Progress Report

I’ve been ‘on sabbatical’ for just over three months and I’ve been spending very little time at my computer.  I’ve been online since 1995 and I’ve never spent so little time on my computer.  The interesting (and almost scary) thing is that I’ve not been missing it at all.

One Day OldReal life has been (is) full, busy and time-consuming.  I have been spending time with family, reading, praying, sorting and tidying things in the house, enjoying time with my favourite five year old. And, (bliss!), I’ve been falling head over heels in love with his gorgeous baby brother who was born at home on 15 March.

On the other hand, I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about not being online and not offering support or encouragement to you lovely mothers as you work hard at homeschooling your precious children. But I have felt to wait and to listen to God. To be sure of His prompting and His will.

Last weekend I was encouraged by the message in the church bulletin.  The minister was writing about waiting.  Talking about the first followers of Jesus waiting for the Holy Spirit as Jesus has instructed them, this is what he said: “There are times when we, too, experience times of waiting.  They can be times of uncertainty, times of being ‘in-between’, seasons which stretch our faith and patience.  As such, times of waiting can be times of refining.

“Metallurgists have discovered that, in the refining of metals, changes occur in the metal during the cooling process.  If the cool-down is too fast, microscopic cracks can develop in the metal that will inevitably lead to weakness and, ultimately to disaster. The cooling process in the refinement of metals is deliberately slow over several stages, in order to achieve uniform structural strength.

“The times of waiting we experience can be seasons when God, as the Great Refiner, will use a period of ‘cool-down’ to build additional strength into our lives, making us more effective for His kingdom.  It’s good to understand that God is just as interested in the process He takes us through as in the final product He envisages.”

I found this encouraging.  It helped me to be patient with myself and to not be ashamed of resting. To enjoy this sabbatical time, (and the precious time with the little guys in my life) allowing space for new strength to be built and for God to show me what His plans are for me.

Lionel Day 5 (5)

Maybe you are also feeling like you are in a waiting place. If so, I hope this message encourages you too. And if you are feeling in need of prayer, I would count it a privilege to pray for you. (Just let me know and I’ll pray specifically for you.) Life isn’t always easy, but it IS good, and we can support and encourage each other on the journey.



Progress Report — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you Stephanie,
    I recently finished your Successful Homeschooling Made Easy course which was a real help, and have then had another baby. (number 3). Everything is on PAUSE,(including the timetable!) as nursing seems to take over at the most busy times. God is reminding me to refine patience… Please pop up a prayer as marriage is rather strained! Thanks, Becky x

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    Thanks for taking the time to drop me a note. I’m glad you found Successful Homeschooling Made Easy helpful.
    Congrats on the new baby. Time with the new baby is very short isn’t it? And they grow so fast. The thing I absolutely love is the new baby *smell*!
    You might be feeling as though you are spending so much of your time with the little one ‘plugged in’, I know that feeling. Don’t forget all the usual tricks like reading to the children while feeding the baby, getting dinner ready early in the day, getting an afternoon nap whenever possible…
    I’ll be praying for you every day. Keep me in touch.
    Stephanie x

  3. Thanks, Stephanie, for the update on your Sabbatical and the encouraging words. I would appreciate prayer that I would not give in to fear…..I worry at the end of the schoolyear (now for us Americans) that I haven’t done enough, taught them enough, read enough, etc

  4. Hi Ruthanna,

    I know that feeling of wondering if you have done enough. I call it ‘the monkey’. It’s the monkey that jumps on your shoulder and whispers discouragement and doubt in your ear. We *all* have the monkey from time to time.
    Tell it to go!
    You will have done enough, I am sure.
    The children will have learned heaps, I know.
    Just check back through your diary notes and prepare to be surprised at how much you have done. 🙂
    I will pray for you by name every day for the next few weeks, as I am also praying for Rebecca.
    Ruthanna, you will do valiantly with our God. 🙂
    Love, Stephanie

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