You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Psalm 71:20 (NKJV)
What does a homeschool mom do when mold hits? She carries on. Much like when a family has a new baby, taking time-off to celebrate and welcome this precious gift from God. Much like when a parent gets cancer and has to lead lessons from the bedroom. Much like when any disaster hits, the tragedy becomes the lesson.
We had our school year all organized. My son wanted to learn about mammals, so we ordered the Apologia science book about the Land Animals of the Sixth Day. We bought a zoo membership in hopes of making several trips to zoos. I organized his weekly lessons using the file system, where you have 36 folders, one for each week of the school year. I tore his hand-writing and spelling workbooks apart, dividing them amongst the folders. I included notes for what math lessons should be done, along with corresponding math warm-up sheets and tests. I listed the science chapters and assigned mammal reports. His Abeka State Book was also distributed between all the folders. But then mold struck!
From his older siblings, we had a wonderful collection of all the Saxon Math books and Pathway Readers. I love the stories in these Mennonite readers, though now I suggest they add one about mold. When Joel’s older brother left for Bible college, he pointed at the math books which had given him so many late nights of grief, and declared, “Jesus can’t return until Joel completes all these math books!” Joel was on track for completing them, and might have even been the first of his siblings to do the still-wrapped-in-plastic Calculus book! But then mold struck!
We were also digging into God’s Word. Several year ago, a traveling college student had sold us a wonderful set of seven Bible story books for older students. Our other boys were past the age of reading them and I had saved them for Joel; we were finally reading them together. The Bible came alive with the Spirit-filled writing in these books and we had almost completed Genesis. Daddy was reading A Closer Look at the Evidence for our morning devotions. The proofs from God’s Creation were always thought-provoking. But then mold struck!
We tried to continue. We didn’t know we would have to throw out all paper and books because of mold spores, so we brought his school work to the first evacuation house in town. Joel dutifully did his lessons. Together we walked to a nearby church so he could practice his piano lessons. After a few weeks we moved to the little cabin near our house to be closer to our animals for farm chores. There, Joel practiced piano on his sister’s old keyboard, while still trying to do a few lessons. When we found out we had to move out completely, the mold would not be repaired, we had to toss all the books (even those math books!), all the schoolwork and folders, all the crayons and markers and pencils and maps and Bibles and puzzles and games collected over 28 years of homeschooling our children. And the piano the church gave us 20 years ago was left behind. All because mold struck!
But the Lord has provided… first a guest house in which to stay until He shows us our next home, then a homeschool mom delivering new markers, colored pencils and a pencil box, then a church friend with notebooks and folders, a neighbor with a math book, Thriftbooks.com with used readers and a devotion book, a dear man from our fellowship with new Bibles, a love gift to buy missing workbooks, another keyboard on loan from a dear friend… and slowly, slowly we got back into a routine of schoolwork. Handwriting became writing thank-you notes, devotions became the book of Job, reading became library books. We waited a month to begin math, skipping 40 lessons and finding out it was still easy for Joel (maybe he will need that Calculus book after all, but who will teach it?!). At times we don’t feel well, so cozying-up with stories on the sofa is the best thing. I’ll probably never do the folder method again, too much work to have it all thrown away! We may continue our mammals and zoo theme into next school year when perhaps there will be time for those field trips. Someday, when we are in a new home, we will put up a fresh world map to chart the missionary journeys of his big brothers again and dream of Jesus sending us out, too. And there won’t be any mold!
You shall know that your tent is in peace;
You shall visit your dwelling and find nothing amiss. Job 5:24 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: Dear one, are you in the middle of a family crisis? Perhaps mold? Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face evermore! Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth (1 Chronicles 16:11-12). Find your trial in God’s Word (mold is in Leviticus 14:33-57 and 2 Chronicles 6:28-30). Let your children learn from your faith as you pour your heart out to God in prayer. And together you will see His marvelous works and wonders!
For He bruises, but He binds up;
He wounds, but His hands make whole.
He shall deliver you in six troubles,
Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. Job 5:18-19 (NKJV)
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson