By Guest Author Barbara West,
What to do if you’re burnt out on homeschooling
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 KJV)
Ahh, rest. After a busy holiday season and launching into the start of a new year, rest seems elusive and, in some instances, unattainable. I look at my planner and there are more lessons to be taught than there are days to get them done. There is no time for rest.
Yet, Jesus invites us to come to Him if we are overburdened. He promises to refresh us if we are weary, worn out, or overworked. We need to go to Jesus anytime we feel that we are going over the edge. His presence will fill and refresh us.
Rest is one thing homeschool moms need. But there is always something to be done. One more chore that requires attention. A child that needs tending. An errand that needs to be run. Homeschool moms often are task oriented and thrive on getting things done.
Rest is becoming a lost art in our modern culture. Packed within each 24-hour time span is an unsustainable number of tasks we’ve placed upon ourselves, as well as demands others place upon us. Many days there is a revolving door of schedules and commitments. It is tempting to do everything, be involved in everything, and be up on the latest homeschool trends — but never being able to rest really isn’t God’s best for us.
My homeschool journey taught me just how much homeschool moms need rest. But we tend not to rest because rest necessitates change. Eliminating a ministry, canceling the revolving teacher commitment, or backing away from a weekly class permanently or for a season can bring a change along with the much-needed rest we crave. Change is hard. Getting stress out of our life and rest into our life takes action. We need to make changes and stop doing whatever is causing us to feel overburdened. It can really help to examine what areas in our lives are causing these feelings and what we can do to make a change.
Maybe we can start by taking a critical look at our schedules. Everything we have planned is good! But not all things need to stay on our calendar. Prioritize. Determine what you can let go. Taking a break for a short period is not going to stop the earth from turning. Having multiple children means multiple activities. Eliminating one activity per child can bring huge relief! It borders on jubilation.
If we do not take the steps necessary to rest, we will find ourselves burnt out. A burnt out homeschool mom is no good to her husband or her children. Be refreshed not just in your physical body, by allowing yourself to get a good night’s sleep, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If you are feeling compelled to do so much that you are worn out and exhausted, you may be driven instead of led by the Holy Spirit. [In other words, then your priorities may have subtly shifted from following what God has placed before you to accomplish, to the many self-imposed tasks and pressures.]
Respond to the voice of your Savior. Spend quiet time with God and allow the Spirit to refuel and fix what’s been strained and stressed by life’s accumulating pressures. Rest in God’s presence. This resting space is where the priorities and relationships that have been pushed out of alignment get patched up and recalibrated.
Quiet time in the Word is not an excuse for the lazy but a wise investment for the diligent. Quiet time is for homeschool moms committed to being active servants and followers of Jesus Christ. We are not slaves to the tyranny of urgent busyness and activity. By prioritizing quietness for ourselves, we might just rediscover joy in our homeschooling. We can have joy in discovering what it means to truly rest in God.
Rest is an important part of our day. We must learn how to slow down enough to rest so that our family can have our best. May God reorient you and show you His purpose and pleasure in you taking time for true rest.
Lord, our desire is that you would guide us into your blessing of rest. Help us to trust you in the crush of everyday life. Help us to trust that you will handle the challenges we face. Help us to let go and fall into your arms and be filled with your peace.
Note from the editor: Attending CHEC’s Refresh Ladies’ Day March 19, 2022 will help you step back and gain refreshment from like-minded fellowship, encouraging speakers, and Christ-centered worship. Learn more here.