Homeschooling with No Regrets Part 2 – with Wendy Speake & Rhonda Stoppe HS#234
LISTEN HERE Homeschooling with No Regrets part 2
Today is part 2 of our 2-part conversation with Rhonda Stoppe. We’re covering the remaining 4 points from her list of 8 very specific things we can do to make sure we don’t look back on these homeschooling years with regrets.
If you missed part-1, please listen to that one first! It’s a gem… and so is Rhonda!
Rhonda Stoppe has been a favorite speaker at The Great Homeschool Conventions over the years, and is the author of multiple books including “Moms Raising Sons to be Men” and “The Marriage Mentor.” Rhonda’s trademark is “No Regrets Woman!”
Today we’re talking about homeschooling with no regrets.
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Welcome to the Homeschool Solutions podcast, brought to you by Sonlight Curriculum and Homeschooling.mom. I’m your host, Wendy Speake. Here on the show, every week, you’ll get to listen in on some great conversations, with wonderful guests, all designed to equip us as homeschooling moms. And then once a month, we’ll be opening up the Bible together, applying God’s Word to our long, blessed, but often challenging days. It is my hope as we gather together in this space, we will encourage one another with some practical, Biblical solutions. I’m so glad you’re here.
Before we start the show, I’d like to thank our sponsor, Sonlight Curriculum. Complete homeschool curriculum you’re guaranteed to love. And now, enjoy the show.
Well, welcome back. This is a special one, I’ve not done this before on the Homeschool Solutions Show. But, halfway through our conversation last week, halfway through, about 40 minutes into, the conversation with Rhonda Stoppe, I said, Stoppe! I said stop! I want to keep talking but this is getting too long. Can we do a two-part conversation? Because none of us wanna homeschool with regrets. Right? None of us want regrets, so we wanna give this our full attention.
And so, Rhonda said yes, she would come back and do a part two. So, if you missed part one, please go back to part one from last week, and listen to that because we’re going through eight main ways, eight main points, of how to homeschool with no regrets. We’ve already covered the fact that:
- We’ve been called to this
- We can regularly evaluate our motivation for why we’re doing what we’re doing
- We don’t wanna become prideful
- We don’t wanna be control freaks
And now, we’re gonna invite Rhonda back.
Rhonda is a marriage mentor. And she’s actually written a book called The Marriage Mentor (With Marriage Help – FREE Videos ––Seriously the videos are totally free. No Catch!) .
Rhonda Stoppe is also a homeschooling mentor. She’s one of our favorite speakers when we have face to face, the Great Homeschool Conventions.
So, I’m just so happy to introduce you to her now. Rhonda, welcome back.
Thanks, I’m so happy to be back with you.
Thank you. Okay, so I don’t wanna do any of this chit chat business. I wanna get right back into the meat of it. So can I introduce you and just let you run with it?
Okay. We were talking about homeschooling without regrets. And, what has burdened my heart as we were reviewing last week’s episode, you and I both have spoken at homeschool conventions. We have stood at our book tables and at our interactions after our speaking engagements, and there’s moms and dads who come up with regrets. They come with hearts broken over their prodigal. The one who, maybe they did control, and they wish they could go back and change it. And it’s too late. Or they think this is too much. And they are burdened with regret. And with feelings of, I wish I could go back and do it over again.
And I think of this story, in my book, Mom’s Raising Sons to be Men, and it’s one of my more hopeful stories. And it’s about Adoniram Judson. Adoniram Judson was raised by Puritan parents. In fact, his father was a Puritan preacher. And for any of us whose husbands are pastors, I know, even Steve going into full-time ministry, I was like, okay. PK’s are not okay. And I don’t wanna raise that. And I remember being on my face before the Lord, saying, I will quit before I will lose one of my children to this.
And so, there’s a couple of stories I wanna share as we jump in. The first one is when Adonirum Judson grew up and he wanted to go away to college, he went to New York University and he wanted to be a playwright. And he went and studied and as he graduated as a playwright, he tried his hand at the theatre in New York, and he failed miserably. And he had rejected all of his Puritan parent’s upbringing. His roommate, his friend, Jacob Eams, had laughed at him when he said there was a God. And his professors turned his heart away from believing in God.
And isn’t that crazy? The Bible says there’s nothing new under the sun. And this is back in the Puritan times, when he was going to a secular University, and even then, higher education was mocking the existence of God. Now, we don’t know how the Puritan preacher and his wife handled that. I know I’ve wept with many Pastor’s wives over their prodigal children. But I can bet you that they intervened and prayed for God to recapture the heart of Adoniram Judson.
So as the story unfolds, in my book, Mom’s Raising Sons to Be Men, I talk about how one night, Adonirum is discouraged. He’s on his horse. It’s dark. He’s looking for a place to stay, to sleep, and there’s a light in the distance. So he directs his horse toward that light. And it’s an Inn, and he goes in and he asks the Innkeeper for a room. And the Innkeeper, I have one room, and you’re welcome to it. However, the man in the room next door is dying, and he’s crying out in pain.
Well, at that point Adonirum Judson had thought his heart was so hardened that he wouldn’t care. And he just was happy to have a room. So, he went in and all night long, this person was crying out in anguish and pain. And that began Adonirum questioning what he had rejected of the faith of his father and his mother. And he remembered thinking, what if it were me dying tonight? What if I was going to stand before God after I had rejected Him, and he was scared.
And somewhere in the night, he fell asleep. And he woke up in the morning and he checked out. He asked the Innkeeper about the person that had… that was in the room next door. And the Innkeeper said that he had passed away. And for some reason, Adonirum Judson asked the Innkeeper the name of the man who had died, and the Innkeeper said, his name is Jacob Eams.
It was the very friend that he had met at college that had turned his heart away from God. And with that, it brought him to repentance. He went home to his parents. He went to seminary. He became the first foreign missionary in India. He translated the Bible into the Burmese language. Three thousand people came to Christ because of his testimony. His wife, it’s an amazing biography to read, the biography of Adoniram Judson’s wife.
But that was a prodigal. And see, when…there’s a Scripture in Samuel that says God devises a way to bring the prodigal child home. And when those prodigals repent and come back, they come back more on fire…look at Peter. I think of Peter’s story when Jesus didn’t say, Peter, Satan wants to sift you like wheat. But I’m not gonna let him. I’m gonna stick up for you and not let it happen. He didn’t say that. He said, But I’ve prayed for you. And when you return, right?
So, for some of those parents that are listening right now with regret, follow the example of Jesus, and pray for those prodigals. Satan wants to sift them like wheat. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one accomplishes much.
One of the most valuable resources that we have to parent without regrets, to homeschool without regrets, is prayer.
And we get so busy doing good things, we forget that we need to be Moses on the mountain with our arms, and when our child starts to maybe question what they’ve been brought up to believe is true… maybe they’re pursuing relationships with people that don’t honor Christ, and we’re freakin’ out. Get those arms and you incorporate Aaron and, was it Hur? That held up Moses’s arms when he got tired? And you incorporate people to intercede for your children because it’s the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one that accomplishes much.
So, if you get stuck, if you’re listening to this show, and you’re like, I have so much regret! I’m gonna do it differently with my younger kids. But with my older kids I messed up. But God is bigger than our mistakes!
And when we just fall on our face and say, God, I don’t know how, but I’m gonna pray that You devise a way to bring that prodigal child home. My eyes are on You. I’m not gonna try to rescue them. I’m gonna follow the example of the prodigal father that Jesus told him that parable, and I’m gonna watch the horizon. I’m gonna intercede for God to send a famine to cause them to slop the hogs. I’m not gonna rescue them from slopping the hogs. I’m gonna pray that that is what God brings them to repentance, and brings them back to Christ.
So, I feel like we had to talk about that because there are people that will think it’s too late for my one kid. I regret, and I can’t go back and change it. You can’t. But what you can do is humble yourself under the mighty Hand of God. What you can do is take the worry and replace it with intercession. And leave it at Jesus’ feet and ask Him to do a work in your child.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I hope that that’s well received by many of you. And so, we’re gonna dive back into these eight points. Let’s see, don’t compare yourself to other homeschool families. Which might sound a little bit similar to number three, which was, don’t become prideful. But my goodness, the scope of this is so big. It’s so easy to get caught comparing and really, the opposite of pride, to be so down on yourself. As you say here, and really, in this season, in this generation where hashtag homeschooling mom, hashtag homeschoolers of Instagram, hashtag Pinterest-worthy, you know, unit studies. My goodness, it is so hard not to compare yourself to other homeschool families.
So speak into that for us, would you, Rhonda?
Well, it’s easy to start comparing. It’s a practice that can either cause us to become judgmental towards others that don’t measure up to your standard. Or, it can cripple you with discouragement. And I think it can make you feel alone and isolated. Because you know you’re not measuring up to, you know, super homeschool mom that’s doing it and seems like it’s without a hitch. Like, it’s her sweet spot. She loves it. She’s great at it. And she’s taking amazing field trips, and she’s got her, you know, homemade espressos and all, you know, making her Etsy store while she’s doing all this other stuff.
Wow. I feel like I just wanna get through the day and, we’re having cereal for dinner. I don’t care…
When we start comparing it can either cause us to become prideful or it can make us feel inadequate. Click To Tweet
It’s a great place to unite with homeschool families because we can learn about curriculum. We can learn, you know, we can find encouragement. We can uplift those that are struggling. Inspire their creativity. A lot of homeschool moms I know is like, I’m really good at the creative part, and I’m really good at the math. Let’s swap and I’ll help you with your kids. That’s awesome. Do that. That’s great.
But, we have to, while we’re developing and uplifting homeschool community, we have to be sure that we don’t make others feel inadequate. That we don’t… the unity of our church can be threatened by a close-knit homeschool group. Because it’s the people who don’t homeschool see them all together, all the time. They’re taking their kids on field trips and they’re sitting together. And they’re visiting together. And the ones whose kids are going to school kinda feel like, ah, we’re the second class, you know, they don’t think we’re as good a parents cause we don’t do that. And it can cause a rift. It can cause two different communities in our churches.
And if… Jesus said that they will know that we are His disciples by our love for one another. We have to be careful not to click off. And, you know, I always tell our church family, after church is over, you might have ten minutes to say hello to the people that have visited your church. Or to the people that maybe aren’t in your supercell group of people that you’re comfortable with. Don’t go talk to someone you know. And it’s easy to want to, because… I can… I know, you know, me and I don’t have to think of something to say and all that.
But, if we’re loving ourselves more than we love the Lord, that’s how we’ll respond. But if we’re loving others with His selfless love, we’ll say okay God, open my eyes and help me see that people who visited church. They say that you get maybe three visits, and if they don’t feel welcome, they won’t come back. So, we as a church family, have a responsibility to make our church… it’s our home. It’s where we’re comfortable. If someone walked into your home, you wouldn’t just talk to your family. You’d welcome them. You’d give them, offer them a drink. You’d encourage them. A lot of time, just networking with that single mom, I want you to meet this other single mom. I think you guys might be really good friends and might be, you know, an encouragement to each other.
If we are just the homeschool church, and I remember when we came back from Texas to California. The church we came to was a very small church. They had been without a Pastor for two and a half years before we came. And most of them homeschooled. And Steve was like, I don’t wanna be the homeschool church. I want us to be the church that goes out of our walls and has a burden to share the Gospel. If we’re homeschooling our kids, it’s for the purpose of equipping them to do the work of the ministry.
And one way we do that is to show our kids that we need to go talk to people that we don’t’ know well. That we’re not comfortable with. And then not acting like we have something better to offer our kids than the moms that don’t homeschool. Walking in unity. God won’t bless our efforts if we are gossiping.
And let’s talk about gossip because it’s… you may say, you know, oh I would never sleep with the mailman. Well, good for you. But if you’re gossiping in your homeschool group, about how someone’s child is not doing well. If they would just homeschool them, they would be so much better. Or, you know, whatever the… your gossip is just as divisive and ugly and destructive to the body of Christ as any sin that you may label as horrific.
So, as a homeschool group, you have to be willing, to each other, say, let’s not be a gossip group. Let’s hold one another accountable with our tongues and if we are talking about something on the phone, stop each other. My husband always says, just say this, let’s just not talk about that. And then that stops the gossip right there. It’s like, you know, you get into that area where you’re like, how did we get here? Just… let’s just not talk about that.
I think that in our generation… I mean, maybe it’s just that I don’t have a lot of gossips in my inner circle of friends, or neighbors and stuff, but I do see that we can do the same sort of divisive work with our tongues when we’re just not speaking well of our husbands. Oh, you know, during quarantine everybody’s home, and how come he didn’t know how to move the cups into the sink? And, how come the kids, you know, blah blah blah blah blah. And I found that I mean, that might be good, and it might actually… not good, I mean, it might be okay to have a conversation with a sister, saying, here’s some areas I’m struggling. How would you think would be a good way for me to bring this up at a family meeting in a way that’s not only respectful, but is gonna be, you know, effective, right?
But I find that we get tired. Man, it’s just so easy to be…bitter with our tongues about who we’re closest in our lives, not just what the neighbors or doing, or what the other moms in our midst are doing. So, you know, God’s so clear that He doesn’t want us doing curse… cursing, or coarse jesting. And I think some…or gossiping. I think sometimes those lines can blur. And really, if your words aren’t building up, and leading to the edification of others or yourself, there’s a need to not only hold your thoughts captive but shut your mouth. Shut your mouth.
And honestly, in 30 years of ministry, I have watched parents that are committed to not let their kids go to the big bad public school, but behind closed doors, there’s fighting, and, mom undermining dad. And there’s a thing called emotional incest. And a lot of times it’s a mom turning to her children to pour on them her frustrations with their father. Or those things that they should be getting from dad as this emotional support. And they’re getting it from their children and there’s a danger when you’re spending all day every day with those kids at home that those become your friends. It’s not healthy for those children.
And so we have to be willing to hold our tongues and let it begin with you. And maybe we need to repent. You know, go before the Lord and say, God, I tend to speak negatively about people that don’t measure up to my expectations. Or I tend to…even jokingly, undermine my kid’s father because he didn’t take out the diaper pail, you know?
I want to uplift and support their dad, you know, when our sons and our daughters get to a certain age, we need more input from their dad. They hit adolescence and they’re like, okay, I’m gonna tell now you talk to your… well, if you’ve been telling them for a decade their dad’s an idiot, and then all of a sudden you want them to respect dad’s authority. They’re gonna be like, but you’ve been telling me he’s a bonehead for ten years. Why should I, why should I believe you now? Right?
Absolutely. No, I just wanna know, does everybody see why we had to stop this halfway through the last episode? It’s because even though there are eight things we wanna talk about, really there are eight hundred and eight things we wanna talk about. And all of these could be a sit-down conversation. If one of these side topics is resonating with you in a deep way, I wanna make sure that you know that you can reach out to me. You can reach out to Rhonda directly, if you come to the landing page, you’ll be able to find how to find Rhonda on social media directly. Or we can also just tell you, right now, let me see… you can tell us if you’d like. Rhonda.
You can visit my website, noregretswoman.com and it has all my social media outlets there. Noregretswoman.com. I will tell you, I shamelessly post a ton of pictures of my grandchildren on my Instagram account.
And you know what? That’s a really good transition for us.
I’d like to take just a moment to thank another one of today’s sponsors, Medi-Share. And affordable and Biblical healthcare alternative. Find out more at mychristiancare.org for their ongoing support of homeschooling families, just like ours. And now, back to the show.
And I’d like to come back with point six, which is equipping your children with God’s Word. But, just because I encourage them to reach out to you, number seven is, find a mentor, be a mentor. And I’ve heard this before and it means a lot to me. I’ve always been told, find someone ahead of you, find someone behind you, and find a peer walking beside you. And you’ll be poured into. You’ll have someone to pour out, and you’ll have someone to enjoy the journey with.
So, I really believe in this mentor. I have heard from so many women, however, Rhonda, yes, I want to mentor! Yes, I want to mentor! Somebody tell me where a mentor is. So, can you speak into this point? If we wanna live lives with no regret, marriages with no regret. Mothering and homeschooling. Talk to us about this whole mentor relationship.
It’s God’s plan. It is the journeyman training the apprentice. Titus 2 calls the older women to teach the younger how to love their husbands and love their children. And I love that that word, to love your husband, means to be a friend to your husband. And when I was a young wife, and i knew I wasn’t the wife I meant to be, I looked around at the marriages of… that were the parents of the kids in our youth ministry. And the ones who still laughed at each other’s jokes, the ones who wanted to be together. The ones whose kids wanted to be home and bring their friends to their home. Then I asked them, will you show me how to be like that?
And what was interesting is they just became my friends. I mean we went camping with friends that, before we had kids, we went to Idaho on a two-week camping… I remember it was like a log cabin in the middle of Idaho––somewhere with friends that had three children. Cause I wanted to watch how it was done.
And as we did life with these people, to live, how to build a no-regrets marriage, how to parent without regrets. And these women invited me to Bible studies. And I remember when I don’t need a Bible study. I know all the Bible study stuff, I went to Christian stuff. I need to know how to be better at this mom, wife, thing. But they invited me to come. They said just study the book of Philippians with us.
And I remember, the book of Philippians was like, okay, I’ll do that. And it absolutely changed my life. It absolutely transformed me into becoming the woman that I really wanted to be. Because as I viewed God’s Word, I started seeing life with a Biblical world view.
The Bible says, “don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That you may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.” And all of a sudden my parenting was becoming different. And my marriage interaction was becoming different because God’s Word was giving me His Eyes to see life through His perspective.
And these older women, even now, I watch these older women that I have been friends with for thirty-eight, forty years. And I am learning from them how to even become an older woman. How to be a grandmother. How some of them have had to bury their husbands. How to be a widow of the one that you’ve loved your whole life, and how to continue serving the Lord in widowhood.
These women have taught me so much. Some of the things that godly mentors do is they give you clear advice and they’re not swayed by emotional attachment. You know, when we’re in the middle of living our lives, our emotions can so often affect how we view things. And if, you know, if you go on a social media feed, and someone makes a comment, a 20-year old makes a comment, and then all the 20-somethings in her friendship group are making more and more and more comments, you know, about how their husband drives them crazy, or whatever, whatever, whatever. And then one woman steps in and says one golden nugget. And you’re like, there she is. There’s that older mentor that we were looking for.
Yes. Yes, she’s there.
Yeah. And enjoying fellowship with someone that’s walked ahead of you in your shoes, learning from their successes and from their regrets. And finding encouragement to keep doing what God has called you to do. One of my favorite stories and I think I share it in our book, The Marriage Mentor, when Steve and I went to Dr. James Dobson family talk to be interviewed, and after the show, we got to go in his office.
Now, I have loved Dr. Dobson from the time I had my first child. She was a strong-willed child. I read his book, The Strong-Willed Child, I walked into his office when I first saw him and he was sitting in his chair. And I said I have to hug you. I feel like I’m seeing a long lost Uncle who taught me so much about being a mom. And he was so sweet, and he goes, I gotta hug you, and he gave me a big hug.
So, we did the interviews, and then we went back to his office to visit, and then the two men, my husband, Steve, who’s 65 years old now, and Dr. Dobson, who I believe is in his 80’s, they were standing off in a corner in the office. And they were chatting, just the two of them. And I heard Dr. Dobson ask my husband, so Steve, in all of your years of ministry, and at this time in your ministry, what is the one thing that rings true in your heart. And my husband teared up and he said, that I will finish well.
And then, Dr. Dobson reached over and grabbed Steve’s arm and he grabbed him by the elbow and he squeezed it and he said, me too. Me too. And I feel that that is what the older mentors in my life are teaching me how to finish well. And it is my prayer that as I am now a grandmother and walking in this season of my life, that I will finish well. And that I will show my children and my grandchildren, and any woman that God puts in my path to mentor, how to finish well. As a Pastor’s wife, I ache for the women in our ministry to finish well.
What an amazing thing to do is to have Godly mentors in your life who are committed to finishing well.
That’s right. I’m such a believer in that. You know, sometimes I speak to women’s groups about the fact that we can laugh at the fruit of God’s Spirit in our lives. And whether we do, and we talk about, what does it mean to abide in Christ, and what do… how to we abide in God’s Word? And, cause when we do that, then He abides in us and we bare fruit anyway. I say all that to say that when I have a friend that leads me by example, and I spend time, I abide with her. Some of her rubs off on me. And that’s like fruit, you know?
It’s like, oh when I’m around Angie, I’m more patient with my kid. I don’t see their childishness as such a sin, for goodness sakes. I don’t get so worked up over every problem. I’m like, oh! And I even find my inflections take on Angie’s inflections. Angie rubs off on me as I abide with her. And I want to spend that kind of abiding with God and in His Word, but one of the ways that He does that in very practical ways is by giving us mentors. By giving us people and we are abiding with His character and we’re abiding with His personality and the fruit of His Spirit in the lives of others. And we kinda catch it when we abide with them. We learn it by example. And it’s not just, okay, let’s get together for a mentoring session.
So I really appreciate you speaking into this. And again, I just… this is not a commercial. But, do follow along with Rhonda if you’re on social media. You can find her at No Regrets Woman, whether on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook. Or again, as she mentioned, going directly to noregretswoman.com because she really does, as I’m scrolling through Instagram, lead me by example. She always has a picture of her with her husband laughing. I mean, you can’t go a week without her laughing with her husband. And what a wonderful leading by example. Oh, that’s right, delight in him. Oh, that’s right, delight in God’s Word. Oh, that’s right, delight in your children, or one day, your grandchildren. So, just really a beautiful example to us to live out what it is you’re telling us we need for a no-regrets experience ourselves.
And then there were two more here. The first is, equipping your child with God’s Word. And I just love that we have this face to do that through in our homeschool days. So we’ll spend a little bit of time on that. And then, Rhonda’s gonna bring us home with number eight of how to live a life with no regrets, but specifically, how to mentor. I mean, sorry, how to homeschool with no regrets. And that’s to be genuine. So, would you speak into those two areas and to our lives?
When we equip our children with God’s Word, I feel that there’s a couple of ways we can do that. Number one, the Word needs to be hidden in our hearts, that we won’t sin against Him. That’s Psalm 119. And I love Psalm chapter 119 so much that I am memorizing the chapter. I… and I gotta be honest. I have memorized a lot of Scripture from the years that I spent in, you know, in Christian schools and just over the years. But I remember a few years back, I think it was 2008, cause it’s longer than a few years ago now. I was really convicted. The Lord was saying, continue memorizing Scripture. And I don’t ever hear an audible voice. It’s just that conviction that you know God’s calling you to something. And I was like, oh, I’m old, I can’t. Unless it’s to music, I can’t memorize the Bible anymore cause I’m an old lady, ha ha ha.
But I was super convicted that I was not doing what God called me to do. And the Bible says you have not because you ask not. So I said, okay. Lord, I’m asking You to help me commit to memory passages of Scripture. And I’ll do the work if you help my mind to comprehend it. And you know, Jesus said, let the Word Christ dwell in you richly.
It’s the Word of God that is quick and powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword, that cuts to the very thoughts and intents of your own heart. And shows you the areas that God wants to mold your character more to the image of His Son. But it also gives us His Word and His Wisdom to speak, even as we’re sharing with our children. The Word of God is what’s quick and powerful, so we can either beat our kids over the head with Scripture, or it can just be something that’s weaved into our conversations and our everyday life.
But if we don’t know His Word, then we can’t speak His Word. So, you have to be committed to being washed with the water of the Word, no matter that takes. And, it’s funny, we were just watching some home movies. My kids were all just home recently and we put on some home movies that we haven’t watched in years. I wanted to see if one of my son, Brandon’s little boys, I think he looks exactly like Brandon. So I wanted to show it to his wife. And as we were watching these videos, I was cracking up. Because I was sitting on the couch, and the kids were crazy all around us, and I remember, we lived in a one-room house. And I… my bed was the sofa bed. It was Steve, in the living room, while we added on to this house in the country. So there was a lot of stuff going on around us.
And I was sitting on the couch while Steve was videoing the kids, and in many of the videos, I had my Bible open on my lap doing a Bible study, while the craziness was going on around me. And Steve would tease me, you know, like, what are you studying? And I’m like, eh, I’m trying not to be a crazy wife, gimme a break, you know. Lol.
But what it impressed on me, for the first time that I’d ever seen it, and I’m wanting to cry about it, was I saw what my kids saw. They saw the chaos. They saw the crazy life choice that we had made. I mean, I was born in Los Angeles. I am, I was raised in LA and in the Bay Area. And I’m living in the middle of nowhere on a generator cause it was my husband’s dream, and here I am while my kids were observing me:
- trying to fight for joy
- trying to rejoice in these circumstances
- trying to wash my mind with the water of the Word in the middle of some unexpected chaos –that I never expected in my life.
But I saw a glimpse of what the kids saw. And it didn’t show them on the video, turning and looking at Mommy with my Bible in my lap. But the video captured it just as everyday life went on around me. I knew Jesus’ Words, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. I knew my lifeblood was the Word of God. And that, I learned from those older Godly mentors.
And I would be remiss if I did not say I was not raised by amazing Godly women. My family, I come from a long line of the opposite. And that’s all I’ll say about that. I led my mom to the Lord six months before she passed away a few years ago. So that’s an amazing blessing to know that my Lord rescued my Mama.
But, I think a lot of times people hear and they think oh, they were all raised in church and this is third, fourth, fifth-generation Christian, and you know, my Dad came to the Lord when I was four years old and I watched his life transform completely by that. My husband’s mother was a Godly woman who loved the Lord dearly and I learned a lot watching her, how she loved well her families.
But we have got to fall in love with Jesus through the pages of Scripture. We have got to pray Psalm 119:165, Open my eyes that I might see wondrous things from your law, as we open His Word.
Not just doing Bible academically, so we can check the box that we did our Bible, but knowing this is what is going to bring me to repentance. This is what is going to transform me more to the image of Christ. This is what is going to change my world view to be what God wants me to see when life is going on all around me. It’s easy to get conformed to what the world says is valuable, but we want to transform. And when our children see that, that they will see is the way that God has transformed us. And then when we teach them, this is how God has for all Christians. We’re not preaching at them, we’re saying, join me in my journey. Join me as I come to the feet of Jesus.
It becomes an invitation. We’re not looking for more knowledge. And we’re not just doing it so that we’re conformed. But our conformed lives transform lives becomes a walking, talking, breathing invitation. I’ve heard so many people say if you wanna raise readers, read to them. If you wanna raise kids that love good literature, have good literature around the house. If you wanna raise readers, every night, be on the couch reading. And that’s become something, it becomes part of your family culture.
Well, if we want our kids to be wooed into the Word of the Lord, then having a great Bible curriculum, man, that’s not enough. Really, blaming and shaming them for not being in the Word this morning isn’t gonna do it. But Mama, you get in the Word, you let ’em see the radiance on your face in spending time with Jesus, how it transforms the way you speak to them. Man, what an invitation that is. And what a great invitation this is for us, and to really point eight, be genuine. Be genuine. Let God’s Word do a work in your heart and so, yeah. How do we live this genuine, genuine life?
Even being genuine to the point of saying, okay, I’m having a bad day and I’m hormonal. I’m having a bad day and I didn’t get enough sleep. Or I’m having a bad day and I wasn’t in the Word and I can tell. The normal Christian life is pursuing Christ, wanting to do it well, and failing. And then, repenting. And asking those around us when we have failed them to forgive us. And then picking ourselves back up, putting ourselves back in the presence of the Lord, and continuing on our journey with Him.
That’s the normal Christian life. When we don’t let our kids see our failures because we try to hide it from them. Or we lost our temper and we’re like, we blame them. I mean, your book, Triggers, is one of the most amazing resources for anyone who deals with that. But when we blame our kids for our anger, or you know, I’m feeling this way because you won’t… if you’d just pick up the house, right? I feel offended because you won’t respect what I do all day.
And I remember, I went through a book called Idols of the Heart, by Alise Fitzpatrick, and it helps you discern what your idols are. And one of mine was respect of others. When my kids would come in and you know, put dirty feet on the floor I just mopped, my offense was not, oh, I don’t want them to be careless and to be careless with other people’s work. It was, don’t you care what I do all day? And I was offended because I wasn’t being respected.
And so, we can want our kids to do good things, but when we will sin to get them to do good things, we have to step back and know, this is an idol in my heart. I have to repent of that, and ask my kids to forgive me for that.
When I gossip about someone on the phone and my kid heard me, I’ve gotta go back and tell them, that was sin. And let’s call sin, sin. Let’s not say I made a mistake, or you know, I sinned against the Lord when I talked badly about whoever. I’m going to ask the person that I talked to forgive me, but I want you to forgive me also. Living genuinely before them gives them the path for how a real Christian walk is lived out.
I think of when Brandon was in like, junior high, and I think I’ve shared this story with you before, Wendy. Steve was a Pastor, we had just moved back to California from Texas, and a friend of Brandon’s from Texas started using cocaine. And when the parents found out about it, they sent him away to a place to get rehab.
Brandon was so disturbed that the parents sent this child away, and he went into Steve’s office at the church and I remember and, this is that adolescent, irrational, you know, how adolescents can be, but he asked Steve, he said, I gotta know. If I did that, what would you do? Would you send me away? And Steve said to him, son, you’re my priority ministry. If I saw you going down that path, I would quit my job as a Pastor, I would strap on my tools, Steve was in construction for years, and I would bring you to work with me every day. And I would not leave your side until I walked you through this trial.
Brandon cried. But Brandon needed to know that Steve was more interested in his ministry to his son than he was even in his ministry as a Pastor. Our kids need to know my reputation as a homeschool mom, as a author, mother, speaker, Pastor’s wife, whatever your title is that you take pride in, you know, telling people that’s what you are and who you are. If that, if your kids feel that that is priority over your ministry to them, your hypocrisy will drive them away from the God that you serve. It will not be a light that draws them to Christ. So, you know, Jesus said:
“Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
- Let that light shine before our children that we’re serving selflessly with Christ doing it through us, not for the approval of men. But for His Kingdom and for His glory.
- Not being offended when someone doesn’t appreciate that I worked in the nursery three Sundays in a row, and talking to my kids about nobody at that church… you want kids to love your church.
- Don’t gossip about your church to them.
- Don’t tell them anything that you don’t love about the Pastor. If there’s things, you talk to your spouse about it, (or if you’re a #SingleMom seek out a godly mentor), you talk to the elders about it.
- Your kids are not to be sitting in the back seat hearing you bash the congregation or somebody who let their child wear something to church that you would never let them wear. It’s a sure-fire way to drive y our kids away from church.
If I could read just a closing, the closing page of my book, Moms Raising Sons to be Men…
It says, this is your time. In 1950, when missionary Jim Elliot decided to leave the safety of America to take the Gospel to the Indians of the Ecuadorian jungle, his parents were fearful for his safety. Confident that his decision was directed by the Lord, Jim wrote this letter to his parents. “Remember how the Psalmist describes their children? He said that they are a heritage from the Lord and that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them. And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for, but to shoot? So with the strong arms of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly. All of them. Straight at the enemy’s hosts.”
Are you doing what it takes to prepare the arrows in your quiver? As you apply Biblical principles, you can help prepare your children for God’s purposes. When it’s time to pull back the bowstring and release your children, imagine tearfully watching them leave your bow.
Holding your breath, you observe and pray… haha, crying… as the Holy Spirit, like a mighty rushing wind, sovereignly guides your children to the bullseye so that he might light on fire the generation in which the Lord has ordained that he would live. I can think of no other way to send my children out into the world, can you?
In history, the influence of mothers has shaped nations, trained leaders, nurtured artists, and encouraged ordinary men to accomplish extraordinary feats. This is your time in history, Mom. This generation needs mothers who will selflessly embrace this blessed calling of motherhood and raise children who are courageous and righteous.
Won’t you draw near to the Lord through repentance, prayer, God’s Word, fellowship with believers and Godly mentors, for through these, you will be empowered by the Spirit of the Living God with strength and wisdom to develop the purpose God has ordained for you? And you will become a mom that you always hoped you would be. A mom without regrets. (excerpt Moms Raising Sons to Be Men, Harvest House Publishers).
Powerful. And so applicable and I’m so glad that we were able to, over these two episodes, work through those main points. But, you guys, Rhonda’s writing is really good, and I really like good writing. Like, it’s easy to read, it’s full of stories, it’s applicable. But then there’s so much Scripture and so many take-aways to immediately apply to your own mothering homeschooling life with your families. I just wanna really encourage you again, not just to follow her and get a little bit of wisdom here and there.
But pick up this book or one of the others, if you’re struggling right now in your marriage. Or you just would love to have a mentor speak into your marriage. Rhonda has a couple of books. I’ve mentioned The Marriage Mentor, but Real Life Romance is another one. And I love the title of this other one, it says, If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy. And Other Myths Wives Believe.
I mean, Rhonda’s just got a lot of resources to lead us. She’s walked ahead of us. She’s got wisdom to share, and man, does she ever love the Lord and His transforming Word. So, would you please sign us off again today by praying for us? Man, I just love it when you pray for us. So, would you do that? And then, everybody, let’s go follow along, if you’re on social media, find Rhonda or pick up one of her books, or send a message to the Great Homeschool Conventions and tell them that when they open their doors again after all this crazy corona virus business, we wanna see Rhonda there at the Great Homeschool Conventions so we can listen to her and hug her neck, face to face.
Thank you. I’m gonna pray for us and then I’m gonna just pray for every single woman as this posts, that God will do more than we can imagine. Holy Father, thank You for Wendy. Thank You for this ministry. Thank You for this amazing time in history, where we can have coffee with these women as we sit in their living rooms as they listen on their phones while they’re doing their carpools or all of the ways that You have provided for Your Word to go forth. I am in awe of that, Holy Father.
As this conversation, God, could easily maybe discourage someone who’s feeling like they’re homeschooling has been regretful. Father, help them to hear the highlights of those things that they can do to just trust You. Father, You say You take our little and You make it much. Father, that no matter where we are in our homeschooling journey, that You will chart the path ahead of us and be our rear guard.
You have examined our heart. You know everything about us, from far away, You know our every thought. You chart the path ahead of us. You tell us where to stop and rest every moment, You know where we are. You both proceed and follow us and place Your Hand of blessing on our head.Father help us to remember that what You have called us to, You will empower us to do. Help us to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness. Help us to make our lives vessels of honor that You can use, exceedingly, and abundantly… Click To Tweet
Father, please send this conversation to encourage, to challenge, to equip, to convict us. And go, Father, before it and use it in mighty ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Amen. Thank you so much, Rhonda. We sure do appreciate you.
So fun. Loved it.
- Moms Raising Sons to be Men
- The Marriage Mentor
- Real-Life Marriage
- If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy (and other myths women believe)
- A Christian Woman’s Guide to Great Sex in Marriage
- I Sleep With the Pastor
8 Ways to Homeschool with No Regrets!
“Wash your mind in the water of the word… We have got to fall in love with Jesus through the pages of scripture.” @RhondaStoppe)
“We can want our kids to do good things, but when we sin to get our kid to do good things––that’s a problem.”
CONNECT WITH RHONDA:
Sign up for Rhonda’s Monthly Newsletter at: NoRegretsWoman.com
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What a privilege it is to have these conversations with you each week. You are so busy. I don’t take it lightly that you tune in with me here for a weekly shot of encouragement. As a reminder, you can subscribe to the Homeschool Solutions podcast through Apple or Google Play, and your positive reviews always help other homeschooling families find us online.
As we say goodbye, I’d like to say thank you to Great Homeschool Conventions. Every year they host multiple conventions in various regions throughout the US. You can find a location near you at GreatHOmeschoolConventions.com. With dozens of incredible speakers, hundreds of curriculum exhibits, you will be blessed, refreshed, helped, and encouraged.
I’ll be in Texas, South Carolina, Ohio, and of course, my home state, California this year. I hope to see some of you there. Until next week, visit homeschooling.mom for blog posts to encourage and support you along the way. And remember, Galatians six verse nine, let’s not grow weary of doing good. For in due season, we will reap if we do not give up. It’s a promise that I’m taking to the bank every day.
Again, this is Wendy Speake, and I’ll see you next week.
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Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 30 years experience of helping women build no regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching, and zeal as an evangelist.
She’s committed to fulfill the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you’re visiting with a friend over coffee.
Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs including: Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, & hosts The No Regrets Hour. She’s an evangelist and speaker at women’s events, College Women’s Chapel, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and Homeschool Conventions. Sharing the gospel at her NoRegretsWoman Conference is her sweet spot. Rhonda is a regular contributor for Crosswalk and many other magazines.
Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who for 20 years has pastored First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and 10 grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching and to book Rhonda for your next event visit: NoRegretsWoman.com