Hope and homeschooling

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve heard me mention Hope For The Weary Mom. It’s one of my favorite books and I’ve reread it several times. But something that dawned on me recently is that I’ve never read Hope as a tool for encouraging me in my role as a homeschool mom.

Hope-Weary-Mom-Official-Cover-300If you’re not a homeschool mom, let me give you a little glimpse into a regular day. 1) There is never quiet, unless the children are outside and you’ve locked the doors. (Everyone does that, right?) This will be a short window of quiet because they will start banging on doors. 2) You get to be there firsthand for every milestone and triumph – from walking to long division to riding a bicycle. It’s amazing! 3) There will always be questions. Even when you think you’ve outlined everything, made checklists and backup flow charts… there will be questions. 4) God will richly reward you with experiences and bonds with your children like none other. 5) Books. Books everywhere.

When I thought about Hope and the different messages in each chapter, I realized that there are some chapters that speak so clearly to homeschool moms. The ones that spoke to me were chapters three, five and ten.

Chapter three is on comparison. Comparison is death to the joy and peace that the presence of God brings. The problem is that homeschool moms love to talk about what they’re doing, what curriculum they’re using, how they organize their supplies, what chore charts they’re using…it goes on and on. But something that Stacey writes in this chapter really brings grace to my homeschool mom life. “What if we looked up instead of sizing up?”  What if I just focused on Jesus, what He has done for me and what He wants to do in the lives of my daughters? Maybe I can beat the comparison trap and in the process stop beating myself up over everything I wasn’t doing.

Guilt. Am I teaching them enough? They’re not excelling quickly enough. We’re eating cereal for dinner again. Are they getting enough protein? Will they ever, ever understand long division?! It must be my teaching that’s holding them back. I am the worst mom ever. Guilt can suffocate a Christian’s walk. What I was reminded of here was that guilt can twist facts into monsters. Maybe you do need to add more curriculum (but I doubt it) or have a better meal plan but those things are not making you a bad mom. The fact that you’re concerned for your child’s education and health demonstrate just the opposite! Guilt needs to be rooted out so grace and truth can be applied. Stacey outlined five quick Bible based thoughts to meditate on each day of the week. I love that they are simple, short things I can focus on even in the midst of a busy day.

Chapter ten is titled Moving from Weariness to Worship. It is the second to last chapter and is a fitting message for every homeschool mom to read on a regular basis. Stacey says,

“The void we feel in out poured out lives as moms is real. Blaise Pascal called it ‘a God shaped vacuum’ and there is only one thing that can fill us up. I believe the answer is laying down the habit of weariness and embracing a heart of worship for the Lord. Because anything less than the very presence of Jesus will never satisfy.”  (emphasis mine)

That sums it up doesn’t it? Homeschooling is wearying work. It pulls a mom in a million directions. But we don’t have to stay weary! We can bring the presence of Jesus into our busy lives any time we need it!

Hope for the Weary Mom is an excellent book for any mother. But it’s taken a new, special meaning on for me as a homeschool mom. And I’m so thankful for it. Have you read Hope yet? I can’t recommend it enough. You can find out more about it here.

 

{I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and a good review was not guaranteed.}


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