Wrapping up our third week of homeschooling. It has been a tough one. I wish that was not the case, but it’s true. I know so many put their best face forward on the interweb, and I’ve done so myself at times. In reality, I wear my heart on my sleeve and my emotions on my face more often than I care to, and it just seems right to be authentic as I chronicle our journey into the world of homeschooling.
Yesterday I wanted to throw in the towel. Go ahead and count to ten. I’m not getting up.
But, despite myself, I heard a voice whispering, “You know better than to give up on obedience, Nicole.”
It hasn’t been all bad, but it I were to sum up our homeschooling experience in three words today, I’d have to say Emotional Roller Coaster. ”This is supposed to be fun!” I keep telling myself. ”Why are the highs high and the lows so low?” I wonder. I long to experience consistent joy. Not the fake-it-til-you-make-it kind of joy. The kind of joy that comes from knowing and trusting, deep into your core, that no matter the circumstances, you are doing what your God told you to do and, as a result of trust, contentment is the undercurrent that keeps you moving in the right direction.
Consistent contentment sounds like a worthy goal, don’t you think?
Thank God for wise girlfriends who speak truth over you when you are at your worst. In talking this frustration over unmet expectations over with one of my closest confidants, something she said struck a chord with me. Buried in the middle of a long pep talk, these words lept out of the conversation like they were magnified and highlighted on a page filled with words. I wonder if they might mean something to you, too?
The truth is, I know I haven’t given homeschooling fully over to God. I’ve been striving and striving to find the right teaching/learning style. I’ve put our son’s desires up on a pedestal where they should not be. After our day in the Classical Conversations tutor group on Tuesday, I became keenly aware that it would have been easier to have started homeschooling from Day One, as opposed to pulling him out after four years of public education as a reaction to what wasn’t working for him. I’m living under the paralysis of analysis, looking for the BEST way to remedy what wasn’t working in public school. God is showing me the idolatry in this experience. Something becomes an idol when we put it in a place that should be occupied by God. Yes, I’ve been praying and studying the Word faithfully. Yes, I’ve asked – even pleaded – for direction and peace and His power to overtake our days. In fact, in my desperation for His guidance, I recognize that I’ve allowed myself to act impatiently, even to the point of wanting to turn on my heel and walk away from my calling. In my cries for help, I’ve actually taken the matter into my own hands and tried to solve it with my fretting and fussing.
This doesn’t just apply to homeschooling, friends. We all run the risk of holding onto control of situations in our lives, even when we are praying about them until we are blue in the face. We all put people or emotions or things up on pedestals that they should not be on, even when our motives for trying to make things right are pure. We all desire peace and contentment and then wonder why the God who loves us seems to be running us through the ringer.
Guess what? He’s not the one who is giving us grief. We are. We get in our own way all the time. Like a dog chasing its tail frantically in circles, we run around like fools wondering why we never catch the thing we are chasing after. What we need to do instead is be still, and trust that He has it covered.
I’m not totally sure why I’m sharing my story with you so openly, except that I so desperately long to be able to look back on this time and see the Scripture that sits behind Progress Over Perfection come to fruition in our homeschooling story. I want to persevere, giving myself wholly to this journey and all God has to teach us in it, even to the day I know it is God’s will to send our son back to school – no matter if that is next month or years from now. I want to see that I have grown as a Christ follower and as a mother, and encourage you in your journey – whether it is with homeschooling or not.
God is up to something big. I’ve known it all along. This week may have been hard, but I know that if I learn to give my life’s pursuits over to Him fully, He will help me bear fruit. Lasting contentment and joy. Thanks for following along, friends!
Have a great weekend!