Dear Homeschool Mom,
You are a BRAVE PARENT. You might not believe me but I think you are amazing. Beautiful. Breathtaking. You inspire and encourage me, even when you’re struggling to form sentences after an exhausting day. I think you have the most beautiful heart and are so brave. You said, “yes” even when others (possibly even family members) labeled you as crazy.
I understand you have a thousand plus one reasons to beat yourself up. You took up the weighty task of educating your children. This is a huge responsibility. It comes with continuous thoughts of self-doubt. This requires that you die daily to your wants. (Luke 9:23 ) It also requires, what feels like, two mustard seeds of faith to see it to the end.
And really…that ‘end’ is subjective: end of next week or end of the year? Depends on how rough the past few days have been. Am I right?
Whether it’s your first year homeschooling or your last, I have 7 words of encouragement and life to speak into you.
1. YOU HAVE GRACE. With Jesus, you can start the year with a full tank of grace and end it the same way. When you get caught in the middle of the year with your hair standing straight up and an IV drip of sanity as your new favorite friend; your tank of grace will still be full. Crazy and illogical as it sounds – it never ever depletes. This is the beauty of centering your life on Christ.
2. YOU ARE CALLED. I know you wonder if Dave Ramsey has an extra “envelope” for your kid’s future therapy bills from all the screwing up you did. I wonder this too. Remember this though, God did not call you to this monumental task solely because it was good for your family; He called you to educate at home because it is equally good for you.
God knew this would bring you joy (Psalm 126:3 NIV). You must press into your relationship with Christ more than with any other education choice for your children. You are called to do this. You will not fail your children. He has chosen you.
3. YOU NEED JESUS. To be precise, you need Him more than you need a billion curriculum choices. You need Him more than you need a structured planned out day. You need His plans more than you need your own. You need Him to make it through a day.
When you have a deeper relationship with Christ you have joy that gets you through the collapse of plans, curriculum that fails, and those heart wrenching moments when your student is struggling.
Since, you lean on Him more than you ever would, this beckons you to live like Him as well.
4. YOU CAN REST. Rest my beautiful homeschool mom, Jesus holds you – and your glorious-color-coded-organized-planned-out-prayed-over-school-year – in his hands as well.
As the year progresses, your homeschool year will most not likely resemble our original plans. It’s okay. When life pulls the rug out from under you and nothing even looks faintly like what you imagined: rest.
Rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1 NIV) knowing that He will work this out for good. His plans are always better! If you’re like me then you are your own worst enemy. Thankfully, God will protect you from your plans, your ways, and your control. There is always the standing invitation for when you are weary and burdened to find rest in Jesus. (Matt 11:28 NIV) Likewise, when you land flat on your back from that pulled-up rug, find rest in Jesus.
5. YOU ARE EQUIPPED. Daughter of the King, you are equipped (Heb 13:21 NIV) and not because you have the best curriculum – while that does help, especially when you have spent hours praying over the best possible curriculum for a child and the ‘best curriculum’ is completely different from what any other kid in the house is doing!
Your curriculum, your plans and goals, your children, or even having the most organized homeschool shelf are not the reasons you are equipped. Christ has called you the hard work of being an educator, a mother, and a mentor.
The reason you are equipped is because the Lord has sent you on this mission (1 Tim 1:12 NIV). He has appointed you for this sacred calling. The call to homeschool is much more than A, B, C’s; it is about making disciples while you homeschool.
6. YOU ARE NOT MISSING OUT. When you find yourself driving through town in the middle of the day and see other moms laughing over a cup of coffee you lament, “I want to feel that care-free.” In contrast, you are commuting between YMCA PE and piano lessons and haven’t had a second alone since sunrise. Remember your calling. Focus on what you are gaining instead of missing out on. And when it weighs heavy on your soul, rest.
The most beautiful aspect of homeschooling is the absence of required schedules – if you are feeling overwhelmed scratch your plans for the day! Pull out a book and to read all day to your children, color with them, paint, go for a hike, or find a place to volunteer together. Slow down and enjoy life when you need to. Because when you need rest, usually your children need it too.
A ‘to-do’ list can blind you to the soul of the child and the child becomes the ‘to-do’ list. I urge you to discern your own emotions through out the year. When a completed checklist feels more satisfying than having a discussion with your child, it’s time to go back to the basics. Go back the ‘why’ you and your spouse decided to homeschool.
7. BREATHE DEEP & BE FILLED. As you plan for your days, weeks, or school year remember an overflowing only occurs when a pitcher is filled. Fill yourself (the pitcher) with Truth, goodness, and beauty. Seek the Lord constantly and consistently.
The world will fill your head with a plethora of ideas for more enrichment, more activities, more subjects, and more, more, more. The truth is, none of those things will ever fill the pitcher. The more you have of the world the less you have of Jesus. When you take the time to set His plans before your own this will fill your pitcher. When you make your relationship with Him a priority, your pitcher will overflow.
Take a deep breath as you start your first day of school, and let the Holy Spirit blow into your house. The wind will come in and blow wherever it pleases (John 3:8 NIV), and it will be good (Gen 1:31 NIV). Embrace this adventure.
BE BRAVE. BREATHE DEEP. BE FILLED TO OVERFLOWING. You got this!
I pray you have the best year you have ever had. I pray that Jesus is at the center of every decision you make this year and your spirit and grace overflow as you act in obedience to your calling.