Have you ever felt like you don’t quite measure up? As a homeschooler, I find that I often feel that way. I know some amazing homeschoolers. Some practically write their own curriculum. Some run businesses from their homes while homeschooling three, four, or five children. Some happily chauffeur their children to choir, strings lessons, youth orchestra, Chinese lessons, and painting classes.
But me? I struggle to keep up with the constant piles of laundry. I often feed my family leftovers. My three-year-old doesn’t recognize her letters yet, and my family struggles to stay on key when we sing hymns during our nightly family worship time.
Am I a homeschooling failure? Sometimes I feel that I am. Some days I feel so overwhelmed and discouraged that I can barely scrape my spirit off the floor. Other days my thoughts constantly accuse me—thoughts like I should be more creative in my lessons plans. I should be giving my daughters more extracurricular activities. I should be able to do it all. Why can’t I do it all?
On days like that, I desperately need to recalibrate my thoughts by meditating on God’s Word. Here are a couple of meditations that I constantly find myself going back to.
God’s approval is the only approval I need.
Robin Wood, in her book The Battle Within, challenges women to meditate on 1 Corinthians 4:2–4:
You and I are to be found faithful in pursuing God and reflecting His light to others. We don’t have to waste time trying to determine if somebody else is a successful woman, and it doesn’t matter if other moms judge or criticize us. We know that without God, we are nothing and can attain nothing good. Successfully meeting a list of obligations or merely fulfilling a role is not going to justify us before our Father in heaven. No. We have to know God to know what He wants us to be. When we finally realize that His primary goal for us is to reflect the love of Christ to others, then everything in our lives becomes a tool to that end. (p. 78)
Whenever I consider taking on something new, I always have to check my spirit. Do I want to do it for the right reason, or do I want to do it to gain approval from my peers? Let’s face it. Sometimes others (particularly other homeschool moms) can put a lot of pressure on us to run our homeschools or even our households in a certain way. We should listen to and prayerfully consider counsel from those who are older and more experienced, but before we launch into any new endeavor, we need to make sure that we’re doing so for the right reasons.
God will enable me to do everything He calls me to do.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, in her book Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free, draws her readers’ attention to John 17:4:
All I have to do is the work God assigns to me. What a freedom it has been for me to accept that there is time for me to do everything that is on God’s “to do” list for my day, for my week, and for my life! (p. 119)
Whenever I find myself discouraged about my ability to “do it all,” I have to remember that I’m not supposed to “do it all.” I only have to do the things that God has called me to do. Usually, during these times of discouragement, I need to evaluate how I am spending my time. Are my priorities getting out of whack? Knowing what my priorities should be is something that requires a lot of wisdom, and therefore a lot of prayer. But it is so soul-strengthening to know that God will enable me to complete the work He has for me.
Homeschool Mom, take heart. You’re not alone in your struggle. Whenever you’re tempted to despair, remember that God is with you, and He has not left you defenseless. Meditate on God’s truths, bathe your days in prayer, and see God strengthen your soul.