A Full Heart

Getting little sleep, I miss my alarm. I jump up and race through my morning routine because I know that mornings before the kids get up are my best chance to get things done. Both of my boys also seemed to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I find that my computer is slow to wake up as well. And the chores seem to have doubled overnight. I send my oldest to his room to change for the day, only to come in five minutes later and find him daydreaming, still in pj’s. We finally sit down to start school and I get little cooperation. There’s complaining about too much writing, “I don’t want to’s,” and “How long do we have to do this?” Not only that, my coffee’s gone cold.

I wonder to myself, “Maybe I’m not cut out to homeschool.” Then midway through the morning, I realize I had forgotten to start the day off in prayer and reading the Bible.

That evening, as I spent time in God’s Word, I was reminded of one of the main reasons why I started homeschooling to begin with–Deuteronomy 6:6-9. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” This passage is the one that prompted me to consider just I could teach my children about God all throughout the day unless they are home with me? I read this passage again and wondered, “Did I actually show my children Jesus in anything I said or did today?”

Then the beginning of this passage jumped up from the page, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” This instruction is given prior to the statement, “Impress them upon your children.” The Spirit convicts me saying, “You can’t teach your children about Me until your heart is full of Me first.”

Anyone who travels by plane knows the pre-take off flight instructions provided by the stewardess. Parents are told to put on their air masks first, before placing one on their children. When it comes to teaching my children about God, I need to first breathe in the words of the Lord before I can help my children. I need to feed on the Words of Life each day before I sit down to feed my children from the Word. I can’t merely spend a token few minutes with God each morning and check off the box. The passage says that His Word must be “upon your hearts.” For His Word to be upon my heart, I have to pray and read His Word with a heart of faith. He has to be my first thing and the only thing that matters. I need to earnestly and intentionally soak in the truths of the gospel of grace until it practically oozes from my pores.

Sleepless nights will come, as will uncooperative children. If I am starving because I’ve not eaten of the Bread of Life, I can’t handle any of the challenges I may face. If my heart isn’t continually focused on what Jesus has done for me, I can’t relate that truth to my children. God convicted my heart to begin homeschooling; He has not left me alone in this. The manna drops fresh each morning for the taking. His Word is there, I need to pick it up and eat of it before passing the plate to my children.

Christina Fox is a homeschooling mom to two young boys, 7 and 4 years. She is also a licensed mental health counselor. Prior to having children, she worked as a child psychotherapist. She blogs transparently about her struggles with depression, her growth in faith, challenges in parenting, and her homeschooling journey at www.toshowthemjesus.com. When not homeschooling or writing, she can be found reading a good book with a mug of black coffee at her side.

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  1. Beautiful post, Christina! It is such a struggle at times to do the “needful” thing – and that is spend time with Jesus. Thank you for this wonderful reminder of what happens when we do not eat first the Bread of Life!

  2. Lisa Tarplee says:

    convicting post. I seem to operate in survival mode more often than not. Rather than feeding on the nourishment only He can give I am often starving. Thanks for this gentle reminder.

  3. Great reminders, especially the oxygen-mask illustration. Jesus said “the son can only do what he sees the Father doing…” It’s humbling to wonder what if our kids had the same limit. Thanks for the reminder!!

  4. This is really excellent post, thanks so much for posting it! Really, one of the most encouraging and convicting things I’ve read in a long time.

  5. Jenna Smith says:

    Christina this was absolutely beautifully written and spoke so strongly to my heart, just what I needed to hear. Thanks for taking the time to share your heart, your wisdom and minister to us other mamas.

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