Tuesday, November 14, 2006

• Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - Brick By Brick
It didn't seem right yesterday to mention dear old Nehemiah and then not give him a little more thought...

Consider the state of Nehemiah's problem. His people had been in captivity for decades and precious Jerusalem was in shambles. Not only had they been defeated by their enemies and taken away from their homes, but the remnant who were behind in Jerusalem were entirely unprotected: the walls were broken down and the city was burnt out. They were vulnerable to further attacks, and were the laughing stock of those who looked on.

Nehemiah could not sit by and let this continue. He decided the ruins needed to be rebuilt. Now if this were happening today, a lesser man might have written to ABC. The letter would be as follows: "Dear Extreme Makeover, Old Testament Edition. Our situation is dire. Our people are held captive and our beautiful city is destroyed. Please consider us for your show." And if they were lucky enough to be chosen, Ty Pennington and his crew would come and in 7 days they would have a newly restored city complete with plasma t.v.'s in each bedroom....

Reality check. Nehemiah knew that the wall would only be built brick by brick. Stone-mortar-stone-mortar-stone-mortar and so on until the job was finished. That is where they were at when they were ridiculed in chapter 4. A few stones and some mortar does not look like a wall at first. Small beginnings, remember?

That's what I need to remember in my homeschooling and child-rearing. I pray "Lord give us success in our homeschooling" and then hope in the morning I will awake to find my 7 year old has been miraculously changed in to a eloquent young woman graduating as valedictorian from an elite university. Alas, it is not so. The task is hard, the work is long. Part way through it doesn't always look like much. Part way through it is hard to remember that every brick is a critical part of the wall.

Each time I correct a math quiz, each time I sing a History memory song, each time I teach a new skill it is a litte stone, a little mortar. It may only be kindergarten, grade two, grade five, ...whatever. It is nonetheless part of the building process.

Sara Groves sings a song called "Kingdom Comes" and it is brilliant.(http://www.saragroves.com/store.asp Look for this title on the "Add to the Beauty" Album. The lyrics and a sound bite are there.) Do not let your heart be downcast today as you slowly build into your children's lives.

Lord, let me be like Nehemiah: willing to do the work, willing to value the work, willing to not be distracted from the work, and always looking to You for the strength to accomplish the work.

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