The word most often evokes thoughts of beautiful scenery or Bible verses. But inspiration can come in all shapes and sizes.
I was the blessed recipient of some much-needed inspiration this past Thursday and Friday, when I was able to attend a Christian homeschool convention in northern Ohio.
As many of you may be aware, we began homeschooling Ethan last spring. Though I've only been homeschooling about a year, I was already feeling as though I was running out of fresh ideas to keep learning new and interesting for him. And so, I hoped that this convention would present me with some new ideas, new activities and a fresh look at homeschooling in general.
This particular convention offers scores of seminars, covering topics that directly relate to homeschooling as well as some that do not. I had attended here last year, but had only had time to do some shopping in the vendor hall. This year, I wanted to soak in as much as I could, so I printed out the speaking schedule a few days ahead of time and pored over it, finally deciding on some seminars that I thought would interest me - and hopefully be helpful to me as well!
And I was not disappointed!
It was inspiring just to sit in a room filled with people that you knew were all there for the same reason as you were - they needed help with a particular aspect of schooling, or they were looking for fresh ideas to help instill a love of learning in their children, or they were looking for tips and advice on dealing with a certain character trait in themselves or their children.
And I was hoping that I might be able to inspire some of you by sharing just a couple thoughts that struck me most deeply, from two seminars that I attended. So, here goes... :-)
Luke Gilkerson, of the blog Intoxicated On Life (which he runs with his wife, Trisha), spoke on overcoming sinful anger, mainly anger toward our children. You know, those days when they have just pushed every single one of your wrong buttons, and you finally can't take any more? Two things that he said really impacted me: when we speak in anger (sinful anger, not righteous indignation), we become Satan's mouthpiece. Satan is, after all, the accuser of God's people, and he is a very angry being. And Mr. Gilkerson also reminded us that Christ dealt with foolish, arrogant, disobedient, frustrating people every day of His ministry, yet He never lost His cool (except for the incident with the money changers in the temple, you might say). Definitely food for thought!
The second thought-provoking item came from Heather Underhill, who spoke about being a highly sensitive homeschool mom. I had not heard of "highly sensitive persons" before, let alone thought that I might be one! A highly sensitive person is simply a person with a more sensitive nervous system. Some people are born with sensitive digestive systems... others are born with sensitive nervous systems. Anyway, one of the points that she made applies to all of us, not just those who are highly sensitive. She pointed out that if she did not share her struggles with others, if she didn't let others know how much she needed God's help with something, then God would not get the glory when that thing worked out; it would appear as if she did it. I had never heard it put into words like that, but I truly appreciated this bit of wisdom.
I came home from the convention encouraged, rejuvenated and ready to take off with some great ideas and new activities for Ethan, hopefully to keep him wanting to learn and enjoying school. I am so thankful to have the wonderful opportunity to homeschool our son, and I know that I am learning as much about teaching and guiding as he is about letters and numbers!
I hope that at least one person can be inspired by what I've shared here, and that maybe you can share the inspiration with others that you know of who might need it.
Have a great week!