I don’t even know where to start. Do any of you ever just want to give up? Do you ever feel like all you are doing to disciple and educate your children to be godly, wise, well behaved people is amounting to nothing? I am having one of those days, and I need to counsel my heart with truth. I told my husband I feel like all the times I feel good about the kids and school is the lie, and the way I feel right now is the truth. How can I know??? I don’t know if it is just my personality or if it is hormonal, but I tend to be relatively even keeled–until I’m not. And then I go VERY low. There is no “slightly blue” about my emotions! I am either content, peaceful and happy, or I am completely undone. Is that normal??? I would appreciate honest, candid advice and counsel from godly women who know what it is like to be in the homeschool trenches! You are my people, and I know you won’t steer me wrong Seriously, thank you for any encouragement you can give today.
Anne, saying a prayer for you today. I would like to let you in on something – homeschooling is a journey and it will have good and bad days…sometimes the bad seem to outweigh the good, but after many years I now know that overall the good far exceeds any bad. Sometimes our own moods can sabotage what would be a good day with our children, and I for one have had to guard against that….I find getting up in the morning, I will sit in my bedroom for a while with a devotional or my Bible and I will read a little bit. I will also ask God to help me choose to be patient, kind and in good spirits for the day….I find that if I think on this before launching myself on the household it really does help. I also tell myself and my children that we have a choice when we get up in the morning, we can arise and strive to have a happy day, or we can choose to be down, so we need to choose the right path for the day. Having said that, for anyone suffering real depression, that is a different story and this would not apply, though it cannot hurt to try the positive thinking approach. You are not saying exactly what the problem is except in generalities, but I hope this helps a little. There were many days when I felt like throwing in the towel and saying enough, but I did not, I perservered and I am so glad I did. On days when things don’t go well, take a step back, relax the day a little, a regroup. I don’t know how old your children are, but if they are young, this will not hurt them and if they are older, they should be able to get along on their own for a while. As for discipline, don’t try and change every bad habit at once. Choose the most annoying, and work on that diligently until results are seen then move onto the next. Small steps, baby steps and know that we all go through what you are, and it all works out in the end. God bless. Linda
I like to remind myself that “there is still more day left to make a good day” and “just because the bread toppled off the sandwich…it still tastes great eating it with a fork” (meaning that the day may be messy, but it can ALWAYS be redeemed…even at the eleventh hour).
Breathing a prayer of thanksgiving, hugging a child, and heading out into God’s creation for a stroll are my main tools for a quick day fix.
Also, God is working in your family and homeschool through you, Anne, even though you may not clearly see this day by day. I love the poem told by Corrie Ten Boom about the tapestry that the Lord is weaving from our lives. We see the back side of the tapestry with its mass of tangles and stray colors, but one day God will unfurl our lives like a glorious banner and reveal the magnificent artwork on the side of our lives that we could not see “in the trenches.”
My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.
Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.
Linda and Janell,
Thank you so much for your gentle counsel and wise reminders! I feel especially sabotaged today because I DID get up and read my Bible, pray, and do Bible study. I DID start the morning with a loving attitude, and my 3 sons (almost 15, almost 13 and 5.5) and I prayed to be kind, loving, have good attitudes, use encouraging words, etc. And then immediately the goofiness started…the wrestling, rough housing, always ending up with someone hurt, because of foolishness! I feel like a referee, and I grow weary of the fight. Quite honestly, I wonder if we are under spiritual attack, because it seems like we did everything “right”, right? And everything still seemed to spiral out of control so quickly! My husband (who is not a Christian) wisely counseled me to remember that our kids are good boys, homeschooling is successful and going well for us, and to just have a “teacher mental health day”. I have gone to each one of the boys and apologized for “losing it” and saying a lot of negative stuff that I should not have. But it does feel like it was I who blew it…not them. They were being kids, and my reaction was out of proportion to the situation. Oh, why do I so often react that way, instead of with patience and wisdom??? Janell, thank you for the reminder that there is still enough day left for it to be a good day. I’m going to tuck that one away! And Linda, thank you for the reminder to persevere! For all my faults, I have great perseverance, so even though I think about it sometimes, I would never quit homeschooling.
Okay, off to make a good rest of the day
Boys ( and I don’t have any) are a rambunctious lot quite often, and I think sometimes their natural exuberance can burst forth…perhaps you can talk to them and tell them that there are times you would appreciate some cooperation to help you get your day on track, and if they won’t then seperate them for a while. You did start your day right, and perhaps you like me, are a little prone to temper and impatience – it takes sometimes a super human effort to take control of that particular bad trait, and just so you know – I have had to apologise often to the girls for my words – so I do understand. One of the best helps for that, is for me to do as your husband said and have a teacher mental health day – sometimes I need to be still and think and then through that regroup and get back on track. Two of your boys are at an age where they can do things independently and your young one can also color and do things for a while as well. Recently I hurt my back and I have been forced into a period of rest – I am recovering now…but those 3 weeks gave me a lot of time to think and chill out and I am much better for it. I find myself renergized and with a renewed focus….now normally we cannot take 3 weeks off, but the odd day or hour carved out of our time can be so restoring….during those breaks do something for yourself, read, knit, sew, cook or take a nap – whatever is restoring to you and it will help. Never feel guilty about it, just do it and accept it. Your children will survive and you will be all the better for it. We are human, and we will make mistakes, we must forgive ourselves as we forgive others. Our children understand when we tell them we need a break, whether a short one or a longer one….and it will be fine. Enjoy the rest of your day. Linda
Anne, I just started reading a new book by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson called Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. The forward by Ann Voskamp alone is worth the price of the book. The kindle sample at Amazon includes this forward for free. I can’t wait to see how this book unfolds. This book may encourage you also.
First: I have to ditto reading anything by Sally Clarkson – she is so encouraging and insightful.
Okay – YES! I have felt that way completely!! BUT –
That doesn’t make it the truth ;0). Defeat and discouragement isn’t the reality of what God has for you and for your family.
Something that got me through a few really awful times in my life is saying, “My emotions are not my God”.
Yes, your emotions are normal, and they are human. And yes, sometimes they are just hormonal ;0). But, they are never the TOP concern or priority. The minute they contradict God’s promises for your family, you know that they are leading you down the wrong path.
Think of you as a triangle – your Spirit (Holy Spirit), Soul (Mind and Emotions), and Body. When the Spirit is at the top of that triangle, your soul and body are going to be in order and life is good. But when the soul or body are taking control, you are going to feel out of whack and unhappy!
You did the right thing: you are getting encouragement from other people who have been there, too. And don’t forget to get the encouragement and advice of your Heavenly Father as well. He will carry you through and will never leave you or forsake you. Fight the good fight and don’t give up!
Thank you, Heather, for your insights! The triangle image is very helpful. I know that I allow my emotions to take the place of God sometimes, and yet I feel unable to talk myself out of it at the time. The feelings are just so powerful! But I know that that is a lie–there is always a way out of temptation!
Janell, I have seen ads for the book you mentioned and I thought it looked interesting. I will go download the sample now! Thanks for mentioning it.
Oh, and the day did get much better, just like you all said! Thanks again for all the encouragement! Praying for a beautiful day tomorrow!
(Hugs) Bad day here too!
I find that when they get in that wrestling type mood I send mine outside. It is easier when it is warmer but I still tell them to “take it outside” Ususally they agree and do.
This gives me a break to calm down and refocus. Sometimes I get on here and see what everyone else is doing. Then, when my wits are back and I see that other mom’s are having the same problem I call them back in and finish the studies up. Today it just took a bit longer to get things done.
See today you were one of my up’s !
Have a better one tomorrow! Blessings
Better day here, but it has been a rough week, especially with my ds12. A lot has to do with cold weather and being coupes up so much in our tiny house. next week the temps are only supposed to be in the minus teens, so we’re looking forward to that. Boys are rowdy at the best of times, and where we can’t do our school work until the afternoon because I work mornings we are not the freshest we could be by then. I’ve been thinking about ways to give up my job, but we sure would miss the income.
I can relate to he feeling that I am somehow the bigger part of the problem. I was raised with only sisters by a single mother and often feel like I am trying to raise aliens. My dh works long hours and is away many weekends of the year, so sometimes I feel a bit like a single mom, too. I don’t often get a break or a chance for much me time or real adult time. It can make me less tolerant of their antics, especially during school time. It’s not easy. This thread has given me some real encouragement today when it has been greatly needed. Thanks to all.
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