Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for your homeschool?
Start school at a certain time? Read aloud every day? Grade papers before the pile falls over? Get out of pajamas before noon?
Better question: Have you given up on any resolutions yet?
For years, I made resolutions both for my personal life and my homeschool life. But they left me frustrated with a sense of failure. My efforts toward desired change tend to fall flat.
A resolution is “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict or problem”. Life is full of problems, and we need solutions. Homeschool life can be full of extra problems. Our human response, especially as pull-up-the-bootstraps Americans, is to try hard to fix the problems. We can create change in many details of life.
But I think we crave more. Is the true desire of our hearts simply to eat better, schedule a better routine or exercise consistently? I think we really want something much deeper: Change deep within our hearts. Transformation in our homeschools.
Those are changes we cannot create.
True heart change only comes from the Creator of our hearts.
Resolutions are off my January to-do list. I realized recently I have not made resolutions in years. But I also realized that beginning of the year tradition has been replaced by something far better:
21 Days of Prayer and Fasting
Actually, I do make one resolution on January 1st: I resolve to begin my year by seeking God intently for 21 days.
I am grateful my church and pastor lead me to begin each year with an intentional focus on pressing in to draw close to Jesus.
Every year, God does something big in my life.
Every. Single. Year.
He gives me direction for the future, guidance for my family’s education, healing for my body, unfathomable peace in my soul. True change. At the end of the 21 days, I have clarity for my goals and purpose for the year.
Perhaps this is the year to skip the resolutions.
Instead of pursuing resolutions, resolve to pursue God and allow Him to change you.
The paradox is that you cannot just sit back and do nothing. You have to actually pursue God. Seek Him. Read His Word. Worship. Talk to Him. Stop everything else, even for a moment, and be with Him.
In the life of a homeschool mom, there will be much opposition. There is always much to do and people with valid need for our attention. Everything around us clamors for our constant attention.
Actually, in the life of anyone, there will be spiritual opposition to pursuing God. That is nothing new. To pursue God, people throughout history have resolved to seek God in the midst of opposition.
Daniel resolved to seek God in the midst of life-threatening opposition. King Darius, swayed by the leaders of the kingdom, issued a decree that no man was to make petition of anyone – man or god – besides the king himself.
What did Daniel do?
“(Daniel) continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.”
Daniel 6:10b (NASB)
Even in the face of death, which he encountered first-hand in the face of the lions, Daniel resolved to continue praying in pursuit of God. That’s resolve.
Daniel’s resolve was habit.
“Three times a day…As he had been doing previously.”
Daniel’s resolve remained because prayer was his habit. What is your current habit with prayer, Bible reading, worship, fasting? Continue doing well! Consider taking one more step in your pursuit of God.
These 21 Days will give you ideas of new habits you can incorporate in your prayer life as you build upon current habits.
Habits require a plan. Plans require a vision.
God told Habakkuk to record the vision and inscribe it on tablets. (Habakkuk 2:2) I don’t have any Old Testament tablets lying around the house, but I do have some nice spiral notebooks. Reading my old journals from my previous years’ 21 days is such an encouragement as it reminds me how much God has accomplished in me and my family.
I highly encourage keeping a journal for these next 21 days.
Daniel’s resolve was supernatural.
If we are going to have resolve to passionately pursue Jesus day after day, despite interruptions, we too need supernatural resolve. We need to decide, commit, resolve. But we can’t do this on our own.
We must ask the Holy Spirit to give us the power of resolve.
Today’s Heart Challenge:
Write down your resolution
Jesus had a time and a place where He met to talk with His Father (Mark 1:35). We would be wise to follow His example. So take a moment and make a plan for the next 21 days.
- When will you pray?
- Where will you pray?
Write down what you are resolving to do for the next 21 days. “I will intentionally seek Jesus first every day (at this time) (in this place) for the next 21 days.”
This is your plan. Someone might catch a few minutes during the kids’ naptime. Someone might get up an hour earlier each day. Perhaps you could set a timer for several times during the day. Maybe your commitment is to pray with your spouse or your children daily at mealtime.
Be sure your plan is doable for you for the next three weeks. But don’t be afraid of giving yourself a bit of a challenge.
Consider asking a friend to join the restful homeschool resolution. You can provide one another encouragement and accountability.
Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the supernatural power of resolve. While you’re talking with Jesus, spend a few minutes telling Him how great He is!
Today’s Homeschool Prayer:
Areas of Unrest
For the next 21 days, we will strategically pray through various aspects of our homeschools. These will be areas of homeschool life that are un-restful for many of us. Many details of homeschooling tempt Mom’s heart to stray from a place of rest. Please realize you are not alone in your struggle. Homeschooling is hard, but difficulties are not evidence you’re doing anything wrong.
Our goal is not to fix the problems. Our goal is to seek Jesus and the rest He offers in the midst of the struggle. Along the way, He will also reveal specific steps we can take to cultivate an atmosphere of rest in our homes.
Each day, we will consider one area of homeschool life and pray through it. In prayer, we will:
Seek Jesus first. He can give rest to your heart in the midst.
Write out your prayer as you evaluate, surrender and receive rest in each unrestful area.
- Ask yourself if this area of your homeschool life is currently restful.
- Ask God to reveal any cues of unrest in your heart.
- Surrender your efforts to fix the problem.
- Surrender your expectation of the outcome.
- Ask God to give you grace and rest in the midst of your current struggle.
- Ask Him to give you guidance for ONE THING you can do to cultivate rest in this area.
I highly recommend keeping a journal of your prayers. So go find one now if you haven’t already. You need to write down your resolution for the next 21 days, remember?
As we journey through the coming days, these posts will become shorter. Faster readings will help us keep our resolve of a daily commitment.
I’ll be back tomorrow!