“Yes, I’d love to…”
“Sure! I’ll be there…”
“You can count on me…”
Do you find yourself saying things that like far too often? I sure do. As homeschool moms, we are so eager to please and to help others that we often take on more than we could actually ever tackle in a week– let alone in a day. Not only do we take on outside obligations, running around like crazy trying to keep up with a myriad of things that we have added into our lives (many of which we can’t even remember WHY we added in to begin with,) but we never even adjust our expectations of what our family life will look like once we add the full-time job of homeschooling our children.
It’s no wonder we’re frazzled and frustrated. We’ve created a recipe for disaster for ourselves, and so often we can’t even figure out a good way of escape.
Yet, God’s Word tells us that He “is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” (I Cor. 14:33) Does your attempt at serving God and others bring peace? If not, do you think that maybe you’ve taken on more than He ever designed for you to?
As a chief offender in not walking in God’s peace due to circumstances of my own making, I have put a lot of thought and prayer into trying to figure out how to unravel some of the messes I’ve made. Know what I figured out?
I can’t do everything! (Profound, eh?)
But, my dear friend, neither can you! You can’t be on the go all the time, trying to give experiences to your children while simultaneously giving them a peaceful home any more than I can. You can’t be pouring out all the time, leaving little time for soaking in, and not become withered and dry. And, you can’t add the time and energy of homeschooling into your life and still do everything the same way you used to do it before you homeschooled. You will burn out. You will be frustrated. Your family will feel the tension emanating from you. And, you will find that instead of finding peace and joy in your journey, you’ll be anxious and irritable more often than not.
What causes this anxiety and irritability in us? 4 big causes quickly come to mind.
Getting in over our heads.
This often shows up through some of the big, creative ideas we strive to incorporate into our days. We find all these fantastic new things we can start doing, and we try to mash them all together and add them in all at once. We tend to forget that those modeling the good ideas were only doing one of them at a time– not all of them. We neglect to remember that whether or not we are able to inject all kinds of creative experiences and projects into our homeschool is not a good benchmark for whether we are successful at the mission God has given us or not.
Another way we can get in over our heads is simply by saying yes to too much. There are a million things I would love to do, but there are very few that ONLY I can do. I have to be very careful, especially at this precious time of life with my children that I have plenty of time and energy to devote to those critically important things that only I can do.
Not Cutting Things Out To Accommodate What Our Life Looks Like Now.
When I added homeschooling into my life, the way I spent my time changed drastically. But, I realized that my expectation of what I could accomplish and how things would run didn’t change at all. I was still looking at things as if I had the free time to manage our home, our finances, etc. the very same way. But, I couldn’t. When I didn’t make allowances for a different expectation, I was frantically trying to achieve what I once had time to do– and I failed miserably time and time again. Or, I would strive for perfection, often leaving a wake of destruction behind me. Those most often harmed by that wake? My family. The very people I was trying to give the “perfect” to in the first place. We have to re-evaluate the way we do things as well as our expectations in light of our new reality.
This one is a tough one for me, for I have a terrible “I’ll just do it myself” streak in me. I have failed so often by asking my children to do something only to swoop in and do it for them or behind them rather than being willing to accept a child’s job and to take the time to teach them. My natural inclination is just to go on and take over– “I can do this quicker…” “I can do this better…” and when I do that, I rob my children of the satisfaction of a job well done, and I add obligations to my day that I should have allowed someone else to do. Before long, I’m right back to trying to do all the things I was able to do before, and that does not help me to be able to do the things that only I can do.
Believing A Lie.
I can’t help but wonder how often we are adding all these things into our lives because we are believing the lie that the world tries to tell us that “we are not enough for our children.” We run around giving them more and more experiences because we don’t want them to “miss out” on anything, become bored, or resent us for homeschooling them. Remember, God is the One that called you to do this, and He is the One that will equip you to do it. He didn’t make a mistake when He chose you to be your children’s mom or even when He chose you to be your children’s teacher. God created your family, and it is through that marvelous creation that you have the opportunity to Teach Diligently and to pass on your faith. Never fall for the world’s lies
God tells us His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matt. 11:30) Is that how you feel today? Does it seem that you’re carrying an easy, light yoke? If not, perhaps you should take some time this weekend to prayerfully consider what you’re trying to do that simply isn’t for this season and definitely isn’t God’s best for you right now. Remember, you cannot do everything because you are not called to do everything, but by God’s grace you can do exactly what you are called to do.
I recorded a short video about this topic for our Teach Them Diligently 365 site.(Click here to watch it now.) If this has resonated with you, please take a few more minutes to check it out. I believe that God wants us all to rest in Him, to trust His plan, to accept His easy, light yoke as we follow Him. Yet, day after day I talk to moms who simply aren’t resting in Him and their households show the effects of that. Let’s repeat together that we “can’t do everything…” And let’s seek God’s face for what we can do in this season of our lives– and then do it heartily as to the Lord.
How I pray that through engaging with Teach Them Diligently blog and videos throughout the year and by attending a Teach Them Diligently Convention in the Spring, you will find your family strengthened in countless ways through Biblical Home Education. Join the 365 community for year round encouragement and mentoring. Register for the convention and start making your plans to join us there. Just think of what could be accomplished if all of our families were functioning according to His perfect plan for us.