Monday, September 12, 2011

HOW TO BE FAITHFUL {in homeschooling}




Once there were two servants.

The first servant was a faithful man. Upon the completion of any given task, the faithful servant would immediately return to his Master to inquire what He would have him do next. Because of his faithfulness, his Master had grown to rely on him and found that he could trust him with greater and greater responsibilities.
One day, the faithful servant was asked to set sail for a township across a channel of water in order to deliver an important message for his Master. The servant wisely conferred with his Master, making specific notes about the trip so that he might do exactly what his Master desired of him.

Soon all was ready and the faithful servant began his task. While on the way, various people began to ask where he was headed. They too were servants and suggested that maybe he could spend time with them on their errands before going to do his. That way they could at least enjoy one another's company while they worked. But the places the other servants were headed were never just where he was tasked to go- in fact, some were actually in the opposite direction from where he was headed. 

The servant met other people who were selling tickets for pleasure cruises and encouraged him that he could easily squeeze in a quick detour and then get right back to his Master's task.

But the faithful servant knew that his kind Master had reward and rest enough planned for him and he was not to be deterred from obeying the commands he was given. He found that his single mindedness actually made it easy for him to to say 'no' to the clamor of well sounding options around him. The scheduling of his voyage was easy-- important tasks fitting right in while superfluous plans simply fell by the wayside.

The faithful servant worked efficiently and felt contented in his obedience. 


The second servant saw the first heading out on his mission across the channel. The second servant was a man of good intentions who also wanted to please his Master, so (without an actual conference with his Master) he came up with a spontaneous plan. He would copy the first servant and follow him.
It seemed just the thing. You see, the first servant was known far and wide for being both faithful and counted on by his Master. He had earned himself a position of respect. Common sense dictated to the second servant that if he wanted to be like the first man, he should do his best to look like him; to act like him and to copy his mission. So with no time to spare, he quickly acquired a boat and headed out onto the water.

At first, the second servant had little difficulty in following the first. Yes he was a little ways behind, but he was keeping pace with the first servant and he was quite pleased with his progress. In truth, he really did look just as dutiful to the Master as his model. At least for a time.

After a while though, and it was likely because he had never actually received direct orders from his Master, he found it harder and harder not to be distracted by sights and sounds around him.

There were all these other travelers. And the funny thing was, they didn't seem to be headed... anywhere. He felt them look at him with sideways glances and interpreted their gestures. He began to feel quite silly at his rushing along and he questioned himself-- why was he was exerting so much effort? What was the rush anyhow?

The second servant slowed his boat down-- just a little-- so that he wouldn't stand out so much. But after a short amount of time he had completely lost sight of the first servant's boat. 'That's alright,' he reasoned. He really didn't have strict orders of his own. And soon he began to feel quite at liberty to join in whatever fun activities were happening around him rather than rush or search for the first servant.

There were times when he questioned if these other folks he was spending so much time with really even had a Master at all- they had such freedom with their time- but they sure were nice and he was enjoying their company.

So, what was the harm? Over time, and without even noticing it, he had laid his oars down and had begun to sail wherever the waves would take him. Enjoyment of the ride had becomes this servant's only goal.



Eventually both servants would need to face their Master. I suppose it is not difficult to guess which one would be the most happy to see his Master's face.


"Do you not know that your bodies are temples
 of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own; you were bought at a price."
-1 Corinthians 6:19


"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the prize?...

Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly..."
-1 Corinthians 9:24-26


I hope you will not misunderstand the point of my story. I am not saying that I am the faithful man. I long to be him- always! But sadly, there are times when I look down and realize I have set down my oars!

I am also not saying that we cannot or should not enjoy the blessings God has provided for us. Or that our lives are to be all work and no fellowship. Clearly that would not be consistent with the whole of Scripture.

Rather, I hope you will gather that the point is-- we should ask our Master what it is we are to be up to. We should pray and ask Him for direction; goals for our family and goals for each of our children. We should realize if we are simply following men  the resolve of our 'convictions' will not be lasting.

Instead, the Lord commands that we seek first His Kingdom- knowing that all things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).

My husband and I recently spent some time in prayer; working through the plans for the new school year and asking the Lord for specific direction. Why? Because the world pulls at all of us. And it would be too easy to be like that second servant- full of good intentions, but missing the point.

We remind ourselves- and each other- that it isn't good enough to be involved in lots of good things-- if they aren't the good things the Lord has planned for us (Ephesians 2:10: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them).

You've heard the saying-- if you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. In 1 Corinthians Paul says that we are to run this race of life like one running to get the prize- and not like a man running aimlessly.

That second servant was running (or sailing) aimlessly, wasn't he? He was out there in the water, but he had no goal- at least no goal that would stick with him because it wasn't given to him by his Master.


Oh my. I am sorry friends. I am sure that this post is too long. Maybe you can see why I don't even attempt to Tweet. ; )

I will leave you with just one more quote that recently spoke exactly what I was thinking as we begin a new school year. It is from Steven and Teri Maxwell's book Keeping our Children's Hearts (if you haven't read this book, it is a must!):

"We will investigate two main thrusts to keeping hearts. 
The first one involves turning our hearts toward our
children (Malachi 4:6, Luke 1:17)...
The second thrust has to do with sheltering our children
from negative influences while giving them purpose
and direction in life."

I think many people pick up on the importance of keeping our children's hearts. I think we have seen a huge shift in direction as parents have been inspired to turn their hearts home and have even been willing to shelter their children from negative influences.

But what of this purpose and direction? Do we have goals that drive us? And are those goals from our Master?

If we are to be faithful servants we must seek the Lord for wisdom and guidance.


Praying we will seek Him in all things! Because only then will we truly be faithful in homeschooling.


The above art project can be found here under mini murals. Simple and fun!


  1. I loved this post! Thank you for taking the time to write such wise and thoughtful words. I needed to read them today!

  2. I needed to read this today! Thank you, Rebecca!
    The pictures are simply beautiful. :)

  3. I agree that knowing what one is called by God to do helps us keep walking. I really like the two servant story and plan to read it to my kids and discuss it! Enjoyed your post.

    Amy @ Missional Mama

  4. Rebecca! Timely & Straight from the Lord!
    I am always refreshed and challenged when I read one of your posts.
    I have at times been busy doing "good" things, but then realize they are not what the Lord has for this season for us. Cutting those things off and feeling like you have disappointed others or you are missing out is a struggle for me. Am I pleasing men or God? Ugh!! He is so graceful and full of mercy!! I am so thankful He allows us repentance and guides us right back to the path chosen.
    ((HUGS)) my friend!
    Kelly K

    PS- I have been praying for your sweet Lydia.

  5. This is such a wonderful post about keeping an eye on what's important and checking in to make sure that everyone is on the same page. As a new homeschool mom so important for me to hear!

  6. thank you, that was wonderful. I think you have a very timely word as I see homeschooling becoming a fad thing in some circles.

    Your photos are lovely. I was wondering about the Starry Night artwork, was that painted at your house, and how?

  7. Mary and April- Thank you for your sweet comments ladies. April- you will notice that I took the photos in the evening light. The lighting is just so much nicer than in the am. :)

    Amy- you read my mind. Who do you think we read this to first? :)

    Yes- Kelly, that is exactly it! We worry about upsetting others, but if we are all servants to the same Master our only expectation of one another is that we will each be following His lead. Thank you for your prayers. Hugs right back my friend!

    Aurie- Welcome and thank you! :)

    Hen Jen- Thank you! There is a little- hard to see- link after my signature at the bottom of the post for 'Art Murals for Kids.' A fun site with inexpensive projects. I had the kids work on this one while I read aloud. I thought it turned out great. Her large murals are for school sized classrooms, her mini murals are perfect for families.

  8. oops- Kelly I meant to say our only expectation of one another SHOULD BE that we are each following His lead... :)

  9. Thank you Rebecca, I came back and noticed the link and clicked over. I am going to order her kit for this, and I saw so many other neat kits and ideas, thank you!

  10. Stopping by today after seeing your blog on Hen Jen's blog. It is so important to keep our focus on our personal calling from the Lord, indeed. His path for us is lit by His Word and only by reading it and communicating with Him will we find our way in the dark world. I've found that even the best intentions from other Christians can be distracting. I don't write much about homeschooling (or even discuss it much) for this very reason. Hope you all have a blessed and God directed year of school!

  11. Hen Jen- Oh good. I know- I love her ideas! Glad you found your way over there.

    Hi Janet- Welcome! Amen. It is often best not to give advice unless asked directly- on any subject.

    Thankfully in the blog world birds of a feather just tend to flock together, so like minded friends can encourage us in the direction the Lord has already called us to. :)

    This post was born out of a conversation with my husband. We were talking about signing up our children for some great sounding activities this year that just don't seem a good fit for us right now. After prayer, we felt even more this was the case. We're fine with other friends participating and trust they will be fine that we won't be. :)

    Blessings to you!