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 alsoand this may well be
my biggest reason for asking him to joinwanted 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 hima 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
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