Why Is This So Hard?


By now you probably get the picture: I wasn’t jacked about home-schooling all of my children again when this school year began. I imagined other families buying school supplies to send with their child, not finding where it goes on the bookshelf. I cried every day for weeks and struggled with “If God really called me to this, shouldn’t I enjoy it a little?”

Then God put Psalm 42 in front of my face:

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

I echo David’s honest emotions and am encouraged that a lament like this is included in God’s Word. God doesn’t get mad at us when we’re sad and downcast, He just wants us to go to Him.

Reading this psalm, I remembered how I used to be the one encouraging moms to keep going. I, like David said, led the procession with shouts of joy and thanksgiving. Now, I’m the one needing to be encouraged. That’s hard for someone who would rather be strong.

One day I was minding my own business when three of my kids came to me at the same time and rocked my world with three individual accounts of dreadful, the world’s falling apart problems for me to fix NOW.

And that’s when I realized it.

Solving problems is a trigger point for me. Solving urgent, the sky is falling problems shuts me down. I don’t mean irritates me a little, I mean shuts my brain down and makes me want to scream or cry or both! I’m pretty sure this is also why I don’t like math and why God didn’t call me to nursing. I mean, can’t someone else figure this out and just tell me what to do next?

But seriously, when do my kids come to me? When they have a problem!

Mom, I’m hungry and there’s nothing to eat.

Mom, he hit me!

She’s not playing with me.

I can’t find the scissors.

Where’s the____?

I can’t find my soccer socks.

I don’t feel good.

Problems, problems problems! Lord, why did you make me a mom, and a home-school mom at that when I shut down with too many problems? That should not be legal!

My husband is the problem solver of the family. Occasionally when he sees me calling the office, he’ll answer the phone “Help Desk!”

I usually say, “Perfect! I should’ve called hours ago!”

On the last personality test we both took, he scored highest on help. That was in the bottom group for me. My highest…are you ready…is called… reformer! Great! I can tell you how you should have done things to avoid this problem but since you didn’t ask me or didn’t listen to me you’re on your own! Sorry, gotta go!

And I’m a home-school mom. That should give you some hope! If I can do this, so can you!

Oh how I wish I was a sweet, tender helper and compassionate Mom. But I’m not. And God knows that and still called me to this.

So, instead of looking at my personality negatively I asked Adam to help me see it in a positive light. What is good about who He created me to be?

Good quality #1: I definitely don’t do my kid’s work for them. I don’t listen to their excuses. I don’t let them off easy. I challenge them. I make them work and figure out a way to solve their own problems.

I may have identified more good qualities, but that’s the only one I remember. But just that one point made me feel so much better. Yes, I cracked that day when all of my children bombarded me with their problems. But that day ended. And the next day was better. I can do this. You can do this!

Is your soul downcast? Have you asked yourself why? Maybe there’s a truth you can discover that will unlock the downcast. And if not,  put your hope in God. David reminded himself of all that God had done for him in the past. He was faithful, He is faithful, He will be faithful tomorrow. He will not buckle under the weight of our hope set in Him. Let’s praise him together!

Father thank you for your promises! Thank you for making us the way you did. Thank you for the trying times because they make us depend on you. Thank you for homeschooling and thank you for the blessings that live in our homes that we have the privilege of teaching and modeling what relationship with you looks like. Help us Lord to teach them well. Give us your strength and love and wisdom as we teach our children. We cannot do this without you. You are our hope. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God- Why are you downcast, O my soul- Why so disturbed within me- P.png

This post is apart of a series called 31 stories of hope for every homeschooler. To see the entire post, click HERE.


4 thoughts on “Why Is This So Hard?

  1. Suellen Holm says:

    You are so real. I appreciate it. And He provides Help for Reformers. You demonstrate to us He provides for ALL of us, whatever situation we face, whoever we are.


  2. Julie McKinney says:

    Hey Julie –

    This one was REALLY good.  I have struggled over the years with comparing myself to all of the other types of homeschoolers out there….and it’s hard!  Sometimes homeschooling is so good….and sometimes it’s SO hard. 

    …..And Friend A reads aloud to her kids so well and so often.  And Friend B has a husband who teaches the kids half the day.  And Friend C has a grandmother around who helps so very much.  And and and…  And here I am, struggling to stay awake as I read aloud and know for SURE I can’t teach math…and I’m married to a CPA who is too busy to teach in our homeschool!  And the dishes are dirty….and I forgot to get gas in the car…..

    While this isn’t the same as your kids all needing you at the same time (aaacccckk!!!!), these are all things that if we take on ourselves, they easily make us crack.  If I choose to compare myself to those other friends of mine, I will not be resting in God’s promises for me and my family….and I know I have to rest in His promises and plans for my family.  For whatever reason, He chose me to be a homeschool mom (teacher?) to Abigail and Hannah…and even though I doubt myself, it was HIS plan, not mine.  He thinks it’s best.  He thinks it’s best that you homeschool your kids and I am so so glad you are obedient to that…whether it is for the long haul or not!  Your obedience to Him allows Him to work through you.  I love your tender heart and those moments you share on your blog where He captures your heart and you turn towards Him….love, love, love that!  How encouraging to me to do the same! I know I’m rambling, but just wanted to let you know how encouraging you are to me!  Thank you!!  Have a great weekend! Julie McKinney

    From: Julie Steck To: jumckinney@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2016 6:47 AM Subject: [New post] Why Is This So Hard? #yiv2870624247 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2870624247 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2870624247 a.yiv2870624247primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2870624247 a.yiv2870624247primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2870624247 a.yiv2870624247primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2870624247 a.yiv2870624247primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2870624247 WordPress.com | juliesteck posted: ” By now you probably get the picture: I wasn’t jacked about home-schooling all of my children again when this school year began. I imagined other families buying school supplies to send with their child, not finding where it goes on the bookshelf. ” | |


    • juliesteck says:

      Julie thank you for sharing all that! It is so easy to compare. And if we weren’t comparing our homeschool we’d compare some thing else. You are a wonderful homeschool mom and I’m so thrilled to share my journey with you! My community keeps me accountable!


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