By Leann Dunckel
...my frame was not hidden from thee when i was made in the secret place...and in thy book they were all written the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them...(Psalm 139:15-16)
We have six children, each one different, each one a valued inheritance from the Lord. My oldest daughter was born shortly before i turned 32. After waiting almost 3 years, we were surprised to be pregnant. 'They' said 'sometimes it takes awhile'. I remembered my prayer. I mused to God I would be happy with whatever He had for us--a couple of kids, a bunch of kids, no kids and we would adopt "but you have to put that in my heart, Lord". He said into my heart, "You'll have five." We have six (still haven't figured that out). I told my mother. She wasn't sure. You see, i was 32 and had no kids. We did nothing medically. We were pregnant a month later, and children came every 18 months after that. Yay!! (Phew!) The Lord put homeschooling in my heart immediately. But how? My husband thought homeschoolers were crazy. We both worked in schools! And I worked full time.
End of 3rd grade. My husband said, "Why don't we try homeschooling?" (I had left my desire to homeschool in God's hands, and only prayed.) After all, we thought, it's only 4th grade, how could we hurt her? I had worked my way into part-time, and then temporary work from home. We could put her back after one year, and as long as she could read, write, and do math, we had not hurt her education in any way. Homeschooling began. Meredith was a different child within three weeks. She was so soft and peaceful. Her music began--not because we were musical, but because Meredith asked for piano lessons (that we couldn't afford on our current income). So, Meredith took 10 weeks of piano. A little water, a little sunshine, that little seed put up a shoot. Meredith wouldn't do the end-of-the-year recital. The teacher said "Will you play a song for the offeratory in church?" Meredith said yes.
When the time came, Meredith asked if she could sing too (she was 10, we had never heard her sing). Her instructor put a microphone nearby, with an indulgent smile. To our surprise, Meredith pulled the microphone over and sang, accompanying herself on piano. She could really sing. People began to notice. ( We didn't know she could sing.) We couldn't afford much for lessons, but as a homeschooler, Meredith had the gift of time. The shoot began to grow. Meredith played, learning from friends and teaching herself. Singing, piano, guitar, electric, bass, dabbled in flute, learned a bit of violin. The Lord put people in her path--directors of the local play gave her singing roles, then roles assisting and finally directing the music in their ministry. Would she help start a junior youth worship team? Would she cover worship at another church while their leader took a much needed break? Mentors, guides, and loving brothers and sisters discipled her. More sunshine, more water, the Lord brings the increase. (Don't get me wrong, there were folks that opposed her, folks that wanted her out of the way, and their children in place. We had to leave situations that only had room for one or that had a habit of biting little sheep) We trust that God has room for everyone. He has a garden.
Age 13. After attending a local Christian rock concert, a promoter approached Meredith, inviting her to play at a Rock-N-Worship Festival 3 ½ hours away. He was a homeschooling father of 6, who felt the Lord had told him that this young girl needed to be encouraged. (Mind you, she had only played a bit of electric guitar for the host church. She was not in this concert.) We went to the Rock-N-Worship Festival in Dalton, Mass. three months later. Something inside Meredith blossomed. Following that event, the Lord brought a drummer and later a bassist. The trio continues to perform as rock band Undefeated. To see, visit the following social media links. (13) Undefeated Official - YouTube Undefeated - Home | Facebook Undefeated (@undefeated_official) • Instagram photos and videos
We are five years down the road and 19 years since God told me to homeschool this child. We have done nothing but walk through doors the Lord has opened. Undefeated has played across Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New York. Their bookings have all been by word of mouth. Undefeated continues to grow, producing their own videos. Doors continue to open. They have won awards including Syracuse, NY's battle of the bands hosted by the Jewish Community Center, and the Northeast's regional Kindred Award for New Group, 2019 (nominated for three additional awards for 2020 including Rock Group). Undefeated was invited with 20 other international bands in the Kids Rock for Kids internet show, raising money globally for children's charities, singing the only song in the event that pointed to the truth of Christ. Meredith had the gift of time at home, and a place hidden away from the world to develop. God spoke her days into being before there was yet one of them. God brought those who would water and shine light into these young people. (...one man plants [the seed], another waters [the seed], the Lord brings the increase...1 Corinthians 3: 6-9). The seed is what God speaks, His word (and His Word, Jesus Christ). God's seed has everything it needs to not fail. (So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11)
Do you trust the seed? Are we faithful to obey the little things He whispers to our hearts? I can't explain why I needed to homeschool, it was clear and peaceful in my heart. We have other children who would choose more traditional paths. We trust God has their days formed and fully equipped seeds inside them as well. My prayer is we will hear and obey, that we will water and pour sunshine on each one. When in doubt, give the seed a little space. Water with encouragement. Warm with love. Bring light by following Christ myself. Our part is simple. God already did the creative work. Do you trust the seed?
"Father, we are fitted for Your purposes in Your garden. During this time at home, open my eyes to see the things you have spoken over my children. My desire is to shower water and light onto my and others' children. Let me be a servant in your hands..."
Undefeated is coming your way to perform at River Rock Festival in Bethel, Maine July 2-3, 2021. If music speaks to your family, or you just want to support Undefeated, you can get discounted tickets through Meredith and Undefeated by emailing UndefeatedOfficialMusic@gmail.com.
Epilogue: A man chooses his way, the lord orders his steps Proverbs 16:9.
My husband, Tom, made a radical commitment to reeaaally follow the Lord when Meredith was three. Shortly after, he threw hundreds of 1970's and 80's rock and metal CDs into the garbage obeying a conviction from the Lord to "purge the house" of music that didn't honor Him. We played music with a Christian message only. Please understand, this is not put forth as a rule, it is simply the Lord showing us He knew what was in our days ahead. We didn't know Meredith would start a band. Meredith would still be doing music, but would she be giving it back as an offering to the Lord?