A Qualified Homeschool Teacher?

I am a certified educator who taught high school English in Texas and in England for a total of six years. My teaching experience includes gifted and talented education, pre-Advanced Placement, Advanced Placement, accelerated courses, and university-prep courses. After leaving public school classrooms, I went on to teach in a private pre-kindergarten program for a short stint. The last few years found me involved in adult education where I co-led Shakespeare classes for military veterans. I’m also in my eighteenth year of service in the Air Force National Guard, where I’ve received top-notch leadership training. Since 2011, I’ve authored, co-authored, and contributed writing to four published books. I’ve been interviewed by local media, a prominent podcaster, and—quite miraculously—found myself as an official staff member at a nationally-recognized theatre. Oh, and I’ve homeschooled my two sons since the very beginning.

All of that sounds really good on paper, doesn’t it? But I want to let you in on a little secret: None of that qualifies me to be a homeschooling educator.

What does qualify someone to be a homeschool teacher? A love for one’s own children. If you love your babies—even those giant, overgrown babies—from the depths of your being, you are qualified to teach your children! I can confidently assure you that my university degree, state certification, and leadership training do not make me a good homeschooling mom. In fact, my experience in formal classrooms was more of a hindrance than a help. A love for my children and a passion to learn alongside them is the only qualification I need.

Sweet Mama, if you are feeling less than confident, anxious, fearful, or inadequate, please hear me: No one is more qualified to come alongside your children and walk this educational journey than you are.

You were created in the image and likeness of God!

His works are wonderful, and you know that full well!

You have the mind of Christ!

Go back and read those statements again. Put them in first-person and say them out loud. Repeat until you believe it! You stand on HIS truth, goodness, and beauty. God is in the business of redemption; if you feel your own education was inadequate, He will redeem your education as you teach your child!

Walking in faith is hard. Saying yes to the unknown is hard. What you’re doing—whether it’s for a season or for the duration—might seem impossible. But I’m here to tell you it’s not! When you give God your yes and invite His holy interruption, He will show up. He will equip you to do the hard things. He will give you the strength for each day, the wisdom to lead, and the passion to persevere. There is plenty of oil for your lamp, and He’s waiting to give it to you!

Courage, dear heart! Where you’ve been called, you will be equipped. Remember He is for you and He will never leave you nor forsake you. Please know I’m cheering you on every step of the way. You’ve got this! May you rest in the arms of the One who painted the stars in the canvas of heaven.

Take Heart!

Flipping through the news and scrolling through social media are enough to leave us frazzled and reaching for the smelling salts! We’re inundated with doom, gloom, and political mudslinging, which has a tendency to leave us in a state of fear and uncertainty.

We cannot be Christians who are long on fear and short on faith. We cannot spend more time researching media and repeating others. We must rest in the arms of our Savior by searching Scripture and pursuing prayer. Sweet friends, this is the time to stand on our authority in Christ and become intense prayer warriors. To stand on the promise of his already-won victory! The enemy longs for us to fill our hearts and minds with today’s hopelessness. To ruminate over injustices and unfairness to the point of anger and rage. To hail our chosen political candidates as the answer and solution to society’s ills. Take heart, my friends, Jesus has overcome all of this! We can look to Scripture for guidance on how to behave in the midst of the world’s chaos. 

God made us very aware of what to expect throughout the ages. He also gave us instructions on what to do during His appointed times. Take a few moments to ponder these passages…

Daniel 7-12

Daniel fasted, confessed, prayed, and stood firm in his faith in the midst of all that God revealed to him. We have agency to do likewise! Ask God to guide you in beginning a fast. It’s OK to start small–even baby steps bring forward movement.

Proverbs 3

Trust God by asking for His wisdom. Don’t lose sight of common sense. Ask the Father for discernment. Do good to your neighbors–online and in real life! Don’t pick fights–online and in real life! It’s easy to let our emotions guide our actions (I am absolutely guilty of this), but we must be led by His wisdom and grace. Chase after righteousness instead of being right.  

Matthew 24

Jesus tells us exactly what Christians should expect in the last days, and he doesn’t sugarcoat it! He also tells us that His word will never disappear. Take heed of his timeless, prophetic words and cling to His promise!

Luke 21

Again, we are reminded of God’s instruction during these times. Verse 34 tells us to keep watch! Look away from the screens and worldly voices; keep your eyes (physical and spiritual) fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith. Verse 36 says to keep alert and pray! Know that the kingdom of God is at hand. Fill your heart and head with the knowledge of God, rather than headlines, statistics, and worst-case-scenarios.

Ask for God’s discernment and wisdom in the midst of the melee. Rather than sounding the fear alarm and parroting doom and gloom, tune into what the Holy Spirit is doing. This has been a game-changer in my life! Luke 21 ends by saying the crowds gathered early to hear Jesus. This reminds us to rightly order our days; be nourished by Scripture and time in prayer before consuming media. Starting your day with an in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit–and his gift of discernment–will navigate you to faith instead of fear. 

To a Thousand Generations

Before my children were born — or even a glimmer in my eye — I prayed they would come to know and love God at an early age. As they grew in my womb, I asked God to place his hand on them and lead them according to his plans. With each passing day, I pray they see me following Yeshua…and see his covering grace every time I fail.

Soon after Asher turned four years old, he began telling us he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. My husband and I would tell him what a wonderful idea it was, that it was such an important decision, and we would encourage him with prayer and scripture. But we didn’t sit him down and walk him through “the prayer” — we wanted him to have a full understanding and not ever look back and feel coerced. We wanted him to see it as a transformative life decision…not just a quaint, feel-good prayer.

Six months went by with him persistently asking about accepting Christ. I sought the wisdom of my father, who (coincidentally) dealt with a certain daughter asking those same questions at age four. We also asked our family pastor about his thoughts on Asher’s age and ardent interest in following Jesus. He provided us with a book that thoroughly explained the gospel in a way that children could understand…and Asher insisted we begin reading it.

In between chapters, I took to hiding the book under a stack of my books; I wanted him to have to hunt for it when he was in the mood to read and learn more. We took about nine weeks to slowly and methodically make our way through the four-chapter book, at his leading. One Friday evening after our family Shabbat dinner, he dug the book out from underneath my Bible. “Let’s read this, Mom.”

I told him that we were on the last chapter, and it was the chapter about choosing to follow Jesus. Without any hesitation, he told me that he wanted to finish the book and ask Jesus into his heart right then. No more waiting. He wasn’t going to let us put him off one more night. At three months shy of being five years old, my son knew what he wanted. Who was I to squelch the Spirit after almost nine months of prodding?

With Keane in my lap and Asher snuggled in Mark’s, we sat together as a family for this holy occasion. We spoke of belief, acceptance, repentance, and following Jesus. We prayed and hugged and called grandparents and celebrated with all of Heaven!

One week later, our family and friends gathered in our yard to celebrate Asher’s baptism. My father honored us by reading scripture, sharing wisdom, and praying. With the same hands that welcomed his little body into the world, my husband and I gently lowered him into the water, and raised him up to walk in the newness of life in Christ Jesus. His little buddies all had front row seats — everyone clapped and cheered as he emerged dripping wet and full of smiles! I pulled out my granny’s fine China and we shared a meal of fellowship.


Faith. Family. Friends. Food. It was reminiscent of the early church, meeting in homes and sharing the joys of life! It was a day I will forever cherish in my heart.

Family Worship: Praise Him in the Puddles

This morning, my two year old son brought Romans 12:1 to the forefront of my mind; he reminded me to let everything be an act of worship. “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” (NLT)

Yesterday, both boys spent the day with Nana and Papa while I made up some maternity leave for the military. I missed them terribly and wanted to make up for lost time on our lazy Saturday. Asher wanted to play outside, so I upped the ante and surprised him by turning on the stream as he stood in the dry bed. He jumped and splashed until he was soaked.



Then, I broke the “rules” and let him play in his sandbox after getting wet. His joy was contagious! I didn’t care about the muddy mess he made of his clothes; I didn’t chide him for his impulsivity. I just watched and cheered him on with each splash. As I witnessed him worshiping with his life, he inspired me to worship with mine. Every smile and every squeal made me more aware of God’s love. Yet in those sweet moments, I knew the amount of love and joy I felt for my own son paled in comparison to the joy God feels when I worship him with my whole being.



Days like these are so important. No schedule to keep, no obligations to meet — just messy fun. While Asher and I made new memories (and Keane napped), I thanked the Lord for allowing this precious time. Some days it seems the world is coming apart at the seams; it’s imperative to remember that my God is never caught by surprise. He is never unprepared. He makes all things new, creates beauty from ashes, and holds us close. As his children, our job is to fall into his arms. To let go. To live for him, by him, and through him.

Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, just think about whatever is pure and lovely. Don’t focus on outside distractions, focus on grace, mercy, and peace. Sing silly Bible songs with a silly two-year-old. Take a bubble-bath and make bubble-beards at 10:30am. Eat “ice cream” for lunch. Unplug. Relax. Don’t worry about muddy shoes, messy clothes, or dirty footprints. Don’t worry at all…about anything.



May you jump in life’s proverbial puddles.
May you roll around in wet sand.
May you treat each waking breath as an act of worship.
May your Father revel in your unbridled praise.

A New Reality

I had the most incredible dream last night. These days, I’m doing good to remember any dreams with multiple night-waking divided between bathroom trips and flailing toddler arms. This dream is a true gift that I cannot keep to myself. I wholeheartedly believe we can all learn from this alternate reality…a fresh perspective, indeed.

In this dream, Trayvon Martin was my brother. I didn’t spend time figuring out the hows and whys of the circumstances, nor did I question the obvious outward differences. My parents also accepted Trayvon as their son – my normal real-world family was intact, except with this new sibling.

In this dream, Trayvon Martin was the one who lived after the infamous altercation.

In this dream, he was hated by the media, seen as a cold-blooded killer, and was in prison.

No part of my dream dealt with trials, lawyers, judges, or juries; it only dealt with my brother in prison. My heart was truly broken for Trayvon, and I made every attempt to visit him as often as I could. My husband, who does not now and will not ever have a tattoo of his own personal preference, got a tattoo of Trayvon on the top of his right foot to symbolically show that he would walk every step with my brother, and that he would never be alone. We all took turns visiting him, lamenting his treatment by others, hugging him, crying with him, and just being with him.

We championed his cause as if it was our own, because we made it our own. I could do nothing to change his present circumstance – my sole purpose was to love him. I prayed for him, with him, wrote him letters, showed up for every visitation; my heart was truly grieved for him.

I woke up this morning to a very different reality, yet my heart was still grieved. My beautiful son was smiling next to me, gave me a big kiss, and requested his breakfast – as he does every morning. Except this morning was different. My heart hurt for this brother.

I woke up with Hebrews 13:2 emblazoned on my heart and soul: “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.

The truth is, we are all brothers and sisters. What would our world look like if we truly lived out the compassion of Christ? What if we did as we were instructed and ALWAYS showed hospitality to strangers? What if our hearts were truly grieved for those imprisoned by so many different things – not just impenetrable walls, but by addiction, sin, anger, and loneliness? What if we truly hurt for those who are hurting? What a different reality we would all experience.

Not Again.

In the wake of another senseless school tragedy, my heart is heavy and mind swirling. The question of “Why?” will never fully be answered; the tears never fully dry. 

When the Columbine shooting happened, I was 16. That summer I went on a mission trip to Russia and learned that Rachel Scott (one of the Columbine victims) was scheduled to make that trip with the same mission organization. I remember feeling responsible for doing the things that Rachel would never be able to accomplish – I had never met her, but her death greatly impacted me. After April 20, 1999, I entered my classrooms looking for the quickest exits and hiding spots…just in case.

My first teaching job came three years after my enlistment into the Air National Guard. I have the unique perspective of being a teacher and member of the military – it’s impossible for me to separate the two ideas of thought; my training as an educator follows me to the base, and my military training follows me into the classroom. That particular school routinely practiced fire drills and shelter-in-place drills. Every single student and teacher knew the routine: lock the door, lights off, huddle silently in the corner.

I taught at my last school four years – never once did we have a shelter-in-place drill. Fortunately, I knew what to do with the kids, and by the grace of God we never needed to do it. I was routinely bothered by the fact that we never practiced those drills, so I would run through practice scenarios with my classes at the beginning of each year. I even showed them a DVD about what to do in case there was an active shooter in our school. They knew to smear hand soap on the tile floors if they were trapped in a bathroom – it would cause whoever entered to slip, giving them a chance to escape. My students were aware that the outdated computer in the corner could bust out the window, leading them out of the classroom without having to use the door. They were also under strict orders not to practice any of those maneuvers. I viewed school doors as ECPs (entry control points) and every now and then I’d double-check that the outside doors near my room were indeed locked.

I wholeheartedly understand that there is little I can do as an educator to keep my students 100% safe in the event some evil person is hell-bent on death and destruction. I raised my right hand and swore to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath follows me wherever I go, especially into the classroom. Most teachers are not members of the military, yet I know the vast majority of them won’t hesitate to lay down their lives to protect their students. This is evident with each passing tragedy.

While my time as a public educator is over, I will forever cherish the relationships forged with my students and fellow teachers. As a new parent, I’m keenly aware that my son will one day join the ranks of public school. I’ve considered homeschooling him for a few years, but I feel it’s important for him to be among his peers at some point in his academic career. It will be my mission to support his teachers and walk alongside them in his education. I will do everything in my power to keep him safe – and what I cannot physically do, I trust that God will.

I pray for hope and healing among the victims’ families. I grieve with them and hurt for them. I pray safety over my family of educators and our children. I take comfort in Psalm 147:3, knowing that God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” I am grateful that this world is not my home.