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Walking in Harmony

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By Tammy M. Cardwell

"Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna do it together."

I wonder if I could talk my oldest son into doing that duet with me in a talent show sometime?

Thomas is fifteen. Almost three years ago our church's sanctuary choir was opened up to thirteen year olds whose parents were willing to make the commitment required for them to participate. Since I was already in the choir, I was quite willing. Since he had loved singing in the children's church's choir when he was younger, he was interested. The choir had a new tenor.

I had ulterior motives when I asked if he wanted to join. I was impressed by the caliber of the youth that were involved in the choir and wanted him around them. I knew he would grow spiritually, because our position in the church's music ministry sets us in a place of greater spiritual responsibility. (When you're held accountable for spiritual growth, you grow.) I also—and this may well be my biggest reason for asking him to join—wanted him involved in something with me.

I'm not sports oriented, so I never would have been able to coach a team the way some parents do. Thomas was in Royal Rangers, but only men work with the older boys, so I couldn't be involved there either. I've thought many times about us taking classes together at the community college, but I've never been able to arrange that. Choir was something I could be involved in with him, though. It was something we could do together.

And it has been wonderful! I cannot fully express how awesome it is to have something truly in common with him—a shared passion. We get excited over new music together. We talk over music ministry changes together. We sometimes argue, playfully, about which section sings the best. (When he read my rough draft of this article he grinned and reminded me that there is no doubt it is the tenors.) When I went away on a music retreat last year and came back wanting to talk about it, I had someone here who understood exactly what I was saying!

And we've seen each other grow. Oh man, is this facet a big one!

I have watched Thomas grow more over the last two plus years than I ever dreamed he would. He has definitely grown musically, and I have enjoyed seeing it. When he tried out for a part in the Christmas production, I overheard our music minister tell him how impressed she was with his voice and offer him advice on how to train it. He got a part in the production too; he was in a quartet! But what has been even more exciting to me is watching him grow spiritually. He's still a fifteen-year-old; don't get me wrong. He has the ability, though, to come out with the most mature... Well, I'll give an example.

Before a recent service, we were each asked to share one thing we were thankful for. When it was his turn, he said something along the lines of, "I'm thankful for the church God brought me to, and for Pastor...because I learn things from him I could never learn from anyone else." Now, that could have been a stock answer any fifteen-year-old might think up, but by the time he got to "and for Pastor", he was crying. It was obvious to everyone that he meant those words from the bottom of his heart, and that he wasn't ashamed to let everyone there see him cry...and I was present to witness it. Can there be anything more exciting for a Christian mother?

Likewise, he was there when I said that I was thankful that God doesn't let me get away with walking in the flesh, because I truly want to be close to Him and know I can't be as long as I'm walking wrongly. Because Thomas was there, he will be watching me, and knowing he's watching will help me even more in my goal of walking only in the spirit, putting my flesh to death. When family members work together like this, we all grow.

Homeschoolers have a unique opportunity to seek out possibilities like this one. Because we have time, we can take time to really do things together. Yes, Thomas could have gotten involved in choir without me (assuming I'd not already been a member, that is), and I could have either dropped him off for rehearsals or arranged for a ride. Doing it together, though... Being in this together changes everything. It changes our attitudes toward what we're doing. It changes our attitudes towards each other. It changes us.

I encourage you not to let all of the activities you are involved in separate you. Use the freedom homeschooling gives you. Look for ways you can be involved as a family, working together. Your lives will never be the same.

Copyright ©  1999 Eclectic Homeschool Association

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