When the Yellow Bird of Freedom Calls

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It’s spring and like all the springs before it, this spring brings a fresh cocktail of guilt and exhaustion to my homeschooling. Though I teach year round, I like to wrap up several subjects before summer, trading them out for summer unit studies or just extra free time. Yet every spring, I realize I didn’t finish as much as I’d hoped. We’re behind. Again. I’m worn down and weary. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this.

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I pour my coffee and gaze out the window. A school bus drives by, that elusive vessel of freedom, flying children to higher learning. My children will wake up soon and they’ll want to be fed. Again. It will have to include protein or they’ll think they’re starving an hour later. Two of them hate eggs. Bus kids get healthy breakfasts at school.

I put breakfast in the oven and pour more coffee. We were gone all weekend and I never got lesson plans ready for the week. We’ll be winging it today.  My well-laid plans are a mess and I don’t even want to think about transcripts. Bus kids have school counselors to manage their transcripts.

I’m failing at this. Again. I don’t measure up. They deserve better.

Homeschooling isn’t the only thing I’m dropping the ball on. There just isn’t enough room in a day for all the things that need done. I bet I could do them if I sent the kids to school. Think of the free time! The projects I could finish! I might even find the bottom of the laundry basket!

“…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

{sigh}

The peace washes over me. God called me to this. We sought His direction and I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I feel peace for all of  five seconds and then the thought crowds in: But I’m doing a terrible job! I stink at this! GUILT GUILT GUILT!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Peace again. Yes, I do need to do better, but guilt isn’t going to improve my game. Surrendering and obedience will. God called me to it and He will direct my steps. My focus has been off and recognizing it doesn’t call for self-flagellation, it calls for a change.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 

Of course, I have no idea how to change anything. Our schedules just don’t fit. There are too many good things to squeeze into 24-hour days. Maybe we’ll drop things. Maybe we won’t. God called me to this and He will direct my steps. No one else could do this better because no one else was called here.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

God and I have this conversation nearly every spring. I forget over and over again that He didn’t drop me here at this gig all alone. And He is merciful to remind me. He has a plan and a purpose for each of my children. Right now, His plan includes them learning at home. I will keep my eyes on Him and do what needs done. Some days, that will mean joy in learning, delighting in discoveries. Some days it will mean plodding on, dragging my feet forward. In obedience. Because that’s where peace is found. THAT is where we find joy.

How do you remind yourself of all the reasons you’ve chosen to homeschool your children?

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