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Christine Field - Christian Homeschooling, Home Education

Joyful Mothering, Joyful Home Schooling

  • Christine Field Author, Attorney, and Home-School Mother
  • 2002 2 Feb
  • COMMENTS
Joyful Mothering, Joyful Home Schooling
 

Sometimes you’re going along in life doing your PLAN A and God comes along and says, “Now I want you to do plan B.” We’ve all had those experiences. Maybe for you it was coming home from the workforce, or going from one child to two, or from seven to eight!

Plan A for my life was to practice law and later become a judge. Many of my colleagues are now on the bench and I was headed down a similar path. I thought I really wanted the career and the money and the prestige, and God pointed me in another direction - HOME. I was stubborn and fought it, but by His grace He led me kicking and screaming into HIS Plan B, and now I can say that I’m a joyful mother of children - most of the time.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 113:9: “He settles the barren woman in her home as a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!"  That verse is the story of our family life. We were an infertile career couple. After some heroic measures to get pregnant, we did indeed conceive, then miscarried. Two weeks later we adopted our daughter Clare on very short notice. To prove the infertility experts wrong, Caitlin was born to us 17 months later. A few years after that, we adopted Gracie from Korea, and a few years after that we adopted Daniel, also from Korea.

My life before children was just fine. I loved practicing law. I was productive; I was helping people. I was a Christian - as best as I could be. But there were parts of my heart that I couldn’t give over. It was a control thing. I believed my career demanded that I always be in control. So I wouldn’t let God be in control. I was productive, but I was a barren woman - literally and spiritually. My life was fine - but my heart really hadn’t found a home.

And then, “He settled the barren woman in her home as a joyful mother of children." When I finally listened to His direction and put aside my stubbornness and followed where He was leading, He blessed me abundantly. He filled my spiritual barrenness while He filled my home with children.

Through all of this, I have come to understand that the work we do at home with our own children is more important than anything we do in the workplace. If God blesses us with children, He has also given us the responsibility of teaching and training them. And that takes time. I really like the idea of that “quality time” which we are supposed to be able to give our children at convenient intervals. I found the problem was that they need a lot of it. I believe the best way to accomplish this is to spend a focused season at home with children.

One of our favorite books is E. B. White’s CHARLOTTE’S WEB. A pig (Wilbur) is befriended by a spider. She saves him from the slaughterhouse by spinning messages into his web. At the end, she tells Wilbur that she will be busy now with her egg sack, which she refers to as her magnum opus - her best work.

During the time when our children are in our homes, the work we do with them at home IS our magnum opus - the most significant work we probably ever will do. It’s an awesome, humbling thing to think that we are raising the next generation for the kingdom of God. We need to realize the importance of this and see our children for what they really are - our magnum opus - our greatest work. And our most humbling, awesome, joyous responsibility.

So let’s say you’ve been a homes-schooling mom for a while and the daily-ness of it has gotten to you a bit. Maybe you need a shot in the arm to look at the whole endeavor more creatively and to give it the significance it deserves. What can you do?

In my next column, I’ll have a few suggestions. Take these to heart and maybe you can start thinking of yourself as a joyful mother of children.

Christine M. Field practiced law for eight years before becoming a full-time Mommy. She and her husband live and home school their four children in Wheaton, Illinois where her husband serves as Chief of Police. Three of their four children are adopted, one through a private adoption and two are from Korea. She is the author of several books, including Coming Home to Raise Your Children (Fleming Revell, 1995), Should You Adopt? (Fleming Revell, 1997) A Field Guide to Home Schooling (Fleming Revell, 1998), and Life Skills for Kids (Harold Shaw/WaterBrook, 2000). Her fifth book, Help for the Harried Home Schooler (Shaw/WaterBrook 2002) will be available in January 2002. In addition to her contribution to Crosswalk.com, she writes columns for several magazines, including Home School Digest and Open Arms Magazine. Her work appears regularly in Hearts at Home Magazine and others. Her articles on life skills have appeared in Focus on the Family Magazine and Single Parent Family.

Christine loves to encourage others. She has spoken to many groups, including small fellowships and large conventions. To contact her about speaking to your group, or to share your tips and ideas about home schooling, you may email her at FieldFamily@HomeFieldAdvantage.org or visit her website at www.HomeFieldAdvantage.org. You may write to her at The Home Field Advantage, P.O. Box 261, Wheaton, IL 60189-0261.