“So often we pray for oak trees, and he gives us acorns.”
Before I go any further with this blog I find it very appropriate to share with you why I named our home school. (I mean other than the fact that it is super cute to come up with a catchy name and logo. )
If you have a minute, I’d really like to tell you my reasoning, because it is a lesson I learned the hard way. One that came from a deep source of grief and guilt. Although, just like Romans 8:28 says, God used it as a teachable moment to me and has used it to grow my faith. Now, I will forever have this testimony to hold on to. Through my sin He has triumphed and has given me a vision for the future.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
In the spring of last year (2017) I was not in the best place mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To be honest, I was pretty much at the end of my rope. You see, we had recently moved back to Pennsylvania from an prior, whirlwind of a move to Colorado. At the time, we were living with my (very sweet and loving) in laws for months on end while we were looking to buy our next home. After moving around so much I was desperately longing for a place of our own again. And to top it off, I was pregnant with our third son. Its easy to joke about being pregnant and emotional when you’re not pregnant but- its no joke when you are.
I often cried out to God to answer our prayers for finding a home, for peace and contentment in our situation, and for patience with the boys. I was always so short tempered and easily frustrated. Far from the mother I had aspired to be. And in the midst of it all I was feeling mostly hurt by God, as if he had abandoned me.
During this time I started re-attending our churches Titus 2 Ladies Bible Study Group. This had once been a place that I felt so close to God, where i had grown so much spiritually. Now, I felt so empty and even being there was difficult. As I parked the car and pulled the kids out of their seats i begged them to hurry inside as we were already late. I grabbed their hands and briskly walked toward the church entrance.
Suddenly, I felt my then three year old stop abruptly as he tugged on my arm. My body still wanting to be in motion, turned around to find him squatting in the parking lot, picking up acorns that had fall from a near by oak tree. He filed his little hands with acorns and proudly stood up to show me his treasures. I hastily replied, “Neat! Lets go!”.
While I checked him into the nursery, he proudly displayed his finds to his teacher. She oohed and aahed over them and then suggested that he put them in a safe spot so the youngest children didn’t put them in their mouths. I agreed and we settled on putting them in my pocket for the time being. I kissed him and said goodbye and headed toward the classroom.
As I took my seat in bible study, we were starting Priscilla Shirer’s video series, Discerning the Voice of God. In her video, she described the biblical account of Naaman, and how God healed him of his Leprosy. God told him to go wash himself in the filthiest of places, the Jordan River, in order to be cured.
Naaman didn’t believe him because the task was too simple and the Jordan River was a dirty place. No one would think to bathe themselves clean there. Nor could it have possibly been a place of hope and healing.
Priscilla went on to say “That just because it sounded so simple didn’t mean it couldn’t come from God. So often we pray for big things and expect big answers from God. But it’s often the little tasks that He gives us, that builds our character… So often we pray for oak trees, and he gives us acorns.”
And there I sat, dumbfounded, with a pocket full of acorns from my precious son. A chill ran down my spine and pang of guilt hung in my gut. I was so convicted of my short comings, of my sin.
In that moment, it was as if God was telling me, here is your acorn! It’s your children! Roll up your sleeves and do the hard work! Plant them in good soil, nurture them, weed around the trunks and they will grow! You are their care takers, I have given you this task. Just like the power of the sun, casting its rays on the earth to produce good and lovely things – I will do the rest.
So that, dear friends, is why I named our homeschool Three Little Acorns Academy. This is our journey, as we train up our boys. I pray that raising them, will be my greatest accomplishment in life. Not because I did it in my own strength but through a daily, and even minute by minute, dependence on Christ.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
I made this little printable as a reminder on the hard days, to give my children truth, beauty and goodness. And to renew my mind on such things. I hope it will be a source of encouragement to you as well.