Listening to the Right People

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Last Friday Ray and I met some friends for a late lunch. We all wanted a quiet place where we could spend a leisurely afternoon in conversation. I suggested the Bull and Thistle on our town square in Gainesboro. It’s a busy place on Friday and Saturday nights and on Sunday afternoons, when it’s filled with locals and with tourists from around the region; but I have experienced the peaceful quiet there on other afternoons and spoke in complete confidence that it would be the perfect place for a two o’clock lunch and long chat.

Boy, were Ray and I surprised when we arrived first on our usually quiet little square . . .

Company for Supper Graduation Virginia Roaring River 001 (139)
I had taken this photo in the early afternoon three days before on Memorial Day.

. . . and found it packed with cars and motorcycles! How could I know it was the weekend of the Tennessee HOG Rally, centered thirty miles away in Cookeville? When Ray and I went inside, we found lots of people and a noise level that was far from the quiet place we had anticipated.

When our friends arrived a few minutes later, we spent a few bewildered moments before we decided to give it a try anyway. We were happy to find the patio deserted. The food was wonderful and the noise level was bearable. As the afternoon progressed, the motorcycles began making noisy exits. Finally, a realization hit quite suddenly. Quiet had come. Ah-h-h-h.

Life is often like last Friday afternoon. Loud noises — sometimes in the form of voices — seem to be screaming at us.

Blog reader Amy from Virginia recently invited me to join a Mother’s Night Out meeting for homeschooling mothers via Skype. When the call was concluded last Thursday night, I was elated, thinking, “Wow! That was fun! I want to do that again!”

The theme of the meeting at her home that night was preparation for the upcoming Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) convention. Amy had kindly given me several questions ahead of time. One was a thought-provoking question that I had never been asked before: “You see a different perspective of conventions as an exhibitor with moms coming to your booth all day long.  What would your advice be to those moms as they attend the convention? For the first timers, how do they know what is important to see or do at the convention?”

In my response, I encouraged the moms to stay away from people who pressure and to listen to those who encourage — both in classes and in the vendor hall. I would give the same advice in relation to support group meetings, park days, and even church. Well, we shouldn’t actually stay away from all those people because they need encouragement, too, but we should be certain that we are listening to the right people.

As you try to figure out how to live your homeschooling journey — and your journey through life — don’t try to fit yourself or your children into a mold. God made each of you individuals. There really is a right way to do things and that way is described in God’s Word. That right way is not summed up in any one homeschooling method — no matter how excited someone else is about a certain method or how well it has worked for someone else or how much someone is pressuring you to use it or even what the credentials are of the person who developed it.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.
Proverbs 1:5

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