Eleanor Powell's oft quoted proverb, "What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God," reflects a principle of scripture that comforts us in our earthly labors for him. As a new school year starts, we find ourselves excited about new possibilities, our growing children's blossoming characters and intellects, fun, new projects and lessons, fresh school materials, and we look forward with hope!
We realize that “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD...” Psalm 127:3, and we determine to do our very best to train them in His ways. As the days progress, the challenges of the real work of forming young minds and hearts begins to reveal itself. Bad days happen. Sometimes lessons take a back seat to just plain old child rearing. Disciplines are meted out. Tears flow. And then, smiles appear again and we remember anew why we are a part of that remnant of God's people whom the world, and even some Christians, dubiously label, "homeschoolers."
We ask God, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12, and we pull on the strength of His Spirit within us and see like He did as He created this earth that, "This is good." Soon, the year is no longer new. The materials are becoming, as we, tattered from much use. Nothing looks shiny anymore, and yet, we have weeks ahead to trudge through the depths of knowledge assigned for our growth. Yes, the journey is for "our" growth, assigned not accidentally to both us and our children.
But there is a prize. And we have the distinct honor of laying it at our Savior's feet. There's a story in the Old Testament about a sacrifice which King David wanted to purchase from a man named Ornan. Upon hearing of its purpose, Ornan wanted to give the property to David. But King David said to Ornan, "No, but I will surely buy it for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing." 1 Chronicles 21:24
Our children are God's gift to us. What we do with them is our gift to God. And so we press on, growing alongside our little charges, and purposing for that last mile of the race not to present to God that which costs us nothing.