“like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.”
Deuteronomy 32:11 NIV
An eagle makes its nest high on rocky ledges, because of the “hardness” of it all they look for feathers, fur etc to use as padding for their nests in order to keep the eaglets comfy when they hatch. As the eaglets grow stronger and are becoming ready to leave the nest, slowly the mother eagle begins to push the “stuffing” out of the nest making it less and less comfortable. Eventually, the mother eagle takes the baby up in her claws high high into the sky, then……she DROPS it. In an apparent attempt to kill her baby, she is in fact teaching it to fly. She swoops down catches the baby eagle long before it would hit the ground, up ,up , up they go again where she drops the baby again and again repeating this “teaching method” several times. Finally, the baby eagle spreads it wings and soars, thus achieving the ultimate goal of the mother who had spent so much time on these flying lessons.
Lord help us homeschooling mothers, we all so often forget the lesson that the eagle teaches. We so often find ourselves trying to keep the nest comfy forever rather than slowly but surely teaching our children to be more and more independent. We protect them from everything, feeling righteous in doing so, even the life experiences they need in order to grow mature.
We homeschoolers (and really parents in general) seem to forget that our goal is not to keep our children forever, but to teach them to be independent. We are so busy training our child up in the way that he or she should go, we often forget that the scripture really says to train UP the child….not just train the child. I must confess, the idea of my little ones “leaving the nest” does not make me leap for joy, I love them, I want them to always be my little babies. God given knowledge tells me, this is not God’s plan.
God has entrusted these lives to me, I must teach them of him, I must walk upright before them, I must teach them the academics they need to survive in the world, and then……I have to take them up high high high…..and DROP them…over and over…..I must teach them to fly. Just like the eagle, if I fail to teach my children to “fly” my child will not make it.
I must, there is no choice. I must be the one who takes them up to that scary height and then be the one who drops them over and over. I must be the one who teaches them not only the soft and comfortable lessons of life, but also the hard and scary ones. If I don’t, then I have failed.
Why does parenting have to be such a hard job!? I’m sure our heavenly father often feels the same about us. I think parenting and homeschooling could be counted as the greatest joy and at the same time the greatest challenge of my life. I desperately want to protect my children from all harm, and at the same time I realize, I am incapable of protecting them completely. There are times, and those will become more frequent as they grow older, that I simply am not and cannot be capable of fully protecting them! Currently at 14 and 12 years old they wear the badge of scratches, scrapes, bruises, and scars, all evidence of my inability to protect them fully.
So what is one to do!? First things first, we must pray…..without ceasing! The prayer of the righteous availeth much, that is for certain. Pray over all things, education, friendships, activities, future relationships and spouses, their children and generations after them…..pray over all things. God said that he hears our prayers, in fact he said that he hears us before we call, and he answers before we finish speaking! Step two…..faith. Prayer without faith is as useless as a lightbulb with no electricity! If you are lacking in faith….pray for it to grow! If you have great faith, pray for great perseverance in faith…..faith is the key to the kingdom. Step 3 works. Works alone will get you nowhere, but faith without works is dead. You must pray in faith, then you must go forth and walk it out and work it out. Just as you would not simply pray for a well to spring up in the desert and then sit by idly dehydrating to death, you should not pray for miracles without seeking them out! When you pray for that well, be ready to dig it! These are the lessons we should be teaching our children as well.