to at first...yikes! Did I hear wailing and gnashing of teeth in the background? Those sounds caught me off guard.

Alicia said...

Sugar Momma,
(welcome btw!)
Yeah, at first it frightened me and then I remembered, I do not need to have fear. It is disturbing to extreme and dangereous in it's attitude. The music and the sounds are demonic. The picture troubling.
Just by being in this world, we are in the relm of the evil one. Saying that parents are making a choice to put their kids in the way of evil through placing them in public school is not logical. That same evil personified by the image and sounds this person used, it is the same evil ruling the world. We are called to it, we are overcomers of it, through Christ.
I am tired of Christians buliding a spirit of fear in mom's when they need to know they are more promised the victory.
We need to put on our armor, put it on our kids, be diligent in it, and face the ememy. That is our calling, an evil world. This should be no surprise to us, and no fear shold overcome us.
:)

Kate said...

Hi!! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog....funny how small the world becomes with blogging. You somehow found me via Christian moms with kids in public school...what a hoot! Well I'm glad you found me, it's good to meet you!! :) I soo appreciate your prayers for my daughter, what an encouragement all those comments were....thank you! God bless!

Gwen Stewart said...

Alicia,

Thank you for your open, honest thoughts on this topic, and most especially for commenting on my blog post about homeschooling. Your thoughts are so deeply valued.

Today--in one half-hour public school music class I taught--I saw a boy who never, ever participates in anything join in a game. His name is Michael. I saw another girl, Alyshia, wrap her arms around a special-needs boy, helping him play an instrument while he smiled ear to ear. She leapt up to do so, never needing to be asked.

God lives in school, indeed He does. I see His handiwork all the time. Forgive my forwardness, Alicia, but I have taught thousands and thousands of children over the years (I have hundreds per year as a music teacher) and I recognize the Light in your children's eyes. They will be salt and light to those around them--on the playground, in the lunchroom, to their teachers. Yes, my Christian students inspire me at every turn.

God lives in school. God is not put in boxes, this one or that. God cares for the little ones among us; God hears the prayers of those who are charged to care for them, whether mothers or, for a few hours a day, teachers.

I pray He will bless you mightily, Alicia, and that He will put His hand of guidance and protection over your precious ones, so they may witness to those around them, shining light, planting seeds, growing up themselves bodily and spiritually, according to His purposes.

Alicia said...

Gwen,
Thank you so much for your comments and sharing your experiences. I am so glad there are christian teachers in the public school.
Thank you for your words of encouragement for me and my children.
blessings,
alicia