00:15 Sonja Wood: So thank you for joining us. Can you tell us what you have to share with us today? You’ve got a lovely little family, you’ve got little ones.
00:22 Priscilla Nothnagel: Yeah.
00:22 Sonja: From what age to what age?
00:22 Priscilla: Very little. One and a half to five and a half.
00:25 Sonja: Wow.
00:26 Priscilla: So we are barely on this journey.
00:28 Sonja: At the start of the journey. Well, you’ve been on it since the first one was born.
00:32 Priscilla: Well, exactly. And that’s where I thought I’d start, is the first day when we met you that day, and I didn’t know much. I’ve just fallen into, I feel like this sort of just wonderful treasure trove of homeschooling moms and support groups and whatever and just I’m enjoying it, but I’d heard about Dear Sonya, and you’re just this legend that’s gone before. [chuckle]
00:54 Sonja: Oh, my. I’m a legend, am I? [laughter] I’ve never been called that before. [laughter]
01:01 Priscilla: But in my mind, I thought… And then Sonya started asking us about, do we homeschool? I was like, “Well, well. My kids aren’t at school. So, yeah. We don’t have a syllabus or anything.” And Sonya just looked at me and said, “Your boy, the oldest, he speaks, doesn’t he? He speaks English-Afrikaans?” “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, we, my husband’s Afrikaans, I’m English, we’ve taught him.”
01:28 Sonja: Two languages.
01:28 Priscilla: Yeah, did you use a syllabus for that?” [chuckle] “No.” [laughter]
01:33 Sonja: How did you teach him to speak if you don’t have a curriculum? [laughter]
01:37 Priscilla: And that’s where I was like, “Oh, thank you Lord. That was so graceful of you to just… ” But they are learning. They are learning. Every day they’re learning.
01:47 Sonja: Were you feeling concerned that you needed a curriculum?
01:51 Priscilla: Absolutely. Oh goodness, you go on the internet, you just have to spend five minutes on Pinterest to know that you’re way behind the rest of the world.
01:57 Sonja: Pinterest?
01:57 Priscilla: Yeah. Don’t go there. Don’t go there. For the rest who have gone there, it can be…
02:03 Sonja: I didn’t know Pinterest was a place you get curriculum.
02:05 Priscilla: No, it’s not. But you can see what everybody else is doing.
02:07 Sonja: Oh, I see. Okay.
02:08 Priscilla: And I knew that I wasn’t doing enough, clearly.
02:12 Sonja: You thought you weren’t doing enough?
02:12 Priscilla: I didn’t even have a syllabus, not even. Not that I wasn’t… I just didn’t even have that.
02:17 Sonja: But you had a Bible?
02:18 Priscilla: I did have that. And you know, God had been speaking that already. And so I’m so encouraged, ’cause one of you ladies who’s already spoken have already said, one of the things that God has already done with us, and one of those things was, “Well, you have your Bible.” I didn’t have much energy. I was feeling quite discouraged. “Just go sit on that couch and start reading. They can carry on playing and just start reading.” And then I’d get tired of reading what I was reading, so I’m like, “Pick a page, pick a chapter, let’s just read that.” Some of them I had to turn a page just, [chuckle] some of those King stories are not PG for a two-year-old.
02:50 Sonja: No, no, no. [laughter]
02:51 Sonja: My children put age restrictions on some of the stories in the Bible. [laughter]
02:56 Priscilla: I did self-edit a few parts, [chuckle] but it’s been amazing of God just teaching us literally through the Bible and how exactly as someone else has said, everything else has fallen into place after that. So, we’d start with reading the Bible then we did a whole… It was supposed to be a week and we spent three weeks on creation just ’cause we were enjoying and getting so much out of that, including me. And suddenly after that I found so much easier to… Suddenly we were doing maths in the afternoon or I was teaching my two and a half year old colors or…
03:27 Sonja: Just happening naturally.
03:27 Priscilla: Yeah, just putting that first thing in place, Him first, and the rest would follow. If I were to describe our little family, me and the three kids and well obviously my husband as well. But, us during the day right now, we are strong and we have courage and…
03:40 Sonja: Fantastic.
03:41 Priscilla: The Lord is leading us, and that’s where I sort of said I was joking, I didn’t really have a testimony, ’cause I’m barely one step into this journey.
03:48 Sonja: You think you don’t have a testimony ’cause your children are not having started officially. Meantime, you’ve been home educating.
03:56 Priscilla: Doing it for five and a half years.
03:57 Sonja: Since five and a half years. So you’re quite a way in already.
04:00 Priscilla: Yes, we are. And the Lord woke me up, well, not woke me up, but he interrupted my thoughts quite abruptly today with this saying, “I have perfected everything that concerns you.” So I thought, “That’s lovely. Thanks, Lord.” I didn’t realize, but that’s actually what he wanted me to share today. But that comes from Psalm 138. It says, “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me. Your mercy and loving kindness, o Lord, endure forever. Forsake not the works of your own hands.” And do you know a little bit earlier on he says, “For the Lord is high, yet he has respect to the lowly, bringing them into fellowship with Him.”
04:39 Sonja: Sure.
04:39 Priscilla: And isn’t that lovely? And it takes me back this week, I decided to also alongside doing the Bible, I thought, “Well, God, you are speaking all the time so, let’s do a little exercise in hearing you with the kids.” And after five minutes and they’re losing attention, I’m like, “Oh my God, this is gonna be really awkward if you don’t speak very loudly and they don’t hear you.” [laughter] But, he surprised me and I had picked up their little, one of those little plastic balls you can get from Checkers. They love that ball. They really do, they’re kids, they love that ball.
05:14 Priscilla: And I was looking at it and then I was looking at it really closely going, “Lord, now’s a good time to say something profound.” And I was like… But, as I calmed myself down like, “Priscilla, he is speaking, just relax. He will talk.” And I looked at that ball, and they’re covered in cartoon pictures or whatever it was. But as I looked closer, you could see the picture was quite pixelated and some of the pattern had sort of misaligned, the colors had bled into the other colors, and it wasn’t perfect. And the Lord just whispered, “I’m the one that perfects. Yes, the pixels and everything else, but it’s there and I’m the one that perfects.” And after, I suddenly realised my kids love that ball. They love it. Never have they picked it up and gone…
06:09 Sonja: Oh, something’s wrong with this ball.
06:10 Priscilla: Mom, did you see? They didn’t draw this properly. [chuckle] They love that ball, they’ve never gone, “Oh, it’s so pixelated, Mom.”
06:20 Sonja: Well I’ve just got a little story to share with you because talking about sitting with your children and getting them to hear from God. I said to our children one day, and this was when I had about, I don’t know whether it was nine, seven, nine. ‘Cause I had a lot of children at a stage for a while. Foster situation, okay. [chuckle] And so I said to this crew, “We’re going to go and listen to God this morning.” ‘Cause, I must have said that because maybe things were getting a little out of hand, perhaps. I can’t remember the detail. But I said to them, and there was the front door and I said, “When I open this front door we’re going to walk into God’s creation. We’re going to go into His creation, we’re going to find somewhere very quiet to sit down, and we’re going to listen to see what God’s got to say today. We need to hear from Him.” And so I left the home and I opened the door as though it was a book.
07:09 Sonja: As though it was a cover of a book. And I told them it’s like His Word, we’re going to go into his Word, into His creation and I opened the door, they’re all standing around making out like the door is the cover of the book, I open, we go through. And Jaime, who’s busy filming here today, this big lad. He was about three years old at the time. Three or four. Now there was one younger than him, just about a year younger than him. So they all go, and I’m looking after the little ones and the others are finding their place.
07:38 Sonja: I explained to them them, they need to find a place on their own, not with one of the others. But I took the two little ones and I’m sitting with the two little ones, and we hear a tractor coming up the path. They talk, I said, “Shh, we’re listening. We need to listen. We need to be still and listen, paying attention to what God has to say today.” And the tractor goes up the hill. And Jaime goes, “Did you hear that?” He says “Was that God?” [laughter] It’s the sound of the tractor. So I said, “No, it’s a tractor going up the hill.” “Oh, okay.” There was silence again. And then we heard a little bird, and so then he goes, “Did you hear that?”
08:22 Sonja: It was very hard for Jaime to be still and quiet. It was quite a challenge for him. Not anymore, but then it was, really big challenge. He goes, “Did you hear that?” So I say, “Yes sweetie, I heard that. Are you talking about the bird?” He said, “Yes.” He says, “Is that God?” And so I said, “Yes it is.” Because God gave the bird the song, you see? He goes, “Shh, shh!” [laughter] And we waited to hear the bird sing again, and the little girl goes, “Is that God singing from the bird?” This is a little girl, something like it, and Jaime goes, “Shh, shh!” [laughter] Jaime, the one who can’t keep quiet, is telling everybody… “Shh, shh, we have to listen. God’s talking to us.”
09:03 Sonja: And so there was this absolute silence. Well, it was so profound, this moment. When we came back and we all came back and I’d given everybody time to hear from God.” And I asked him now, what did God say to you?” And the others said they didn’t hear anything. God wasn’t speaking, I said, “Yeah, yes He was, He’s always speaking like we’ve been talking about today.” And so then I said, “Jaime, you tell them.” So he said, “What I thought it was, I thought God was speaking when I heard a tractor noise, but Mom said that wasn’t God. And that wasn’t God talking. Then we heard the bird.” And he’s telling them the whole story about the bird, and that God was speaking to us through the bird. And I said, “What do you think he was saying?” So Jaime says, “That we must sing.” Like as if, how can you not get that? So what happens, the Kingdom of Heaven is in the children. And so he just automatically knew, nobody taught him that, he knew that God was saying to us, “Sing, sing, sing for me, look, the birds sing.”
09:52 Priscilla: It’s not complicated.
09:53 Sonja: It’s not complicated. And so it was such a sweet story about listening to God. Another little thing I can tell you about listening and hearing from God. You don’t have to wait around asking him to please do something quick and talk to your children, because all you need to do is open your Bible and start reading out loud, and you tell them that God is using your voice, but these are His words. Because they can always hear from God when you are reading the Word to them. So if you’re sitting there quietly, like for example when we all came back together and some said they hadn’t heard from God, I said, “Well, then this is how you can hear from God.” And then I would read from the Word, and then they would all know they had heard from God. So it’s just a little seed to plant in their hearts. So when they’re older, as adults, our daughter’s told me that sometimes she reads the word aloud so she can hear.
10:43 Priscilla: That’s a good idea.
10:45 Sonja: What God is saying to her. She just says it out loud so she knows it. Yeah, so I didn’t know that was gonna happen. You see, [chuckle] the gift of all the changes that we find that come out later on? So you’re at the beginning of a wonderful journey. A five year old, you’ve got all these wonderful years to look forward to of all these exciting times. Like I think Catia was saying, you don’t wanna miss out on being able to be with them and get all of those moments.
11:08 Priscilla: And that’s exactly where I am. We can’t… From very busy lifestyle into sudden, very quiet lifestyle. And my boy was at school, at a wonderful school, the headmistress viewed that school as her ministry. It really was a beautiful place. But I was never gonna do, being a stay at home mom. I wasn’t gonna do this. There was a stereotype in my mind and I wasn’t gonna be that. So, but God very quickly just pressed release on that one, and… [laughter]
11:44 Sonja: Thank you, thank you for sharing with us. That was very very wonderful. It’s so nice to have somebody right at the beginning of their journey, although it’s been going five years. [laughter] ‘Cause you’ve got a lot to look forward to and as you say, you’ve landed in a treasure cove of all this support and encouragement around you. And that’s why I thank you ladies for coming today, because some people don’t have this group of support to encourage them on. And so you here, sharing with others that are feeling more alone and feel like they don’t have the support, and they’ve got you. You’ve shared with them today, and that’s going to encourage some people.
12:20 Priscilla: I can’t tell you what it is, because we come from a place where homeschooling really has a bad stigma. Even the headmistress of that school, I know the family, I know the friends, and they don’t regard homeschooling very highly. Coming out of that place, and I knew God had put homeschooling in my heart, and for Him to put us in this little pocket where he’s just showing me…
12:41 Sonja: Encouraging you on.
12:42 Priscilla: Yes. Of the people who’ve gone before and what He can do throughout, and heart…
12:46 Sonja: Wonderful. Thank you.
12:48 Priscilla: Thank you.
12:49 Sonja: Thanks Cilla.