Choose JOY!

Choose JOY!

by Drenda Keesee


Sometimes we think the best we can do for our children is teach them, but what really sends the strongest message is not what we are teaching, but how we are behaving.

Your actions will set the standard for your children’s actions, which is why it is so important to have a positive, hopeful attitude and patient spirit; without these things, homeschooling can be counterproductive.

Making the Choice to Rejoice

While you don’t necessarily get to choose what happens in your day-to-day, you do get to choose your response to things.

Remember, your attitude is a choice.

Everyone has rough days, and times when it’s harder to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I raised five kids in a one-bathroom farmhouse, so I know just how you feel.

There were days I would…


…just lock myself in the bathroom and cry. But you know what I did? I put a sign on the bathroom door: Make the Choice to Rejoice.

I want you to be encouraged and know that joy is just a prayer away. I want you to know that the Word of God will always be waiting for you, to tell you, YOU CAN do it!

While the world approaches tough days with fear and hopelessness, we know that God will see us through and renew our minds to His Word and His perfect love.

Philippians 3:13 tells me, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.”

Don’t get discouraged by the tough days! Anything worthwhile means having tough moments. Do your best to keep an attitude of gratitude, and keep a godly perspective. Get joyful! Laugh at things when they go wrong and refuse to let them get you down. Keep choosing joy: this is one of the best lessons you can teach your children.

Praying on Every Occasion

Go to God and ask Him to guide you to His Word; He will help you set goals for your children and your family.

1 Chronicles 16:11 tells us, “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”

If God has called you to it, He will equip you with the tools you need. He will give you the vision for your children and give you the tools to pursue it. He will help you instill the Godly values that will fashion their character and anchor their spirits!

Prayer got me through so many moments of stress. A few times, I remember rocking a crying baby while I cried with them. Potty training seemed to be one of the bigger hurdles for me! There were times I wished I could escape or run away and do something important and glamorous, but instead I would pray for help.

YOU CAN overcome the fear of inadequacy.
YOU CAN overcome the fear of pressure.
YOU CAN overcome the tough days.

I want to encourage you to find moments throughout your day to talk to God and infuse His power into your circumstances.

Have Fun!

One of the most amazing differences between homeschooling and “formal” education is the fact that a homeschooler gets to use the world as their teaching tool!

Create fun, unique learning experiences for you and your children. When Gary and I would go on trips with our children, we made that a part of their education. We had them research the places we were going, help us plan and navigate throughout, and bring geography to life through travel.

Be creative! Try to put a new spin on challenging topics. If you can’t think of something yourself, there are plenty of ideas and information available for homeschooling parents online and in books. Challenge yourself to think outside the box and have fun with it!



ps…Are you looking for a good church? Be sure and listen on Saturday evening or catch the 3 services on Sunday for Faith Life Church!



Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional, and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.

A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.

Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.

Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary and Drenda.

Through their own life experiences, the Keesee’s have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.

That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.

She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then the irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.

Gary and Drenda pastor Faith Life Church at The Now Center in New Albany, Ohio, and also are the CEOs of Forward Financial Group.

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