Myth of the Perfect Homeschool Family: Part 4 of 4

Myth of the Perfect Homeschool Family, a series by Christine Miller at the www.hsbapost.com

Just in case you missed part ONE, part TWO, or part THREE of this story, be sure to read it first.

Something so amazing happened next that if I had not experienced it, I would never have believed it possible …

I had been shocked to realize that God obeys His own Word. He promised that if His people obeyed His commandments, certain blessings would come upon them in this life, on this side of heaven. And if His people did not obey His commandments, certain curses would come upon them in this life, on this side of heaven. Jesus told us that not one jot or title would pass from Torah until all is fulfilled (Matt 5:18), and all that has been written has not been fulfilled.

We learned by experience that the promise concerning obedience and disobedience having consequences for this life (not the next one) is in force. God has not discarded His Word just because we are believers and are going to heaven when we die, but rather, He watches over His Word, to perform it (Jer 1:12).

So, then I read the first five books of Moses front to back, to find out what His commandments were. I rested on Sabbath (Saturday), no exceptions. I cut pork, bacon, and shellfish from our diets. I began learning what the feast days of the Lord were, to keep them. That summer my son read a book I had recently completed, The Story of the Ancient World, and repented and returned his heart to the Lord God. Wow! I had been praying for four years, and in only a few weeks after committing to learn and keep His commandments, we already began seeing the fulfillment of the promise!

But what about my daughter? I was filled with joy, because I knew she would be coming, and in the mean time, I learned all I could. I began studying the New Testament too, in relation to this topic, because even though the teaching of Jesus in Matt 5:17-21 seems very clear, there were other passages in the epistles which seemed to contradict. I knew that truth does not contradict (thank You God for having me teach Logic to my children), and if the Scriptures seemed to contradict, it was my understanding that was off somewhere, not the Scriptures.

Three events then happened in quick succession. In August of that summer, I was at the grocery store shopping for the next feast day dinner. We gathered as a family and ate a feast meal on each of the feasts of the Lord which were commanded in Leviticus 23. That would be every Friday night, to welcome the Sabbath rest; on new moons, which marked the 1st of the biblical months; and on the seven annual feasts such as Passover and Tabernacles.

The next feast meal which was coming up, besides the regular weekly Sabbath, was the new moon (1st day) for the 6th biblical month. I did not know it at the time, but the start of the 6th biblical month traditionally marked the beginning of the season of teshuvah, which is “repentence” in Hebrew. The formal season of teshuvah lasts 40 days, from the 1st of the 6th biblical month, to the 10th of the 7th biblical month, which is one of the seven annual feast days of the Lord, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).

I had checked out and had paid the cashier. I turned with my cart, holding my bagged groceries, to head for the exit of the store. There was a man who had been gathering shopping carts while I was checking out, and as I turned to walk toward the exit, he turned and said something to me in Hebrew. Now, my back was to him. And I don’t know Hebrew. But I knew that I knew that he was addressing me. So I turned around, looked at him, and said, “I’m sorry?”

As he spoke again, the surrounding environment seemed to fade and time seemed to come to a standstill. And yet everything continued around me as normal. It is difficult to describe. He repeated his question to me, again in Hebrew. Again I did not understand him. And then he added, still in Hebrew, but this time I understood him (I do not know how, other than by the power of the Spirit), “Are you one of the ones who obey the LORD, since you are wearing tzitzit?” (Tzitzit is Hebrew for “tassels,” and there is a command in Num 15:37-41 for the children of Israel to wear a blue thread in the tassels on the four corners of their garments.) Now, you know, the intellectual will say, “This command makes no sense, there is no logical reason to do this. It affects nothing.” For me, I learned a command and implemented it, because I am not an intellectual, I just wanted to learn what the Lord’s commands were – so that I could keep them with my whole heart.

I told you that if I had not experienced these things myself, I would never have believed them! I am just relating to you, as clearly as I can, what happened. I had read the command about tzitzit a month before and started wearing them. I felt foolish! No one in my family, no one in my church, no one in my circle of friends, did anything like this! However, I believed God’s word, and I was willing to be a fool for Him, if He asked it of me!

So, I answered the man, “Yes.” A single word. In my mind, I was panicking, “What if he asks me next if I am Jewish? What am I going to say?” And so I only said the one word, “Yes.” He inclined his head to me and turned and went back to gathering carts. Time and space returned to normal. And I turned and left the grocery store, all the while wondering what had just happened to me. Because of what happened next, I believe the man was an angel, sent on purpose to test what my answer and testimony would be and whether I would deny God and His Word or not.

The grocery store incident took place on a Thursday. That Saturday, we went to church as usual in the evening. My pastor had begun a sermon series that summer called The Fixed Heart. He was teaching on Psalm 112 and what it means to have a fixed heart before God. That night, his message was about the reciprocal relationship between the man with the fixed heart and God. God asks the man with the fixed heart to do something, and the man does it. The man with the fixed heart asks God to do something, and God does it. They have a reciprocal relationship. He went into the Hebrew explaining everything, and it was a very fascinating message, in fact I recommend the whole series.

I went home that night dwelling on everything I had just heard and learned. As I was falling asleep on my pillow, I very clearly heard the Spirit say in my heart, “You have been careful and done everything you have learned that I have asked man to do. What would You like Me to do for you?” And out of the depth of my heart, I cried, “I want my promise! I want my daughter to return and have a circumcised heart toward You!” I was already falling asleep, and I do not know if He replied.

The new moon feast dinner was that Monday night. I was busy all day cooking and singing in my heart with joy to the Lord. My older daughter and her family were coming. My son was coming. I wanted to invite my younger daughter, but I had no idea where she was. I did not even know if she had a phone. I think she did, but we did not have the number. So I asked my older daughter and son that if they somehow, on an off-chance, talked to their sister to be sure to invite her to the feast dinner at Mom and Dad’s on Monday night.

Five o’clock rolled around, and as I was setting the table, the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, there on the step was my baby girl! I hugged her and brought her inside, thinking that her siblings must have told her about the dinner, and I was thrilled that she would come to a dinner in honor of the Lord!

As I finished the food, I prattled on the whole time about everything that I had been learning, how excited I was, and how it was going to be the new moon for the 6th biblical month! I am laughing about it now, because it must have been so much to take in, but it all come pouring out of me, out of the joy that was in my heart!

She didn’t say much; the rest of the family came; we had a wonderful dinner; and at the end, before the dessert, as was our custom, my husband poured the wine and broke the bread; and we had communion together as a family. As he was speaking the blessing over the bread and the wine; explaining that Jesus took in His body the punishment for our sins; and shed His own blood for our complete and total forgiveness, my baby girl had one tear, then another, run down her cheek.

She went home. That week, as she was driving in her car, the presence of God so overwhelmingly filled her car that she had to pull over, and she gave her heart to the Lord completely and totally that night, without reservation. She turned. She left the drugs far behind; she left her drug dealing boyfriend, and moved in with her brother. She started coming to church with us. I later learned that no one had informed her about dinner that night. She just had such a strong urge to go home to Mom and Dad’s that she showed up on our doorstep.

That same month she learned she was pregnant. My sweet girl! She sought God’s face for her baby, and in the end gave him up for adoption. She is the strongest and bravest woman I know.

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I don’t know if I could have obeyed God as self-sacrificingly as she has. But her heart had been so transformed, and so circumcised to love and serve God that once she realized what the will of the Lord was, there was no question for her but to do it. It is a beautiful open adoption, and her little boy, who turned four years old this summer, is in our lives. His mom is his Mama, and our daughter is his Birth Mama. And we are his grandparents, every bit as much as his regular grandparents.

The Lord told her at the adoption placement and dedication ceremony we had in the hospital that she was like Hannah, who gave her firstborn son to the Lord. Therefore He would give her a husband who is better to her than ten sons and also sons and daughters.

Last year she was married, to a man who fulfills that Scripture in every way. He loves God with his whole heart and is the answer to every prayer we ever prayed for our daughter’s husband. He lays down his life every day for his wife. He is truly better to her than ten sons. We love him like our own son and thank God every day for His faithfulness in delivering our children from the snare of the fowler.

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Today, my oldest daughter is the mother to our eight year old grandson and five-year old granddaughter. Both of her children have asked Jesus to come live in their hearts; both love going to church and Awana every week, and both are growing in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. She homeschools them.

As she well knows, those things will not keep them in Him, but she is wholly turned to Him, rests on the Sabbath and walks in the other commandments. We trust God’s promises will prove themselves as true for her as they have for us. Her husband is not yet a believer. We love him and continue to pray for him, every day, to see the God of love, who loves him with His whole heart.

My son has met a beautiful girl who gave her heart to Jesus earlier this year. They are now engaged and planning their future together. We love her like a daughter and give thanks to God, that after such a heartbreaking tragedy as he endured, God has restored him and given him a wife, a future, and hope.

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You have heard how God is fulfilling His every promise to our baby girl. Her son, whom she gave up for adoption, is being raised by a wonderful, godly family, in His nurture and admonition. Earlier this summer that little punkin gave his heart to Jesus. We do not deserve the blessing You have poured out on us, God! But we thank You and praise You for it!

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NOTE FROM GIDGET : I had the wonderful opportunity of formatting this post for release, and as I prepared it for posting later today, Sept 25th, I had an awesome revelation. TODAY is Yom Kippur! Due to circumstances beyond our control, it took longer than 4 weeks to release this series. I truly believe that it was released in God’s timing – it can’t be a coincidence. {If you are interested in learning more about the feasts Christine discussed, one of our authors, Robin Sampson, wrote a book several years ago – A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays.}

As Sprittibee said, we thank you for this awesome legacy of faith and perseverance, Christine!

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chrisChristine was raised in the Lutheran church and was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit at the height of the Jesus Movement in the 70s. She and her husband David have been married 30 years, and have three children, whom she homeschooled, and four grandchildren. Soon after she began homeschooling, Christine discovered classical education. She is the author of Classical Christian Homeschooling, www.classical-homeschooling.org. Her search for an interesting and accurate history curriculum led her to H.A. Guerber’s 19th century narrative histories. In order to reprint these books for homeschoolers today, and to offer other original homeschooling resources, she began Nothing New Press, www.nothingnewpress.com.

David and Christine recently left Colorado where they raised their children and relocated to Florida to be with David’s family. Shortly after this move, Christine was hit in a terrible traffic accident and suffered a debilitating injury. Her recovery has taken time and effort, but she has progressed enough so that she is once again writing. Today she blogs daily at christinesbiblestudy.wordpress.com.

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Comments

  1. says

    Yay! I have not read this yet, but so happy to see it because I was waiting for it–and praying blessings upon your family in the meantime. Going to get a cup of coffee and have a little reading time… !

  2. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. And I thank your children for being willing to have their stories told. I know this wasn’t easy but your sacrifice is such a blessing to me and I am sure, to many, many others.

  3. says

    I’m so in awe. What an amazing story — and the date that it posted : Yom Kippur – gives me chills!!!! I’m reading my book : “Celebrating Biblical Feasts” now… and feel very sad that this tradition has fallen away in Christian circles, when we serve a God that claims to be the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

  4. says

    Thank you so very much everyone, who read and commented on this series. Learning the new things I have been learning, since the time I have recounted here, has been an amazing and wonderful and interesting journey to say the least. Anyone who is interested in following along with me can find me at christinesbiblestudy.wordpress.com. My email address is christinesbiblestudy@gmail.com and I am happy to answer questions. Believe me, I think I have been asked all of them, LOL! Love and hugs — Christine

  5. says

    I have really enjoyed and appreciated reading this series. Thak you so much Christine for sharing your story. I actually grew up keeping the Sabbath and God’s festivals. I’m with my family right now observing the week-long Feast of Tabernacles in Australia with others of like mind. So there are others of us out here who still observe these days – not many, but we do exist!

  6. Claire says

    Christine, thank you for sharing such a painful and honest story. I wonder if you were aware of the Jewish Shabbat tradition of the father blessing the children and singing Eshet Chayil (Proverbs 31) to his wife? I think this would be a tradition that homeschool families would enjoy incorporating, even if they do not participate in Hebrew Roots.

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