A Homeschool Mother’s Secret
I’ve been having a good month.
Granted as I write this, we are knee deep in a global pandemic, and I haven’t been inside of a grocery store in a coon’s age.
Hopefully by the time you read this, we will be easing back into some of what life held for us before. It will probably look differently for most of us. And I don’t even want to think about those whose lives have changed forever due to the loss of a loved one or friend.
It takes my breath away. And not in a good way.
I am one of those who have thrived under quarantine. I’ve cleaned, organized, cooked, read, and done all the things that have brought me some level of satisfaction. My son has practiced his guitar for endless hours. He’s written some beautiful things. He also has completely taken his ailing Xbox apart and put it back together. He watched tutorials and painstakingly followed directions.
It still doesn’t work, but can anyone say “Mechanics?” Hello.
My contentment hasn’t always been steady. If I watch too much news or read too many Facebook posts, I can feel my anxiety rising. My house is covered with little cards of handwritten scriptures to remind myself and my family of God’s promises.
The difference with the challenge at hand is that all of us are going through it at the same time. The world looks completely different than it did a few months ago.
I do recognize that I am completely a Type B personality. I am introverted and dream of days I can wrap myself up in a comfy throw with a hot cup of tea. I am adaptable and have had to develop some coping mechanisms throughout my life.
However, there have been times in my life I have still reached for that elusive stability that seems to evade me. What it would be like to have those kinds of days? The days without pain. The days without worry. The days that my anxiety wouldn’t be so crushing that it left me crippled and hopeless.
But I have a secret for the other kinds of days. The ones I mentioned that wheedle out despair and despondency.
Those of us who have experienced some of the harder things in life see this as one to add to our testimony of God’s faithfulness and provision.
It doesn’t mean that the next crisis or gut-wrenching event can’t or won’t bring us down for the count. It just means that we’ve seen God work before. And, undoubtedly, He will work again.
It might not look like we want it to. There might be loss involved. There might be heartache along the way. But He has had a plan for us since the beginning of time.
What we cannot do is let the lessons we learn in the hard times fade away in the times of plenty.
Those of you who know me, know that I have suffered several physical challenges. But I am only going to speak of one right now. In 1996, I had a major car accident that left me forever altered. I can clearly remember coming home from the hospital.
Though the next days, months, and years of my life were going to be ones of great challenge, on that day I can remember how beautiful the world looked.
It was fall. The air was crisp. The leaves had turned. I can remember being enchanted by the way the light looked across the crisp linens of my borrowed hospital bed.
I was in pain. I was anxious. But I was also grateful for the chance to see the world through a different perspective. I was almost seeing things through a new set of eyes.
Whatever this time in isolation has cost you or taught you …. don’t deny the perspective it has given you. When homeschool begins to look a little more like the way most of us do it (co-op, field trips, dance lessons, trips to the library) don’t get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of it all that you neglect the intimacy of regular dinner times, morning devotions, quiet cups of tea, and those precious conversations.
Our daily walks (random and inconsistent before) have given me a better connection with our neighbors and a deeper appreciation of fresh air and sunshine.
I don’t think I want to give those things up when we go back to life with all of its appointments, commitments, and places to be.
Whatever this next stage of life is for all of us, we can rest in knowing that God has it all figured out. That He wants us to continue to depend on Him.
Paul had a secret too. He probably wasn’t as easy going as I am. He definitely was more motivated and driven. He was most likely an extrovert with the gift of gab. He changed the world with his letters and his words.
But our secrets are similar. We have learned contentment. It isn’t easy. It isn’t instantaneous. The lessons of contentment in my life seemed to be a continuing education. But I still recognize the process.
This secret can be yours too. I can’t give you a magic formula for contentment. I can’t pretend that I have it all together and that tomorrow I won’t wake up and completely fall apart. But I have been down this road of uncertainty and worry before. God is still there. He is still working.
Paul said it much better than I can.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:11-13.
If you want the printable version that I created for my home and devotion, visit my blog. It’s free!
Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.