It happens every year.
After a long break, school begins. At first I’m excited. The crayons smell new, the pencils prick my finger with their sharpness and the scissors and glue find their home in a plastic shoe box neatly stored away in the cabinet. The kids insert tabs into page dividers, write Science on a label and slap it on the spine of their notebook. Books neatly file themselves on the shelves, waiting to be opened.
It all looks so nice and organized.
Then we start.
The books crack and creek as they awake from their hibernation. Our minds do the same as we seek to strengthen our muscles of paying attention, re-telling the story and how to form a cursive H again.
Like a new exercise program, I find school often hard to get going. But, also like exercise, I know I’ll feel better if I keep going…eventually.
So, I keep going.
But there comes a point my body rebels. I rebel at the schedule, the work, the time restraints, the other things I see around me piling up that I can’t get to. I think, Why am I doing this again? Is it really worth it?
Am I trying to prove something?
Trying to win homeschool mom of the decade award?
Trying to control things too much?
I’m going to be honest. Yes, I’ve written encouragement on this blog for homeschoolers. I’ve prayed for those of you who are embarking on this journey for the first time. I pray these words won’t discourage you. Keep going, there is hope at the end.
This year, already, I’ve wondered what our family would look like if we changed and switched to public school. My kids have never gone, so much of my wonderings are because I don’t know. But I often wonder if they’d thrive better under someone else. I often wonder if I would thrive better having them under someone else.
I’ve kicked it around…and around….and around the block in my head with tears streaming down my face. Tears of doubt, tears of my own inadequacies and my own struggles. Tears of what I wish I could be like, tears of letting go of others things I wish I could do with the time I pour into my children.
I listed my troubles to my husband, Adam, asking for his help, his prayers, his guidance. He listened. Then he spoke words that touched my heart and made me thank God again for giving me such a gift in my husband. He said, “Julie, stop looking at your inadequacies. God’s not. He’s trying to equip you!”
Those words reminded me of something – The grass in the other field has to be mowed too. There is no easy way. If I switched my kids to public school, I’d be blogging about the yearning to homeschool. Why does the grass in the other field always look so much greener?
For today, my heart has resettled. Sure, my doubts, questions and “what-abouts” are still there. But the reality is, God is with me. This business of homeschooling is supernatural. It doesn’t happen in my own strength.
I can’t expect it to be easy.
I can’t expect it to look a certain way or even be measurable. The result is in the heart of my children.
I wish I could write encouraging posts to all my friends and never doubt myself, but I can’t.
I doubt too. My doubt doesn’t scare off my Lord, because really, doubt can be a gate to enter into His pasture of love, mercy and grace in a new way I haven’t experienced before.
So because of that, I’m thankful for the times of doubt and questioning because it’s in those times we see and hear God’s calling more clearly.
So how do you deal with doubts?