Trapped…and Released

“Based on the information available today and the terms of the contract in force today, benefits will be available if the service is medically necessary.” Ten, twenty, thirty, forty times a day I would repeat that phrase. I was a customer service correspondent for Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I answered the phone all day long, explaining benefits, helping with medical claims that weren’t processed correctly or were misunderstood. I couldn’t answer the phone, fill out a form, or sneeze without putting a tally mark on a piece of paper so that my employer would be able to keep track of every moment of my day. I felt, with my headset attached to the phone system and my computer in front of me, like a dog on a chain. I was trapped. I must admit that for the most part, in the almost 18 years since I’ve been home with my children, that I’ve either forgotten or blocked out most of what it was like to be stuck in a job that I didn’t like, making too much money to quit, but not enough to get ahead. I was so young I didn’t appreciate the medical benefits except for maternity! I still remember the day, January 18, 1991 as my emancipation day, the day I was released! ~smile~

I think it’s good for me to remember, to appreciate the freedom I have now in comparison. No. I don’t have money to buy things I want most of the time. No, I can’t do all the things I want to, unless they’re free. Yes, it’s worth it. Being home with my children has been a wonderful privilege that my husband, God, and my willingness to go without have offered me. My children are different than they would have been if I’d been at work and they’d been at school. I thank God that I’ve been there to instill our beliefs, our faith, and our values in their lives as well as to teach them.

I also think that it’s good for me to reflect on what I would have been like, what I might have done, if not for Jesus, and on what I did do before Jesus. Our Pastor spoke Sunday about a man who killed many people at a Christmas party last week. He said that apart from Christ and the Holy Spirit in him, he could have been that man. Any one of us could have been that man. If we didn’t have Jesus, we would be at the mercy of whatever the world and Satan enticed us with. Desperation, fatigue, worry, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, anger, as well as a host of other pressures and sins would assail us.

Thank God for Jesus Christ and the work of salvation that he did at the cross. We have the opportunity to be reconciled to God, to have a clean conscience and a clean slate before Him in spite of our past sins. We have to choose to accept Jesus’ death being the payment for our sins and believe that he is resurrected, at God’s right hand in Heaven. Then, we must wash ourselves by reading the Word of God, the Holy Bible, daily, asking for God to fill us over and over with His Holy Spirit.

I need to remember what I was and what God had done for me through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I need to press forward, focusing more and more on God’s word and what He wants to do in me, my family, my church, and my community.

I ask God to bless you all as you think reflectively upon these things.

Laura
Thankful to be home and His

Advice to a New Homeschooling Mother

I thought I’d share with you a bit of advice I gave to a young mother recently.  She was at her wits end and crying out for help. 
Hello,
I just happened upon your blog. I only have four children; but, I can identify with some of your feelings. Having children is indeed a huge responsibility that never ends, just like the work never ends. Allow me to share a few thoughts.First, it sounds like you are exhausted. I’m not sure if you have access to a grandparent or friend who could watch your kids for you or not; but, I think you need a day away. It doesn’t matter what you do. You need some time to clear your head and think. I had half a day last week that did wonders for me.

Second, try to get to bed at a decent hour, so that you can try to get some good sleep.

Third, require everyone to lie down for one hour each afternoon. They may not nap; but, they must lie down. Older ones need an hour of reading each day anyway. During this time, you can rest, read, pray, or do a load of laundry, whatever will help you gear up for the second half of the day.

Fourth, make sure you’re eating fruits and vegetables, dairy and meats, not just high carbohydrate foods. You need nutrients.

Fifth, you may be depressed. Consider speaking with your doctor about whether you need herbal supplements or medication to help for awhile.

Sixth, I agree with the previous commenter, Raising Godly Tomatoes is a good site. You might also look at http://www.nogreaterjoy.org. They have a free magazine and lots of articles on-line. They have a book called “To Train Up a Child” by Michael & Debi Pearl that is excellent.

Seventh, please know that the first year or two of home schooling is hard for most of us. It must be harder starting with a larger family. Don’t give up!
It does pay off even though we can’t always see results day to day. Look for the good and seize it daily.

Eighth, most of all, pray pray pray pray. You can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens you.

God bless!
Mrs. Lane