Today was one of those days where I was counting down the minutes until bedtime. If one more person under 3 feet tall says my name, I think I’m going to explode, and it isn’t going to be pretty. I tried to do all of the right things. I made sure that my quiet time was a priority, ate healthily, avoided sugar, and gave each kid undivided attention. But as the day draws to a close I am done.
Let’s face it not every day can be an exceptional day, even if we do all of the right things. We are a bunch of sinners living together in close spaces. As I sit down to gain some sanity at the end of my day, I remind myself of some truths, that I would like to share with you moms.
These days won’t last forever. Cherish the moments, yes even the bad ones. I often think of my mom, who lost my brother at the age of seventeen. For her even after a rough day, she would give anything to pick up after my brother again, to hear his loud voice, screams, or laughs.
My Grandma told me once that each day she would remind herself that tomorrow her kids were going to be a day older. How she spent her day determined whether that was something to be grateful for or sorrowful over.
While the New Year is here, I have one final reflection on this past Advent season. This year my attention returned again and again to the subject of Shepherds. Particularly the shepherds to which the angel came and proclaimed the birth of Christ.
At the time of Jesus’ birth shepherds were on one of lowest rungs of the social ladder. They were marginalized people. But as God tends to do, He came first to the shepherds and proclaimed the good news of his birth. This year I have a new appreciation and understanding of the Shepherds.
During this time Bethlehem was known for providing spotless lambs to the temple to be sacrificed. The shepherds here were specially trained to raise these spotless lambs for temple use. That was their job.
My best friend can clean a surface faster than anyone I know. I, on the other hand, get stress paralyzed by the smallest of crumbs. Eventually, I get it done, but organization and task management are far from my natural skill set.
Watching her, with hopes that I could learn from her magical skills, I noticed that she never leaves an area until she has completed it. She’ll make piles of things that go elsewhere, but she is completely present while she is doing the job.
I have learned this same lesson, the hard way, applies to with other areas including homeschooling. We as the mom/teacher have to multitask to some degree. If we don’t few things would ever get accomplished, but I do believe there are unnecessary distractions that if we would just be all in where ever we are that we could get to the other jobs and do them well.
Well, Mom, it’s that time a year again. If you are a homeschooling mom you know, the struggle is real. The gap between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can be a difficult time to stay on track. With so many things going on the motivation to keep schooling can just wane.
Of course, the kids aren’t going to complain at all that they have the month or even two off. After more years than I’d like to admit having this happen, I have come up with some ideas to keep accomplishing work throughout the holiday season.
So, mom, I present,
Once again I could feel it, the downward spiral into the depression. While this is not the first time, I have talked about it before on my blog and podcast about my many years of struggle, I’ve had some great days of late. But I could feel the despair creeping in.
As I prepared to go out and have some quiet time with the Lord, the Scripture came to my mind,
“Why are you so downcast, oh my soul?”
My life is great. I have healthy and happy children, a hard working and thoughtful husband, and my needs along with most of my wants are satisfied. In light of the gospel, I have nothing to be down about because my biggest problem, Sin, is conquered.
So again why so downcast?
In our world of social media, HGTV, and beach body mamas it’s so easy to fall into the trap of being discontent. Comparing ourselves to others or the unrealistic perception we have of others makes our heart yearn to be like them, to have what they have, to do what they do.
Humanity is in a constant battle of lust; the intense desire for more. We want what we don’t have, and we want it now. This attitude is not only reserved for stuff. We, as moms, can pretty much be discontent about anything and everything our marriage, children, money, house, body the list goes on.
We find ourselves making statements like, “if only” or “when I get ‘this'” then I’ll be happy.
Sadly as we fall into discontentment, our joy goes right along with it. The constant chase for contentment only breeds more discontentment. It’s a vicious cycle.
In our sinful nature, it is never enough, and it will never be enough. We need to learn to be content and fulfilled completely with Christ.
About 5 minutes after my son had left for work I get a phone call from him. In the world of texting getting an honest to goodness phone call from your 17 year old usually means something bad has happened. Mother’s intuition was right once again. He was indeed in a car accident. Thankfully no one was injured, but our poor van was in pretty rough shape.
Amongst all of the phone tag with insurance companies and scrambling to find us a rental car to fit our large family, I started to have fear creep into my heart and mind it sounded something like this. “You know the van is probably totaled, and you totally can’t afford to buy a new car right now. What are you going to do? How are you going to survive? This weekend is such a crazy weekend. Why this weekend? Why not another time because you know there are definitely better times to have accidents. How is this all going to work out? This was not in your plans for this weekend.”
The day before my son’s graduation I completely lost my voice. I couldn’t believe it. Considering I was supposed to speak at his graduation which made it all the worse. However as I looked to the Lord, it turned out to be quite the blessing. When you start surrendering and praying for growth the Lord can get pretty creative with his teaching methods.
Nervous and emotional at the prospect of speaking in front of a crowd of children and parents, the Lord was teaching me to rely solely on his strength to get through. In the end, I survived and people were able to hear me albeit with the aid of electronics.
School is technically out for the summer or at least very close, but for most of you home educating moms it’s never really over, now is it? We all have those few straggler subjects, doesn’t everyone at least have math to do all summer?? And even when we are “done” we still have to plan for the upcoming year.
From an academic standpoint, I don’t feel like we have had a phenomenal year. But does any home educating mom ever feel that way? When I look back on what we accomplished or didn’t accomplish, I am reminded that the Lord directs my ship. He will finish the work that we started this year. I know we grew in a lot of areas both academic and experiential.
I recently read a book called Strengths Finder 2.0, in hopes of finding out where my strengths lie. I often struggle to see what I am talented in and find myself in a comparison game with other moms. I look at all of these great projects that other moms are doing. Their homeschool looks so fun at least on the outside, but mom, I’ve discovered something about that perceived outward appearance.
I love to fail. There I said it. I am a full blown pessimist. The glass is most definitely half empty. In fact the desire in me to fail is so strong, so oppressive that it is almost palpable.
For several months I have been on a weight loss journey. During that time, I have learned a lot about myself. One of the most poignant lessons I have learned is that success scares me. Not just the jump out of the closest scare either. We are talking Night of the Living Dead, Freddy Kreuger, and that weird clown from Poltergeist all rolled into one.