Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is my heart big enough?

I started teaching two language arts classes at our homeschool  co-op this year.  Wow! Are those kids smart! I'm going to have to stand on my head and spit nickels in order to challenge them.  In the meantime, I have each of my middle schoolers starting their own blog for a journal.  I can correct and edit their work from home.  I'll add comments about grammar in the margin.  I did this with my own children, and it was really nice for them to have instant feedback.  

You all know how much I adore my own children.  That just comes with being a mom.  But God has done something marvelous in that he is allowing me (in a very limited capacity) to love and challenge other people's kids. 

 It's not a responsibility I take lightly.  I know how picky I am with my own; I assume those parents are the same.  It takes the right about of prodding, finesse, challenging and encouragement to be a good teacher. 

 In a homeschool co-op, you have a whole different scenario.  We have very talented, gifted, and motivated parents entrusting their children to you.  These are not the sit-on-the-sideline kind of parents.  These are driven, godly, motivated people.  They want you to love on their kids in just the right way.  

In reflecting on this phenomenon with my mother, I said, "Mom! I'm not just teaching them.  I have to care about them and love them too!.. and I wondered.. would my heart be big enough?  I already have five children to love. "  

She just listened and I could tell she was getting weepy on the other end.  (My mother loved on other peoples' kid for 30 years of teaching)

I continued, " Mom! Do you know what happened?"

silence.. a few sniffles.

"My heart just got bigger.  It got big enough to love each and every one of them." 
Praise the Lord


Kari said...

Wow! You are an amazing woman! Praise the Lord for you and women like you and your mother that are so open and giving with other people's children! You are truly a wonderful testament of a Godly woman.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not just teaching them. I have to care about them and love them too!" What a good point! I used to always pray before I took care of other people's children that the Lord would help me to love them as my own, and it really does make all the difference in your interactions! It is so wonderful that there's no limit to our love because we have an inexhaustible Source in our Heavenly Father Who can make our hearts just grow and grow as He pours in love for every person He calls us to teach or care for.

Anonymous said...

How beautiful! I remember wondering if I could ever love another child as much as I loved my first, but magically...the moment I saw Michael, I was "in love" with him too, and so I never doubted my capacity to love any number of my own children. Loving other people's children is probably even more of a miracle, but I've learned from loving Andrea, Gene, you, Steve C. (Joel's best friend), Will, Joli, and others that love has a way of expanding! A verse the Lord gave me a long time ago that I always use to encourage me in this area is: "Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes" (Isa. 54:2). The Lord will enlarge our hearts with love as we stretch out by faith to accommodate others that He privileges us to know!

Scribbit said...

I felt like this when they asked me to help teach some children at church--I'm not a natural "kid person" and didn't think I'd like it but after a short time I really loved them.