Aug 13, 2016

Finding Grace to Be a Great Homeschool Mom

As I prepare for a new homeschool year I've been thinking a lot about my life as a homeschool mom. I have two adult children now and two still in our homeschool. My adult children have entered new chapters in their lives where they're making their own choices and are busy working or going to school.

Finding Grace to be a Great Homeschool Mom
I've found myself reflecting back over the years, thinking about the fun things I did with my kids when they were little, the sweet memories that I'll cherish forever, and the way they've grown and matured and then B-A-M! I get hit like a ton of bricks with all the things I think I've done wrong or all the ways I think I've failed them.

What in the world is that all about? Most of the time I can redirect my thoughts but sometimes I allow them to grow in my mind.

I have a Christian world-view, meaning I try to base my thoughts and decisions from the Bible. Those negative thoughts didn't just come out of nowhere and I'm convinced that my enemy, Satan, put them there to try to steal my joy, to bring me down, to discourage me and make me feel defeated.
Last week while driving an hour and a half away to our Lyme doctor for our check-ups, I shared with my daughters who are 21 and 16 how I was feeling. It seems to always hit me around this time of year when I'm preparing for school.

I begin to feel like I don't want to homeschool anymore, I feel like I should stop blogging and I think that what I've been doing all these years, pouring my life into my children's doesn't really matter.

This past summer I found an amazing group of homeschool moms on Periscope who are doing all kinds of wonderful things with their children. Periscope is a social media platform where people can share live video and talk about or share anything they'd like.

I just love this group of moms who are super encouraging and kind, but do you know what happened? I began to look at all of their school rooms. I've listen to all their exciting plans and big projects they're planning, I've seen their amazing planners, bookshelves, and cubbies. I got excited about new ideas, new books and curriculum I've never heard of and then all of the sudden I felt discouraged.

I began to feel like I've failed my children all these years. We started out with a great school room but ended up at the kitchen table, the couch or on the floor sprawled out. I started out doing all kinds of great projects and going on fun field trips but then we were too sick with Lyme disease to leave the house. We used to buy all kinds of new curriculum every year but then I found my bookshelves were overflowing with too much.

Do you see what happened here? I began comparing my life and my homeschool with moms who had completely different lives and different homeschools. Not only that, most of them have younger children and are at a different place than I am.

Whenever we compare we run into trouble. We begin to feel like what we have isn't enough, isn't good enough and we might even get discouraged and want to quit. Comparing never leads to anything good.

When you're homeschooling with a chronic illness you can't compare your life or homeschool with another homeschooling family, not even another family who might also have a chronic illness.

In order to be busy doing what we're called to do we need to set our eyes firmly on our Savior and focus on what our own lives are all about and what God has for us.

On the van ride to our doctor, my girls advised me not to think about how I'm feeling right now. They've learned that feelings are deceptive and they lie to us. 

They gave me my own advice and told me that I'm listening to the enemy and that I'll feel completely different when I'm not so stressed. 

Then they told me I'm a great mom and that they're glad I homeschooled them. That right there makes it all worth it.

If God lavishes His grace over us shouldn't we receive it and extend that same grace to ourselves?

Do you want to be a great mom even though you have a chronic illness? It's pretty simple, it doesn't require a perfect homeschool room, it doesn't require pushing yourself to do everything you think your children want to do, or what you think others expect of you, or even buying all of the newest curricula.

To be a great homeschool mom all you need is God's grace. Love God and set an example of walking with Him and then love your children, spend time with them, speak words of life into them, have fun learning with them and do the best you can.

Your children will remember your love and encouragement more than anything else. 

So, go and be a grace-filled homeschool mom today.

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