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Practical Homeschooling® :

A Life-Giving Mother Moment

By Clay and Sally Clarkson
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #39, 2001.

When your homeschool is over, what will you be the most proud of?
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Clay and Sally Clarkson

Sarah Clarkson
One of the highlights of my year was seeing Sarah, my first child, graduate this past spring. With close friends and family gathered in our living room to celebrate and share in the occasion, Sarah displayed some of the unique qualities and skills God has graciously built into her life. She played several of her favorite piano pieces, read a chapter of a book she is writing, discussed some of the more influential authors and books in her life, gave a short talk about what God had been teaching her, and shared what she hoped to do with the rest of her life. Of course, I was so proud and blessed to see what a lovely young woman my daughter was becoming.

But the highlight for me was not that her education had been "completed." Rather, it was knowing that her life had really just begun, and that God had used me to give her His life. She graduated not just from our home school, but into her own life and walk with God. By God's grace, and in spite of the academic holes I have left in her education, she seems "well equipped for every good work." God called me to the higher goal of giving Sarah life, not just giving her an education, and it pleases me greatly that I see not only her sharp mind, but her growing heart full of life and love for God.

Since that special graduation weekend, I have reflected often on what it means to be a life-giving mother. By God's design, I have the unique privilege of giving the "life" that I have been given by God, to the children that God has given life to by me. God has called me to partner with Him in the spirit of the first mother, Eve, whom Adam called "the mother of all the living." I am called by my loving God to give life to my children's relationships so they will love as He loved. I am called by my sovereign God to give life to their spirits as they learn about God, His word, and His greatness and purpose for our lives. I am called by my wise God to give life to their minds, that they might think clearly and draw from a deep well of knowledge and understanding. I am called by my true God to give life to their appetites, values, traditions, and work habits. I am called by my powerful God to give life to their own visions for how God might use them in His kingdom's work, and even how He might use them to shape history by building another generation of godly children in their homes. I am called by the living God to give life to my children.

Being a life-giving mother truly encompasses all that is about me and stretches all that is within me. It uses all of my gifts. It pushes me to depend on God for unanswerable questions. It expands my ability to be unselfish. It requires the best I have to give in every area. But it blesses me with showers of undeserved and generous love given by my children, and fills me with a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

As I traveled throughout the U.S. this past year, I was struck with how tired and weary and discouraged many of the homeschooling mothers were. Indeed, this task of nurturing, discipling and educating my children at home is more demanding than I ever could have imagined. Yet, I know it is God's best for my family. I have such a renewed desire to refresh and encourage these precious mothers to help you understand how strategic every day of your work at home is. You are building for the next generation a righteous leadership whose hearts are devoted to God. If children are not trained and loved and nurtured and protected in their own homes, by their very own parents, then who is there to give them the life they so long for in their hearts, that we as mothers are designed by God to give? No one else can do for them what God designed you to do.

I believe we all, as homeschooling moms, need the constant renewing of our vision for being life-giving mothers for our children. That is what will sustain us through the difficult times so that we are able finish the race God has laid before us. And not just finish by falling over the line in exhaustion, but by finishing confident and strong! I want to cross that line, hear the cheers, and then listen to the great stories in heaven of countless children whose lives were shaped by faithful, life-giving moms who gave their lives for their children. I want to hear your story, and rejoice with you to see the fruit of life given to your children.

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