The article below blessed me so much, especially during this season of my life as a stay-at-home, homeschooling mommy of three. It helped me name this season and provided me with great encouragement to ‘stay-the-course’. The article is from this month’s issue of The Old School House Magazine, a free online periodical dedicated to home schooling. If you have not signed up to receive the monthly magazine I strongly suggest you do so, I ALWAYS find some good stuff!
Chantel ~ The Muse
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Homeschooling for Impact
What I’ve read1 indicates that introverted people tend to find themselves refreshed in isolation and can feel somewhat drained after too much time in the presence of others. As for me, I was born an extrovert—a very socially stimulated creature. I’m energized by the masses. I not only come alive at a party—I am a party! (Just ask my kids. LOL)
As young mommies, we often find ourselves in a place of hiddenness during the season when we are in the thick of childrearing.
As I was growing up, I distinctly remember always wanting to make plans to go, to do, and to run from one activity to another. My mother was often concerned that I needed to spend more time at home, fearing that I would get sick if I continued to burn the candle at both ends. (Some of you are nodding your heads with understanding as you read this, right?!) Although my mother had to bring appropriate boundaries to my young life, she couldn’t change the fact that my DNA was driving me to mooove!
Fast-forward a few years and there I was, “suddenly” the mother of three little boys, aged 3 and under, with a very busy husband. I found myself at home a lot—and, I must admit, often restless within. I wasn’t double-minded about my commitment to being a home-based mommy, but I was being stretched in a brand-new way.
Hubby’s life was early morning out the door, lunches shared with workmates, lots and lots of meetings day and night, abounding with people and activity. At times I felt left out. But feelings can be deceiving.
The Truth About Hiddenness
As young mommies, we often find ourselves in a place of hiddenness during the season when we are in the thick of childrearing. No matter our disposition, we can all struggle with restlessness within as our lives are no longer our own. During that time in my life, a story about David in the Old Testament came alive to me. I trust it will speak to you too.
David, a shepherd, was the youngest of eight sons born to a man named Jesse who lived in Bethlehem. God sent the prophet Samuel to their city to anoint the new king of Israel. Unbeknownst to Jesse, one of his sons was this king-to-be. While the glorious event of anointing a king was taking place, Da-vid the shepherd boy was stuck out on the lonely hills caring for the bleating sheep. He lived a season of being unseen while looking after the lambs.
God actually seemed to frustrate Samuel as he was trying to figure out which son of Jesse was “the man” until he asked, perplexed: “Jesse, I’m struggling here because none of these seven guys is the one. You wouldn’t happen to have any other sons, would you?” (my paraphrase)
You can read the actual account in 1 Samuel 16:11:“Are here all thy children? And he [Jesse] said, There remaineth yet the youngest [David], and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.” There was David, seemingly isolated, occupied with the sheep. Yet, God was there with him, promoting him day by day! Now he would be proclaimed the King of Israel.
God saw every little thing that David did with his righteous character and happy heart. David chose to find contentment in his solitary circumstances with those sheep. At the time it seemed as if David was “nobody” compared to his socially abounding and handsome older brothers, but . . . God was up to something. This passage gave me such encouragement when I was in the middle of diapers, nursery duty, and feeling as though I might be missing out on important stuff that was happening somewhere else.
Our death to the triviality of worldly pleasures brings life to our whole household and to us as well.
Think about this: Many of the Psalms, which are forever recorded in Scripture, were actually songs David sang as he was caring for the lambs. Which of us hasn’t benefited greatly from these passages, time and again?
David found joy in the sacrifice of serving and kept a song in his heart! As a homeschooling mother in our culture, you have chosen the investment of sacrifice. You willingly lay down your life and die daily for the greater good—training up your child in the way he should go. In order to serve the best interests of this little one, you’ve chosen to give up extended periods of sleep, spontaneous evenings spent with friends, uninterrupted shopping excursions, and all the other options you took for granted for so long. Your preferences and convenient lifestyle are now sacrificed—put to death—for this little person. But that’s not the end of the story. Just as the death of Jesus on the cross was not the end of the story, so also our sacrificial “death” always brings life in the kingdom scope of things. Matthew 16:25 reminds us, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”2
Our death to the triviality of worldly pleasures brings life to our whole household and to us as well. Death to my obstinate flesh has no comparison to the life I’ve found. Saying “no” to my self-pity is a “yes” to embracing all the joys of motherhood.
Oh, the life I’ve found—the infinite joys of mothering, drinking in the sweetness of my sons, enjoying every age, every new awakening, every middle-of-the-night nursing time, every new word learned, every funny outfit they’ve chosen, snuggling close to read God’s Word, hearing them proclaim new discoveries as we walk hand in hand along spring paths . . . these are pleasures not even a queen can buy! Every day is a party with my priceless boys—if I choose to enjoy it.
God makes sure we don’t miss out on anything. Cling tightly to His promises. He’s preparing us mothers for wonderful things tomorrow, even as we’re involved in wonderful things with our sons and daughters today.
Denise Mira, author of No Ordinary Child: Unlocking the Leader Within Your Child, has been married to Gregory for thirty-one years. They are the parents of five sons. Denise has traveled extensively, both nationally and internationally, inspiring change as she shares the message God has given her for families. She would love to have you visit her blog atwww.denisemira.com/blog.php, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter!
VIDEO: More from Denise
1. LaHaye, Tim, Why You Act the Way You Do, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1984 and Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet M.Thuesen, Dell Publishing, 1988.
2. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™