Thursday, April 3, 2008

Build, Plant, Multiply!!

I signed up to get this devotional from Kym Wright and this was one that I couldn't help but share with everyone! Sometimes it is so hard for me to stay focused on why *I* am homeschooling my kids and why I am staying at home. This devotional encouraged me that I need to stay strong and focused on my goal!

Build, Plant, Multiply

Build houses and live in them;
and plant gardens and eat their produce
.... multiply ... do not decrease.
Jeremiah 29:5-6

Build ... Plant ... Multiply

When this verse was written, the Israelites were in a foreign land. They were captives in exile. King Nebuchadnezzar had forcefully taken them from Jerusalem to Babylon. Free labor for the royals. Prize from the fight.

By the prophet Jeremiah, God sent a word of encouragement to His people.

"Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon ...
verse 4

Jeremiah's first point was that God, Himself, had sent them to Babylon, to captivity. As a result of long-term sin in Israel, this is their punishment. And God took responsibility for their situation – being exiles in a foreign land – and says He made it happen.

Secondly, He wants to tell them to enjoy it. Now that you’re here ...

Build ... Plant ... Multiply

Build houses – provide places of refuge, shelter and safety for yourselves and your families. This won’t be temporary. Don’t just make the most of it, but dig in your heels and get your mindset in gear. We’re in it for the long haul.

Plant gardens – provide for yourselves and your families the things you need. Food to eat and nourish your bodies. Herbs to season your food, garnish the dishes and to provide healing remedies for sickness.

Multiply – don’t decrease. Increase your numbers. Enlarge your sphere of influence. Grow larger, and stronger. Keep your eye on the big picture. Don’t let the hard times kill you. Choose good things in your hard situation. Don’t just make the most of it, but make more while in it. Prosper.

As homeschooling moms, many times we feel we’re held captive to things – a certain curriculum, the law of our state, an superfluous standard trying to "keep up with the homeschooling Joneses," or having many little ones, a special needs child we feel inadequate to teach ... and the list goes on.

If we can just glean from the plight of the Israelites, we could believe that God’s word says to us that He’s put us here. This is no accident, it is divine direction. God takes responsibility for our situation, yet He wants us to own up to our part.

And just what might our part be? To "build ... plant ... multiply."

Build – dig in, lay a foundation, plan to stay a while. Let these homeschooling years provide shelter, refuge and safety for you and your family. Let it be a time of building up.

Plant – provide life-giving teaching for the children, good support systems and things which will help them grow. Then provide the fun stuff – the garnishes in life. The things that make us purr and hum. Add in the extras to feed the soul.

Multiply – bring in others. Be a good ambassador for homeschooling, so others will want to know all about it. Get involved with a support group, or start your own – big or small – to encourage others, and help them stay the course.

When it seems we’re held captive by the four walls, the math book, or the schedule – that’s the time to quit fighting and begin the process to

Build ... Plant ... Multiply

From one mother to another,

Kym Wright

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