pdf of Issacharian Daughters – ID053 – click on link below for correct layout and photos
Monday, 23 April 2007
Interview with Sarah Clarkson ??part 2
Genevieve: You are the oldest of four children. What sort of input have you had into the education of your siblings or in discipling them?
Sarah: I have been really delighted in the last couple of years through some different circumstances because I have had the opportunity to have some times with my siblings. When my mom was working on this one book, I just decided that it would be a great time, an opportune time, for me to have some time with my siblings. I was in charge of their homeschooling, and we read many books together. One of the first things that I did when I was 13 or 14 where I was in charge of their homeschooling was that we read Kidnapped together. Every week we would take a set of tea ??the boys had mugs and the girls had teacups ??and we would light a fire and we would all pile on the couch and read Kidnapped. Sometimes we would act out the scenes and do stuff like that. As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to see what a stewardship I have as an older sister, and I’ve tried to be systematic. I did have that aim when I was homeshooling when I did a lot of reading. We did a lot of fieldtrips together. We’d listen to music and books on tape in the car. We had long discussions and we’d go to bookshops. It just fostered a lot of conversation. And then with Joy, who is my youngest sister, I’m trying to start to have more of a spiritual influence. We’ve done some books together ??some devotionals. We have one day a week where we go out and have some hot chocolate. I’ve really tried to make those times real conversation starters and to tell her that she is a princess and to give her a sense of what Biblical femininity is. So that has been exciting for me!
Did you go to university?
No. It doesn’t mean I’ll never go, but I am doing my university studies by correspondence because I feel like at this time of my life it is more like what God would have me do. I’m traveling with my parents around the country. I’m working on another book. For me to go to full-time university right now would not be productive. I just have a real hesitancy about putting myself in that situation, unless I really felt like God called me to it.
What made you decide not to go to university?
I would like to challenge people to think about whether or not they need to go to university. There is such a mindset of just following the cultural norm. Especially in the United States where I live. I see a lot of kids graduate from high school and then just go to university. There is a part of me that wants to say,??Wait. Stand back. Is this what God would have you do? ?? I feel like the years that I have been out of university traveling with my family still a part of the family unit, being given an opportunity to do some study and soul searching, to discuss, to travel, I feel like it has given me a much bigger picture of life than just going to a class and putting myself in the company of a lot of influences that I don’t necessarily feel like I need. I feel like my education that I’ve been pursuing through books and these older mentors is as good, I really believe, as a university education and probably much better. I have friends in university, and I’m happy for them and glad for what they are doing, but I feel very confident in the path I have chosen to not be in university right now.
Has not going to a Christian school or college ??has this influenced your social skills?
Well, now that depends on your definition of socialization because if socialization is only being with kids your age all day, then well I guess I haven’t done that. But, oh my goodness, I always want to laugh when I get this question because I feel like I have had such a wide opportunity to meet people of all ages including my own. I have some great friends, and I’m involved in some wonderful classes and groups with kids my own age. But the opportunity to also interact with my parents, with adults, with their friends, with older mentors, with younger children: if anything homeschooling expands your ability to be well socialized, to be socially mature and socially capable, able to meet people, to be in any situation and to enjoy any person. I feel like homeschooling has expanded my ability in this area, not confined it in any way whatsoever!
A lot of homeschooling girls right now are thinking about the role of a daughter. What are your thoughts on this?
It has really been a blessing this year. I have worked as an administrator for our ministry, which means that I basically work with my Dad at the office. It has really been enjoyable to be part of his vision. And the last three or four years I have been an assistant to my Mom. I feel like it has been a great blessing to be in a position where I can be mentored by my parents. A lot of people have encouraged me to move away from home. My grandmother took me aside when I was 17 and said,??If you don’t move away from home by the time you are 18, you will just be weird. ?? Thinking about it from the position of a daughter, I feel like having the guidance of my parents’ years and being so protected by them has been such a wonderful blessing, and I really feel for people who don’t have that kind of view. I’ve loved working with my parents. I feel like that is part of the heritage that my parents have passed on to me and that that is the goal of parenting and homeschooling in general: to pass on a passion for Christ and ministry. So for me to work with my family, it is just who we are. It is part of who I am to be part of this. I always see myself as part of my family. I don’t see myself as a separate individual. I am my own individual, but I am part of my family. That is where God has placed me. This has been a really rich time of my life to be able to work for my Dad as an administrator, to be able to help him there and to help him in ministry and also to travel with Mom and be her assistant and to be able to encourage people with her and help her in that. I think very much it will influence how I live my life once I marry and have kids and am older.
Talking about marriage, are there any particular things you are looking for in a future husband?
Good grief. You have no idea how idealistic I am do you? [Laughs.] The first thing of course is the most important and this should be obvious that he have a heart for God. I would qualify this by saying that for me his heart and his passion in ministry would need to be one that I could follow. I feel like it is so important for marriage to have a shared vision. We would need to each have a maturity in Christ separately and together and also a shared vision for how we can use our lives together for God’s Kingdom. There are so many idealistic things I would have on my list for my future husband, but as my mom says, he has to like literature, and he has to like traveling; but I guess I can take what God sends! I was in England last year, and I had a pastor take me aside, and I barely knew this man, but he knew my background, and he was also a homeschooling father, and he said,??Young woman, I just want you to know that you have a huge stewardship. Don’t you dare marry anybody beneath your level because if you do, you won’t be able to have the ministry that God has called you to, and you won’t be able to do great things with your life. Don’t you dare marry anybody just because they come along. ?? So I guess that is in a funny way my criteria. I always felt like God would bring me an Isaac. I don’t know that it is my role right now to go out seeking marriage or looking for the person but that God would bring in His time a person that I could complete and that I could enter in this man’s ministry. So I guess just a heart for God, and it wouldn’t hurt if he was taller than me since I’m pretty tall, and it would be great if he loved books and literature and extra nice if he enjoyed long conversations over something hot!
Just thinking about the fact that??to whom much is given, much is required ??, can you talk about the responsibility you feel because of what your parents have given you by home educating you?
I feel such a stewardship. The older I get, the more I look at the people around me. I look at the people I meet in everyday life. I look at my upbringing and family. And I think,??Lord I don’t deserve this. I have been given an incredible blessing. It is nothing that I have done or deserve, and yet I have this, and it is like having a jewel or a treasure in the midst of a poor and desolate time. I think the more we see our culture going in the opposite direction, the more we who have this knowledge and were raised in these beautiful and loving homes have this stewardship to teach this to other young women in our generation, and I feel like young women’s hearts could be captured even before they are married, if they could have this ideology in place, that it could affect whole generations and whole multitudes of people. I just have such a passion to both encourage homeschooling parents in what they are doing and to say from my point of view as a graduate of homeschool, and I would also call it a graduate of a Godly home, that I treasure every bit of what my parents have poured into me, and I see its value in this time. And I want to teach other girls, and I want to encourage parents, and I’m looking forward to doing it with my own children.
What are some of the things that the Lord has been teaching you recently?
It is amazing to me how easily cultural messages creep into our thinking without us even knowing it, and I have been doing a study of both Proverbs and Psalms. I’ve been doing a Psalm a day. Several things I have been impressed with in my quiet times lately are just how blessed the righteous are, but how much this has to be a choice. And how much God desires us to seek this path which is a narrow path. It is so easy to compromise in even small ways in life in things I watch or see or in ways I allow myself to act. I have been just reading and studying in the Bible the way of the righteous and that God calls them to it and that He blesses those who follow it. He delights in those who do, but that it has to be chosen again and again. And even I who have grown up all my life pretty committed to these things, I have to make conscious choices every day. The second thing is that I have really learned a lot lately, and this is a hard area for me, but I’ve learned a lot about how to be a servant of Christ. I would like to be the idealist leading the way, but I don’t necessarily want to be the servant sister or the servant daughter in the home or with other people, and I think I’m just learning again the model of Jesus washing the disciples feet. He was constantly laying His life down for the redemption of others, and I’ve begun to see myself as a fellow redeemer; but redemption always, usually demands suffering of the person bringing the redemption. Just learning for me again to bring every minute of my time before the Lord and saying,??Lord, just use this time to do your thing and for your glory. ?? Of course I don’t always think that. I wish I did. I think I’m just being drawn to use a Lewis phrase,??Further up and further in, ?? every day into His Kingdom and His way of life minute-by-minute, not just day-by-day.
Will you homeschool your own children?
There is no doubt. I can’t wait to homeschool my own children. It would give me an excuse to read all the books that I don’t have time to read right now. There is no doubt in my mind. I guess I’ll call it the richness of soul that I feel like I have because of the books and the whole atmosphere of what I grew up with. There is just no other way to give this richness to a child unless the parent is with them all the time pouring in, experiencing life, ministering together, traveling, having devotions and praying. I feel like I’m so rich in my soul that there is absolutely no doubt in my own mind that I will homeschool my children. I’m looking forward to it very much. I feel like it is such a gift from God to be able to pour that type of richness into my children’s souls.
(…to be continued ??)
Next week Sarah talks about marriage and beauty.
For the Greater Glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
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