"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (Psalm 1:3).

Attempting to find a few moments with the Lord before the beginning of our homeschooling day, I hiked the ragged bluffs in the pasture near our ranch. As I walked through the dry stubble, sage brush, and yucca plants, I came across a small cottonwood tree. With no other trees of any kind close by for miles, it looked completely out of place. The rocky ground in which it grew offered little nourishment, and I knew months had passed since any rain had fallen. "How does this little tree stay alive out here all by itself?" I asked myself.

Reflecting on the tree's life, I began to see it as a symbol of my own. For the past ten years, I had been homeschooling our children and had felt like a loner. Not only was homeschooling going against the flow, but it was also completely out of the main stream. I found no encouraging nourishment from family or church friends and wondered, like I did about this little tree, how much longer I could survive. But then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and showed me something amazing. I noticed a difference in the soil's color near the tree's base. As I looked closer, it became evident that this tree's roots went down many feet below the surface. I remembered then what my son and I had learned when studying the topography of the area. Deep below the surface, there was an aquifer, an underground river bringing life-giving water to this little tree. I smiled and said, "Thank You, Lord," as I learned God's lesson for the morning.

For the next several years, I remembered the lesson of the lone tree whenever I felt lonely or homeschooling became difficult. Each time I felt used up and dry, I stretched my roots of faith a little deeper and found the nourishing water of God's love. Even though I couldn't see Him, the Holy Spirit's peace was always present. Best of all, this isn't just my story. If you are a homeschooler finding yourself alone in the middle of a dry day, the same life-giving water is waiting to bless you, too. "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

Lord, thank You for refreshing me when I am empty. Teach me to reach for You whenever homeschooling leaves me feeling afraid or lonely and fill me with Your strength and love. In the wonderful name of Jesus, Amen.