Yesterday after a 6 year well-check appointment my children informed me that they were starving. It was actually starving pronounced with 10 as and 10 rs; staaaaaaaarrrrrrrving! I told them that we could go to lunch before heading home to begin our school work for the day. Whining, complaining, negotiating, and bickering filled the car. I had a fleeting thought that my children might like to eat lunch at a 5-day-per-week school….

I have recently revisited The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis.  What a timely blessing this was to me in this time of discouragement. “And all the time – such is the tragi-comedy of our situation – we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.” Why are we giving ourselves to these trying days? This paragraph from C.S. Lewis reminds me. These lack-luster attitudes are callings to me to shepherd their hearts, and what a blessing it is that we, their parents, get to do this! I do not want to raise ‘men without chests’.

Another blessing came while flipping through a magazine last night. From the pages of advertisements popped Deuteronomy 6:6-7. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

The university model and Fortis Academy allow us to give our children three separate and important opportunities for shepherding their hearts: like-minded Christian teachers, a classical education, and time with and direction from US, their parents!

Later that evening, after a trying day, I could give thanks for the very things that discouraged me earlier that day.  I woke this morning with a refreshed attitude. Realizing that I am an equal teacher in my child’s day, I pray that I am able to prepare myself to teach their school lessons, but most importantly, to shepherd their hearts during their human moments!

My prayer for you is the same. I also pray that God puts encouragement and reminders in your daily path, that you connect with fellow co-teachers that inspire you, and that you see reassuring glimpses of the fruits of raising men with chests!

-Amanda May

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