Friday, December 08, 2006

Here's what I think...

First of all, why do we want this to be true?

This cartoon absolutely cracks me up! It's one of my favorite ones from Todd Wilson's cartoon book. I love it, because it illustrates that no matter how perfect some people may appear, there's a possibility that they are just like me (and boy, have I resembled that mom before!) But, why do I need to know that? Why do I need to think that others are not as perfect as they appear? If they were that perfect, would it be any skin off my nose, really?

When I read the November Epistula letter the first time, I thought "Oh my gosh! I could never do all that. I'm a slacker compared to her! My poor kids!" The second time I read it I thought, "Good for her. She's found something that works for her." The first time I read it I read it through the lense of my own insecurity. The second time I read it, it was from the position of one who is confidently doing what I know I'm supposed to be doing, in a way that honors the One Who called me to do it, and glad that someone else is doing the same. Either way, it wasn't her deal, it was mine! Her words and thoughts on the page (screen) never changed. But the way that I read them did. A fellow homeschooler telling what works for her and how great her homeschool is functioning need not "touch a nerve" at all! In fact, I submit that if it does, that nerve was already exposed. The key is to figure out why it's exposed. The enemy can get our nerves exposed for the purposes of causing pain and doubt, and with the eventual goal of pulling us away from our purpose and calling. Our Heavenly Father allows our nerves to be exposed for the purposes of healing, correcting, and building us up and filling us so that we can press on for His glory. If you read another's success story as a condemnation of your own circumstances, that's from the enemy. If you read it and are convicted that you could do better, or feel confirmation that you're on the right track, that's from God. Condemnation weighs you down and conviction pulls you up. Because in my experience, conviction is always accompanied by hope. Hope that it can be better, and hope in the One who can make it so. He promises to! I can't tell you how I've clung to the verse, "The One Who calls you is faithful and He will do it." If He's calling me to it, He'll equip me for it! I could tell by the reactions to the letter on the Well-Trained Mind boards back in November who was feeling condemned, convicted, or confirmed by her letter.

About the second letter, the December edition. If the November letter hadn't "touched a nerve" with me (which it really hadn't), the December one did. Beginning with the inference that they are the dentist and the reader, the patient. Condescension aside, I had to read it as what it is- an advertisement. Like any advertiser, they must create the need for their product or service before the consumer will be prompted to purchase it. What better way than a testimonial? While the initial letter may have not been meant to point out the lack in many homeschoolers, the fact that it was taken that way by some readers served as a perfect opportunity to point out that they (Veritas) have what those homeschools need. I can't blame them. They are not a ministry, they are a business. They have a product to sell. Just like Coke has to convince you how thirsty you are. Could you quench that same thirst with water? Of course. But they're banking on the fact that you'll quench it with Coke. Veritas is hoping the same thing. Once the reader is sufficiently convinced that her homeschool is woefully behind due to her lack of 50+ hours Veritas teacher training, she can then download it, listen to it, and be directed as to how she can purchase what she needs (from them) to bring it back up to par. And really, is there anything wrong with that? It may be that the seminars are just what that mom needs, and that the materials might just be a perfect fit for her children. We have used many Veritas products and/or recommendations over the years and will continue to do so. (Just like I've had my fair share of Cokes over the years!)

Going with Coke example, though, I must tell you that I am a Diet Dr. Pepper girl. That's my preference and my taste. I am not a straight-Veritas homeschooler, either. So, hearing how a mom incorporates the Veritas Teacher training and it has revolutionized her homeschool need not make me feel I should abandon my methods and materials and do the same. Again, good for her. God's plan for her family is different that His plan for mine (in the specifics). In the broader sense, it's the same- conforming us to Christ's image and calling us heavenward. How He chooses to accomplish that in each of our families looks different. If you read something that convicts you, pray about it. (Pray 1 Thessalonians 5:24!) If it burdens you, reread it in a God-given spirit of confidence (not defiance) and see if there's anything you can use. If it's total condemnation or condescension, weighing you down, trash it. (The same words can be used either way- the enemy can use words that help some people to totally mess with others!) Either way, don't give up. It's not a sign that you're not cut out for homeschooling.

Press on!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Really well said! I am here because I googled Veritas press 1st favorites...looking to hear what moms have to say who have used this. I enjoyed your post, the newsletter from veritas is sitting in my mailbox, I haven't opened either from both months!! You have me interested now in what they wrote. I did see a discussion on the sonlight boards started by the newsletter.
I'm enjoying your blog,
Jenny in Ca


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