I remember the day that I gave my life over to God – I was probably 10 or 11 years old.
I was at a youth campout at the beach (the benefits of growing up in California). I remember watching our entire group sitting around the campfire, eyes closed, singing praises. I could hear the sounds of the waves in front of me softly breaking onto the shoreline. In that moment I could feel his presence…his peace…his comfort. I knew, I just knew that God was there…that he filled me with his Holy Spirit.
I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to get home to share everything I had learned with my mami and papi. I was completely filled with Jesus and overflowing with joy.
Somewhere between then and my early teenage years, I became stagnant. Growing up in a christian home can sometimes make a living God seem fake. As I started to grow into my own reasoning and questioning, I started to see a lot of hypocrisy within the church. Where there should have been freedom, there was law. Although my family attended a non-denominational church, there was a lot of you can’t do this and you can’t do that. To a teenager, like myself, that created bondage. Something I didn’t like.
As I started to see influential people fall into sin I really started to think that this whole church thing was a joke. I still believed in God and knew Jesus but I lost hope in people.
Iowa, A Blessing From God
In my sophomore year of high school, I wanted nothing to do with the church. I went because I had to. I felt condemnation, I saw sin, and there were way too many overly righteous people that I never wanted to be like. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad, but to me, in my teenage thinking, it was.
It was during that time that I started hanging out with people that accepted me and liked me. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right group of kids (One day I’ll share my complete testimony).
I give my praise to God that he’s a jealous God. In all of my sin, he wanted me…he fought for me.
It was at the end of my sophomore year that we moved to Iowa. It was February. I vividly remember the day that we drove into Iowa. We stopped for gas and looking outside, I saw my first snow. It was dark out but looking up at the light poles you could see the reflection of beautifully shaped snowflakes as big as my palm falling to the ground. At that moment, I knew it was going to be okay.
Although I didn’t fully surrender my life back to Christ until I was 24, moving to Iowa was the best thing that could have happened to me. God brought my family and placed us amidst an amazing fellowship with genuine people that truly love God. People that know they are sinners and know that this life can’t be lived without a forgiving God full of grace. These were my kind of people. People that embraced me through struggles, trials, and victory!
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1
Making God Real in the Lives of My Children
There’s quite a bit in between there that I skipped over and I do promise, I’ll share my testimony soon. God is so good and forgiving and I want to share with you what he’s done in my life.
Reflecting on my own life and what it took for me to fully surrender and see a living God has made me focus many of my prayers on how he wants me to raise my children.
I know the issue of homeschool versus public school can be very divisive. When someone thinks there way is the best we can unknowingly grow an I’m better than though attitude. For me, it’s not about whether homeschool is going to make my children wiser or smarter. After all, I went to public school and ended up graduating with distinction from Iowa State University with a 3.8 gpa.
Hey, pat on the back for me, but the one thing I failed at was in my relationship with Jesus Christ. Now, I’d never go back on my life or apologize to anyone for my journey because God created my path for a reason. For that I praise him.
But I have asked God for his forgiveness and know that this is why he has called me to homeschool. To show my children, daily, a living God that is real today.
Our Mission Statement
Our homeschool mission is to glorify God knowing well that this life, that he’s blessed us with, is short and can’t be lived without his mercy and grace. We will all fall into sin, but we’ll remember that God will forgive and forget. When we doubt, we’ll put on our full armor of God to fight the spiritual battles that will try to keep us from his love. We will seek him daily, knowing well that when we do, he will show himself to be real, living, and working in our lives as he has been since the day of creation.
Education is still very important to me, but our main homeschool mission is to make God real. Does that mean that my kids will be perfect angels and not drift into the evils found in this world? Only God knows – I’ll place that in his hands while continuing to pray for my children daily.
How Am I Going to Make God Real in the Lives of My Children?
Gabe and I have prayed about this.
- The number one way that we’re going to make God real in the lives of our children is by making God real in our own lives. I feel that if the kids can see how much we truly love God and allow them to visually see our trials and how God carries us through every burden, they’ll understand just how real he is and how much we need him.
- Field trips including short missionary trips (domestic and international). I want the children to see the need for God throughout this entire world. I want them to understand that their are children that don’t have what they do. That there are people in this world that aren’t privileged with even the most basic of needs such as a roof over their head and warm meals to eat around a dinner table. Lord willing, we can start to learn, pray, volunteer, and help before they are even teenagers.
- By constantly being involved in God’s creation. Through gardening, farming, nature walks, camping, and seeing the sights of his holy work, I pray that my children will see that this world we live in was created by a living God.
- By living a simple and slow life in order to enjoy every day to its fullest. I’m still working on this, but I’ve learned that by living, truly living every day and enjoying every moment that he’s given us I can feel his presence and peace. I want to show them that.
- Lastly, I want to give my children a solid understanding that we will all fall into temptation, that we will all sin and fall short of his glory…BUT that he will always love us, forgive us, and most importantly forget our sins when we surrender. There is nothing that can keep us from God’s love.
So, I’m excited for this school year to start in another week. I’ll be lesson planning this weekend with this mission statement in mind. Again, I give every year to God and know that his strength will get us through another year filled with struggles, trials, frustration, fun, laughter, and joy that we’ve found in homeschool. Ups and downs… God will get us through it all!
Do you have a homeschool mission? I’d love to hear how your homeschool days go. Please share any encouragement, wisdom, and prayer needs in the comments below.
Thank you for writing this article!
Sometimes in the middle of trying to do it all; making sure they can read, write and do their math I lose sight of why I homeschool. Your story has inspired me to go back to those Godly roots and dig them deeper into my children’s lives.
So well said, my friend. Glad to be on the same type of journey.
Kelly @ The Nourishing Home says
LOVE this, Diana! Your heart for the Lord is so evident and your desire to teach your children about the real, living and Sovereign Lord will most certainly be blessed! Focusing on knowing God and loving Him builds intimacy and trust in the Lord – it’s the relationship rather than the religion makes God real and fills our hearts with such a desire for Him! I SO appreciate the mission/goals you’ve shared, especially I am convicted by point #2 – missions are such a great way to show God’s work and love in action. Thank you again for this encouraging post! Lots of blessings, Kelly
Dr. Gabriel Bauman says
Wonderful words my love.
Thank you! Once again, you are an inspiration to me.
SJ Smith says
Your first goal is what will effect them the most. Even more than choosing whether to homeschool.
Though with some of the latest absurdities coming from the government regarding our schools,
I would be on the band wagon for home schooling today.
May God bless you as you take on the job of parenting that God has entrusted to you.
And you’re right on target…. with His grace, love, and forgiveness… the battle is ultimately already won in our lives today.
I was blessed by your testimony. Although my daughter is in school now, the mission does not have to change. Keep me in your prayers. Perhaps God will bless me to home school my tot. Homeschooling has always been a struggle. My spouse is not supportive of homeschooling. Now I have a diagnosis that has slowed me down. My hope is in God. I will “live” once again.
I would love to hear more about your children’s education. I know learning starts at birth and is more than just curriculum and text books. I wanted to share a great article that I recently read that I connected with.http://www.thatmom.com/2010/05/24/minimalist-influence-part-four-homeschooling/
I hope it encourages you as it did me! (:
Diana Bauman says
I should share that. We are mostly Charlotte Mason based with a bit of traditional as well. Eclectic, maybe? We do have a school day, but when life lessons come, we ditch the books and live life 😀