by guest author Marcia Washburn
This post is Part 2 in Marcia Washburn’s A Mid-Year Makeover article. Read Part 1 here.
And so it’s January — that month we face with combined anticipation and dread. We’ve negotiated the busy Christmas season and, perhaps, have some new ideas and new equipment (Christmas gifts!) to try in our homeschools. But the thought of slogging along for another five months may bring dismay to even the stoutest of hearts on some dreary winter days. It’s time for a mid-year makeover.
In Part 1, we discussed clearing out the clutter in your house and in your heart. Now let’s tackle those mid-winter, bored-to-be-here homeschool blues.
Tackle something new in school
Is it time for a child to make plans to start his own business when summer arrives? Have you been itching to develop a unit study around your family’s special interests such as film-making? Do you need to hit the books hard for a few weeks with the promise of an extra-special trip or project on the horizon? Successful teaching is 90% enthusiasm. Sell your children on whatever you’ve decided to do next, and you’ve won the war.
Do you feel like you’re really not doing a very good job homeschooling your children? Like they would be better off in a public school? Of course if you need to take your homeschooling more seriously than a casual, “Okay kid, go do your school now,” then get after it. There is no room for laziness on the part of teacher or student.
But perhaps you just feel like everyone else is doing a better job homeschooling than you are. It’s easy to put others on a pedestal, but you aren’t called to be anyone else but yourself. God didn’t make a mistake when He made you the parent of your children—He knew what He was doing. He doesn’t necessarily call us to build scholarship winners or musical prodigies or winners of spelling bees. He calls us to faithfully raise our children to know His ways and walk in them. And they will learn to do that by watching you live your life faithfully.
Every day won’t be filled with excitement; sometimes, even most times, you will put one foot in front of the other and just keep on pedaling. And this perseverance will prepare your children better for the adult world than an assumption that every day will be a Disneyland day.
Elisa Morgan, founder of MOPS International, reminds us that “A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a great thing.” Billy Graham once commented to his employees that many of them would be in line ahead of him to receive eternal rewards. He explained that God values faithfulness.
Whether you teach thousands of people every year through a speaking ministry or you teach just one or two sometimes-unwilling children, God remembers your faithfulness. You are responsible for remaining faithful to what He has called you to do; He is responsible for your fruitfulness. Bloom where He has planted you. Don’t, even mentally, pick up your roots and move to a “greener” pasture.
Ask the Lord for joy
In times of discouragement I’ve found comfort in Isaiah 40-43. I especially like The Message version of Isaiah 43:1b-3: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you … that’s how much you mean to me!”
Would it make a difference in your enthusiasm for teaching on a tired morning if you reminded yourself that what you do today will impact not only your children, but your grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and beyond? Encourage yourself with words from the Word such as Psalms 127 & 128.
While preparing to teach my workshop, “The Joys of Raising Boys,” I ran across a delightful book of prayers for little boys. Listen in as a discouraged little boy learns to pray:
Psst … are You listening? Are You always listening to hear me talk to You? My dad says You are. I can talk to You anytime … from any place and You will hear what I pray. I am glad that I don’t have to stand in line to talk to You. I am glad You don’t have voicemail. Thank You for listening all the time! Amen
The joy of the Lord is indeed your strength. As you clear out the clutter in your household, your head, and your heart for your New Year Makeover, turn to the One Who promises you that His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!