The month of June was full of ups and downs at our house. It seemed, at times, there were more downs than ups at times. I spent over 3 weeks straight very, very ill with an excruciatingly painful flair-up of my arthritis. Most of that time, I was bed-ridden. At the end of it, I came down with a stomach bug. So weak I was, I literally collapsed on the way from the bathroom to my bed. As my husband dragged me back to bed, I moaned, “I won’t make it through this one, honey.”
He laughed and said, “You aren’t that lucky. You’ll survive.”
He was right. I was sitting up 24 hours later, and out of bed in another day.
While I was battling for the strength to get out from between the sheets, a dear friend of mine who is struggling against a much worse form of arthritis than mine sent me the message she had to begin chemotherapy. Too dehydrated to cry for her, I have never stopped praying.
Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.
– Hebrews 5: 8-9
I still don’t know “why bad things happen to good people,” but I know God “works all things together for good” (Romans 8:28). If even the very Son of God was perfected through trials, how much more this lowly, sinful woman? I must need so many more trials. Why be surprised I am homeschooling while suffering? I am learning, too.
My dear husband (I don’t talk about him much, do I?) has been through the ringer this month. The last week, especially. Difficulties in his family, at work, around the house … one thing after the other. He is the rock of this place, the steady one, the eternal optimist. But it all seemed to come crashing down on him. I felt so terrible for the guy.
Then, the dog died.
It was so unexpected, so sudden, so out of the blue. Cocoa never told us she was in pain, sick, or dying. We almost didn’t take her to the vet.
But she started throwing up off and on beginning Sunday (which, in itself, is not that unusual for her), then Wednesday she was pacing non-stop and would never lay down. After she threw up several times Thursday, my husband and the boys took her to the vet (first, they had to find one. We never take the dog to a vet, just the shelter for the cheap shots).
Poor Cocoa had a tumor the size of a soccer ball in her stomach area. The vet did not believe that even with surgery she would recover, so they put her down.
The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
– Job 1:21
After a big sigh of heaviness, our family is looking back up to heaven and counting our many blessings. God is very good, every day and all the time. And June is over.
We are learning and praising and studying in the midst of it all. In Bible, we finished I Samuel and read many of the Psalms David wrote while running from Saul (Ps. 23, 59, 34, 56, 57, 142, 52, 54, 63). We learned that our meditations in the midst of trials – seeking God’s face, having the right perspective towards our circumstances and those around us – is the evidence of our faith. We memorized Psalm 100 and John 1:1-14.
Everyone is “done” with grammar. Are you shocked? I have a deal with my children. They are pretty self-motivated on their few workbook subjects (English grammar, logic, and math), and if they finish a book by their deadline (usually their birthday), they get a month off. Right now, everyone is “off” of grammar. And that may last a little while, because Mom didn’t look ahead and buy before the summer budget crunch hit. Oh, well!
We are finally out of the Dark Ages in TruthQuest History. My four-year-old was very upset about that – the barbarians have all been Christianized. He is horrified. But we appeased our own barbarian by introducing him to … KNIGHTS! Who says history is boring?
My astronomer is studying the heavens with Signs&Seasons . We were sure that summer meant easy, always-clear skies, but, alas, in Texas we fight haze. Where there is a will, there is a way, and he has already identified two constellations of the zodiac. I am very impressed.
Shakespeare slowed down while I was sick, but we are determined to keep going. The children and I have read Macbeth, we just need to watch some versions now. We did read The Wind in the Willows aloud (very calm and comforting) and turned to Summer of the Monkeys next. I didn’t know not to start a dog book; who would think our dog would die? My mother is in heaven shaking her head at me. At least it wasn’t Where the Red Fern Grows. That would be unforgivable.
My big news was applying – and being accepted – to the Institute for Creation Research’s School of Biblical Apologetics. I am becoming increasingly burdened to clearly communicate the difference between biblical home education and humanistic homeschooling. This training will be invaluable preparation toward that ministry. (My children give me all kinds of “going back to school” grief, especially my oldest. For instance, he wondered aloud if I would ever learn the proper answer to “Why Would You Want to Do That?” My daughter offered to help me with my writing and memory work “since, you know, you’re getting old and forgetful.”).
I think you are interested in that topic, too. (Not my smart-alack children; biblical home education). My discussion on biblical Christianity and secular humanism was one of the most popular posts this month. Also, my paper entitled “Home Educating in Biblical Truth” which points out the subtle distortions in a new Bible curriculum being promoted by a popular homeschool guru was still widely read this month. I pray we will have more of this kind of writing on WhateverStateIAm.
Other popular articles this month were the review of Revealing Arithmetic: Math Concepts from a Biblical Worldview and the guest post by author Katherine Loop. Be sure to look into this important resource for your family (and check out the great discount Katherine is offering us!).
We all need encouragement, good times and bad. Some of the best-read articles were my own embarrassing incident trying to defend my homeschooling in “Why Would You Want to Do That?“; American Honey Princess and Beekeeping Federation Spokeswoman Allison Adam’s amazing homeschool story in “Ask the Grad“; and how to make it on bad days when you are “Homeschooling while Mom is Sick.”