I did a little research on Lifestyle of Learning after receiving your e-mail. I have to confess it seems a little scary to me and I’m not sure what to think of it. But I thank you for sharing it with me. I will think on it. My issues with homeschooling community have not been about curriculum or things like that. It is more an issue with conformity and the weight these mothers carry. Its like we’ve bought into a lie that ‘if we raise our kids “this” way then our kids will turn out right. And I want my kids to look like “this” so that I look well among other homeschool moms.’ So we take whatever measures necessary to get our children to conform and (as Wayne says) we grow a generation of actresses and actors that perform well…and then we take can take pride in our accomplishes. It honestly sickens me. The circles I’m in actually think they are raising an army for God and having more babies than anyone else. What a burden on anyone to think God needs them to raise an army. Does God build His church or do we? What freedom to finally realize the pressure isn’t all on me…I can simply live loved, and love my children in return. But I’m glad to hear that this Lifestyle of Learning has lead you to freedom. Thanks again. --joan
Estoy aqui si deseas practicar.
Hi Joan. I can identify with you. I wasn’t actually in an IFB church growing up but a close cousin to it. I went to an IFB Christian school for a year. Later in life my husband and I were part of an IFB church that wasn’t quite as overtly legalistic but still carried much of the baggage as unwritten rules. Guilt tripping people seemed to come as naturally as breathing. I’m glad God is showing you His love–because that’s what our God is. It can take a long time to throw off the old rules oriented ways of thinking, but the freedom and love is amazing. Glad you’re part of the discussion here.
Sharron and Joan: Just saying hello from another mom who has taught her children at home. I’m in the final few weeks of my homeschool career of 21 years. My youngest is graduating. Now I’m wondering what’s next for me!
are you getting the tissues ready, lol!
That is interesting as it was through one of her Yahoo Groups over 10 years ago that I met someone who answered some questions I had with referring me to “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore” … I felt my deep soul questions were beginning to be answered there, and affirmed to the point where I stopped feeling “comfortable and/or at home” in the church setting… it was in 2010 when I got to connect with her ministry in person and was being somewhat discipled by a close friend of Marilyn’s that I felt the nudge to completely let church go and my husband was finally in unity at that time and it was easy to come home from church in January 2011. Marilyn now has both the Lifestyle of Learning ministry but also recently launched a “healing relationships” ministry that is located at MarilynHowshall.com that has been HUGE in the life of our family in helping us lean in more with the Holy Spirit and let go of our fleshly ways of relating… through her ministry the Lord has been rescuing our family and several others in our area and across the world. I needed Lifestyle of Learning to find Wayne’s ministry and Wayne’s books have been vital in my process of coming home from church and not “doing church at home” but to be spirit led in my relationships and letting God reveal church through those relationships… it’s been quite a process and I am still huge in that process with my friendships… Wayne’s writings have really affirmed what the Lord has put in me already and put expression to what I could feel but didn’t know what to think about it… God is good!
Nancy in Everett, WA
Hi Joan, that is fine if you aren’t finding Lifestyle of Learning to be what you are looking for. I wonder if you found their curriculum focused web site instead of their main page. What I found appealing is that they encourage each of us to let the Holy Spirit lead us with each homeschool decision in how to teach our children “how to learn” which may or may not involve curriculum. My children use some curriculum but very little and have learned so much more than when I was curriculum driven and comparing myself with other homeschool moms wondering if using the right curriculum would make my children smarter or keep them more on track with their education… or make them more holy if I used a more “Christian” focused curriculum.
What you are talking about is something I have had discussions with Marilyn Howshall about and she is well aware of those circles of people and the teachings they are following. What I have learned from Marilyn and experienced to some level, is that when we think that “doing certain things” will make our kids turn out right, and if we want to look a certain way within the homeschool community, we aren’t actually connecting in with the Holy Spirit on what our children need and we are looking for the approval of others (mankind) rather than God. When we are serving man and not God things don’t turn our right, and our fruit will eventually tell on us. I was doing that, but not to the level you are describing (having many kids - we stopped at 4 which might feel like a tribe to some Ha! Ha!) and it was crushing my family… all the comparisons all the trying on different school and church activities or things that I thought would make my children turn out right. My kids (ages 13-22) have expressed how grateful they are that I don’t do that anymore… they recognize how I was crushing their spirits and who they were by trying to gain man’s approval and trying to squeeze them into a religious box. They were very compliant on the outside but on the inside they were very miserable and becoming angry on the inside and were becoming distant with me. I have let go of many “religious” ideas and sought out the Lord to know what He wants me to do and how He wants me to parent my children and the answer is always based in “Christ’s kind of love.” The Holy Spirit reminds me every time that the answer always comes down to His kind of love and then He gives me practical things to do to help my children and love them through whatever it is that is going on. I am SO in process with this, but grateful for where our relationships are getting to, where the discussions are leading and the love, Christ’s kind of love, that is growing within our family. There have been many chains of bondage that have been breaking off our family and I can see there is more to go. The families you are frustrated about need more of Jesus, they are looking for something that doesn’t exist the way they are going about things and they need lots of prayer being sent their way. Lots of Christ’s kind of love poured out on them. When someone is in that situation it’s like they are trapped, their spirit knows something is off, but they can’t identify it so, often they press more in with even more wrong standards thinking that will get them closer to God. I know that from experience. Pray for your friends, they need more of Jesus and less of those religious standards, they need to be freed of those wrong standards so they can live in God’s healing standard of love. Ask God how much He wants you to be involved, how you can show them His kind of love… those are the only two things that will provide hope for them to be freed of the bondage they are trapped in and serving… prayer and Christ’s kind of love.
Thank you for your reply and sharing you concerns. Blessings to you in your journey with the Lord Joan!
Nancy in Everett, WA
Wow! 21 years. Congratulations!
Hi. My name is Stig Skaran. Live in the southern part of Norway on an Island called Flekkeroy. Married for 15 years, and have 5 children. I have been tremendously blessed with the podcast discussions over the last few years, and will also try to reread the book again now. This Island with about 3500 people consist of mostly christians and reading Finding Church here, is very interesting, as most of my friends, including myself, attend churchbuildings regularly. But I want it to be so much more, and so much more for the society, not just for the christian club. So I will be looking forward to reread this book again together with all of you.
I’ve been actively involved in one form of ministry or another since my childhood in the mid-1970’s.
God has allowed me the blessing of many positive and challenging life experiences. While the growth times have almost always been the toughest times I praise God for all the seasons of my life.
In September 2015 I began a time of prayer, meditation, reading and conversations asking God to use each of these to show me His will for my life for the last (potentially) decades of my life. In this process one of my dear Christian brothers recommended the book Finding Church. This book spoke to my spirit and desires to serve God on a deeper level.
I’m excited to add this forum to the tools God has provided on this journey.
Hi my name is Jane Married to Alan …and we live in the UK…we have been out of the congregation for almost a year…and living our journey with Abba Papa…been following The God journey reading the books etc but looking forward to joining in with this forum…
Hi Joan. Your story is very like mine- IFCA from toddlerhood til I left at 16. Fear driven, guilt laden, “How dare you question my Authority”- been there, done that. Thank God for the Freedom He gives if we can learn to let go of all the rules and regulations.
Hi, my name is Melanie Hybart married to Tim.We live in North Florida and have been out of the IC for about 8 years. Even though it has been difficult and lonely at times, it has been and continues to be an amazing journey with our gracious and loving Father. I, too, am a recently retired homeschool mom after 20 plus years of teaching our 4 children and cborth I totally get the season of wondering what’s next!
We were introduced to Wayne’s writing about 10 years ago and have been tremendously blessed and encouraged by his books and podcasts.
My name is Heather. I live in the Central Valley, just outside of Fresno. My husband and I just made the decision to step out of the institutional church a few weeks ago after many months of discussion and prayer. It’s a church I attended for 24 years (and together married for 17 years). All of our children were born while we were there and dedicated by my father who was the pastor until recently.
I’m excited about the future on most days. On other days, I wonder if we are going to damage our children in some way but not giving them the programs/classes/relationships that I had growing up in the church. And the next day, I am convinced we are leading them into a healthier, vibrant relationship with God.
So, we are just starting out with all of those up and down feelings and some confusion from family members who are a bit worried that we have lost our minds a bit.
Hi Heather, or should I say former neighbor. I grew up in Selma, pastored at Valley Christian Center in Fresno in the late 70s and visit the area occasionally since my dad lives at Shaver Lake. Saw your post and wanted to welcome you and your family to this incredible journey. Yes it is hard for others to understand when they think that membership in a local congregation is the only way to do church, but you’ll God will show you some incredible stuff through it… Blessings and welcome!
Thank you! We were long-time Clovis dwellers and recently made a move to more freedom and space (literally and every which way) to a small family-sized farm in Parlier, near Reedley. (We have two set of two grape vineyard rows left over from 40 acres of commercial grape growing, which I know is in your background too if memory serves.) We are good friends with Amy & David Horn. We went through “He Loves Me” in our young married small group at our church, which I believe was the start of their journey and led them to meeting you. My father pastored that church for 24 years and just retired from 40 years of full-time ministry. We are all very much on a new journey into something new.
Glad you’re here too… What part of the planet do you hail from, if you don’t mind me asking.
Santa Clarita, California
I think in my heart I’m done with the IC but not the body of Christ. It’s just scary to make that decision. I know nothing else but organization. I think it has struck me more as I have attended a church around the corner from me how much something has changed. I was out of church for two years and though there were super lonely times with despair I also found the ability to function not in a system. Going back to church has not been the same. I have no idea what God is doing. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in this town who feels the way I do. I suppose this is a big waiting period.