Seasons of grace in a time of need
"By a matchless parable our Lord there taught us that all believers, are branches of the living vine, and that, apart from Him we are nothing and can do nothing because we have in us no life." — A.T. Pierson
It happened again.
We had another breakdown. Not just one last week, but several. We fought and cried over practicing for music. We fought and lost our tempers over school work. We took long pauses in our day and I may have put myself in time out in the bathroom a time or two.
Last month I saw a sweet friend I had not seen in several months and as we were catching up she asked how homeschooling was going. I may have said something along these lines, "Oh we have good days and hard days, but overall it is going well." to which she replied, "You always make it look so easy!"
I couldn't quit replaying the conversation in my mind on the way home.
Easy is definitely not a word I would use to describe homeschooling. If I am gut-wrenchingly honest, I would say exhausting, challenging, or perhaps even overwhelming.
As much as I value honesty and vulnerability, just like anything else, they have a time and a place. Those days are important to share so that as homeschooling Mama's we can encourage one another and lift one another up to stay focused on the end goal and bring light to the triumphs and cheer one another on in the tiny victories that will strengthen our tomorrow and amplify the memories and reassurance of our calling.
BUT, how much sweeter is it to share the encouraging moments of homeschooling. The moments that seal the memories and our confidence in the process. I am sure you have heard the saying, "The good outweighs the bad."
The joys and victories are so much sweeter than the struggles and feelings of defeat.
To give you a glimpse into this one particular day, Jude was ready for a portion of a "post-test" in his phonics book. He had done similar work pages every single week, however, with this post-test, there were three sections of fill-in-the-blanks. He kept saying, "I can't do it, I can't do it Mom, please do it with me, I can't do it." I was frustrated, because I knew he could do it, he had done it by himself every single week. We continued to go back and forth and then he said, "Please just sit next to me Mom."
So I did.
Not only did I sit next to him, but I covered up two sections so he only saw one section at a time and it was then that it broke my heart as I clearly heard God's sweet voice in my heart.
How often do we get so overwhelmed by life that we just have to cry out to God? Can you imagine if we cried out to our Father when we felt overwhelmed and asked Him to sit with us and help us in our time of need instead of trying to shoulder the burden? We were never created to shoulder the burden or see the whole picture. I believe he waits for us to ask for his help and then goes above and beyond to reassure us that we are not alone and graciously only shows us bits and pieces at a time to ensure us that we can keep going.
"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." —Deuteronomy 31:8
I graded Jude's post-test and he did not miss a single one. Just having my presence next to him made all the difference.
I fall short constantly, but for that I am thankful. I would be doing a disservice to my kids if they had a perfect Mom who acted like she had it together all the time. I am in desperate and constant need of Christ in every moment of my day. I am in desperate need of him to lead us in homeschooling because I am not patient, or kind, or loving enough without the work of the Lord in my life. I am especially desperate for Him to give me just bits and pieces as I faithfully follow where he leads us in this season of life that feels overwhelming. All good things, but overwhelming none-the-less. #overwhelmedbymyblessings
Every night I say a prayer and a blessing over my kids as they go to bed. Last week I found myself praying through tears in hopes that through all my shortcomings they could still see the grace and love of the Lord and not the Mom who lost her patience and yelled. I choose to leave their lives in His hands because His ways are good and perfect and a million times better than anything I have to offer. After all, we are to cover our minds in the "helmet of salvation" to constantly remind ourselves that it is for freedom that we have been set free. (Galatians 5:1) If you are a believer you are set free in mind, body, and spirit from that yoke of slavery (sin, guilt). Jesus has you covered sweet Mama.
If you want honesty, I honestly think God called me to homeschool because He knew that I would have to lean completely on his steadfast love and grace.
Fellow Mom, fellow homeschool mom, you were made for such a time as this. God placed those kids in your hands knowing that you were created for a purpose and He is walking with you through parenthood, homeschooling and all the struggles and joys. Continue to press into Him every single day. Pray passionately, love effortlessly and trust that God, who began a good work in you, will see it to completion.
Have a great week friends.