St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Friday, November 19, 2010


Dear Sisters,

As we approach a day of Thanksgiving, we can reflect and recall the times that perhaps we haven’t been very quick in being thankful, perhaps taking things for granted. Maybe we take certain people for granted, maybe family members; perhaps we expect too much and are not grateful for what these people do bring to us in this earthly life. Maybe we take comforts, or our husband’s work, our own work, or food for granted ….have you ever been hungry?….truly hungry….wondering where your next meal will come from?....or going without your real needs, real necessities being met day to day? We may be made to feel uncomfortable on occasion, but for us it may be fleeting and moments of discomfort or hunger are soon satisfied. But for countless others discomfort and hunger are a daily occurrence.

Recently, in talking with a friend, she reminded me how the holidays are hard on some children in our nation, because when they are sent home from school on break, they encounter days of either very minimal food or no food. I recall my niece in her first year of teaching having a student in upper middle school who dreaded the holidays for precisely this same reason: home without food for several weeks. My niece’s heart was broken for him.

I have found that home schooling families are usually so generous about giving of their time and resources - in helping out in their churches and communities regularly. I am grateful to be part of a community of educators that strive to live the gospel message and impart this message to their children. Our values become our children’s values when we not only preach them, we act upon them (and in some cases “enforce” them). When we talk honestly to our children…and as home educators we have them more hours in the day to do so……we are able to imprint a Christian value system within them. We can integrate Christian principles throughout our curriculum and we can join with other families that respect what we are doing and know and appreciate the energy and circumstances involved in our commitment to home educate.

During this season of Thanksgiving, you could reflect on how we are a pilgrim people, in a sense, exercising a freedom to include God in the education, formation and rearing of our children. If small pockets of pilgrim people continue to rise up among society and form generations that are self-less, intelligent, God-fearing and hard workers….think what good will be spreading throughout our nation.  While home education has certainly gathered more publicity and interest and colleges recognize the students as ready and able….it is still seemingly a rare person these days that recognizes the sacrifice of home education and yet home schooling is a common good to society.  Think about that for a while:  Home schooling works for the common good of society.

While we might not be able to change the entire world, or even our own town for that matter, we can make a difference one person at a time. We can bloom where we are planted. What a comforting thought! Perhaps that one person might very well be your own child(ren) witnessing how you act upon God’s commandment of loving neighbor, feeding the poor, clothing the naked.. “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers…that you do unto me…” (Matt. 25:40 or the entire passage: 31-46)

During this season of Thanksgiving strive to grow a little closer to your family in gratefulness; do more with love as your guide and not just “it has to be done” repetition. Perhaps there is a more challenging child in your home that needs more of your time and care, with their school work, with the daily grind, or just coping with life. Include your family in doing something that will benefit others who are less fortunate and light a spark in your children that they in turn will do the same and take that message with them for the remainder of their lives.

Be grateful, praise God. Thank Him in every way, every day.
 Happy Thanksgiving

Lord, take away my bitterness and pettiness, fill my heart with your grace and gratitude.  Help me to see all the ways I am blessed, and appreciate the many ways I am undeservedly blessed. Cause my heart to overflow with gratitude and praise for you!

No comments: