When Mamas Cry
September 13, 2023
Cry Out to the Lord
The struggle is real, isn’t it? I remember as a late teen dreaming about my future family, which included a knight in shining armor who would swoop into my life, rescuing me from my arduous, chaotic surroundings, and the forthcoming offspring which would bloom from that beautiful union—I dreamed of a dozen children! My entire life would forever change for the better, and I would cry no more. Love would live here.
And the Lord did answer my despairing prayers. Surely, in more ways than I can count, I was actually “rescued,” especially spiritually, as the Sovereign God Who had called me knew—and had planned exactly—of the very knight to send, through whom I learned to rightly divide God’s Word and finally comprehend the love of Christ. My husband was my teacher, and he loved me powerfully, with a deep and steadfast love. For the first time, someone (other than my dear mother) loved me unconditionally. God sent a faithful, romantic friend and benefactor—my dreams had come true.
Thirty-four years have transpired since those early days, and tears have ebbed and flowed. Children have come, grown, and gone, and now baby grands have come. New challenges, hardships along the way, even griefs have come. So much grief the heart almost ceases with sickness. But mixed therein (and I don’t know how) have been joy, great surprise and delight, and that faithful, Great and Sovereign God who has never left nor forsaken me on Whom I cast my cares.
The “knight” is older now, in his 60s . . . and I’m not far behind. He is still my strongest presence, my conscience, my very best friend. Ever-devoted, kind, and dependable, I have never again been unloved or alone because of my husband – and the great God who sent Paul to the “sad girl” who needed such a conduit of the love of the Lord. We have seen much in these three and a half decades, but, most of all, we have seen our great God’s hand, time and again, as we have sought to be faithful to Him, no matter the cost. And there has been great cost.
Mamas are going to cry. They are going to leap for joy, and they are going to blink and find it all behind them. The young mama turns into the Titus 2 mama if she follows Him, if she clings to Him, no matter the pain.
The seasoned mama recognizes that the she does not lower the bar. There is one bar—it’s God’s Word (Romans 12:2). This is the standard and she will not waver. She may lose her children’s “love” for a time, but she cherishes their souls much more. She faithfully prays over them, never ceasing. But she will not lower the bar just to be their friend! She remains faithful to her True Love. The One Whom she will stand before one day to give an account. She must be found faithful.
Cry, Mama. Cry for joy and cry out to the Lord during grievous times. His Word says one day there will be no more sadness and He will wipe away every tear. In the midst of it all, be found obedient to Christ. Do not compromise on God’s Word! Stay faithful to the end and watch your great God accomplish what He is already in the midst of working out. He makes all things good. Mama, His hand is on your head; He will wipe away the tears. Stand firm. (Romans 8:28)
Go Ahead and Cry
I love the assigned topic title this week, “When Mamas Cry.” It wasn’t if, but when. The truth is: moms cry. Actually, homeschool moms cry a lot!
They cry when things don’t go as planned.
They cry when kids have bad attitudes.
They cry when moms have bad attitudes.
They cry because kids are growing up too quickly.
They cry because crying just seems like the right thing to do at the time.
So, let’s make it a question: what should you do when you cry? My answer . . . because it’s always my answer: be real. Don’t try to pretend you’re doing great when you’re not. Don’t put your best foot forward . . . put your “realest” foot forward. Don’t think you have to be some kind of poster child of the perfect homeschool family . . . or any kind of family.
Just be real. Tell your friend you’re miserable, your kids are unbearable, and you don’t like homeschooling much right now. That’s being real.
And when another homeschooling mom is real with you, just smile, pat her, and say reassuringly, “I understand completely.”
We don’t need trite answers, simple solutions, or to tell them Biblical truth that they already know . . . we need to be real and allow others to be real with us.
So go ahead and cry (that’s normal) and then . . . be real,
About the author
Todd Wilson is a husband, dad, grandpa, writer, homeschool conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker all across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of The Familyman and The Smiling Homeschooler, his passion and mission are to remind moms and dads of what’s most important through weekly emails, podcasts, seminars, and books that encourage parents. Todd, and his wife Debbie, homeschool four of their eight children (the other four are homeschool graduates) in northern Indiana and travel America in the Familyman Mobile. You can read more at www.familymanweb.com.
Should There Be Rules?
Life can be hard sometimes. God designed us to have emotions, and one of the ways we express emotions is to cry. I have a few guidelines I used for myself when it came to homeschooling and crying.
- There are proper times to cry.
- A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance . . . (Ecclesiastes 3:4, ESV)
- I ought to feel my kids’ pain with them.
- Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15, ESV)
- My tears of frustration, anxiety, anger, and fear should be poured out before the Lord.
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)
- I should never use tears as a weapon, or as a method of manipulation, aimed at affecting my children.
- A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. (Proverbs 29:11, ESV)
- Closely related to refusing to use tears as a weapon, I must not vent my anger emotionally on my kids.
- For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (James 1:20, ESV)
- While I am going to cry sometimes, my emotional focus must be on my personal sanctification in Christ.
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV)
I strove never to cry, rant and rave (the Bible calls that reviling!), or storm around as a method to make my hurt known or in order to affect my children’s behavior. To be honest, much of my crying is done in the bathroom. It’s where I pray and bring my pain to the Lord. He never lets me down, and He is continually growing the fruit of His Spirit in me while I abide in Him.
About the author
Danika Cooley is an award-winning children’s author who blogs about Bible books, crafts, activities, and snacks at Thinking Kids. Her books include Help Your Kids Learn and Love the Bible and the Who What Why Series, a line of Christian history for 8–11-year-olds. Grab your free three-week sample of her popular Bible Road Trip™ curriculum.
Pillar of Knowledge
Crying Ain’t for Sissies!
This is supposed to be about mothers crying, but daddies should cry, too. What makes him cry? A child wanting to be like him.
Everyone would like to be a hero, but dads have a real shot at it. The bigger the kid, the bigger the tears, when Dad hears those words, “I want to be like you.”
The key to this happening is investing much time in the relationship, doing “real work” together, then watching the sunset—work time with rest time, talking time and listening time.
Maybe we never hear those powerful words from our child, but we see one copying what we do, say, or think. It is in those moments we realize, “Maybe I’m making a difference.”
Those moments are ones we all live for, moments that cause us to wipe our eyes, clear our throat, and blow our nose. And it feels good.
Time together, even silent time together increases the chances of tears–those proud, happy, silent kind.
Although we long to hear them say they want to be like us, remember, they ache to hear from you the five most powerful words a parent can say: “I am proud of you!”
Then maybe you can cry together.
About the author
Dr. Roger Smith is a family doctor in rural Louisiana, where he and his wife, Jan, raised four adventurous children who are all grown, making their own mark in the world. He speaks and writes on parenting issues and produces brief videos that can be found on Facebook @ParentingMattersNow
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Avoid the temptation to put off special time with God because of not knowing how to spend that time. The Encouragement for Homeschool Moms devotional was written for just those times and will solve the dilemma. You’ll find this parent course provides the perfect balance back and forth between the “academics” of answering questions and the freedom of journaling personal thoughts and inspirations.
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Could you use a healthy way to deal with feeling frustrated and overwhelmed? Stephanie Morrison points moms in the right direction in Episode 33 of the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Show—“When Mamas Cry.” Find out how to keep homeschooling—even when the tears come. HomeschoolShow.com.
Maybe you’re feeling the pressure to have it all together during back-to-school season. Here’s a quick “Hey, Mama!” column by guest Beth Mora, who says it’s a season for a different rhythm. (Find all the articles with HomeschoolApp.com.)
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for the month of September
Growing the Fruit of the Spirit
Homeschooling with Confidence, LLC
This is a 326-page spiral-bound book. There are ten chapters in the book, and each chapter has five lessons. The first chapter of the book is an introduction to the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law” Galatians 5:22-23. The remaining nine chapters cover each of the fruits listed in the Bible verse.
I used this book as our Bible study time during our homeschool day. This book could be used in homeschool, as a family devotional, in a church group, or by anyone wanting to learn more about the fruits of the Spirit. Each lesson has a devotional or study to read and discuss. At the end of each lesson, there are activities to choose from to further understand and remember the Bible verse. These activities include options for all ages.
We usually read through the lesson and work on the memory verse during lunch then complete the activity after lunch. I have found an activity with each lesson that is great for my kids’ ages and abilities. Some examples of the activities are making an “I am thankful” jar, making a gratitude collage, making thank you notes, playing the gratitude game, or coloring the following picture. These examples are from chapter three, lesson two, about the fruit of the Spirit that is Joy. My sons especially enjoyed the Gratitude Game, which involved sharing something they were thankful for based on the color of M&M they picked from a jar.
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Topics also include notebooking, lapbooking, and language studies in Spanish and Latin. The “Homeschooling: You Are Not Alone” Supplement has something for everyone. It will be a reference tool throughout the year and for years to come. Download your FREE digital copy today, and be encouraged that you are NOT alone! The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine has got your back—to school.
How to Begin Homeschooling
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