Are you struggling? Are you starting to dread homeschooling? Are you trying your hardest but you still feel like you are failing? Failing your kids, your husband, your mission? Do you feel invisible and forgotten? Are you often angry and becoming bitter? Well, me too. Hello, I’m Jessica and I think I may have just hit rock bottom in my homeschooling journey.
Honestly, I’m not exactly sure how it happened. And I’m not sure it was any one thing. I think it was about a million little things and a few big ones and an incredibly difficult season. Anyone with a bunch of little kids and baby understands what I mean.
I could focus on my story and what all has happened, but I think I’d rather focus on what I’ve learned and how I’m using this time to reflect, grow and overcome.
First of all, never forget who you are fighting against.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”Ephesians 6:12 NIV.
You are not fighting against your husband or your children. Satan would love for you to believe that, but it’s simply not true. You are fighting against Satan. Recently, when my two year old was having a tantrum I turned on some worship music and sang along as I rocked her and she screamed. I put on my armor, bathed myself in truth, and my sweet daughter quickly fell asleep. Be prepared to fight the enemy.
Stop pretending everything is ok. I’m so over acting like everything is good. It’s not. I’m struggling. Now that it’s out there and confessed I can begin to heal, to move on, and get unstuck. Recently I shared my struggle with a friend and the next day I felt so much better. She texted me the next day thanking me for going deep with her. She also told me she had prayed for me three times that day. I genuinely felt her prayers.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV.
Get connected to real people and share your struggles.
Find the treasure in each day. Lysa TerKeurst is one of my favorite Christian authors. I especially love her authenticity. In a devotional of hers I read recently she encouraged me to find the treasure in each day. To seek it out. That day I removed Facebook from my phone and chose to just be in that day. Before I knew it I saw hundreds of birds flying around outside my house and yard. It was beautiful and filled me with joy. Don’t miss your life just because it’s hard. Find the joy hidden in each day.
Stop focusing on your problems. I’ve had a lot of pity parties the last nine months. I’ve cried. I’ve wallowed in my self pity. I’ve dwelled on my problems. But you know what? Everyone has struggles. Everyone! And if one of your struggles goes away it will be replaced with another. It’s always something.
The Bible says, ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33 NIV.
So you have a choice. You can focus on your current problems or you can seek out ways to serve and further God’s Kingdom right in the middle of your current mess. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed to God to take away my problems. I find great comfort and power from Paul’s words,
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV.
So rather than focusing on your problems, start remembering God has this! He will empower you – He alone! Even in your most difficult moments.
Another curriculum won’t solve your problems. Trust me! I know! I’ve tried almost all of them! I’ve tried Ambleside, My Father’s World, Heart of Dakota, textbooks, Sonlight, Simply Charlotte Mason, Biblioplan, Five in a Row and many others. I always think that this next one will solve all my problems. But quickly I despair and believe I’ve failed again. It’s not the curriculum that’s failed. It’s me thinking that I’m going to find a perfect curriculum. If you dread homeschooling then please get your head straight. Seek God with all your heart. Let Him lead you. Find something you can get behind and show up happy to use it every day. Maybe a fully planned boxed curriculum will work best for this season or maybe you like just following an outline. Just remember it’s not going to be perfect and solve all your problems. Your children need you! They need you to check in and fully engage in their life. They need you filled with His Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25 NIV
Be the best mom you can be. Notice this doesn’t say be the best mom. It’s says be the best mom you can be. For me this means getting up and getting showered and dressed everyday. It means eating mostly healthy and resting enough. It means getting outdoors and letting the sun touch my skin. It means turning off the noise of Facebook and being present in my real life. It means praying and reading scripture and seeking Him first. It means getting connected to other real life people and going deep. It means serving His Kingdom and focusing on the eternal. It means getting excited about my homeschool with my kids and searching out the treasures of each day.
God has an abundant, full life waiting, and I intend to embrace it despite my struggles! If you are struggling please know you are not alone and you are not forgotten!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
Jesus wants you to rest in Him.
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