Breaking Away from Fear

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On Tuesday we continued our series of videos about homeschooling without fear. I hope this excerpt featuring Ray encourages you. You can read the transcript below the video. I have a few thoughts about the topic after the transcript.


The Bible uses the phrase “Fear not”, or some form of it, 170 times. Do you see a theme there? Do you see a pattern in what the Bible is saying? Don’t give in to fear. And so with this encouragement, let’s look again at some of these fears I talked about earlier.

What will other people think? I encourage you to think about the comment by Eleanor Roosevelt, who said: “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” I want to encourage you not to give permission. Don’t give others permission to grind you down, to make you doubt your conviction, to pull you away from what you believe you ought to be doing. Don’t let them do that. You don’t answer to them. You can be kind and gentle, but you answer to God for what you do with your life and your children.

Will I mess up my kids? No. You will bless your kids. You will be a great benefit to your children. Our country is full of kids whose parents have never asked that question, who have turned over parenting to the media, or their peers, or something else, and the result has been really tragic, a lot of hardship and heartache. But you have decided to take parenting seriously. And as a result, you will be a blessing to your children.

In other words, there are solid answers to your fears. We learned some things that helped us grow beyond our way of starting out in homeschooling, making sure that everything was just right.

We had the opportunity one time to visit Great Britain. My mother was from England, she met and married my dad during World War II, but we had never been, my family and I. We had not met some of her relatives, and we really wanted to do that. It seemed really urgent for us at the time. So we saved up, cashed in, did all we could to get over there and visit them, and we were going to be able to visit for three weeks.

And a friend of ours asked Charlene, “What are you going to do about the kids’ schoolwork? Are you going to take your textbooks with you on your trip?” Well, we saw Stonehenge and the Tower of London and Hadrian’s Wall and the White Cliffs of Dover. We toured a lot of England, and some in Wales and Scotland as well. That was our schoolwork! There was no way we were going to miss that for Lesson 73 in the math book. Just wasn’t going to happen!

And so, we came a long way from the blackboard in the den.


And, now, back to Charlene . . .

So . . . by the time we went on our once-in-a-lifetime trip to England way back in 1997, we had learned to make homeschooling who we were instead of homeschooling being a big and heavy sack of rocks we carried around on our backs. Ours was a hard road from blackboard in the den to becoming homeschoolers.

One of the many reasons I am passionate about writing to you each day is that I didn’t have a homeschooling mentor for way too much of that lonely road. When I look back, I know how very much that would have meant to me.

Ray quickly mentions our opportunity to go to England. It truly was a once in a lifetime chance. Ray’s mother and father met and married during World War II. She was an English girl of 18 and he an American soldier of 30.

One Sunday afternoon Ray’s mother’s brother called him. Ray’s uncle told him that he wanted to be sure he would be okay with God when he died. Mind you, this was the first time Ray and Uncle Bernard had ever had a conversation — ever. Soon we were figuring out how that “we’ll go there someday to meet the relatives” could happen pronto. That $25 a month we had been squirreling away for “someday” didn’t come anywhere close to enough, but, by God’s grace, He provided.

The really good news is that Ray baptized Uncle Bernard into Christ while we were there.

For all of you who were baptized into Christ
have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:27

For the next ten months, letters and phone calls went back and forth from our house in Tennessee to Uncle Bernard’s retirement apartment in Bristol, England. Then, he fell asleep in Jesus. We are glad we didn’t stay at home to do math lesson 73.

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10



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One comment

  1. Psalm 56:3 — When I am afraid I will trust in You! The little children at our congregation sing a lovely song based on this verse–and love to hear it echo in my mind, too. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story about not letting fear keep you from the better things of life!!

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