Friday, January 21, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I got out of bed at 2:45 this morning, as I do most mornings, to pour my husband's coffee, pack his lunch, and send him off to work.

The world outside was dark, and my kitchen floor was cold. I could feel the icy air breaking into the house through the leaky door frame.

Chris joined me in the kitchen, and as he put on his coveralls, he called "the weather lady". He set the phone to "speaker", and put it on the counter.

"Good evening," she said (she never says "morning" until it is past the time at which reasonable people get out of bed), "the time is 3--05--temperature--negative--7".

Yikes. The coldest day of the season so far.

He kissed me good-bye, and I handed him his cooler.

"Keep those kids inside today, and try to stay warm..."

I sat on the couch to have my quiet time with the LORD, and then, I crawled back into bed to snuggle my sleeping baby for another hour or two before the rest of the world woke up.

As I drifted off to sleep, I got to thinking...

There are folks who think that, by homeschooling my children, I am being over-protective.

I've been told that my children need to be spending a great deal of time outside of my house, away from me, being exposed to people who think and believe differently than my husband and I do.

And I wonder...

--What would those same people think if I chose to send my children outside today, in the bitter cold, without the proper clothing?

--What if they weren't wearing a winter coat, and hat? No mittens? No snow pants? No heavy socks?  No waterproof boots?

--What if I sent them out after breakfast, and forbid them from coming inside until late afternoon?

--And what if, when questioned, I said that I did all this because I believed that they needed to be exposed to lots of cold air? That not to do so would be overprotecting them?

Would they agree with my logic, or would they implore me to shelter them inside, where it is warm? Would they not admonish me to wrap them up snugly in winter attire before sending them out next time?

The truth is, we live in a world that is cold and uncaring toward our children.

Sending little, fragile souls out into it alone, for long periods of time, without first giving them the covering of a thorough understanding of the Word of God is just as irresponsible as sending them out to play in below zero weather wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."
Mark 9:42

The only real difference is one of time.

We see the effects of frostbite almost immediately. fingers, noses, and cheeks...Numb toes...that throbbing sensation...

When frostbite is severe, the results can be permanent. Some people feel pain in the affected areas of their bodies every time they are ever out in the cold again, for the rest of their lives. Some people even lose fingers and toes.

The effects of sending our children away from us, to secular caregivers, teachers, and institutions, are more subtle at first. We may not notice the results of the seeds of doubt that are planted in our children's hearts until much later in life, but we will see them. 75-88% of children raised in evangelical Christian homes walk away from Christianity by the time they reach their freshman year of college. Most of the time, permanently.

We reap what we sow.

So today, I'll keep my little ones indoors. I'll dress them in warm clothes, keep the furnace blowing, and feed them nutritious foods to grow their bodies healthy and strong. Another day, I'll wrap them in their winter outerwear and take them outside. I'll bring them back in before it gets to be too much, and I'll give them warm milk, mixed with honey, and cinnamon, and nutmeg to drink.

More importantly, I'll teach them the Bible. I'll teach them what we believe and why we believe it. I'll teach them about the issues of our day and age, at a level they can understand, and I'll teach them how to think critically about those issues. I'll teach them discernment.

I'll take my responsibility to teach, train, and prepare my children in the ways of the LORD seriously.

And when the cold wind blows, and the wolf comes howling at our door, by God's mercy, they will fear no evil, for He is with them.

And when they leave my house, and go out into the world, if I've done my job they will be strong and faithful, equipped for whatever the World and the Enemy may throw their way.

By His Grace,



Lisa @ Simply Things Family said...

Great post. That was why I quit working years ago when they were babies. I wondered why I would voluntariy have to drag them out in the elements when they should be a in a nice, warm home.

Nina said...

This is such a great post! I'm definitely going to be sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Very nice Tiana. Thanks for sharing:)
Hannah K

Cindi Allain said...

I am not a home school-er, but i admire those who do. In case those who like to condemn you didn't notice this week. Miss Nebraska was a home schooled child and strong Christian lady. She is now Miss America. I'm so glad the judges saw all she can do and didn't hold it against her that she was home schooled.
I very much enjoyed reading today. I was sent here by a mutual friend.

Leslie said...

i have just today discovered your blog. i have been hanging on every started because i was searching for some ideas on how to homeschool with a newborn, because i feel totally defeated right now. We just had a baby and my big kids are 1st and 3rd grade, and most days we are getting nothing done and i feel panicky because we are getting behind....but your posts are so great to read and they help me re think priorities and what school should be or needs to be right now. You have an amazing connection to this journey of mothering and homeschooling and say it so well with your words for others like me to read. thank you.

Carol Flett said...

So well said!

Amanda Schulz said...

As always, wonderfully put!!
Nice Share!!

Teri said...

Oh wow, I love this analogy. Spot-on true. I relish your Christ-seeking, pursuit-of-truth words!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing...wanted you to know that I awarded you The Stylish Blogger Award. You can see the post at:

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About Me

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

My Writing Elsewhere...

Fixing Your Heart on Titus 2

Did you pray for your
husband today?
Monday--His Work
Tuesday--His Integrity
Wednesday--His Mind
Thursday--His Purpose
Friday--His Health
Saturday--His Protection
Sunday--His Faith

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Success is not learned. It is discovered and nurtured. What was your child born to do?

Our Curriculum 2010-2011

Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

Disciple Like Jesus

Disciple Like Jesus

Raising Homemakers

Raising Homemakers

Quiverfull Family

The Modest Mom


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