Everything you've always wanted to know about Home Schooling and Home Business

Something old, something new.... Since we closed the Elijah Company bookstore last year, there have been a lot of changes in our lives. But one thing that will never change is our interest in helping others with home schooling and creating home businesses. So Ellyn has developed Home School Marketplace, a business that will continue serving the home schooling community, but in a somewhat different way than Elijah Company did. Like its byline says, Home School Marketplace will try to provide you with "Everything you've always wanted to know about Home Schooling and Home Business." Look for the new website in the coming weeks, plus e-newsletters like this one with articles, personal comments, interesting ideas, recommendations, rants and raves, and product reviews.
March 23 , 2006 EJOURNAL...

Home School Burnout, Part 3
(Parts 1 and 2 of Home School Burnout were in our last two issues of the ejournal. If you missed them, you can read them HERE>> )

More measures to combat Burnout, continued

In our last issue of the ejournal we discussed the effects of "energy vampires" that literally "suck" the energy and enthusiasm out of our lives. We also examined how spiritual friendships and mentors can help us avoid burnout. In this issue, we continue with more measures to combat burnout, beginning by addressing areas of sin and unbelief in our lives.

Sin and unbelief as causes of burnout

No discussion of frustration and stress would be complete without examining whether there is any sin or unbelief in our lives that may be contributing to our feelings of being overwhelmed and under-supported.

I want to tread lightly here, because personally I think as Christians we've got a warped view of what sin is. We tend to think of sin in terms of behaviors and actions when actually it is a heart attitude that doesn't necessarily express itself outwardly. You probably know plenty of non-believers who are kinder, more loving, and cleaner living than many of the Christians around you but they are totally "lost" when it comes to eternal life. And you also probably know plenty of Christians who have learned to "play the game" so well that everyone is shocked when they find out the secret lives these supposedly "perfect" Christians were leading. So, Christian-like behavior is not necessarily an indication of the heart orientation of Christianity.

To add to the confusion, some denominations teach that drinking wine or dancing or playing instruments in church or women having short hair are sins. Others don't. So what Christians consider "sin" can sometimes be a cultural or doctrinal difference, not necessarily a heart attitude.

And then there are those situations that are difficult to grasp . . . . For example, I have a friend who, after many years of trying to redeem her marriage, finally left her husband because he was unfaithful and abused her and her children. A group of her Christian friends implied she had sinned by ending the marriage because "God hates divorce" while another group told her she would be sinning if she stayed in the marriage because to stay would be to condone her husband's behavior. Yet another group (mostly men) told her that the only reason her husband was unfaithful and abusive was because she wasn't submissive enough. Still others told her he needed to take responsibility for his own choices no matter how submissive or unsubmissive she may have been. So no matter which option she chose, there were Christians telling her she was "in sin." Who was right?

To add to the already confused situation about what is sin and what it is not, we have to face the fact that many of us were raised in families who used shame to mold us into "good" children. So our consciences are already trained to think of ourselves as "bad" and to condemn ourselves for the slightest thing we do that might be considered "sin." Because of this, we tend to take on undeserved guilt which adds to our emotional turmoil and physical exhaustion.

Many of the home school Moms I talk to seem programmed to think they are "not enough." They feel guilty that they aren't a good enough Mom, a good enough wife, a good enough housekeeper, . . . .a good enough whatever. They are constantly trying to live up to some standard of what "enough" is and feel terrible that they can't quite ever make it.

Having said all that, my point is that we need to stay in that place in our relationships with ourselves, with God, and with others where our heart attitude is right and our conscience does not condemn us.

If our conscience condemns us in our relationship with God, all our other relationships suffer and no amount of time management, household organization, self-help, spiritual friendships, mentors, or counselors will help. These measures may seem to provide temporary relief, but will never address the root problem, which is the breach in our relationship with God.

Let’s look at the three most common areas of "conscience condemning" that cause women to be stressed-out. First, there is the area of discipline and training of children. There is a lot of pressure on home schooling Moms to raise "good" children as proof our decision to home school was a wise one.

But on the other hand, when we do not “nurture and admonish” our children in the ways God requires, we are not only creating children who make our lives miserable, but more importantly, we are expressing disbelief that God's ways work.

Next is the area of the husband-wife relationship. If your attitude toward your husband stinks, it will be impossible to achieve a sense of peace and order in your home no matter how hard you try.

Finally, there is the area of personal sin. Maybe your house is a wreck because you feel it’s unfair for you to have to do so much work, or you feel cheated of your career potential by being a mother and home-maker. Or maybe you’re caught up in some secret sin like over-eating or sexual fantasies, or whatever. No matter what your personal sin, it clouds your relationship with God, with others, and with earthly things like time and money.

The bad news about sin is that it is like a disease that weakens every part of our lives. The good news is that God loves us more than we could ever imagine and He understands our weaknesses. He freely forgives and heals us if we confess our sins and turn from them.

Reaching Ground Zero with God

Sometimes burnout is the result of a life in crisis.

When you’re in the midst of a crisis, when you’ve reached the end of your rope, when you can’t seem to find the inner resources to keep going for another day, you often will reach a place of “ground zero” with God. This is when you find out who He truly is and what you truly believe.

Ground zero is a term used to designate the immediate blast area of a nuclear bomb, and sometimes life sends “bombs” that leave you feeling like you are in nuclear winter. The nuclear winters of life are times when you must come to terms with Who God really is. So in one way these times are extreme challenges, but in another way they are “gifts” from God because they give you a true perspective of what is valuable and what is not, they show you who your real friends are, and they force you to accept God on His own terms.

Here is the story of one of my “ground zero” experiences. In January, 1994, due to a freak accident, a piece of metal fractured my skull and destroyed my right eye. Just before the accident occurred, my husband had resigned from the pastorate and the lease was up on the house we were renting. This meant we had sixty days to find another place to live and another source of income. At that time we had a fledgling business (The Elijah Company) that certainly was not capable of sustaining us financially.

While I was recovering from surgery for removal of my eye, well-meaning Christians came and counseled me. Most of their counsel was variations on five themes: either (1) there must be some sin in my life for me to have been injured, or (2) I had somehow “come out from under my covering of authority” for this to have happened, or (3) I would never have been injured if my husband hadn’t decided to leave the pastorate, or (4) God was teaching me a powerful lesson through this, or (5) I must be a very special person for God to have let this happen to me. All of this conflicting counsel further unraveled me emotionally and I began to feel like I would throw up if I ever heard Romans 8:28 again.

After my release from the hospital, I had to be very careful in standing, and was not supposed to lift anything or do any physical work for six weeks. The only comforting aspect of that six weeks was a tape my sister sent me with the chorus, “I’m going to walk right out of this valley, lift my hands and praise the Lord!” I don’t know the name of the song, but I played it over and over.

But a remarkable thing happened. Some people I had thought were good friends vanished, but people I hardly knew started packing up the house for me. They brought meals and offered to watch the children. A church group from another part of town came over the day we had to move, rented the moving van, loaded it, drove it to our new place, unloaded it, and cleaned up the old house. Then they presented us with a “love offering” of enough money to help us get started in the new direction we felt God was leading us.

The challenges continued. Losing an eye meant losing depth perception and balance, so I had to re-learn how to do many, many things I had never before realized relied on hand-eye coordination, balance, and depth perception. This was a very long, fearful process, but I had to keep going because life didn’t slow down just because I had been injured. I had children who needed caring for, two of whom needed special care because they had ongoing life-threatening illnesses. I had a household that needed managing and a business that needed me to write catalogs, speak at conventions, and exhibit at book fairs.

There were times during those first years after the accident when I was hanging on emotionally and spiritually by the thinnest of threads.

But you know what? As trying as these times were, something “ground zero” about God was being formed in me. Francis Shaeffer always described our relationship with God as a series of “bows.” Well, I had to bow to God’s god-ness. This meant I had to acknowledge that He is God and I’m not. It’s hard to explain, but I realized that God is God, so He’s always right, no matter what happens and no matter what I might think about what He does. And He loves me, no matter what it may look like. It may not make sense, but it was very freeing to know my life was out of my control and in the hands of a God whose “work is perfect and all His ways are just.”

Several months after the surgery, I went for one of my monthly doctor’s appointments and happened to sit in the waiting room next to a man who had also lost his eye. I asked him what had helped him get through it and he told me his story.

He had been a telephone workman repairing the line when the pole he was attached to snapped at the base and fell over on him. The whole right side of his body had been crushed and he had undergone multiple surgeries to regain limited use of his limbs and to reconstruct his face. This is what he said, “For the first few months to a year, all you will be able to think about is what happened to you and how bad off you are. Then, after about a year, you’ll only think about it a few times a day. After about another year, you’ll only think about it a couple of times a week, then a couple of times a month, and then you’ll get on with your life and hardly ever think about it anymore.” It’s been over ten years now, and the man was right.

There is one final “gift” I want to mention. One of my greatest private griefs in losing an eye was that I found I couldn’t ride a horse anymore because I would get dizzy and lose my balance. I struggled with feeling like one of the things I loved to do most had been stripped from me.

Then, in the fall of 1999 I went to a Cowboys for Christ service at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress. One of the men who spoke at the service (Steve Heckaman) had been a famous horse trainer who was involved in a horrendous traffic accident that crushed the right side of his body, killed his wife, and injured his young son. He had to undergo multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. On that day in Cowboy Church he shared how the accident had totally transformed his life and brought him to Christ. He had learned to walk again, but one of his biggest challenges had been riding again because he had lost his right eye and no longer had the balance and depth perception he needed to stay in the saddle. With the help of friends, he learned to ride again and came back to the show ring and won at the largest Quarter Horse show in the world.

So guess what? I started to ride again. It was scary and a struggle, but I did it. I bought myself a show mare and began taking dressage lessons and started showing in dressage shows.

So what’s the point of all this. Well, one point is that your “ground zero” experience may be the turning point in someone else’s life. Another point is that “ground zero” experiences will eventually enter the “This too shall pass” phase and life will move on. The third point is that there will always be someone else whose “ground zero” experiences make yours look like a piece of cake. The fourth point is that, after a “ground zero” experience, life’s everyday hassles don’t seem so hard to bear. And the final point is that these experiences can be “gifts” in disguise, gifts that bring you face to face with Who God really is.

So, burnout, overwhelm, and all the accompanying emotional, spiritual and physical challenges may wind up being part of your testimony some day.

In Closing

I know this article is way too long, and I’ve turned it into a testimonial, but before closing I want to share about my father's funeral. He died unexpectedly and our grief was intense, but the funeral was a family celebration of his life and faith in God. My son James sang one of Papa’s favorite hymns, my husband and I both spoke and shared memories of his life, and his grand-daughter read a poem she had written.

During the preparations for my father’s funeral, I began thinking about my grandmother, Caroline Blackshear Bridges. When she died nearly 30 years ago, I drove to Blakely, Georgia to attend her funeral. As I looked around me at her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, as well as all the friends who had assembled in the Blakely First Baptist Church to pay their respects to the woman we had all called “Miss Carrie,” I thought about Exodus 20: 5 that says God visits “the sins of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation.”

I was suddenly struck with the reality that the reverse of that scripture is also true. God blesses the children of the righteous to the third and fourth generation. I knew that Miss Carrie had been a Christian. Her father died when she was a child, but her maternal grandfather was a Christian who said he received a call from God to become a missionary to the then wild and sparsely settled portions of backwoods Georgia. His name was James C. Bass, and he would travel to remote lumber camps and stand on a stump to preach the gospel to the rough lumberjacks. This grandfather had a powerful impact on Miss Carrie’s life.

So at my grandmother’s funeral over half a century after James C. Bass died, I realized that nearly every one of Miss Carrie’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were Christians. As I sat through that funeral, I was overcome with gratitude for my godly heritage.

Then, at my father’s funeral (Miss Carrie’s son), I again saw children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren: three generations who had all been affected by my father’s belief in God. My father was not only a Christian, he was a Southern gentleman, who imparted a legacy of loyalty, integrity, principle, productivity, and confidence to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as to all those around him. He gave us all a firm belief that each person’s life could count for something.

I spoke at my father’s funeral, and what I shared was that God is faithful to bless righteousness. One righteous person can impact four generations, and those four generations can each impact four generations after them, so that the ongoing impact of righteousness can be never-ending as it passes down into the future. In fact, the Bible tells us God shows His mercy and steadfast love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments (Exodus 20:6).

How about that? We can bring mercy and steadfast love to a thousand generations simply by loving God and keeping His commandments.

So, I guess what I want to tell each of you who reads this article is: your life can affect forever. Maybe you don’t have generations of godliness standing behind you, but you can start where you are and affect your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren—at least three generations beyond you. And each of them can affect at least three generations beyond them. And who knows? If God were once willing to spare Sodom for only ten righteous men, maybe your presence in your own city has more of an impact than you could ever imagine.


I know this article tends to sound like I’ve got it all together. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s only by God’s grace that I am a fairly sane woman today, and I've made more than my fair share of bad choices and failures. So I feel very hypocritical in writing this article.

What makes me bold enough to write it is that I used to love listening to John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard Fellowships. Wimber’s life impacted thousands, but every time he spoke he freely acknowledged there was nothing in him of any worth. He would often say, “I’m just a fat man trying to get to heaven.” Well, I’m a lot like that. I’m just a frazzled, adventurous Mom trying to get to heaven.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. (James 1: 1- 5, The Message Bible)

More rants and raves coming in the next issue . Stay tuned....

View past ejournals HERE>>

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© Copyright 2006. Home School Marketplace, 1053 Eldridge Loop, Crossville, TN 38571.

You might be home schooled if...

. . . your dog really does eat your homework.
. . . you consider loss of reading privileges to be the most drastic form of punishment.
. . . you could win a science fair by summarizing your plenteous experience in removing stains from clothing.
. . .. you have changed FAR more diapers than the average day care worker.
. . . your yearbook is also your baby book.
. . . you can actually read your diploma when you graduate.
. . . your four-year-old brother can answer the socialization question.
. . . you have so many baby sitting requests that you form a referral company.


The Pride Financial Network Stock and Options Home Study Program
I keep encouraging you to at least check this program out because of the time critical issue mentioned below and also because I know it works. For a limited time, Chris Verhaegh is offering his home study program at a special price and with a special extended guarantee. Find out more about it HERE>>

If you've ever thought about learning to invest in the stock market, do it now. There is some TIME CRITICAL news that there may soon be a set-up for a small trade that has the potential to make a year's income. Find out what this TIME CRITICAL news is HERE>>

The Big Seminar. Only one more week left to sign up for The Big Seminar. It will be April 7, 8, and 9 in Atlanta.

This is the only seminar you need to go to if you are interested in developing any sort of income on the internet. I've supported our family for the past year and a half by using the "know-how" I've learned from the internet marketing experts at the Big Seminar, and you can learn the same things I have. (Where do you think I learned to put out e-newsletters?)

I'm telling you--if you or someone in your family has a bent toward the internet, they need to go to the Big Seminar. This seminar has changed the lives of thousands of people from all over the world, including mine--- now is your chance. Get more information HERE>>

Home School Resourcese

The following resources were referred to in the article Home School Burnout.

Homeschooling Today magazine, in my opinion, is one of the best Christian home schooling magazines out there. It is a practical magazine for homeschoolers that provides lesson ideas, articles, a 4 color pull-out art section, resources, and support issues for home education. Its focus is on using unit studies to tailor your educational experience to your family's unique interests.

Books by Richard Swenson, M.D. Margin is one of the most important books I have ever read. All of Swenson's books have a common theme--how we have lost the "margin" in our lives and how to regain it. "Margin" is his term for the space that should exist between us and our financial, emotional, spiritual, and physical limits. I recommend that you read every single one of Swenson's books because each takes a different approach and there is no such thing as a life with too much "margin." His books include:
Restoring Margin to Overloaded Lives
Overload Syndrome

Books by Richard Koch.
The 80/20 principle asserts that there are relatively few key things we do in our lives that produce most of the results we want, so finding those key things and focusing on them is the most important use of our time, energy, and money.
The 80/20 Principle
The 80/20 Individual

Books by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. Home Grown Kids is the book I read 20 years ago that started me on my home schooling odyssey. It describes how damaging education can be to a child who is not ready to learn, how institutional schooling leads to peer dependence, and what our children lose by not being with us when they are growing up.
Home Grown Kids
Home Style Teaching

Books by Robert Kiyosaki. Have you ever noticed how many highly successful businessmen like Bill Gates and Michael Dell dropped out of school? Kiyosaki's books address how school ingrains ideas and attitudes that are actually counterproductive to life in the "nonschool" world and how success "thinks." These books are "MUST READS."
If You Want to be Rich and Happy, Don't Go to School
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Cash Flow Quadrant

The Early Christians in their Own Words
My son Seth told me about this book and it is a touching, inspiring, challenging look at what it meant to be a Christian when the church was young.

The Safest Place on Earth by Larry Crabb. Finally someone has described what we've all dreamed the church could be like--a place where you are loved nurtured, and changed into the image of Jesus.

Biography of Hudson Taylor.
The two-volume biography of Hudson Taylor is out of print and hard to find, but, next to the Bible, is one of the most important spiritual books I've ever read. This is a condensation of the 1200 page work that is also excellent and should be read by everyone.
Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret

Books by John Gatto. These books will change the way you think about education. Gatto was a public school teacher for decades and New York's Teacher of the Year, so he has first-hand experience with the effects of public schooling. Not only do his books discuss the major issues about what schooling does to our children, he offers insights into what a true education entails and reflects on our society as a whole and the distorted thinking that leads us to subject our children to an influence that robs them of their creativity and enthusiasm for learning. Gatto's books are "MUST READS."
Dumbing Us Down
A Different Kind of Teacher

Books by Corrie Ten Boom. I had the blessing of meeting Corrie Ten Boom years ago and sitting in on many of her live teachings. She is someone worthy of emulating.
The Hiding Place
Tramp for the Lord
Amazing Love

Books by Edith Schaeffer. I also had the priviledge of spending time with Edith Schaeffer and she has been one of my role models for all of my Christian life.
The Hidden Art of Home Making
What is a Family


Books by Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer had a tremendous impact upon my spiritual growth. I've always been sort of a Berean who thoughtfully examined Scripture, and Francis Schaeffer was that way too. He, C. S. Lewis, and Hudson Taylor are primarily responsible for my Christian growth during the early years after I became a Christian.
The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer

How Should We Then Live?
The Francis A. Schaeffer Trilogy

Books and CDs by the Elijah Company. We have closed down the Elijah company mail-order store, but Home School Marketplace carries many of the products we created ourselves as well as products we publish for others. Here are just a few of our best-sellers.

30% off WIN books

We have the following WIN books available: The Reluctant Writer,
Comprehensive Story Writing,
Writing Man 1 & 2, WIN Twin, and
Expository Writing Handbook

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I Saw the Angel in the Marble

With over 4,000 copies sold in just a few months, I Saw the Angel in the Marble is becoming a home schooling best seller!

This book represents the best of 15 years of Elijah Company articles. Find our more about it HERE>>

Davis Seminar Set (8 CDs)

The Best of Chris and Ellyn Davis, this set contains seminars given by Chris and Ellyn Davis of The Elijah Company at home schooling conventions. The set contains all of the favorites that home schoolers ask for over and over.

People have told us this set of CDs changed their lives. Find out more about them HERE>>

Angel in the Marble/
Davis Seminars Set

Order a combination of I Saw the Angel in the Marble and the Davis Seminars CDs HERE>>

From Home School to Home Business
(14 CD Set)

If you missed one of our From Home School to Home Business Conferences, you missed a great time.People who have attended tell us that it changed their lives—not only in the area of home schooling, but also in the area of creating their own sources of home income.This set is huge and filled with useful and encouraging information about how to be successful at home schooling and at home business! Find out more about this life-changing set of CDs HERE>>

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