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1/4/2007 2:47:31 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter --January 2007

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru High School Newsletter--January 2007
Hope for Tomorrow
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Dear Friends:

A new year is a wonderful opportunity to get a fresh start and a
renewed perspective on your homeschooling. Although most of our
newsletters provide practical input about academics and the "how to's"
of teaching high school, this newsletter will focus on nurturing hope
in the midst of "tending the souls" of your children. Tending souls is
often a workout for the heart--it can be heartwarming or
heart-wrenching! Dads and Moms, you may become physically,
emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. So this month, we want to
share some thoughts from our hearts and extend to you something that
all of us need no matter what season of life we are in--HOPE. Even if
you are currently experiencing a time of joy and peace in your
homeschooling, this message of hope may be timely for you to share
with friends who will benefit from an infusion of hope.

The hope we are speaking about is that comfort, expectation,
confidence, or trust that God's promises are true. We could define
hope as looking towards that which we do not see with the promise that
it will come to pass in God's timing and in His perfect way. There are
a number of reasons why you or someone you know has lost this hope.
The day in, day out school and family life routine may be particularly
draining right after the holidays. Add to this all of the chores and
sundry items that you promised yourself to take care of after the
holidays, and it may seem that you are now looking at an overwhelming
mountain of tasks that vie for your time and energy. Don't give up!
There is hope.

First be sure that your expectations are reasonable.

Second, realize that you have limitations. If at the end of the day
your mind is filled with thoughts of how much you did not accomplish
that day, chances are that your "to do" list was too long.

Third, seek out help from your spouse or a trusted friend to pare down
your list to what is essential. Some things may just have to wait for
another time. The Lord is gracious and will always give you enough
time and strength for everything He has called you to do in a given
day. Remember, the days are long...but the years are short. Trust
the Lord for the grace you need as you start each day.

Another reason your hope may be sagging is that you see no evidence of
growth in your teen's maturity or character development. Training is
a long, slow process. Persevering in discipling your children is well
worth the eventual fruit that will be harvested in both your life and
theirs. This is a faith walk--don't be tempted to despair when you
don't see change. The Lord is at work doing what He does
best--working on the inside, deep inside the secret crevices of the
heart. Many people mentioned in the Bible waited a very long time
(may we mention, Sarah?) before the promises of God were fully
realized. Others (like those who were sawn in two--sorry to be so
graphic!) never had the joy of "seeing" the promise fulfilled on this
side of heaven, but yet stood firm on the promises of the Faithful
One. You, too, can stand amidst the churning waves and not be swept
away.

On a personal note, both of us have walked through the heartache of
watching several of our children make poor choices not in keeping with
the values and beliefs we sought to instill in them. If you are
despairing of a child who has turned his back on the faith you
desperately desire him to embrace, remember there is hope. Just as
much occurs beneath the surface of the soil before the plant breaks
through the earth, so much good work may also be taking place in your
teen's heart that you are not yet aware of.

Here is a short acrostic which may help you to maintain your joy as
you endure some tough times:

H--Hang in there. God is the God of the impossible, the Redeemer of
souls. Have a vision of this trial that is in line with God. Even
when we are faithless, He remains faithful. His lovingkindness is
everlasting. You may be in despair because you don't see the end.
But God sees the end, and you can trust Him. He takes our weaknesses
and our insufficiencies, and He provides us with His grace, strength,
and power to keep going, to keep depending on His wisdom in dealing
with our child, and to keep relying on His ability to change a heart.

O--See the opportunity to grow in the Lord. Have you ever stopped
to think that this trial might be more about you than about your
child? In the book, "Lies Women Believe" by Nancy DeMoss, she states
that one of the lies we are prone to believe is that God should fix
all of our problems, including our relational problems, which a lot of
the time involves our children. But many times, instead of fixing our
problems, the Lord says, "I have a purpose for your problem." Have
you ever seen this trial as a part of the Lord's means to fulfill His
purposes and plans for your life? Amy Carmichael often prayed, "Give
me the light that changes the look of all things." We all say that we
would love to have more patience, more humility, more trust--but what
we don't like to admit is that the way we develop these traits is by
going through trials that are difficult and insurmountable in the
flesh. There is no better trial to increase patience, humility and
trust in the Lord than to be utterly helpless to change a child we
can't control and who we feel totally insufficient to train. But the
word of God says we are more than conquerors, we are recipients of
more than abundant grace, and we are beneficiaries of godly, not
worldly wisdom.

P--Prayer is a powerful weapon. None of us would be the prayer
warriors we are today without having experienced the burden of praying
and asking the Lord to work in our children's lives. As you wrestle
with the Lord in prayer, you will be amazed at the change in your
life. When you experience first hand the Lord's compassion and
gentleness in caring for you, your manner and disposition towards your
child will change from one of frustration, anger, and discouragement
to one of tenderness, mercy, and kindness. Your thoughts will turn
from ones of desperation to thoughts of His love for you and for your
child as evidenced by the cross and the sacrificial love demonstrated
there for you. Enlist a few close friends or relatives to pray
regularly for you and your children. Just knowing that others are
interceding for your children will lift the burden you carry. We will
probably never know the power of our prayers and the trust, reliance,
and dependency on the Lord that our prayers brought about.

E--Encouragement from God's Word. When you humbly come to the Lord
and ask for refreshment, a godly perspective, and life-giving water,
He will never fail to illuminate a verse or Bible passage and send you
on your way revived. Be diligent to search out Scripture and
re-hydrate your soul on a daily basis. Tack up verses on your
bathroom mirror, on your car dashboard, or near your phone to remind
yourself of the Lord's promises. You may wish to keep encouraging
verses on index cards in your purse so you can flip through them while
waiting in grocery store lines, at the doctor or dentist office, or
waiting for your child to finish up a sports practice. Romans 5:3-4
in the Phillips translation reads:

"This doesn't mean of course that we have only a hope of future
joys--we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and
troubles. These very things will give us patient endurance, this in
turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort
produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us. Already
we have the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit
given to us."

Let that verse flood over your souls as you homeschool your children
everyday and nurture them in the ways of the Lord. The key word is
HOPE--an anchor for your souls in the midst of any difficult day or
season. If you are experiencing tough times right now with one of
your children, you may be encouraged by this article on the Crosswalk
website by Jenefer Igarashi entitled, "What to Do When You Think
You've Lost Them." http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3584

Looking forward to eternity when our faith will be sight,

Becky and Diane

If your high schooler will be taking the SAT or ACT college entrance
test this year, check out the special offer to help in preparing for
these tests:

http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3585

We will be speaking at a number of homeschool conferences in 2007. As
of this date, here is our speaking schedule. If we will be in your
area, consider coming to our seminars. We would love to meet you!

April 27-28, 2007, Annual Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of
Parent Educators Convention, Worcester, MA
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3586 (Becky and Diane)

June 8-9, 2007, Annual Christian Homeschoolers of Idaho State
Convention, Boise, ID
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3587 (Becky and Diane)

July 12-14, 2007, 24th Annual Christian Home Educators Convention,
Long Beach, CA
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3588 (Diane)

July 13-14, 2007, 2007 Annual Northern Virginia Home Education
Conference, Chantilly, VA http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3589
(Becky)

September 21, 2007, Indiana Foundation for Home School Map Your Future
07
Indianapolis, IN http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3590 (Becky and
Diane)

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-> Extreme makeovers are for extreme circumstances...

Most homeschools don't need an extreme makeover, but there is
something to be said for attention to detail and recognition of
accomplishments. Watch the media and you'll soon see that not
everyone wants home educators and homeschooling to look good.
HSLDA works hard to shed light on the good work of home educators
so it's obvious that we don't need someone "making-over" our
homeschools. Join HSLDA and help us show the world that we're fine
as we are . . . thank you!

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1943

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