“Beeeep, beeeep, beeeep, beeeep…” my alarm clock sounded 6:30am. Can it really be time to get up for another day of homeschool? It seemed I had shut my eyes to go to sleep just two minutes earlier!
Lying in bed, trying to rub the sleep out of my eyes, I thought about each one of my children. I gave thanks to the Lord for them, but knew I was in a very challenging place. Bethany was 18, John was eight. That year I was trying to get her ready for graduation and college, and teach him how to divide and write a simple paragraph.
My ambitious 15-year-old Megan kept me busy enough for three kids. Besides her academics, she wanted to learn to drive, get a job, lead in the church youth group, and organize a book club for young women (all at the same time!)
My 13-year-old son Jesse just wanted to play baseball with a Christian school team, which meant driving 1-2 days a week 30-45 minutes away for practices and games. Then there were three more girls—Susanna, 11, and Charity and Amy, my 10-year-old twins—all needing consistent blocks of time with me each day to learn their subjects and be trained to help at home.
Besides juggling everyone’s academics, extra-curricular activities and work, there were the added balls of chores, meals, and lesson plans. This day didn’t even take into account unplanned interruptions, sickness, or bad attitudes. And it didn’t include the time we all would spend helping my husband Chris, fighting a tough battle with MS, who needed us to get through his daily routine (getting dressed, putting on shoes, helping him on his scooter, assisting him in his therapy pool, etc.)
Before I dragged myself out of bed and put on my jeans and shirt, I knew I needed to put something else on even more important. I needed to clothe myself with truth.
When parenting or homeschooling are overwhelming, my biggest battle usually isn’t logistical in nature; it’s fighting the unbelief and the lies the Enemy loves to throw at me—
“You’re a failure! You’re ruining your kids! They’re not learning anything.”
“You can’t do this! Why did you think you could homeschool in the first place? You’re not smart enough, organized enough, patient enough…”
“Obviously, if you were doing this parenting thing right, your kids wouldn’t be tempted by the things of this world, and they wouldn’t argue and fight, or complain…”
“Your life will be so much easier and happier if you just give up what God has called you to do.”
“Get back, Satan!” I yelled at myself. I need to go back to what God has said to me in His Word—
Before I let my thoughts form the words, “I can’t do this another day, Lord!” I desperately needed to hear God speak to me once again His truth—
“I will never leave you or forsake you…” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
“My power is perfected in weakness…”
And, “therefore, I will gladly boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So many of my days have been like this…way too many to count. God has gotten me through every one of them, however, in His faithfulness. How about you? Are you succumbing to the Enemy’s lies?
As we recognize Homeschool Teacher Appreciation Week this week, you may not feel like there is much to celebrate. May I remind you of what God is doing in you, and for you, and through you?
I would love to sit down with you, over a cup of coffee (or tea) and speak these words in person, but I hope this short letter conveys my desire to encourage you in the Lord. We are fellow travelers on this amazing journey called homeschooling. We are soul shapers, vessels in God’s hands to guide and direct our children for the future God has prepared for each one of them.
I know sometimes that realization is downright scary; you feel inadequate and unprepared for the daily challenges. Maybe you have extra challenges like sickness, a child with special needs, or very tight finances. Maybe your faith feels fragile and barely discernible, but Jesus has promised to not put out the smoldering wick or crush the bruised reed. (Matthew 12:20)
If I could look into your eyes right now, homeschooling mom (or dad) here is what I’d want to share—
Called by God. It’s a unique and challenging call, but God will equip you every step of the way. (Exodus 15:13, Psalm 31:3)
The most important person in your child’s life. Your example, love, and teaching are helping to shape your child and his/her future. No one else is going to touch their life as much as you, mom and dad! (Deuteronomy 4:10, Psalm 34:11)
Know God’s will and follow His leading. God wants to speak to us, invites us to listen to His voice, and will guide us continually. (Proverbs 1:33, Isaiah 55:2)
Do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Go forward in God’s love and power and grace! (Nehemiah 6:9, Isaiah 41:10)
Be strong and courageous. You are not alone! God is with you, every moment of every day, and He will not leave you…ever. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Be like a well-watered garden. The Lord will strengthen you in hard places and satisfy your godly desires for your family (Isaiah 58:11, Jeremiah 31:12)
Be used of the Lord for His good purposes in your family. (Psalm 57:2, Psalm 138:8)
See God’s goodness and faithfulness as you wait on Him. (Isaiah 30:18, Isaiah 33:2, Isaiah 40:31)
With love in Christ, your friend and fellow homeschooler,
Because of His love for us, we can rejoice in God’s good work in us, mom and dad. You are doing a wonderful thing loving, teaching, and raising your children for Him—this calls for a celebration!
Enjoy the journey … there’s no place like home,