I'm not perfect. In fact, some days we barely make it. Like the last few, where I've yelled at my children, pushed my puppy out in the rain, and spent twenty minutes secretly crying out to God in the bathroom. Home Education is a calling. I feel I've been called to this task. I know it is His will for our family. But God doesn't always ask us to do the easy stuff. Homeschooling is incredibly, fully, completely self-sacrificing. The days are long and hard and right now, I'm exhausted, exasperated, and wondering how I will ever fill the shoes my children need me to fill in this world. Counselor, guide, lover of their soul, spiritual helper, academic teacher and facilitator, an example of the endless and unconditional love of Jesus and on and on the list goes.
My first reaction is to look to the sky and beg, "Why? How?!" How God, am I going to raise these children to Your glory?! I feel like I'm so incredibly unequipped.
|When days are lived on the edge of 'coping'... Jesus is the true source of strength.|
And I know not just home educators feel this way. I'm sure at some point (or all the time?) most parents can experience these feelings of inadequacy. Or fear - as I've identified. And the task of Motherhood is no easy one. It's intense and filled with physical, mental, spiritual, and social labor. It's 24/7. It never ends. And it's deeply personal.
So, I've begun a daily surrender of our home and my parenting to Jesus. In recognition that no, I don't have what it takes to raise our children for Jesus. But He who is in me does. In recognition that I am so insanely flawed I could never 'get there' on my own. But He who is my helper, holds me up on this journey, making my way straight. That patience and unconditional love and peace are poured down on me from Above - not wrestled up from inside.
Every night, I find a way to get alone with God. Alone. Not with my husband or other ladies - completely on my own. Sometimes, often times, this happens in the car driving to and from different appointments, journey group, and errands. I usually sing songs and get in the presence of Jesus that way. I mean, I'm sure I look like a full-out crazy person... tears streaming down my face, furrowed brow, and one hand passionately raised. Either that or a fist punching at the sky with intensity as I proclaim truth and ask for renewal from the day. I desperately need these times. I live off them. I crave these moments with God. And He fills me.
One song I find profoundly renewing is "How He Loves". To, every day, sing out to God and confirm within my own heart the truth of how much He loves me:
"He is jealous for me.
His love's like a hurricane, I am a tree -
bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware
of these afflictions eclipsed by glory...
and I realize just how beautiful You are and
HOW GREAT YOUR AFFECTION IS FOR ME. (Praise God!)
And we are His portion, and He is our prize (Amen.)
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes.
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking...
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
and my heart turns violently inside of my chest -
I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way...
He Love Us... Oh, how He loves us..."
And nothing renews me like the confession of these truths. That no matter how many mistakes I make, no matter how ill-equipped I feel, no matter how 'not there' I am - He loves me. He called me to be this woman. He called me to be a Mom, and a Home Educator, and gave me the gifts AND the weaknesses. He is shaping me and molding me and I need only to surrender to His grace. It is an ocean - and, oh my goodness, yes... I'm sinking in this undeserved grace.
It is not in our own strength that we raise children to His glory. It is Him in us that gives us what we need. So, daily surrender to His will and His schedule. Daily, renew yourself in His truth about who you are and your worth and value to Him. He gives strength to those who call out to Him. Don't try to do it on your own - I've been there... it doesn't work. It took me years to learn to surrender to the One who can make me whole. I cry out daily. And it is a daily need. Even Jesus Himself got alone with God and daily cried to Him.
Perfection? We'll never get there. But He's there. We need only to draw strength and direction from Him. That means stopping in the midst of a stressful moment and reaching your hands to the sky and saying aloud, "Father! I don't have the strength! Fill me with your love and patience!!!". (Yes, your kids will think you are a bit crazy - but they will learn first-hand that you rely on Jesus in a very real way). Or in the middle of a melt-down, bowing a knew and whispering, "All to You God... I lay it at your thrown... I don't know what to do when my child is hitting me God... make me like You. Give me the responses I should have..." It's practical. It's daily. It's so incredibly necessary for those of us who call Jesus Lord. He wants that kind of intimacy with us and He promises to be there when we ask for Him.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trust in Him and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to Him in song.
The Lord is the strength of His people, (of the MOMS!)
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
The Lord gives strength (to the Moms);
the Lord blesses (the Moms!) with peace.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Cor. 12:9
Amen... because about the only thing I'm perfect at is being weak. Praise God... walk with Him today, ladies.
In Christ's love as I'm working through it all,