Must go see!!!
Must go see!!!
So I’m just reviewing in my mind how thankful I am that God’s grace has been upon me while we figure our “homeschool rhythm” out. As I am a re-covering perfectionist I was nervous that teaching my children their entire education would trigger a relapse, and I would be educating, but it would not be the good kind.
To begin with I have to say that homeschooling thus far has been one of the best blessings God has given our family! We love it! It has brought us closer together, grown confidence in my kids, allowed us to live…not rush from this activity to that with little time inbetween to slow down and live in the moment (that moment that we will never get again), allowed us to nurture relationships outside our immediate family, allowed me time to nurture my husband, taught us how God spans across all subjects and grown our faith! Wow, and that’s all happened in only about 60 days!!
Yes there will be days (and there already has been) that will make me want to pull my hair out…but honestly I was pulling my hair out way more when they were in public school and I was trying my best to make sure we did all we should do, cleaned all we should clean, served everywhere we could serve, and held tight to the home teaching I needed to do to make sure public school didn’t slip in there and educate them on things untrue or destructive to our faith. I’m so glad God is such a genius! And even more glad that my own humanity is not what fuels this.
I wish I could sing praises to God all day long for all that He has done for me and my family. And when He delivers such blessings as this, I am so humbled and in love! I fail all the time. I lay in bed some nights and wonder if I’m teaching them enough, pushing them to hard or how I will ever teach them algebra!! But then I step back from circumstances and look thru my God glasses and see that I’m not the one running this thing (bc if I was it would already be in the ditch), so I go to sleep, wake up, talk to The Man, get my orders and carry on.
That’s what I keep doing and He continues to be faithful.
I know there will come a day when we have to get a little more structured, spend a lot more time in studies, and plan better…but right now it’s like I was given my kids back. It’s like I’m mom again, not the lady that manages the taxis, cooks and shops for food, the maid, the scheduling assistant, and on an on and on. I’m mom. That’s what I was made for. That’s what He designed me to do. Somewhere in the midst of life we lost the intentionalness of reaching the goal I knew we were supposed to reach. We were being swept by the current and unaware that we were floating out to sea right along with everyone else. And then God very lovingly opened our eyes and we paddled over to the shore, got out of the lazy river and began discovering the joys of being intentional. We are able to put our faith in God first, our family second and everything else falls somewhere behind that. I remember writing answers to “what my priorities are” in bible studies. They were written correctly, but I wasn’t living what I wrote. Now I am, at least most days!
My best days are the ones that I try to teach like Jesus taught. He didn’t plan 30 weeks ahead with visual charts, powerpoint presentations and cue cards. He didn’t compare His planner with all the other homeschool mom blogs and think how inadequate He was. He looked around and saw where the need was. Sometimes the need ran up and begged for help. Sometimes the need lay waiting to see if He would notice. Sometimes He was tired, hungry, thirsty and had too many emails/texts to answer…oops that’s me. But regardless of how He felt or what may have appeared urgent at the moment He used wisdom to “intentionally” line up His priorities with those of the Father and teach the things of real value. He saw the souls that He was teaching, not just the curriculum. Can you feel that moment? The moment you realize the satisfaction of doing what you were meant to do and watching it pay off?
Appropriately enough my worse days are the ones I have an agenda to fill them with curriculum/knowledge and not teach their souls!
This brings me to why I wanted to start this line of journaling. I want to remember to teach their souls not fill them with knowledge. I want our homeschooling to bring glory to God! I want to remember the beauty in watching God correct my family and lead us down a path of awesome blessings. I want to remember that it’s not my hands that bring them goodness, it’s His. I want to reassure myself one day when I re-read this that we did this because God told us to, therefore it’s up to Him to provide what we need. I want to finish reading all those super mom blogs with this one so I know that I’m not damaging our kids bc we don’t have a garden planted yet, haven’t won the noble peace prize, nor do I even have tomorrows lessons planned, but we are doing the will of the Father. He has brought me out of all my other fires; He will deliver me from this one, assuming I go to sleep, wake up, talk to The Man, get my orders and carry on.
A little about me for those I minister to…
I grew up a little here and a little there until 8th grade. Mostly in Oklahoma, but I did have about 3 years in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 8th grade I moved to Wellston and began growing roots. My parents had divorced when I was 1, and my mother (whom I lived with) was remarried. My maiden name was Traci Francis, but in school I used my stepfather’s name (a long story that I won’t bore you with)…Higginbotham. I so often am remembered by this very looong name!
My mother was abusive. During my senior year at Wellston the DHS was notified and took me out of her home. My dad lived in Florida at the time and I was sent there! I was devastated because what upheld me during the abuse I lived with was the love of my classmates and boyfriend (who is now my husband). I didn’t know my dad very well. As I got to know him, I realized that not having him in my life was another abuse of my mother. He is a very sweet man who was told he would be acting in my best interest by not disrupting the family life I had with my mother, stepdad and brother. We grew close very quickly. And I was very happy to have someone who was kind to me. However, my heart was still in Wellston. So when I turned 18 (February 1989) I came back to graduate with my class. I lived with my best friend’s parents (very sweet and caring people) and started college as soon as we graduated just like everyone else. But I was experiencing some freedom that I’d never had before, so I decided to see what all was out there.
In December of 1990, my dad made a trip from Florida to see me. He brought me the good news of Jesus Christ! I was not raised in church. I knew NOTHING of the bible. I had visited a couple of churches with friends, Jeff or my dad. But I was so intimidated because I didn’t know anything about what they were talking about I couldn’t wait to get out of them! So when my dad came to talk to me about salvation I can’t even remember a word that was spoken. I just remember being in a car with him in the parking lot of a Braum’s and feeling like the car was being picked up and twirled around and sat back down. I remember crying and my dad crying and a squeezing of my heart that was like nothing I’ve ever felt. Again I don’t know what he said, I don’t know what I said, but I DO know that God was there. And I knew that He was good and I needed Him.
As I walked away from that experience and my dad went back to Florida, I didn’t know anything about living for Jesus. I returned to my life desiring to be a good person, but really having no idea what that meant. I based my “good” on being honest and responsible. So I explored, played, and dabbled with all kinds of sin. I thought it was ok as long as I wasn’t hurting anyone (I only considered people in this thought, not the Lord) and I was paying my own way. Hence, I looked like everyone else around me. I was even honest so many thought well of me. I lived this disgraceful life for more than 20 years. As I look back I can see why I did it, I can see how God is using it, but only thru God’s grace can I look back and forgive myself for all the pain I caused the God that saved me from hell. The God that saves me each day from my own self. The God I finally allowed to teach me what true love is. The God that has healed my heart. The God that has delivered me from so many bad choices and the God that has saved my kids from living thru the hell I did.
It was only after I had been divorced twice and seeking another marriage, that I finally realized that Traci couldn’t do this anymore. I needed something bigger than me, something wiser than me and something stronger than me. Somehow I knew what I needed was God (He was drawing me thru my salvation). I fell on my knees every day and read the bible every day for a year begging for Him to fix the messes I’d made. I begged Him to heal the wounds and show me how to be “good.” It took about 6 months into that year before I started seeing Him really work, but I saw it! And I craved more of Him! I finally knew where goodness came from…lasting goodness and I wasn’t about to turn it loose. I devoured the bible. I studied it, read it, fell asleep with it, sang it, and started trying to preach it. I wanted everyone to know what I had found out. I quickly learned that everyone didn’t want to know what I found out. So I withdrew and buried myself in God’s Word, prayer, time with the Master, church and my daughter. As I did God started answering all my prayers. He was mending me. He was teaching me. He was loving me.
This all took time…about 8 years and counting. I am still being mended, still being taught, and PRAISE GOD still being loved. He’s shown me how to love and others. He’s given me the grace to forgive those that have hurt me. He’s broken much pride and sinfulness in me. He’s blessed me beyond measure and He’s saved both of my daughters for eternity.
The third marriage I was seeking was to my now husband, Jeff Danker, in 2005. We are living proof of God’s goodness and grace. We have a family built around Jesus! My girls and their love for the Lord overwhelm me with joy!! And also encourage me to keep fighting… keep fighting for all those girls like I was…lost and confused. My girls have also taught me so much from their pure minds and hearts and have led me to this ministry of GWAP. Thru Jaylee’s prayers and obedience GWAP was started 3 years ago as home bible study for a few of their friends. Now it is a growing group of awesome girls that I am blessed to serve. I don’t know all of God’s plans for us, but what I do know is this. I love Him! I love these girls! And I will beckon Him for every step we need to take, and will wear my knees out so that He will be the love of these girls lives. I want them to know where true goodness and love comes from and I want to serve the God that has been so good to me.
There you have it…me in a nutshell. I hope this gives you insight into this ministry and into this teacher. And I hope it gives you peace that my motives are pure and bathed in prayer and biblical teaching. I am an open book…so if you have any questions I will be happy to talk to you. I will you give the answers I have and seek the ones I don’t.
May God continue to bless us and lead us where we don’t even know we can go!!
Some things we discussed Friday:
Finding someone to serve in the month of November: I don’t want to just sit in a class room and teach what Jesus wants us to do with these girls…I’d like to show them. I have been looking for an opportunity for us to serve in the month of November. There is great blessing when we sacrifice our wants to serve others and I sooo want to share those blessings with these girls. I want them to see how backwards the world teaches us to gain satisfaction. It’s not thru working hard to acquire “the good life,” but thru sacrificing and serving others and allowing God to provide us THE GOOD LIFE!! My prayer is that from this they will crave more of it!
At this time I do not have a place of service, but am praying God will provide just what we need. One reason is I wanted to see thoughts of the girls and you about this idea, before we commit to anyone.
Going caroling this December! I thought it would be a great way to praise the Lord and share Him with the town. We could meet one evening and go and sing about the new born King, then come back to the church and have hot cocoa and cookies.
I greatly desire for the families to get involved in these adventures. To experience these things with our kiddos can be some of the best blessings for them and us!! So the more the merrier.
Once we discuss these ideas and make some decisions, I will post more info on GWAP Facebook and text.
Here is the Member letter I sent home with the girls in case they didn’t make home with it.
And here is a short testimony of me! Just wanted to share with you parents who I am and where I’m coming from, and prayerfully going!! 🙂
So encourage one another and build each other up... 1 Thessalonians 5:11
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