- When they hear that you have 7 children in 11 years, homeschool them with no maid or grandparent help, a husband with erratic work hours …
- When they hear that you live on one income and your husband is a fulltime itinerant minister with his own ministry, that your family lives by faith …
- When they hear that 4 children cleared the PSLE benchmark and that your oldest got into Mechanical Engineering at at NTU and NUS …
The question that threads all the above is:
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
HOW DID YOU DO IT WITHOUT GOING MAD?
My answer is simple – GOD. (BTW, who says I am not mad?! 😉 )
But apparently, “God” is not an acceptable answer. They want more. Or they don’t believe me and think that I am keeping some secret from them so that they can’t be as successful as I am. If you can call what we have, successful.
Why is it so unpopular to hear that answer? I guess we want a more concrete answer than just GOD? And I do try my best to provide practical and concrete steps, especially on this blog.
it really is ALL GOD. Because …
When you have 7 children in 11 years and homeschool with no maid or grandparent help, a husband with erratic work hours …
> GOD is My Helper.
He helped and is still helping me find ways and systems to make it work. And He gives me the strength to cope with each day and each changing season. He gives me the strength to push on when I don’t want to. To wake up when I just want to wrap the blanket tighter around me. He whispers His affirmation when I feel down. Tells me that He sees even when no one else does.
When they hear that you have 7 children but your husband is a full time itinerant minister and that our family lives by faith …
> GOD opens doors.
He led and continues to lead Henson to divine appointments that opens doors for the ministry to flourish and grow. He guides him to write and preach with clarity, to be a blessing to the people God sends his way.
If you don’t understand what I mean when I say that he is an itinerant minister, the best way I can explain it to you is to use the term “freelancer”. There is no salary. You go where God opens doors. Nothing is fixed.
-> God is our Provider.
Truly, it is GOD who provides for our larger than average family on an itinerant minister’s “salary”. Our boss is the Lord. He “pays” us whenever and provides whatever we need. Often times, He “pays” us more than what we need. I have always said that every time I go grocery shopping I am awed at His provision.
This is why I do not post on budgeting. I cannot explain how we get by with an itinerant minster’s salary. What we have is truly all by His grace and entirely by His mercy. Yes, we live frugally but that is because we want to be good stewards of God’s blessing. If you too, live by faith, you would understand how this works out. It is truly amazing and humbling.
While chatting about the cost of homeschooling, a fellow pastor’s wife and homeschool mother says their preferred choice of curriculum is very expensive. But God has provided. And so they plan their curriculum choice year to year. She says, “We will let the children continue with this curriculum until the money runs out.”
I laughed. She had summed up my mindset when we sign up our children for certain activities. If the day comes that we do not have the means to continue with certain activities, we will stop. I truly believe that if He has blessed a child with a certain talent and He wants that talent to be used for His Kingdom and His glory, I don’t have to fret. God will provide.
When they hear that 4 children cleared the PSLE benchmark and that our oldest was offered a place at both NTU and NUS for Mechanical Engineering …
> God is our tutor and coach
God provided the help we needed in the form of tuition when we needed it and motivation to get the children to do what needs to be done. I am not a teacher nor psychologist by training. I have no tricks up my sleeve. He motivates the children when I don’t know how to. Helps them understand difficult concepts which I cannot explain.
We work HARD
Don’t get me wrong. We work HARD. We do not just sit and wait for things to fall onto our laps. Whatever the Lord has called us to do, we did and are still doing. We work heartily as to the Lord (Colossians 3:23). He meets us every step of the way. And when we fail and fall, He is there too. Because He knows we are weak.
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Not being super spiritual
I am not trying to brush you off by sounding super spiritual. But we do lean in to God more because seriously, there is no other way. He called us to live this life we live. So He has to provide, to guide, to help.
Not being secretive
There is no secret that I am keeping from you. I am not being super spiritual when I say it is “GOD”. I am GRATEFUL. Grateful that I don’t have to do life on my own strength and wisdom. And you can do what I/we do, too. Because we serve the same God who gave us His Son. He has also given us The Helper, the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to help you. Everyone can do what God has called them to do. On His strength. With His guidance.
We just need to seek Him. And obey what we sense He is asking us to do. We have to take that STEP of faith. Some may call it a LEAP of faith. God honours our faith, big or small. He always meets us where we are, not where He wants/expects us to be. And He is patient.
You can do it too!
Don’t envy us. Join us!
This walk of faith. It is not easy. But it is also not boring. It is the only way to do what He has called us to do.
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