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It's Almost the End of 2011

Today is the 29th of December. WOW!! A year ago I could not have dreamed all that would happen in 2011. It's a good time to take pause and reflect on what I hoped would be, what actually came to be, and what wasn't meant to be.

Our homeschool met many of my expectations, and failed at others (pretty much like every single year!). My marriage has improved and is stronger than ever after 20 years, and that is a wonderful gift from the Lord! Our finances have taken a hit this year; yet we take comfort in the fact that we are walking a path laid out for us by the Lord Almighty, and obedience is our job - the results are His. I've sent a son off to college and no longer have any kids in elementary grades. We still lead the youth group at our church, and the blessings we receive from our co-workers and the students cannot be counted. Even our pets have had a good year - they are aging well and remain healthy and a blessing to our family. Old friendships have deepened and new ones are developing. My oldest and my youngest both had orthopaedic surgery and have recovered well, praise the Lord. My pre-diabetes have remained under control and I live a daily lifestyle that is better than ever before. Our family vacation was filled with fun, friends, family and memories that will never fade. I could go on, but I really don't need to. In a nutshell, I'm so very thankful to the Lord for all He has done in my life over the past year. God is good, all of the time.

And while January marks the mid-point of our homeschool year, I am planning on imparting some "brand new year" techniques. We tend to kick it into high gear in January, February, March and into April. This year will be no different. But in order to keep going full-speed ahead, I need to begin each day with a positive attitude and find creative ways to keep my children focused, dedicated and "non-weary" (okay, that's not actually a word, but you get my drift...). I can't give my children what I myself do not posses, and so I begin in December to make a spiritual study plan for myself come January. Yes, it's redundant for me to tell you that being in God's Word daily is the key to a successful homeschool. Redundant or not, I just have to keep saying it because it's just the flat out truth.

My plan does not need to be your plan. God does not have a giant cookie cutter for stamping out His children. And He doesn't have cookie cutter plans for His children's lives, either. His specific spiritual plan for you is not the same as mine. And the only way to find out what He has planned for you is to listen to Him. Spend time in the Word, in prayer, and sitting quietly before Him listening to His leading. He may guide you to a small group or Sunday school class, a Bible study you can do on your own at home or perhaps with your husband, an online group or a local support group - but wherever He leads, be willing to follow. And take my advice sagely, remembering Isaiah 41; He will gently lead those that are with young. If you are feeling pushed or pulled, if you feel anything other than gentle leading, you need to stop right where you are and pray, pray, pray some more. He won't do anything contrary to His Word, and He won't lead you any way other than gently when you are a mother of young children. (I also think mother's of older children who homeschool need to be gently led by the Lord - it's too easy to be led by the voice of another but Jesus told us to follow His voice alone.)

So finish your year well, make the most of the time you have with your family, and seek His good and perfect and pleasing will at all times. He loves you dearly and will make a way for you that is filled with blessing, even if those blessings are part of a long, hard road.

Happy end of 2011 ~ may your 2012 be a fantastic year!

Day 144 done :)

Jan L. Burt


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