How to Have a HEART for Your Kids

by Carrie Raab on January 9, 2012

How to Have a HEART for Your KidsHow to Have a HEART for Your Kids

I am joining up with a bunch of homeschool moms, online, and we are reading How to Have a Heart for Your Kids by Rachael Carman. Amanda Pelser is hosting the bookclub.  Each week  I will be sharing on the chapter that was read and giving you insight into the book and how it has impacted me, my heart, my life, my walk with my children, and most importantly how it has impacted my walk with the Lord.

We will be reading a chapter a week.  The first week is the Introduction to the book.  Rachael calls it an “introduction” and boy is it an introduction!  I normally do not even read them, nor think to, as I jump straight into Chapter 1.  Rachael’s book is an exception to the rule.  Her introduction has so much meat in it, I can hardly imagine what the chapters entail.

The introduction of How to Have a Heart for Your Kids

Rachael Carman, the author of How to Have a Heart for Your Kids, starts out her introduction to the book on how she began homeschooling, the journey thereof.  She shares her story so beautifully and is very transparent, humble, and genuine in her approach.  She makes you feel as though you are not reading a book but are actually listening to her face to face over a warm cup of coffee in your living room.  She shares her story of having her first child  and how she was already looking forward to her child going to school before he was even born.  She was excited to be a mother, yet was ready to pursue “her” dreams and passions and return to “her” life.

When her first child, a son, was born, she was blessed to live in a neighborhood with many Christian moms, who all happened to homeschool their children.  Rachael was new to the term “homeschooling” and she thought something was wrong with them. She soon found out the children were loving and obedient and the mom’s were doing everything to please the Father. This was an eye opener for Rachael.

God has plans for Rachael… little does she know that are so opposite of hers!

Rachael and her husband moved and finally settled in to a new city. She was excited to see her ‘strong willed son’ get onto the yellow school bus for the first day of school. Rachael is starting to see ‘glimpses’ of ‘her’ life return. Well, as you can guess, the introduction doesn’t go as Rachael plans.  It goes as God plans! Rachael and her husband pray for their son’s teacher and things are not lining up with their heart.  One bad situation after another occurs and they are left with no option but to pull their son out of school and begin homeschooling. Rachael shares her HARD heart at this moment and how she does NOT want to homeschool her child. Financially, they do not have the funds to send him to a private school, and the public school was no longer an option (you have to read to find out what happened to her son).  She willingly agrees, in submission to her husband, but “she” still has her own agenda lined up.  She will just homeschool him this one year until they can get him into another school. It will be a short-term fix.  She was just going to be teaching him kindergarten, so it couldn’t be that bad. 

introduction to how to have a heart for your children

An Introduction to Homeschooling the First Year

Rachael goes into great length about her HEART towards her children and how God used homeschooling to open her heart and bring change into her life and into the lives of her family.  One of my favorite lines in this portion of the introduction is when Rachael confesses, “I did not have a heart for my children.  Although I loved my children, I was ready to get my life back. I was done with the motherhood gig, ready to get back to me.” As a mother, have you ever had those thoughts? How often? Why do you think you have them?

I know I have had them.  I struggle with this.  In fact, I just wrote an article called, “For Now, I sit and I wait… The Longing in My Heart.” I had not started reading this book yet, but  now upon reading the book and when you read my story, you will see a similar pattern. It is a heart issue! I know it is. God has plans for our future, each and every one of us and they are for good! I am so excited for what my future holds, YET, I must stay in the present and rest in the now! I must maintain a heart for my children and raise them according to His ways. I must continue to die to flesh daily, hourly! Homeschooling, I believe, is God’s way of keeping me humbly before him, on my knees, in need on His grace.  I can not do it on my own! My flesh is weak and I fail, but in His strength and walking by the power of the Holy Spirit, there is great joy, peace and victory!

I have worn Rachael’s shoes. Have you? I have had the same heart issues and I constantly have to guard my heart and pray for God to keep me focused on His will for my life for TODAY.   I love my children but I have not always had a heart for my children. To be honest with you, this is the WHY of why I am homeschooling.  I realized this heart issue in me 6 years ago and I started crying out to God to have a heart for my children, to love and see them as He sees them, to love them unconditionally and my desire for us to be a family, a unit…in one accord.  I saw my family as separate entities. We each had our own ‘individual’ life. We were not a “team”, or at least I didn’t feel like we were, or what I desired. I felt we all went in different directions and we were never together.  Our conversations were scarse and we were just busy doing life and not embracing life together. I felt distant to my children… the very children God blessed me with.  I didn’t really feel like I “knew” my kids.  Sure, I knew there favorite color, what they loved to eat, the superficial stuff, but I didn’t really know their heart.  What was going on deep inside of their little hearts and minds? What was going on deep inside of mine?

on my knees crying out to God to change my heart

I remember crying out to God for months to change my heart! I was tired of living my life for me and walking in the flesh and struggling to live my life sold out for God.  I was hungry for God and wanted and did live my life for Him, but I knew there was more and I was missing something. While I was crying out to God, the word “homeschooling” came to my heart. For those that know me, homeschooling is not something I would come up with or think to do, nor desire to do! I kept saying, “Lord YOUR will be done in my life, not mine.  I surrender my will for YOUR will Lord.. have your way in me! All I want is you God.  I want to live my life for you! I want to die to flesh! I need you God, every hour I need you!”

Well for me, my story, God KNEW I would need him every hour with homeschooling.  He knew I could not do it in my own strength! I knew it too! I knew if God called me to homeschool my children, He would equip me! This conversation with God went on for months.  I was constantly journaling what was going on in my heart and what the Lord was saying and doing in me. That is the beginning of my journey to homeschool and how God was bringing me to have a heart for my children.

Stay tuned for more of my story and my homeschooling journey and next week’s blog on Chapter 1. I can’t wait to read it and share it with you! 

Does this book intrigue you? Do you think you would benefit in reading it? Do you have a heart for your children?  Do you struggle with any of Rachael’s or my heart issues? Do you have a homeschool support group where you can share you heart and be transparent with one another? I love to connect and pray with other moms who want to have a heart for their children? Won’t you connect and join hands with me!

If you can relate to the introduction of the book, let me know. I want to hear your heart! Won’t you share with me your thoughts?  Click the Facebook and Twitter button and let this book go viral. Every household should read this book! We all need a heart change! :)

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Bailey January 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Thank you for your transparency, can’t wait to join along on this journey with everyone.


Carrie Raab January 15, 2012 at 1:48 am

Hey Sarah! Thanks for reading my blog! I thank you for your kind words and I can’t wait to see what God does with all of us on this journey together. Blessings! :)


Jen @ Gricefully Homeschooling January 10, 2012 at 5:04 am

Great post! Lots of great “meat” in this introduction. Thank you for sharing your story and joining us. Can not wait to read more of your story. =)

~ Jen @


Carrie Raab January 10, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Hey Jen! Thanks so much for reading the intro. post of the book. I am loving this and how God is using it to sharpen us and to further unite us as the body of Christ! He does all things well. I am excited to read everyone’s posts and look forward to the weeks ahead. I love and appreciate your feedback! Thanks! Blessings!


Lauren January 10, 2012 at 3:28 am

“Homeschooling, I believe, is God’s way of keeping my humbly before him, on my knees, in need on His grace. I can not do it on my own! My flesh is weak and I fail, but in His strength and walking by the power of the Holy Spirit, there is great joy, peace and victory!” Yes, and amen! I really think that without homeschooling and God’s calling in my life to do it and be a mother, I would NOT be where I am at spiritually – or I would be in a very different place!


Carrie Raab January 10, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Hello Lauren! God is good!!! Thanks for reading my post and I so appreciate the feedback. Homeschooling is definitely a place that keeps you in the “refiners fire!” A great place to stay low and constantly in need of His love and grace! Bless you!


Heather January 10, 2012 at 1:29 am

LOVE your post! Yes, I often skip intros–and I need to live more in the NOW–and even right now, some of my family members still don’t feel part of the “team” and I should be praying about that. Thank you for your post!


Carrie Raab January 10, 2012 at 2:11 am

Hey Heather! Thank you for reading my post! I love this…iron sharpening iron! Together we are a team and divided we fall apart. Keep seeking Him first and keep being the mother that God has called you to be, pray without ceasing, and you will see the fruits of your labor. I am looking forward to reading Ch.1. I can’t wait… the introduction was ah-mazing! Blessings!


Amanda @ ThePelsers January 10, 2012 at 12:28 am

Team. What a great way to describe family. When we’re all pursuing our own interests, there’s no way we can work together as a team.


Carrie Raab January 10, 2012 at 2:14 am

Hey Amanda! Thanks so much for reading my post, but most importantly, thank you for hosting this book club. God is going to do more than we can ask, seek, or imagine. I am honored to be a part of this group and encouraging one another through this journey of raising children and ‘having a HEART for our kids!’ Blessings to you and your family!


Michelle January 10, 2012 at 12:03 am

I love your post–when you talked about feeling your family was not working as a team–wow! I have felt that way at times. We all get so busy with our own activities, that can happen without us even realizing it. I look forward to reading your next post and reading more about your family’s homeschool path.


Carrie Raab January 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

Hey Michelle! Thanks for reading my post and for commenting! I really appreciate the feedback. I am looking forward to reading the next chapter and sharing both the author and my story. Blessings to you and stay tuned till next week! :)


Eileen @ Ordained Praise January 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I love how you point out that a family can be like a team instead of everyone going their separate ways. Homeschooling unites families in the love of the Blessed Trinity. Enjoyed reading your post.


Carrie Raab January 10, 2012 at 12:11 am

Hey Eileen! Thanks for reading my post and your comment! Yes, with God, we become one! Homeschooling not “the” answer to be a unit, but for my family, that was His plan. As long as we are being a ‘family’ and truly loving one another, as God loves us, and we have a heart for one another, mission accomplished (play on words). Bless you and come back for next week’s post! :)


Dawn @ Guiding Light January 9, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Love your post! Thank you for sharing! Glad to be on this book ride with you! Blessings


Carrie Raab January 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Hey Dawn! I am glad to be on this journey together. God is good! Looking forward to reading how God is speaking to you through his word and the book. Bless you Dawn!


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