What Do You Do When You Fall Behind?

1 Mar 2005

by Melissa Boyer


I have learned through the years to fully rest in God and trust His plans for our school. He led my husband and me to homeschool four years ago and there was a time when I thought "OK Lord, let me get it all figured out, and I will make it work the best I can." Well, I have realized that the One who led us to do this will be the One who will make it work, not us.

In the past, I have begun the school year prayerfully and with the best intentions. I planned to finish all the curriculum, keep a schedule, conquer all the housework, have meals on the table representing all the food groups and be energetic enough at the end of the day to spend time with my husband and prepare for school the next day!

Well, two years ago, while my husband was gone for six months, every appliance in my house broke down and had to be replaced. My kids and I were very sick and very tired. The doctor told us we had the flu; but he was wrong! We discovered that as my oil furnace malfunctioned (in cold January) we were being poisoned by carbon monoxide. We were told that we were about two days away from death. That explained why my daughter was napping for four hours straight and we all could hardly get out of bed in the morning to do even a little bit of school. The next cold day, we had what is called a “puff back” in our home from our furnace. Soot came up through the vents and covered everything—and I mean everything! Everything in my home, including our lungs and our animals and my kids, had soot on it. Everything was covered with black, even the carpet padding! We had to eat out every night for three weeks because my kitchen appliances and dishes were covered.

Being a strong military wife, I have learned to handle many things without my husband. However, this really drained me in every way. The fact that we almost lost our lives, and I didn't know it as a mother really unsettled me. I thank God that the furnace quit working and the electrician came out that night, or we might not be here right now!

For three months, contractors, painters, house cleaners, dry cleaners, carpet installers and insurance agents were in my home. People were here from eight in the morning to four in the afternoon everyday. Most were men, and this made me feel somewhat uneasy at times, since they knew my husband was deployed.

All this time, we moved from room to room passing workers, plastic sheets covering furniture, tools and boxes to do school and try to maintain focus over the noise. Most of our books and even the computer were put away at times. One night my daughter was rushed to the hospital due to an unidentified illness. How was I going to keep it all going and be strong and organized for my kids? How could I get things back to some kind of normal and even expect my child to be open to learning in the middle of all this? I mean, this wasn't part of my plan!

Well, the answer was and still is GOD! He is The Way and He provided the way. All of my original plans were out the soot-covered window! He picked me up out of the mess and gave me the strength to get up everyday and make the best out of school, and meals, and to be an encouraging mom to my kids. One of the cleaning ladies even followed me around the house for weeks asking about Jesus after she had cleaned all my Christian books and heard us doing devotions. She finished her job and left with a new-found curiosity about the Lord. Isn't God good?

There were times when I wasn't sure what kind of effect these events were having on our school. I was concerned that the sudden change in school style and schedule and all the extra things I had to pay attention to were going to leave my son way behind academically. I was afraid that he would lose time and not be able to make it all up, leaving me feeling guilty. Well, that was the lie Satan was trying to make me believe; but the truth was, that my son ended up learning more than I thought he would. Not only did he score amazingly high on the year-end test, he also gained an understanding of what it means to work together as a family and how to be flexible and not give up. It gave us all an amazing appreciation for each other and the love of God. God showed me that even without my husband’s help, my school plans and schedule, His will will be done. He is our strength; He will provide the way. I learned that even if my plans and school schedule changes, He doesn't. He took me from feeling that I had to have school completely planned for it to work, to experiencing His working plan. Now when unplanned events arise and I can't do what is scheduled, I wait to find out what His plan is for that time. I know that there will be learning opportunities in that situation that will not only give my children head knowledge but godly character and wisdom as well.

A verse comes to mind these days when I feel myself stressing over school: "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalms 46:10) This verse gives me peace and reminds me of how God brought us through so much that year. It also reminds me not to worry so much if my plans break down, get boxed up or even get soot on them! His plans are much bigger and better than mine, anyway, and He knows what my children need more than I do.

So just relax and know that with God all things are possible and that you are never alone. The God of your life is also the God of your school, and He is still teaching even when you aren't.

Melissa Boyer and her husband, Keith, have homeschooled in Region 9 for four years. God has blessed them with two wonderful children. As they seek God in their homeschooling efforts they find themselves ever so grateful for his enduring love, his Fatherly guidance and, above all, his supply of grace that sustains them through everything they do.

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