When people ask me what I do for work, I sometimes tell them that I am a professional homeschooling mom. Since I do so many things, that seems to cover it all. I continue to find there is always something that can be learned in whatever stage of life I find myself in. A great joy to my heart is that my daughters were down for this trip and that all the trips we went on to “do school” have lead to lifetime learning. I wasn’t sure what that had to do with lighthouses until I started writing this blog.
There are lighthouses on our side of the continent and it stands to reason that there would also be lighthouses on the Atlantic side. Lighthouses are so fascinating to me. Maybe because they are built in areas of great need. It seems like every one has a specific reason for being placed in its space. Lives are saved just because that particular lighthouse was placed there. Most lighthouses today are battery operated rather than having someone living in them although the people who are helping to keep the stories alive and care for the grounds are certainly important too. The people who lived in them to keep the light burning were a special kind of “everyday hero’s” for a lonely and thankless job that was essential to save people lives in extremely difficult situations.
Perhaps there is connection here for those of us “professional homeschooling moms”. Most people don’t get why in the world we do what we do. It’s often a hard and thankless job with a great deal of expectation, from ourselves and others, that is impossible to meet. Especially if we have special needs in our family. Maybe with the special challenges we face, could it be that our families are strategically placed in the “water way” of life because God has placed His light in us to light the way for others to find their way to safety in Him?
I noticed that many places have tug boats that help guide ships into port. Some have a channel way marked with bouys for the boats and ships to follow. That makes me think of the Bible, Holy Spirit, pastors, doctors, counselors, friends, therapists, mentor moms, and other guides that help light the path for us to follow.
When the wind, rain and storms of life blow up suddenly and without warning, who or what do you turn to? What about the hidden troubles below the surface that we can’t see? How do we avoid the avoidable while navigating through the unavoidable?
Yesterday’s drive from Halifax to Peggy’s Cove was beautiful. The waters sparkled in the sun. The conifer and deciduous trees played hide and seek with our view as we drove along. We stopped at a Memorial for a SwissAir plane that had gone down in 1998. Very sobering to see how quickly things can change for people and their families. In the blink of an eye, everything can change. How do we prepare ourselves and our children for these challenges? I think that asking God to fill us with His Light and His Word is the only thing that really helps me deal with the ongoing challenges that my family has faced and continues to face.
As we approached the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove, there were warnings everywhere to avoid the black rock because people could be swept off into the ocean. Many people were climbing the white rocks and taking pictures while laughter filled the air – a stark contrast to the warning signs and the fog bank quickly makings its way towards us. We took our pictures and made our way to the edge of town where there was a beautiful sculpture.
It delights me to see the smile on the angel’s face as the wings shelter the fishermen. I have always appreciated the picture of an angel given charge over me and my family. This sculpture also depicts the hard work of the Fisher folk and others as they wrest their livelyhood from the sea. It also reminds me that there are no guarantees in this life for our futures regardless of how hard we work. Only God knows and sees what’s next. Jesus, the light of the world, (John 8:12) who calms the sea with His voice, (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41) promised in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that through me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer! For I have over come the world.”
The world needs more “lighthouses” pointing the way to God’s plan and God’s provision. May He give us courage to be those “lighthouses” that guide people through the storms of life by our willingness to shine the light of God’s love to eternal safety.
Who are your “lighthouse” people?