A respected international speaker and author, Rachael Carman has traveled the world speaking at conferences and retreats, teaching God’s Word to parents and children. Rachael and her husband, Davis, own Apologia Education Ministries, a leading publisher of award-winning, creation-based curriculum for home educators. A mom to seven and “Coco” to her grandchildren, Rachael is a twenty-six-year homeschool veteran and continues to be energized by affirming, encouraging, and equipping the next generation of homeschooling families to answer the call.
In 1997, Rachael Carman walked into the executive offices of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries with a baby on her hip and proposed adapting their signature live events into a full-blown Bible survey curriculum for families to study at home. Now, after twenty-five years of prayer and perseverance, Rachael is excited to see The Word in Motion: Old Testament and The Word in Motion: New Testament published as a resource for Christian parents to teach the Bible to their children at home. In addition to this, Her books How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? and How to Have a HEART for Your Kids are winsome calls for moms to live each day at the foot of His throne.
Dates with her beloved, dark chocolate, afternoon tea, reading a good book, butterfly gardening, beach walking, and bike riding—these are a few of her favorite things. More than anything else, Rachael is passionate about studying the Word of God and challenging and inspiring others to strengthen their faith by deepening their walk with the Lord.
There are many things in life that draw our attention down, and many things that bring us down. Let’s be honest, life is hard. It’s true. But God invites usto focus up. Time and again God calls His people’s attention upward, toward Himself and His glory. There’s no denial in Scripture of the challenges, difficulties, trials, obstacles, pains or temptations that we face here in this world. The Bible is a catalog of imperfect people wrestling with the realities of life on a planet infected with sin. And even when God’s people endeavor to do His will, their paths aren’t easy.
So, how do we continue on in faith when life is hard? How do we do the next right thing? How do we hold on when what we really want to do is let go? Paul repeats his encouragement throughout his letters. Let’s lean in and learn from its echo.
So here we are. Most of us would have chosen something different than what we’ve recently had to face. I mean really, who would have signed up for the crazy chaos that has characterized the last two years? Not me. But, if I believe in a sovereign God, and if I believe that He has a plan, and if I believe that He has a role for me to play, and I do, then how do I lean into that and His plan? And what is my role in this cultural moment?
Let’s take a look at some other similarly chaotic cultural moments in Scripture and see what we can learn from those who’ve gone before us. This is our moment. Let’s dare to live it for Him.
Bummer, isn’t it? Wouldn’t it be nice if homeschooling was the answer? I mean, wouldn’t it be nice if all of the problems in our families could be solved with good family time and top of the line curriculum? Wouldn’t it be great if all we had to do was adopt a certain daily schedule, read aloud certain books and follow a certain educational philosophy? Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were just a simple checklist of “To-do’s”
each day that would guarantee success? Yes, it would, but alas, there’s not. However, there is an answer to all that ails us: the sin and death, the pain and misery. Come be reminded of the Answer and the hope it engenders.
This passage is often used as the proof text for the homeschooling mandate. There are other verses that reinforce the importance of the family as the primary context for discipleship, but this one is the standard. Let’s take some time to look at it again, afresh and anew. We’re admonished in this passage to teach our children diligently, that’s the ‘how’. But what are we supposed to teach them? When? And why is it so important? Real cultural change begins in our homes. How about we determine to make a difference one family at a time?
As you consider how to go forward in your homeschooling journey, where are you standing? Are you on the field, in the stands, or in the blimp? It matters. What is obstructing your view? Who’s on your team? Where is the finish line? How can you best proceed? Why are you where you are? It’s difficult to answer any of these questions in the heat of the battle. It’s important to take inventory, to step back, to step away. Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards, to go down to go up, to go left to go right. What if there’s a place to stand so that you can really see?
So, do you tend to sit at the feet of Jesus or rush around chasing after the items on your To-Do List? Do you understand who He is? Do you know He is able? Are you concerned about what other people think more than what He requires? Mary and Martha’s inclusion in the biblical narrative is both raw and refreshing. Two women, sisters, two responses to Jesus on two different occasions. Let’s look again at the two snapshots from the gospels and see what we can learn and apply to our lives.
We’ve all heard the adage, “nothing is easy”, and it’s true. So why then do we use ‘ease’ as the determining factor in our life choices? As a culture we want dinner-making to be easy. We want house projects to be easy. We want relationships to be easy. We want our jobs to be easy. Look around, ‘easy’ seems to be a pretty high-value today. But what about the Christian life? What about marriage? What about parenting? Are any of those easy? Could it be that our longing for easy is what keeps us from becoming the people, spouses, and parents that God has intended for us to be? God is calling, He’s inviting us to be a part of His plan to change the world. It won’t be easy, but it will be for His glory and our good. Let’s get to work together.
As an obsessive-compulsive-perfectionist-control-freak herself, Rachael discusses how in many instances she is her own worst enemy when it comes to taking advantage of the freedoms of homeschool. Are you tied to your plan? Do you shiver at the idea of change or adjustment? Are you missing out on significant moments because you are focused on the trivial? It’s time to Chill Out and give control of it all to God for He is faithful.
The first thing you must know is that you’re not alone if you have one. And the second thing you need to know is that they’re sent to you as a blessing. If those two things seem unimaginable, if you’re thinking, “if you only knew,”. Well, I do. I’ve got one too. So, what face comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘That” child? Do you smile or scowl when you see that face? Do you see yourself in that face? Do you struggle to like that child? Does it seem difficult? Impossible? I want you to know: That child is a world changer. God has a plan for that child. All of that energy, all those questions, all that strength, all THAT, is God-given for His glory. Come learn strategies for learning to love
that child, to embrace that child, to train that child. They are worth it and He is worthy!
Every day we are bombarded with messages that try to convince us that we are individually important. The basic theme is that we should seek self. It’s all a big lie, from the king of lies. We must shift our focus away from ourselves and on to our awesome and mighty God. The world is relentlessly pursuing peace and contentment that can only come from a life that is totally surrendered to Christ and His will. Come learn how this realization radically changed Rachael’s life, direction, and purpose. It can change yours too!
Need Some Real Refreshment? Come and Get It! (Jeremiah 2.13)
Most moms surveyed say that they’re exhausted, overwhelmed, and lonely. Even in the best of circumstances, life is challenging. The laundry piles up. The floors are sticky. The kids are, well, kids. And then there’s the meal plans and the lesson plans. There are always interruptions and surprises, colds and flus, holidays and vacations. So where can a mom get some real rest, some real refreshment? The world offers only empty promises that cannot satisfy. Jesus offered the woman at the well Living Water. Let’s discuss how to tap into the source that satiates!
At the end of his life, Moses cast a vision to the generation of God’s people who would enter the Promised Land. Their parents had failed to remember God’s faithfulness. They forgot His goodness, His love, His provision, His promises. For 40 years they wandered in the desert until the generation who witnessed the plagues and crossed the Red Sea lay buried in the hot sand. Then God raised up a new generation who stood with a new leader at their helm. As you face going forward in your homeschooling journey with obstacles, challenges, and giants, the voice of Moses echoes clearly, “Remember and do not forget.”