I’m writing this post 10,000 feet in the air as I fly up to beautiful Oregon to attend the Come Away Retreat at Rockaway Beach.
I’ll be speaking in a breakout session entitled ‘Fearless Parenting’ which is ironic because it has been an unusually trying month of struggles and disappointments for me in that area.
Because I have been parenting for 24 years and homeschooling now for 20 years, I am asked more and more frequently to speak on these topics and to share any wisdom that I have gained through my many years as a Christian, homeschool mom.
Perhaps it is just me, but I thought that with age and wisdom would come more of a sense of ease with my parenting. Not so. I’m certainly more wise than when I began, but I have in no way perfected the art of parenting.
One evening last week, after a long day of homeschooling during the day and back-to-back meetings in the evening, I flopped on my bed hoping to catch an episode of Downton Abbey before crashing for the night. This is my guilty pleasure on the evenings when my husband is out of town on business.
I was still rummaging around trying to find my pajamas when there was a gentle knock on the bedroom door. My 16-year old daughter needed to talk. We snuggled up under the down comforter and chatted about some fears and doubts that she was dealing with. Some of these doubts stemmed from what she felt was a lack of solid education in certain subjects.
Already worn thin from a month of my own insecurities with my homeschooling ability, the conversation was painfully convicting.
Thankfully, this daughter gushes with grace, but knowing that it was me that had caused her distress was quickly becoming overwhelming to my already fragile soul.
An hour later, finally alone and in my pajamas, I prayed.
When You Can’t ‘Fix’ Things
I so desperately wanted to feel happy. I searched my mind for a way to ‘fix’ things, to justify the gaps in her education? How could I dance around the painful fact that my daughter felt (and was likely right) that I had let her down in this area?
There was no relief. As I poured out my thoughts and feelings to God, I did feel a peace. Yes, God was hearing me, but it He was not offering a way out of my convictions. Through prayer and drawing near to God I was able to settle down and accept that, despite the fact that I have been homeschooling for such a long time, am a homeschool blogger and speaker, I still fail – big. Ouch.
Parenting is hard.
No matter how much we desire to be good parents, no matter how much experience we have, no matter how long we have walked with God seeking wisdom, we will fail. I don’t like that.
Condemnation creeps in and taunts me, “How can you speak on homeschooling and parenting, when your own homeschool is such a failure!”
And then this. God knew and saw the choices I was making as a homeschool parent. He knew the gaps that were forming in my daughter’s education. He has brought me to this painful and humbling place for a purpose. As I allow my heart to be convicted and broken, God begins to heal.
Condemnation (which is not from God.) flees and hope prevails. Despite the pain of this refining process, this letting go of my pride and selfishness, God assures me that it is for my good and the good of my family.
How about you, dear mama? Are you weary? Are you convicted (like me) about your parenting, your homeschooling, your choices?
You are not alone. God is with you. Allow the refiner’s fire to clean the dross from your life and accept the forgiveness and grace that Jesus to freely offers.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28