thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

when the culture comes to you

Well, the last of our Christmas company left yesterday. It is always bittersweet. On one hand, I am so sad to take leaves out of the table, to put away the toys, and to cut my grocery list and menu in half. (I am much more comfortable preparing meals for a crowd….years of experience. These days, I actually have to look at recipes before I cook so I don’t end up with enough food for the entire neighborhood association.) On the other hand, it is nice to be back in a routine, having laundry nearly caught up and school preparation back on the list of to-do’s this week. Isn’t God good to take us out of the ordinary sometimes only to remind us of just how delightful and comforting that same ordinary can be?

What does your out of the ordinary look like? Often mine comes in the form of doctors’ visits and health care needs of my mom. Other times it is working my schedule around those of children or my husband and their varied interests and needs. Sometimes it is moving around a list of my own priorities to minister to someone who needs a word of encouragement.

But this week my out of the ordinary pushed me further outside my comfortable homeschool mom bubble.

You know how, when the Lord places something on your heart and, as a blogger, you know you just must write about it? And you know how the Lord typically drops real life experiences right into your lap in order to confirm that burden? That has been my experience over the past few weeks as I have prepared the podcasts on homeschoolers and the culture, doing much reading and researching and examining my own heart on these things. Several times over I was forced out of my familiar life interactions, which includes homeschooling moms, Christian friends, a family who loves the Lord, and a vibrant and grace-filled church home, and was placed in 4 different situations where I knew I needed to present Christ to  those who do not know Him personally. I had to physically demonstrate the truth of Niebuhr’s contention that Christians must do all they can to reform their culture.

Within the past few weeks I have been contacted by the secular media, one a local and one a national affiliate, to discuss patriocentricity within the homeschooling community. One of these situations took me completely off-guard and the other one came with a couple days’ notice so I was prepared. But in both of these instances, I was painfully aware that my comments might be used and read or heard by a predominantly secular audience and I felt the burden to be as honest and forthright as I could be while communicating a Biblical worldview. I wasn’t concerned about what I would say…..I have spent several years researching and studying the topic. I didn’t worry about finding the right words on the spur of the moment because I can talk the legs off a mule. And then some. But I did struggle with presenting a living picture of Jesus, of being true to Scripture, of pointing the interviewers to the right places where they could find the necessary information for themselves, of showing a watching, secular audience that there are those who are Christians who have no other agenda than to present the Gospel of grace.

My next opportunity to interact with my culture came when I was asked to be the guest speaker at a Rotary Club luncheon. This was a group of 50 or so professional men and women in my community and I gave a word of encouragement for greeting the new year and being faithful to what you are called to do. I was a little nervous because I usually address a predominantly Christian crowd speaking either about pro-life subjects or homeschooling mom ideas. I kept having to tell myself that I am a professional mom, which helped to keep me focused until I realized that the smiling, attentive man in the center of the room was the mayor!

My last encounter was much more personal and, in some ways, made me even more aware of the importance of the situation. Due to bad weather, our son’s flight in a couple days before Christmas was delayed and Clay ended up driving to Chicago to pick up his family. I was home and all the Christmas preparations were done so I was relaxing and reading when my new neighbors dropped by with a plate of cookies. I have only chatted with them a couple times over the fence and was really glad to be able to finally “meet” them. I invited them to come in for a visit and they ended up staying for an hour while we got to know each other. I do not know if they are believers or not but I intend to find out. I do know that they are expecting a new baby in a few months and I look forward to using that time to build bridges with them, earning the right to get up close and personal about faith and life.

What was the Lord trying to teach me through this experience? I believe it is this: if the Lord desires that we interact within the culture, bringing His light of truth to a watching world, He will bring those situations right to our doorsteps. This does not mean that we are not to seek opportunities to share the Gospel everywhere we go.  But it does mean that, since it is God’s command to us and desire for us, He WILL see that it happens.  Our job is to be prepared with appropriate words, in season and out, and to embrace the opportunity, knowing that the results belong to God and, ultimately, they will all be for His glory alone!

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2 Comments»

  Mrs. M wrote @

I have recently started to visit your blog. I founf you through Melanie at Motherhood Apologia.
I have been learning it’s more about recognizing the oppurtunities then making them. I have a neighbour I am getting to know too.
Thanks for sharing this…I was encouraged.

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Mrs. M and welcome to my blog. Keep me posted on your neighbor situation, too! I will pray that you will have many opportunities for sharing the gospel with her.


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