The Secret to the Perfect School Year

I spent a few minutes in the back to school section at Target the other day watching parents try to manage the chaos of gathering school supplies for multiple children. I wanted to gather us all in a circle for prayer because I could hear the tension in the words exchanged between a mother and father about exactly which markers were needed. Instead I opted not to linger near the markers. This year I only needed a few things for my ONE high school student who hasn’t even bothered to look at what I managed to find him BEFORE the actual first day of school. (I am determined to be awesome in the eleventh grade.) My oldest graduated in May and I’m still not quite sure how we got here since I was pretty sure I was messing him up the ENTIRE eight years we home-schooled, even though I knew it was the right thing for him. This is the first year as a mother that I feel peace about the upcoming school year and want to share some of that peace with you.

Lean in close because I feel like I need to whisper these sage words…

There is no secret to the perfect school year.

This is actually really good news for us. It means we don’t have to even try to do it exactly the way someone else does their school year for this thing to work out. This means you can send your kids to public school or private school. You can teach them at home or a whimsical combination of homeschool and traditional school. Mama, you have never had more options to educate your children than you do right now at this moment in history. And you have never had more pressure on you as a mother to educate your children as you do right now at this moment in history. So if you feel a little overwhelmed at times, there’s a good reason.

Here’s the one thing that I wish I would have understood and owned FIFTEEN years ago when I dropped my firstborn off at preschool:

As a parent you are the president and CEO of your family. (In a perfect world you are sharing this role, but this is not a perfect world so let’s just focus on you.) You get to manage your children’s education. This means you get to determine from year to year what your family’s needs, your personal needs, and each individual child’s needs are for that year. (This does not mean you get to start firing people in your family for being annoying slackers. I’ve tried. It doesn’t work.) What worked for you last year might not work this year. Perhaps you’ve been homeschooling forEVER and this year you decided to put your kids in traditional school because you are on the verge of losing your mind and dear God let there be peace on earth once again in this house. Perhaps your kids have been in traditional school forEVER but you’ve decided it’s time to try something different at home because you sense a change in environment might be exactly what your children need to grow during this season of their lives.

You get to choose what’s best for your family and for your sanity. Because your family needs your sanity. (You know that, right?)

And here’s the best part. You don’t have to do it alone. Even if you’re not married. Because Jesus will lead you every step of the way.

Isaiah 40:11 says “He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.”

It’s not all up to you. He leads, you follow. This means if he leads you in a different direction that you can trust where he’s leading. If he leads you to keep doing what you’re doing even when it seems like everyone else is doing something better, you can trust him. Mama, you have to let him lead so you can lead well. Maybe that’s the secret after all.

This is my prayer for each one of us as we begin this new school year.

Jesus, you are the good shepherd and you know where we need to go. You know our fears and frustrations better than we know ourselves. You know our children and the destinies you have just for them. Forgive us when we wander off and try to go it alone. Thank you for the gentle correction and loving encouragement that brings us back to the path right behind you. We love where you’re taking us, Jesus. Lead on.

Now it’s your turn. Would you please share some back to school encouragement with a fellow reader today? You can do so by leaving a comment.

Thank you.

 

 

God’s Faithfulness in the Hard Places

**Hello! Last summer I had the privilege of  sharing this post as a 5 minute talk in a speaker evaluation group at the She Speaks conference. Today I thought that maybe since it’s like the 432nd day of winter where I live that someone out there could use a little encouragement. I’m saying a prayer for you today. Hang in there. He’s faithful.**

A couple of years ago my husband and I took our two teenage sons to Disney World where we met up with my brother and his family from California.

Like most people, we needed to escape the crazy routine at home. Things like putting our house up for sale, laundry, chores, homework, jobs, bills, dogs, sports. As hard as I tried to put on a brave face every day, I was exhausted and didn’t know how to keep up with my own life. I was sinking.

While we were on vacation, my brother and his wife took us to a wine tasting event at Epcot during their Food and Wine Festival. I’ll be honest, I was pretty intimidated. I didn’t know anything about wine other than whether it tasted good or not.

We sampled a Spanish wine called Las Rocas which means ‘The Rocks’. Since we couldn’t go to Spain, the vineyard rep showed us pictures of where the grapes are grown. What we saw looked more like an Arizona desert than a Spanish vineyard. Then she began to describe the extreme climate…hot summers and very cold winters. She showed us close-up pictures of the soil…pictures that looked like they had been taken on Mars of vines surrounded by slate and red dirt. 

the-rocks-vineyard

I thought to myself, NOTHING SHOULD GROW IN THOSE CONDITIONS.

Based on these conditions, the wine should have tasted like some sandy concoction my boys would have made a few years ago. But it didn’t. It was actually very good.

How in the world can rocks, hot summers and cold winters produce fruit that can be made into a beautiful, rich tasting wine that people all over the world enjoy?

Psalm 89:8 says

O Lord God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O Lord, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

The vineyard rep explained to us that it’s the rocky, nutrient-poor soil that is the key to the grapes that grow there. She said that as the vines struggle to survive in these extreme conditions, they concentrate their energy into fewer berry clusters, to produce grapes with rich flavor.

She explained how the rocks are porous…retaining rainwater and heat so that they deliver just enough water to the vines during the hot summers, and then protect them with just enough heat from the harsh winters.

The rocks give this wine its signature flavor found nowhere else in the world.

About the time I thought my brain would shut down from a science lesson, the Holy Spirit whispered:

I know you don’t see how anything good can come from the conditions you find yourself in right now.

You see rocks everywhere.

You feel alone and exposed.

You long for deeper things than you dare to admit.

You don’t know how you’re going to make it.

But I can grow something rich and beautiful in you because of these conditions.

You need Me more than ever.

Your roots are growing deeper because the deeper soil is full of the nutrients you need to thrive.

You can’t produce anything good without Me. Trust Me to make something beautiful out of this.

His faithfulness surrounds Him.

If God can be faithful to some grapes in a Spanish desert, surely He will be faithful to you and me.

He’s not asking us to trust our track record. He’s asking us to trust His. He has a long history of being faithful to His people even though we don’t have a long history of being faithful to Him.

My circumstances haven’t changed much. My house is still for sale. I’m exhausted. My family needs way more from me than I have to give. I’m still in a hard place, but it’s in this hard place that I am learning to thrive because of a faithful God who has what I need every single day. He gives me His Word. He puts people in my life to pray for me and encourage me and then He asks me to trust Him even when I don’t feel like it because His faithfulness surrounds Him!

The One who turns water into wine is faithful. Even now He is making something rich and beautiful out of your hard places. You may not be able to see or taste it yet, but you can trust Him because His faithfulness surrounds you.

**I think it’s incredibly helpful for others to hear stories of God’s faithfulness to His people. If you would like to share something like that, please leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

I’m A Slacker Mom

There’s a saying that goes something like this:

“God couldn’t be everywhere, so He created mothers.”

Well, it’s a lie. I know this because no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to be everywhere my family needs me to be.

For instance, yesterday my SUV had an appointment at the dealership to have some recall repair work done. The dealership is about 40 minutes from home. No problem. I would drive down to the shop with my almost 13 year old son and bribe him with Barnes and Noble purchases while my 15 year old went to work at his new job. Never mind that about a month ago we had signed up for some homeschool field trip and failed to let them know our plans had changed. (My brain has been on summer break for almost a month now and it shows.) I had it figured out.

Until I got a text from my 15 year old at 8am. He wasn’t needed at work. He didn’t check his phone before being dropped off at work to see the text sent to him at 7am saying just that. No big deal, right? Right. I picked him up and brought him back home. On the way home he mentioned that he’d still like to attend that homeschool field trip because his friends would be there and they really really really wanted him to go. I told him he’d have to text his friends and ask if their mom would be willing to give him a ride. She was willing. This meant that both boys would stay at home and I would take the car down by myself and not spend as much money in Barnes and Noble. Plan B was going to be OK.

The friendly courtesy shuttle driver dropped me of outside of Barnes and Noble and I proceeded to enter a mall that I hadn’t been to in a very long time. I sat down at a small table with the intent to work on the checkbook. Across from where I sat was the indoor playground area that used to be my sanctuary not so many years ago when my boys were little. No longer was I sitting on the inside watching my own children play while I talked with a girlfriend, I was outside looking in…alone. Cue the sappy music.

The next text I got from home was one saying that both boys wanted to go on the homeschool field trip. Of course it was OK that they wanted to go, but suddenly I was not OK.

Suddenly I felt like a slacker mom. Again. I was sitting in the mall working on my checkbook while my kids were 40 miles away relying on another mom. For some reason, it hurt more than it should. There wasn’t anything I could do about it. I didn’t even have my car to drive home.

So I cried. Yep. Right there in the mall, I had a good old fashioned three Kleenex pity party. I hoped one of the moms in the play area wouldn’t notice a middle aged blubbering mess and alert security. So what if the security guard circled the area where I was having my meltdown a couple of times? I’m sure it was perfectly normal.

Right in the middle of my second Kleenex, I got a text from my mom and decided to call her back even though I knew I couldn’t really talk yet. But if you can’t blubber on the phone in your mama’s ear, who can you blubber to? I mean, really? She listened. She countered the nasty messages I was believing with love and truth. Except that she told me that coffee didn’t taste good, and I know that’s a flat out lie, but she was trying to be helpful, so I gave her a pass. She never has been a very good liar. Before we said our goodbyes, my mom prayed for me. She wielded her shield of faith on my behalf all the way from California and made it OK for me to do the same right there in the mall.

This morning I’ve been reading some scripture out of Romans about offering our bodies as living sacrifices. These are verses that are very familiar to me, but this morning one particular phrase in The Message translation jumped out at me like never before. It’s one of those times that I question if it really was there before, even though I know it’s always been there.

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you; Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Romans 12:1 The Message

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

This is the phrase that He wrote for me this morning. Yesterday God took control of my out of control morning and I need to embrace it. Embracing what God does for me is an act of worship. Yesterday I couldn’t be everywhere at once. Today I can’t be everywhere at once. Only God can be everywhere at once and I will choose to embrace what HE does for me and my family. May it be a holy and pleasing sacrifice and bring glory to His Name.

Does it bug you that you can’t be everywhere at once? There’s an app for that. 🙂 Embrace what God does for you today. He really likes it and He really loves you.

I welcome your comments and insight. Thanks for stopping by.

Holding on to the Promises part 1

When I got married I thought traditional vows were so over-used and held no real meaning anymore so I wanted something a little more original.  After doing some digging, I found some that were beautiful…they said things like, “I promise to love you as an act of my will…and will respect you as the leader of our home, I promise to never belittle you.” My groom promised to lead family devotions. Seriously.  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into and man have they been hard to live up to! I remember Matthew’s dad telling him, “You sure promised her a lot.” Yes he did.

Hebrews 11 says

Now FAITH is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see…Hebrews 11

Couples have no idea what the future holds and yet they make promises. GREAT BIG FAT PROMISES in front of a church full of people and document the whole thing with pictures. We have no idea.

A few months ago the Holy Spirit began to whisper “Just hold on” in my spirit. “Just hold on to what?” is what I kept asking. I’ll admit, I’ve been assuming something bad is going to happen. Perhaps it’s the Eeyore in me who’s lost her tail one too many times that has a hard time believing that something wonderful could be on the horizon.

At the time I was feeling discouraged because the plans I thought God and I had made together were not exactly working out like I planned. I know I’ve heard the Lord very specifically about certain things and I was tired of waiting for the grand finale.  I mean, good grief…I was about to turn 40 and I really thought we’d have some things settled by then. Then I began to experience some health issues I thought were long gone.  Again. I also know some people who have been living lives of great faith and I felt frustrated for them because they weren’t seeing a breakthrough in their circumstances either.

When your issue or a loved one’s issue doesn’t wrap itself up nice and neat with a bow on top in a reasonable amount of time…what do you do? What have you done?

Today I want you to think back to when your faith was new…or revived. Do you remember? Do you remember how you were willing to follow Him anywhere and do whatever he asked you to do?  How about that time he healed something you never thought could be healed? Remember how he restored that relationship you thought couldn’t be salvaged? Or provided for your needs beyond any reasonable explanation? Do you remember?

It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.  Hebrews 11:6 The Message

Do you believe that he cares enough about you to JUST HOLD ON?

Heavenly Father, I don’t know what kind of situation my friend is in today, but I do know without any doubts whatsoever that you want them to trust you and HOLD ON. You know the future. We don’t. We have a past that constantly berates us with our mistakes. We have an enemy who lies to us and tells us that You won’t hold on to us and that we have to make everything happen on our own. Forgive us for believing the lies. We receive precious grace and mercy today to do what is beyond normal for us. Thank You for loving us beyond what we’ve dared to imagine. Open our eyes to the Truth today. In Jesus’ name.

 

 

You Made It!

Do you ever get to the end of the week and want to throw yourself face down on the floor and kiss the carpet simply because you made it?

Today happens to be one of those days.

When my boys were little I dreaded Monday because I knew my husband would have to go back to work and leave me alone with a less furry version of Thing One and Thing Two. Friday meant VICTORY. We survived another week alone at sea. We made a touchdown. We crossed the finish line. You get the point. I’m pretty sure it’s the closest thing I’ll ever experience on an athletic level.

This week marked a couple of BIG milestones for my family.

1. Our house is finally on the market.

 

2. My 7th grader started school…as in he’s no longer being home schooled.

Today I can’t shake any pom poms and declare any kind of victory other than WE MADE IT. There were moments this past week when I felt like my chest was going to explode from the stress. If I owned a pair of running shoes, I’m pretty sure they’d be worn out from the treadmill I’ve been on this week. I seriously doubt the stressful stuff is over, but I’m celebrating today anyway.

This is the promise I’ve been hanging onto this week:

Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing. Isaiah 26:4 The Message

At a time in our lives where very little is a sure thing, we need to know that in the Lord God we have a sure thing. Amen?

If you’re feeling like you deserve a medal just for making it to today like I do, please step up to the platform and allow me to congratulate you. Well done!

YOU MADE IT! Enjoy your weekend. Lord knows you’ve earned it.

P.S. Next week I have the honor and privilege to be a guest blogger over at Glory Girl who also happens to be my bff.  Julie has a series this month called “I Spy…Jesus” that I know you’ll enjoy so hop on over and check it out.

 

 

When Your Everything Is Tapped Out

Now that my boys are older I have a little more freedom to go away for a weekend with my husband or girlfriends once in awhile. When they were little I wanted to go away for lots of weekends and never return because my job as a stay at home mom was a 24 hour, 7 days a week shift. We lived more than a thousand miles from the nearest doting grandparent. My ‘breaks’ looked like trips to the grocery store alone in the evening once in awhile or attending a class at church that provided childcare for a couple of hours.

My family depended on me for everything even when my everything was tapped out.

One of the challenges about living far away from family was not having a support system in place. When emergencies arose, my husband and I solely depended upon one another to carry the weight of that emergency. It wasn’t healthy.  I knew I had to allow other people aka ‘strangers’ into our lives if we were going to stay sane. My mom prayed that the Lord would send me a friend and he did. Slowly we began to build relationships with other couples with young children. I dragged my exhausted body to church whenever the doors were open because I was determined that those Bible study women were going to get to know me whether they wanted to or not, not because I needed anything from them. I needed someone to know me.

We were never meant to do life on our own. We’re wired for community whether we enjoy the community or not. Isolation is a trap.

We may think that containing our crazy within the confines of our cute little family is responsible or even commendable, but deep down we know that our Scarlett O’Hara “Oh how I’ve suffa’d for you” martyrdom is nauseating. Being the only dependable person we know is physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting.

The only way we’re going to survive those who depend on us is by being completely dependent upon the One who never tires or grows weary.  For some of us it means reaching out instead of constantly looking in. You and I cannot do all that we’re called to do by ourselves. We need each other.

Lord, you are the everlasting God, the Creator of all we can see or imagine. You don’t get tired or need to stop to catch your breath. But we do. You know how very much we do. Nothing is hidden or surprises you about our inside and out. Thank you for energizing those of us who are tired and want to quit today. We wait upon You for fresh strength today, not to do it all on our own, but to soar with you like eagles. We depend upon You to renew us to run wholeheartedly after the abundant life you have for us each and every day. Bring refreshing friendship to those desert places Lord. Open our eyes to see those who need someone to know them today. I ask and believe in the mighty name of Jesus.

Self-Sufficiency Sucks

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about God’s faithfulness being enough for us every single day. My husband and I have been reading a book written by Mark Batterson called ‘The Circle Maker–Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears”. It’s been so very helpful to have this book lately. Last night I was on the verge of (another) meltdown over the fact that I can’t get my living room to look like something out of a magazine so that someone will want to buy our house. My guys provided the grunt work to move the furniture where I thought it might work only to realize that it wouldn’t work at all. They were tired. I was beyond frustrated and getting angrier (not at them) by the second. The guys went downstairs for a much needed break from my insanity and I plopped myself down at the kitchen table with my Bible and this book.

Here’s some of what I read:

The Manna Miracle

When God provided the miraculous manna for the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness, it says He provided “enough for that day.” Just enough. The language describing God’s provision is extremely precise. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered a little had enough. God provided just enough. Then He gave them a curious command: “Do not keep any of it until morning.”

So why does God provide just enough? Why would God forbid leftovers? What’s wrong with taking a little initiative and gathering enough manna for two days or two weeks?

Here’s my take on the manna miracle: The manna was a daily reminder of their daily dependence on God. God wanted to cultivate their daily dependence by providing for their needs on a daily basis. Nothing has changed. Isn’t that the point of the Lord’s Prayer? “Give us today our daily bread.”

We want a one-week or one-month or one-year supply of God’s provision, but God wants us to drop to our knees every day in raw dependence on Him. And God knows that if He provided too much too soon, we’d lose our spiritual hunger. He knows we’d stop trusting in our Provider and start trusting in provision.

One of our fundamental misunderstandings of spiritual maturity is thinking that it should result in self-sufficiency. It’s the exact opposite. The goal isn’t independence; the goal is codependence on God. Our desire for self-sufficiency is a subtle expression of our sinful nature. It’s a desire to get to a place where we don’t need God, don’t need faith, and don’t need to pray. We want God to provide more so we need Him less.Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker

Having to pray and ask the Lord where I should put furniture to stage my living room seems a little well, ridiculous to me. I mean, you never see someone on HGTV stop and pray over the next home makeover, do you?!!! Why does it have to be so hard that I can’t even decorate a living room without Him? I’m a little embarrassed to even share this information with you because you’re probably an expert. But maybe there are places in your life right now where you don’t feel much like an expert…like things are way beyond your ability to control? Could it be that God is cultivating our daily dependence by providing only what we need on a daily basis? If we humble ourselves (stop kicking and screaming) long enough to ask for his help?

My prayer today is that we will gather enough of what we need today and simply let enough be enough. I want to trust the Provider more than the provision.

I’m depending on Him to help me with my living room puzzle today.

Where are you needing to depend on him for today?

 

 

Great Expectations

Are you a planner? Do your plans work out the way you think they will:

a) most of the time

b) some of the time

or

c) rarely?

I know, you don’t want to take a test today, but hang in there with me.  You see, I love to plan things. Like parties. I am proud to say that I can plan a rockin’ theme party. My theme parties almost always work out the way I think they will. (I realize that ‘almost always’ isn’t one of the possibilities in the quiz. Sorry.) Theme parties are highly addictive for that very reason. My kitchen recipes almost always turn out like I think they will. It’s one of the reasons baking can be so much fun. Think about your basic chocolate chip cookie recipe…sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, salt, flour, baking soda and chocolate chips. It’s hard to mess it up if you follow the directions. Baking definitely requires more attention where the recipe is concerned, but cooking is generally very forgiving. Ingredients can be combined based on taste or what you have on hand and generally you’ll come up with something edible.

Not so much with kids. You can read the ‘cookbooks’. There are hundreds of wonderful books on parenting. I’ve read a lot of them. You can do exactly what the books say but that doesn’t mean your kid will perform like the recipe in the book. This is maddening for those of us who love to plan.

You probably read the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” books like I did. Did you want to shred yours like I did? Mine read like a book of lies. The information wasn’t necessarily incorrect…it just didn’t apply to me. My morning sickness lasted well beyond the first trimester, thus ruining the entire book for me. I skipped the chapter about c-sections because that information didn’t apply to me either. It was for women who didn’t come from super-birthing-mothers. Like me. It wasn’t in the plan. I’ll never forget when our childbirth class guest obstetrician told us that one in every three women in the room would end up having a c-section. I looked around the room and whispered to my husband with genuine compassion, “That’s really sad for them.” My plan not to plan for the unexpected slammed into my plan at 4am with a breach baby who needed an emergency c-section.

You would think that having the snot kicked out of my plans over and over and over I’d learn that my plans c) rarely go like I expect them to would teach me to STOP with the over-planning. I guess you could say I’m a slow learner. I also have to believe there’s hope for me and for others like me. There are others like me, right?

Plans aren’t bad. The desire for order is very good and given to us by the One in whose image we were made. God loves order. All we have to do is look at creation to see that he’s an expert at order. Plans get sticky when my desire to be in control supersedes God’s plan for my life or those that he’s entrusted to me. Turns out my ‘expert’ party planning skills aren’t appreciated in every aspect of our lives. Like I said, I’m a slow learner.

Our plans work best when they flow out of His plans. Jesus tells us in John 15 that we can remain in him and he will remain in us. This is what one commentary says about remaining in Jesus:

A believer is motivated by the wonder of Jesus’ love, which is patterned after the Father’s love in its quality and extent. Remain in My love might seem to be mystical but Jesus makes it very concrete. Obedience to the Father’s commands is the same for a disciple as it was for the Son (cf. 14:15, 21, 23; 1 John 2:3; 3:22, 24; 5:3). Active dependence and loving obedience are the proper paths for all of God’s children.–(Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Jn 15:9–10). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

Active dependence and loving obedience. Isn’t that what we hope to get from our kids when they’re young or maybe not so very young? Like why are we still fighting about the fact that we have to do our math every single day? Loving obedience sounds like a fairytale most of the time.

What if God’s looking for my active dependence upon HIM and looking for some loving obedience from me? What if I let go of my plan and settle into his plan? What if my plans and great expectations are setting me up for failure because they’re not dependent upon him? What if I can save myself a whole lot of drama by letting him run the show?

These are questions from a desperate mother who’s tried it her way and is fed up with the results. Maybe you’ve been there or can relate?

Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

This explains a whole lot. It also fills me with hope. I may be a slow learner, but at least I’m learning. You are too.

Thanks for hanging in there with me.

 

Declaration of Dependence

It’s ‘Back to School’ time where I live. Part of me is a little jealous that my boys are still hangin’ around instead of hopping on a bus every morning. We home school which means they’re always home and that I’m supposed to provide an education. That’s where it gets tricky and sticky. Let’s just say that certain subjects provide slightly more drama than they would in a traditional classroom setting.

Imagine having to prepare a feast for distinguished guests where you’ve been told that no one likes the same food. Each guest has his or her own ‘food issues’ and you, the chef, have to accommodate each one. Going hungry is not an option. Serving dessert only is not an option. If your guests don’t eat, you’re in BIG trouble. They won’t be able to function well at their jobs if you don’t serve them well. Oh, and you need to serve these guests in your home…you know, the one you can’t seem to keep clean to save your life? Yeah, the banquet hall with all the fancy tables, matching linens and fine china is already booked. It’s all on you baby!

Homeschooling is not for everyone. Most days I’m not sure if it’s for me, but I know with everything in me that it’s what the Lord has asked me to do. You can be sure that I’ve asked him for a different plan more than once. Apparently he’s really into his plan. There’s an enormous amount of pressure put upon me by me to be the best homeschooling mother in the history of ever. I am the perfect homeschool mom…and then I wake up.

True confession? We have never had a perfect school day in our entire home school lives. This is our fifth year. That means five, count them FIVE! years of failure. FIVE years of me not living up to my image of what a successful educational environment should look like and FIVE looooong years of my kids not measuring up to the impossible. We’ve been at it for FIVE years and still haven’t found the magic formula that works for us. Nobody sings a happy working song while they do their math.

This year has to be different.

This year I’m lowering the bar.

This year I’m committing to not doing it right because my way hasn’t been working.

This year we’re going to celebrate and acknowledge victories that may seem small to me, but are GIGANTIC for my students and allow enough to be enough.

This year I am going to be a better mom because I’m going to stop comparing myself to ‘successful’ homeschool moms.

This year I will extend grace and mercy to myself because it empowers me to love those entrusted to me better.

This year I will trust that the One who calls me is faithful. He knows my weaknesses and asks me to partner with Him anyway. I declare my complete dependence on Him.

This year I will ask for help. I cannot do it all by myself.

This year I will rest in knowing that this is a process and not an overnight experiment.

This year I will marvel in the power of grace that turns our weaknesses into strengths for the glory of His Name!

I’d love to hear from you today. Do you have kids going back to school? Do you want things to be different this year regardless of whether they do school in a classroom or at the kitchen table? This year can be different. Make your declaration of dependence today here on the blog. I’m going to print mine out so that I can be reminded every few minutes.

We can have a different year starting today!

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.-Psalm 32:8 NIV

 

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