Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My testimony and confession

I want to share a little about myself that I'm not proud of. I love teaching and always have. When I was 13 years old, I wanted to start a Children's Church in the VERY small church I attended. Most Sundays I had 4 kids. But that was ok.... usually I was the only kid in my Sunday School class. I got hooked! I have been teaching in church off and on (mostly on) since. About 5 or 6 years ago my baby (he wasn't really a baby at the time), said something to me that really knocked me off my feet. I was preparing for my class and he asked what I was doing. At the moment I was preparing a really fun party night to celebrate the end of a unit. I told him and he asked me, "Mom, why don't you ever do anything like that with us?"  I was taken aback for a moment, but quickly recovered and blew it off. I couldn't shake it though..... that question came up to me for the next 2 years. Each time it did, I would quickly remind myself that I was obeying my "calling" by teaching my class at church and my children had their own classes and teachers.

Then my life took a crazy, CRAZY, CRAZY turn. I'll not go into details, but our family life suddenly became very complicated. At the time I was the Girls' Ministry Leader at our church and was over 6 different teachers/classes. Suddenly I became very overwhelmed and EVERYTHING was going wrong... at home, at work and at church. I was very much disgusted with everything! I stopped going to church, but didn't stop seeking God. (Stop right there... I know you who were brought up just like I was have already decided I was a backslid sinner... but that was far, far, far from the truth) Every time I searched the WORD and prayed I kept getting the same message... "You need to de-church yourself and YOU need to only teach YOUR children". "De-church myself"?????? What in the world? After many months my eyes were finally opened to the truth. MY church, MY position, MY class, became  IDOLS to me. It's a very real thing. I had become soooo very wrapped up with every "event" my church had, the "girls" at my church that I was over, etc..... that I had lost my way. I became obsessed with SERVING (Martha) that I no longer had time to just sit at my Savior's feet (Mary). And my children... my precious gifts that had been given to me, I had handed over to someone else to teach (because I didn't have time, with all the "ministries" I was involved in). Deut.11:18 and Prov. 22:6 were a constant reminder of my duties as a parent. Duties that I had miserably failed.

You wouldn't believe the ways the Lord worked on me and affirmed what He was trying to teach me. But that's how the Lord works! So, here I was, trying to teach my children at home, with no curriculum, no classroom, no bulletin board, no dry erase board, no copy machine, no coloring pages, no closet full of teaching "helps", no posters.... I was LOST. I had no idea where to start..... I had no idea HOW to do this. My mom was just like me.... she had her own class to teach, so I got taught at church and not at home.  This became the HARDEST challenge I have ever had to face. I know you are wondering "Why?", since I had all those years of practice... and I can't really answer you, but IT IS WHAT IT IS.

I feel I'm finally getting the hang of it (after 4 years!!!!). But I still don't feel as comfortable as I did teaching at church. The main thing is that I'm trying.

That is one very big reason I wanted to get this idea going... to help other families Teach them at home. Is this only for home use? Of course not! I would have loved to have these resources when I taught at church! I just want parents, or grandparents, or Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, next-door neighbor, friend.... whoever you are to the ones you love to know that God has given us a very important duty to teach. Don't ever feel like you have to be "called" to teach to be able to teach your kids. In the above verses there is NO calling required. In fact, don't even think about it as "teaching"... think of it as "sharing" or "reminding".

I'll end on this note.... when you start sharing with your family at home, be sure to get them to tell about what they learned "in class". I know from experience that not everyone believes the same way, even if they are in the same denomination. Children who hear one thing at church and another at home will be confused about it, then ultimately drop both views as "irrelevant". That is why it is so important to talk to your family about what they hear and what you believe. Many times I have had to explain things to my kids that were different than what the teacher and sometimes even the preacher said. I myself chose not to send my kids to a class at church and exclusively teach them at home. We listen to the preacher as a family and discuss the sermon. I do NOT think everyone has to do this.

I hope this has somehow helped you to have the courage to start "sharing" at home. Hopefully you will be able to use the resources I can find to help you out! And the younger your kids are when you start, the easier it is :) And I hope that if you don't have anyone at home, but are a teacher in the church, that you too will benefit from these resources.

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