From HOW eNews Issue 6, Volume 3|
Homeschooling from the Heart
By Stacie Ruth Stoelting
As a Christian recording artist, author, speaker, and radio host, I give all glory to Jesus and desire to seek Him as I look to the future. But I also thank Him for what lies behind! You see, I believe God used home education to equip me for a bright, faith-filled future.
In a nutshell, homeschooling remains more than worth it! In the fall of 1993, our family began the home education adventure. I firmly believe that God opened the door to homeschooling, which He then used to prepare us for more opened doors ranging from singing for President George W. Bush, Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Sarah Palin, international media, etc.
At fifteen, I wrote my first book, Still Holding Hands-Ray and Hilda Beamer’s Story of Love and Triumph over Alzheimer’s Disease. Different conservative Christian leaders endorsed it. After its publication, I spoke often for Alzheimer’s Association conferences, continuing education meetings, churches, and other special events. I then began singing.
My sister, Carrie Beth, later joined me in music ministry. Today, we thank God for opportunities to sing for Him and to Him. (We call it “pray-singing” because it’s far more than performance.) Whether crowds of thousands are present or whether we’re alone at home, we sing to an audience of One: Jesus Christ.
When I glance at the past, I thank God for home education. And I feel sincerely humbled to write this article with tips and lessons learned from home education. With that shared, here are a few ways the Lord allowed our family to endure and enjoy home education:
Tips to Endure and Enjoy Home Education
1. Pray. Pray and thank God for the opportunity to homeschool. My dad would pray every evening and say, “We thank You for the opportunity to homeschool.” This set a great example. Why? Well, we all must gratefully, humbly, and whole-heartedly lean on the Lord for strength, wisdom, and grace. If you think it would help, join our online prayer group for extra prayer. www.PrayingPals.org unites +2,350 prayer warriors to pray each week. “Pray without ceasing” remains our goal.
2. Prepare. Identify triggers for burn-out and prayerfully prepare accordingly. Research. Find a “theme Scripture” for your homeschool.
3. Pep up with praise! Keep a Heavenly perspective on your earthly home. Look up at your Heavenly Father. Include praise every day. Ways to integrate praise include a praise board (dry eraser board), praise book (recording blessings from each day), playing soft praise music during the day (i.e. solo piano), etc. After my sister and I witnessed a fatal accident, we learned the importance of looking up at Jesus and letting Him change our perspective. (We sing to Him and share His Heavenly hope in our album, Heavenly, which was recorded with conservative Christian Grammy and Dove winners.)
4. Persevere. The peer pressure often rears its ugly head. But it’s a mirage. The whole “high school” experience passes quicker than you think. I’m so thankful that I didn’t compromise. God allowed me to sing for President George W. Bush. I believe that opportunity would have been an impossibility without God using home education!
5. Pursue love. (That’s how I Corinthians 14 begins: “Pursue love…”) Make yourself at home in His love and invite Him to homeschool your heart as you homeschool your children. If you spare the rod, you spoil the child. But if you spare the love of God, you spoil the child. The child needs a constant, unconditional source of the true love of God expressed in I Corinthians 13.
6. Push away pride. Believe it or not, sometimes pride infiltrates homeschooling. I recently heard from a very hurt public school student, whose parents won’t home educate. The student feels left out at public school and by homeschoolers who won’t associate with her either. Oh, my homeschooling friends, let’s remember to reach out to all with the love of Jesus. We’re not better than others. We’re simply blessed by our gracious God to educate at home!
7. Press on! Don’t compromise. Keep your eyes on the prize! Run with His strength –not your own. This challenge seems almost omnipresent along the homeschooling journey. But guess what? Our great, loving God remains omnipresent. He will help you! Remember these verses of truth: "But insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly]"(I Peter 4:13, AMP). "Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:14-16, ESV).
Yes, I share a lot of Scripture in my writings. (I do that when I write features for “the number one Christian web site” or for a short devotional.) I always try hard to let God’s Word take precedence and prominence. It’s something I learned. In fact, it’s something I learned at home. Imagine that!
I hope your family will join me in trusting God and taking His Word as the final word: “But the path of the [uncompromisingly] just and righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines more and more (brighter and clearer) until [it reaches its full strength and glory in] the perfect day [to be prepared]” (Proverbs 4:18, AMP).
Witnessing a fatal accident and praying with the dying victim, losing loved ones to cancer and Alzheimer's, enduring chronic pain, and other trials... These challenges drove Stacie Ruth Stoelting closer to Christ. Today, she shares God's truth and love with people currently struggling. God called her at an early age: At age 15, she wrote a book (Still Holding Hands), endorsed by famous Christian leaders. God opened doors for her to sing for the 43rd President, be pictured in major media (i.e. The New York Times, USA Today), write features for CBN.com, and keynote conferences. But she counts all nothing compared to Jesus! Life’s blows hurt her, but Jesus heals and strengthens her: Stacie Ruth and her sister, Carrie Beth, recorded Heavenly with Grammy and Dove winners. They recorded it for two reasons: to give glory to their Heavenly King and to help His followers catch a Heavenly perspective on earthly problems. As Stacie and Carrie know, people fail and times change. But Jesus remains the same! He is good. He is her treasure. To watch video clips, worship Jesus with music from her album, or get in touch, visit www.brightlightministries.com. (Going thru a rough time? Stacie Ruth also invites you to join her prayer group at www.PrayingPals.org.)