Ravens, lilies and a mom’s prayer

“Mom, will there be any kids my age there?” His question haunted me. I didn’t have the answers. I wasn’t sure the answer would be in his favor. It hurt to think we might be moving to a place where he would be lonely. Loneliness is cold and hard.

Three years earlier, we’d moved to a small town with a large SDA school, and family circumstances led my homeschooled boy to enter a classroom for the first time. We dealt with bullying, peer pressure and exposure to new concepts, words and things we’d hoped would wait for later. The Lord led through all of these trials, and overall, the experience turned out to be very positive. My son had wonderful teachers, developed and matured, discovered new talents and aptitudes, and made very good friends. But now another move was on the horizon.

For our family, the move was a plus. For my children, individually, I wasn’t sure. Would they find friends? Would they be happy homeschooling again after being in a brick & mortar school environment? Could I juggle the demands of a special needs child and homeschool the three oldest adequately? Would I have to start a homeschool co-op to meet their social needs? Would I end up spreading myself too thin in a small town and my children not get “enough” of me? . . . You see, we’d lived in this town before–six years earlier–and I knew that the homeschool community wasn’t organized or particularly active, the church nominating committee had already contacted me to fill several positions, and I’d started a homeschool co-op in Arizona so I understood the time demands of such an endeavor.

So I prayed. They weren’t long prayers, but really staccato notes thrown in haphazardly. Poor in quality, steeped in anxiety and that thick, obscure soup of the Unknown.

Two weeks after relocating, a Facebook message popped up on my screen. It was the parent of one of my Kindermusik students from eight years earlier. She’d become a friend then, and we’d kept in touch. “Are you back in town??” she wrote to begin. “My kids and I just finished our first year of homeschooling and loved it.” With trepidation I asked about a co-op or support group. “Oh, yes! There is a very active group now with about 50 families! And they have a co-op that will teach science and history next year. The leader is a friend of mine; I’ll get you connected.” I almost cried.

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matt. 6: 8

My heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed, even while I wasn’t able to completely form sentences in my prayers, but poured my emotions out to Him instead. And He provided. Not only is there a large homeschooling group in the area–at least three times the size it was when I left six years ago, but the co-op they have formed is teaching the exact subjects I hadn’t completely figured out yet. They are a Christian group that believes in a short-earth history, as I do, and they will be using the very curricula I had almost purchased on my own. In addition, child care for my youngest two children won’t be an issue; the moms who aren’t helping watch the young children of the teaching/helping moms, and they are offering classes for my 5 year old.

Amazing. More than I needed. Or perhaps just what I needed, and just when I needed it. The Lord opened the doors for us to move back to a place I call home, and we stepped out in faith even though the move didn’t “seem” right in every way. But the Lord hadn’t told me everything ahead of time. He had some surprises up His proverbial sleeve.

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

(How many times have you wished for just a few more hours to finish planning, cleaning, sorting or even to just relax??)

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6: 25-34

To you, my homeschooling friend: Trust the Lord to take care of your needs. He wants to dress you in His robe of righteousness and seat you at His table in heaven someday. Care for your mutual children with love that can only come from the Father’s hand and trust Him to provide exactly what you need. He is faithful, even sustaining a solitary raven or a hapless lily in the field. How much more will he do for those of us nurturing and teaching his precious lambs? You can trust Him. Pray, trust, and He will provide.

Wendy Smith
Wendy writes from the comforting Appalachian mountains in North Carolina, where she homeschools her four children, ages 15, 10, 7 and 5 — when they aren't traveling! A nurse-educator-turned-homeschool-mom, her extracurricular interests include music, art, writing, and Biblical studies in prophecy and chronology. She marvels at how the Lord leads, and at His sense of humor!

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