I have never made it a secret that I don’t have it all together. In fact, if anything, I struggle with this whole blogging world of homeschoolers. Feeling like I don’t possibly fit in with their immaculate school rooms and organized little desks and clean kitchen tables. Here I sit, homeschooling my 5 kids, an expert in the field, and yet I fail>>> DAILY! I mean, you guys, it’s pretty evident from what I post and the pictures I take that there is always a mess lurking in a corner, my kids’ faces are dirty, our house is a fixer upper that might never be fixed and I’m not actually sure what we accomplished for school today 😮
But I LOVE homeschooling. The mere thought of putting my kids in school makes me want to cry. I don’t want to be apart from them! I don’t want to miss all those moments in our days: the snuggles on the couches, the discussions over our millionth snack of the day, the FUN! Homeschooling brings me joy, SO much joy; even in the midst of the chaos that brings me stress 😉 It’s a dichotomy, this whole homeschooling thing. It doesn’t make sense how I can be driven crazy by the constant pull of my life and yet be excited to go to bed just so I can wake up and start all over again.
What is my secret? How do I get it all done? How do I stay sane?
I know this is cliché, but someone out there needs to know that this isn’t me. My joy isn’t something that comes from within, my perseverance isn’t some deep well in my soul, my drive isn’t an energizer bunny that no one else has. My secret is not in what I do (clearly, form the state of my house) or how well I take care of myself (wait, coffee doesn’t count as WATER?!?!?!), it is He that is within me. I know, I know, cliché, but bear with me.
My number one secret is that I am in an intense, passionate, deep and lasting relationship with God. This ain’t no “go to church on Sunday” kind of faith; it ain’t no “pray to the sky” kind of conversation. I hear God’s voice daily, I teach my kids to hear God’s voice. I blare worship music all day long and get totally lost in it. I read my Bible and journal and write sermons (one day I’m going to have a word to share ya’ll!) and I run, every day, excitedly after Jesus. I don’t need to go to Bethel ya’ll, it’s Bethel up in here most days ?
First and foremost, before I am a homeschool mom, before I am a wife, before I am a mom or homemaker, I am a child of God.
I get it… she’s one of “those” crazy charismatic types
It wasn’t always like this. I have been a Christian my WHOLE life. In fact, I used to feel super insecure about that. I mean, other people had these insane testimonies. They were in super dark places and God just pulled them out powerfully, why didn’t I have a story like that? I remember as a teen being asked to share my testimony and I would be embarrassed, I mean who wants to hear “I became a Christian when I was three and basically have never known life outside of God?” Seriously, did I even UNDERSTAND the joy of my salvation? I’m not sure, I’d never known separation!
I was hungry for more of God, always, insatiable actually. But I grew up in a conservative background with a conservative family and the fears and religiosity of my environment became entrenched within me as well. I wanted more–but nothing weird. I wanted to experience God but keep my dignity (don’t worry, my dignity is totally gone now!). I always heard God’s voice, and had a relationship with Him but it was like I was on the fringe edge of so much more that I couldn’t quite access.
I would have a bad day with the kids and go to bed feeling like a failure. I would determine to wake up earlier, pray more, try harder, only to fail yet again. The year and a half that we were in Masset, a little remote island town an 8 hour ferry ride from the nearest Wal-mart or Starbucks, the walls started to come down. There was no big moment, no powerful encounter that I have to share… I just started to let go and God met me there–every day.
We started a little home church and He showed up. My kids experienced God there, snuggled up in their PJs in an environment where they were welcome to pray and learn and grow. I stopped trying so hard, and started just being with Him and letting His presence, His words, and His grace change me. Dreams, visions, encounters, moments, Masset was full of all of them. It was such a special season in my life, and then it was done.
All this to say, I’m in a different season now. And I can look back on the other moments in my life and see each one as a different lesson or growth period in this little saga of mine. This is my winter season. For now I am growing my roots, I am becoming a little less impulsive and a little more patient. I am becoming a little less controlling and a little more surrendered. I am finding joy in the mundane, beauty in the simple, and peace in the failures of my days. Because I know that it doesn’t all rest on me you guys. It’s not about what I do or trying harder, it’s about going to Him first.
You see joy isn’t a feeling that can be created or found. It isn’t an emotion that is fleeting or depends on my coffee or how much sleep I’ve had or what kind of day we are having. Joy is from the Holy Spirit and the more time I spend in His company the more He bubbles out of me. He gives me the strength and inspiration and patience and peace to not only survive this whole homeschool thing, but to LOVE it!
So if you are feeling tired, frustrated, impatient, drained, on the last threads of your last rope… maybe it’s because you’re trying to do this all on your own. What have you got to lose?
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