"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full" (1 John 1:4).

As I sat reading my thoughts from my prayer journal, I realized just how much my life had changed from the year before. Our first year of homeschooling had stretched me to the limit, and God's Word had encouraged me time and again. Favorite Bible passages and verses were written in entries on difficult days, and the tear-stained pages reminded me of emotional and financial frustrations. However, also recorded were countless moments of joy and discovery in watching my children grow and learn. Looking back, I saw how God had kept His promises and faithfully led me through the exciting and difficult task of homeschooling. Although some prayers were yet to be answered, my written chronicle was an encouragement to continue trusting the Lord for the next school year.

Maintaining a written record of God's miracles and blessings is an important aspect of any Christian's faith. As you document particular times of growth and blessing, you begin to understand God's purpose and plan for your life. Like seeing the bigger picture on a big screen TV, you become more aware of the specific details and events God is using to shape your life. Not only that, but any homeschooling parent can also tell you the very act of writing down information aids in memory retention. Each time you write, God's spiritual lessons become cemented in your mind to increase and strengthen your personal faith.

With summer almost over and the new school year quickly approaching, why not try the best advice I ever received from a seasoned homeschooler? Purchase a personal diary for this year's homeschooling adventure and let your thoughts and reflections take you to a new appreciation for homeschooling and the wonderful Lord you serve! "He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD" (Psalm 102:17-18).

Heavenly Father, what a joy to read and remember Your faithful presence as You upheld and provided for all our homeschooling needs! How great and good You are! Please, show me how to lead my children to You, so they can learn the same incredible lessons You've taught me. In Jesus' name, Amen.