May 14, 2013 by Stacy McDonald

Integration?

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This is a guest post from my dear friend, Tonya Chapa from her new blog, The Virtuous Wife. Welcome to the blogging world, Tonya! Be sure to visit her and say hello!

I have been at the Family Economics Conference this past week soaking in the words and wisdom of many godly and gifted speakers. As I was listening, I was thinking, connecting dots, examining our life and the way we do things as a family.

Integrate: to bring together or incorporate (parts) into a whole; to unite or combine. from the Latin integratus to renew, restore

We are a family of homeschoolers, but more than that. We integrate our children into our daily lives. We integrate them into the worship on the Lord’s Day. They sit with us in church, they worship our Lord with us. We don’t farm them off to nurseries or children’s church.

The thought of them not being right with us during the worship is hard to even comprehend, much less bear. We also integrate our children into our daily lives. They help run the home, they help keep us organized. After listening to many of the speakers, my husband has encouraged me that we really need to integrate them more into the family economy.

I have to admit that I have been slow to adopt this vision for our children. I am very protective of my little business. I am “particular” about the way things need to be done. I desire excellence in it, from start to finish. I fear that it may not be as much so with the children because, well, let’s face it, I don’t see it in their bedrooms or the dishes just yet. But, is the problem totally with them, or am I to blame somehow in this?

I do think I share in this more than I’d like to admit. So, when we get home, our plan is to integrate them more into the business. Pray for me please. That I will be filled with grace and patience, that I will be able to teach them effectively, and that we will take great joy in the process of learning together how to make this work.

But, why do we do all of this integration? It really is a lot of work to get there. Yes, there is much joy and grace from the Lord towards our family in doing it. We really like being together. When I consider the thought of them going off to a school, public or private, I get teary-eyed thinking of them being away from me and each other all day. I can’t stand the idea of someone else getting their best all day. But, is there more to it than that?

Then it hit me. The opposite of integration is disintegration.

Disintegrate: to separate into parts or lose intactness or solidness; break up; deteriorate; to decay; to reduce to particles, fragments, or parts; break up or destroy the cohesion of.

Um. No thanks. THAT is what we are trying to avoid. We love the cohesion of our family. We believe with all we have that it is what God desires for our family, for your family, for all families. It isn’t about control or fear or anything else negative. It is about glorifying God, raising our children in hope, teaching them about the One who created them for His glory and purposes.

We’ve seen disintegration long enough in the world. Let’s start building up, breathing life into our children, giving hope. Let’s show them a better way to live: together, in Christ, for His glory.

What areas can you re-integrate your children into your life? Surely all of us have an area that we have neglected. None of us have arrived yet, have we? Perhaps some have done a much better job at seeing this than we have. Let’s learn from them and stand on their shoulders.

Let’s redeem the time together. And remember the promise from Joel 2:25, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust…” Walk together, integrated, in hope and joy, knowing that it is never too late to reclaim your family for the Lord’s delight.

Embrace these blessings that the Lord has given you. Let’s repent where we have failed due to laziness, ignorance, stiff-neckedness (is that a word?). And embrace our callings as mothers who carry much responsibility and privilege. Who’s with me?



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2 Responses to “Integration?”

  1. Mrs. J. says:

    Hi Stacy,

    the Lord has been convicting me lately of redeeming the time also. Thank you for the confirmation.

    I’ll be praying for your situation.

    Mrs. J.

  2. Joy says:

    This is just what I needed to hear. We have just started a family gluten-free baking business (selling at the Farmer’s Market) and I struggle with letting my children do more to help. Thanks!

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