If I didn’t know any better, I would consider my life full and satisfying with the responsibility of managing a household, raising and homeschooling my two boys, and devoting time to the work of the church and community. But several years ago, my casual home business turned into more than just working from home. It became my purpose. Not to overshadow my purpose in my home and family but to add even more meaning to my life.
While I am occasionally overwhelmed and have considered simplifying my life by ending my work commitments to focus solely on my family life, I have yet to have those emotional moments long enough to really convince myself that I’m not doing the purposeful work I’m meant to.
I have done an array of marketing work over the years, working freelance for agencies and directly for business owners. The work was good. I learned many skills that are directly useful in my current purpose-driven work so I definitely feel that was meaningful work in one way. However, the work I do now in the homeschooling industry and my work helping others build a home business provides me with an unexplainable satisfaction.
Seeking and Shifting
Although I didn’t really seek out the roles I have at The Old Schoolhouse® (TOS), I can confidently declare that the work is exactly what I wanted but didn’t know it until the opportunity found me. I’m able to share my love and knowledge of homeschooling, which had been a desire of mine for about a year prior to joining TOS. I had made some effort towards this goal, but being part of a large group of people with a similar desire has morphed this goal of mine into a much more significant purpose.
My role helping others build a business from home was discovered through the work I did in web design. I had a few clients that needed a website for their business. Some of those businesses were run mainly from home, and others were teaching, training, or providing other services in different locations. As I helped them with their online presence, I would naturally help them focus in on their short and long-term goals for their whole business, partly because that’s helpful information to know to develop the structure and content of a website but also because I was deeply interested in hearing about their purpose-driven work.
I’ve shared my ‘beginnings’ story on my website and want to include a small part of that here to show the progression of how I discovered my purpose while working from home:
“After a few years of providing online services and working one-on-one with business owners, I naturally gravitated to the role of Life Coach, encouraging and energizing while I was training in person and through videos and written guides.
I loved the impact I was making on individual lives! And that’s when I got the message that I needed to do more of it.”
Whether you are or would like to work from home, you can make it work that you love and is a direct extension of what you’re meant to do with your life. Don’t wait until you discover the perfect work because you just may need to play around with a business focus to find out what meaningful work really is for you. I believe God designed each of us with purpose that can come out in the form of the paid work we do, but it’s often not easy to know what that is until you’ve experienced, explored, and been energized by different types of work.
There are many homeschoolers that also work, either in their own business or as an employee. When you’ve got a deep purpose like homeschooling you will have a much more balanced life if your work is almost as meaningful as providing your children a customized education. Working from home can feel somewhat chaotic when you feel like you have to manage your time over so many important activities. (or is that just me?) When you’ve got your kids around the house while you’re working, it takes some determination to not decide it has to be one or the other – build a business or educate my children?
Having It All (Like the Proverbs 31 Woman)
Time can feel very limited. You may experience feelings of guilt because you think you’re not there for your children enough or feelings of frustration because you’re not making the time to get business tasks done. I had ‘seasons’ when my business was completely inactive because I hadn’t done any marketing to acquire new clients and life was just so busy with family responsibilities. Looking back on those times now, I see them as a great time of growing. . . of character-building that didn’t quite bear fruit until many years later.
Unfortunately, I let those times be consumed with worry and confusion about what I really should be doing. Back then, I was seeking to find work I could do from home so I could be at home with my kids, and making money was taking priority over creating purpose-filled work (as it sometimes needs to). When I wasn’t making money that was very much needed at that time, the worry and anxiety set in.
When we have times like that, God has a few words for us that I was reminded of from the July 4th entry of My Utmost for His Highest titled One of God’s Great “Don’ts.” The scripture that is commented on is Psalm 37:8, “Do not fret – it only causes harm.”
Oswald Chambers also shares Psalm 37:7, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” in this day’s devotion and goes on to share his perspective of where that worry originates from:
“Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans.”
Doing things God’s way has always produced great things in my life. He has called me to homeschool my boys, which is purposeful for me, but surely has to do with the plans He has for them as well. For some mom’s, raising their family is their full and satisfying purpose. For others, we are called to do more. Since God has given us an example in Proverbs 31 of a woman making and selling clothing, distributing her wares to merchants, investing in property, watching over her household, doing housework, supporting her husband and helping those in her community, then I figure He may have plans for me to take on a few of those roles too.
As you’re exploring & creating, seeking & shifting, and resting in the Lord, keep focused on the greatest benefit of working from home – that you get to be the main influence on your children. Show them the virtuous and capable woman that you have been created to be.
Stephanie Morrison has been building businesses, mostly from home, for over 10 years, motivated by her strong determination that her two youngest boys would be educated at home. She works for The Old Schoolhouse® on the Canadian team and also coaches entrepreneurs to start and grow their business from home. She and her family are all comfortably nestled in the trees in Central Ontario. She loves being a home-body and building up her permaculture property. Learn more about Steph at www.creatingworkandplay.com.