June 30, 2008

A Homeschool Mom Devotional: "Being Broken"


Most homeschool moms wouldn't quickly admit to being broken. We all like to reflect on our achievements in public and our defects in private. Modern culture is at odds with us in more ways than one. For a homeschool mother, keeping up with the Jones' mentality will always have you second guessing your curriculum choices and wondering if you are doing enough. It will make you compare yourself to other homeschoolers who "seem to have it all together". The Nike "Just Do It" mentality will make you buy stuff you won't use, force the kids to use every page in the workbook, and push yourself to do school all summer without a break. You are no quitter, right?! Take any modern catch phrase and you can turn it in to a disaster if applied to homeschooling. You don't even need to add water.

Already the homeschool mom is saddled with the work of three women or more. She must cook. She must clean. She must educate. Anything else and you have a saint in the making. The easy thing for a homeschool mom to do is to think that it isn't OK to be less than perfect. We cook and grumble at ourselves when the day comes that we give in to the children's whines for McDonald's. We clean and feel less than productive when the laundry pile multiplies and the clean clothes are unfolded on the bed. We educate and yet feel like a failure when the math books aren't finished in June. We feel behind and useless when the day was spent talking to one of the kids about their behavior issues rather than on science projects, Latin and watercoloring. Our standards of what we MUST be and do are unrealistic and much more flawed than we are.

My goal has always been to have a clean house, cook gourmet meals, take care of the children well, teach them to be Christian leaders and worldview thinkers, watch them excel in their academics each year, have a rich and deeply loving marriage, get out of debt and be happy and thankful for what the Lord has blessed me with. None of those things are bad goals. However reaching all of them in some sort of Utopian state without challenge or trail is unrealistic when we know the modern world is bent on chaos and all things are moving away from an orderly state. Life is messy; but we somehow forget that when we see the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.

Here's a news flash (one I often have to remind myself of when I start feeling like a flop):
Your house will get dirty.
You won't always want to cook.
Your kids won't always behave - no matter how well you train them.
Sometimes they will surprise you by sinning (just like you did).
One of them might fail for a time in a school subject.
You will go through ups and downs in your relationships.
Getting out of debt doesn't happen over night.
Even the best Christian people complain about their trivial problems.

That's why you should realize that your goals are something to MOVE TOWARDS. They aren't a magic place that you arrive at without much striving and tribulation. It is OK to be broken and recognize that you need the Lord's help. Taking a positive step towards each of your individual goals each day and recognizing that you aren't ever going to be perfect is all you can ask of yourself. We shouldn't compare ourselves, either. Looking at yourself realistically and being able to appreciate that YOU have made progress in some area is vital to continuing on with a positive attitude. Jesus calls us to accept our weakness and pray for His strength. Being broken is one of the best gifts God could have given us... because it offers us the chance to be used by Him - to show His power in our less-than-perfect lives.

I love what Bob Hudson, author of "Humble Yourself" (a contemporary Christian hymn), says about being broken....

The image of God is broken in us and it is by God's presence in our lives that He restores to us the image of Christ within. How does this take place? As Bob oftentimes says, "If God deemed it necessary to come to us through Christ, broken on the cross, how is it possible that we should come to Him in any other way?" We must come to God in our brokenness just as he comes to us through Christ. So many of our struggles in life have to do with our resistance to living in the reality of our need before God and others. As we choose to identify how we have turned our hearts away from God's provision, we are then able to come to Him and truly discover His abundant grace.

So let us come to Him with the reality of our need and expect that He will do a miracle in our lives and our hearts. I think all of us need "His abundant grace". My prayer is that we will stop being so critical of ourselves (and each other) and start reaching for His strength.

Thank you, Jesus, that I am broken.

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momteacherfriend said...


Anonymous said...

Very well said!
BE blessed!
Terri Sue

Anonymous said...

Buy stuff you won't use. WHo does that?? and the news flash..you forgot weeds keep growing ;)

Beautiful. Nancy Leigh Demoss did a great series on Brokenness. I heard on the radio today its being repeated again. You can listen free on her site. Good stuff.

I wrote about storms today...the same theme...seems lots of troubles are brewing... many ladies need encouragement.

Thank you for this fine post.

Unknown said...

What a powerful and deep post. Thanks, I have not yet begun my homeschool journey, but your words are so inspiring!

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

Awesome post, Heather. I need to bookmark this so I can refer back to it - often! I definitely struggle with this most of the time. I appreciate your words of encouragement. I pray that you are able to apply them in your own life as well.

dianne :D

Sherry said...

So true! Nicely said.

Jacque Dixon said...

Very good. It is very important that moms don't get caught up in all of that.
I guess I am a homeschooling anomaly. I do worry and get embarrassed when my children misbehave (did you notice?), but I have rarely worried that they aren't learning or that we didn't get this done or whatever.
I am blessed now that my girls are big helpers in keeping the home, but, being a "messy", I am thankful my house is much cleaner now than it used to be.
Once I decided that I was going to HOMEschool, instead of "all-over-town"school, life got easier, and we don't worry about what everyone else is doing. We compare ourselves to ourselves and God's Word. Life is much simpler that way. And less expensive, too.

Beck's Bounty said...

Thank you for this, which I read at THE perfect time.

May the Lord find us Faithful !

Sisterlisa said...

This is a wonderful homeschool devotion Heather. Thank you so much for sharing what God gave you. ((Hugs))

Robin, funny you mention the weeds. Our back lawn was growing fierce and I have been too busy to deal with it.

Then I came home Thursday and my husband had sent over landscapers to take care of the yard. It was such a blessing!

Andrea said...

This was such an inspiring post! I love the way you threaded the theme of grace through it; as Christians, it's really all about Him and we control freaks tend to forget that and make it all about us.

Thanks so much for the encouragement!


Anonymous said...

I needed encouragement this morning, and I did a search for homeschool mom devotional. Today, might I add is May 6, 2009. This devotional was posted June 2008, but somehow through God's miracle working wonders, it was the first item to pop up in the search. It was written JUST for me. It was Just the encouragement I needed. I was talking to God just yesterday about feeling less than adequate and about comparing myself to other homeschool moms who seem to have it all together. I am always second gessing everything I do. Simple things, for instance, yesterday, I couldn't find my "kitchen" sissors, so I cut up green onions for supper with scrapbooking scalloped edge sissors. Somehow this made me feel less than adequate. Surely these "pedestal" moms I know, always know where their kitchen utensils are. They would never cut up food with scrapbooking tools. Why, would I beat myself up about something so dumb. The onions did get cut up, and were prettier than usual, and the scalloped edge sissors are all clean now and back where they belong, so what did it matter? Thanks for this devotion. I can't thank you enough, it brought tears of relief.

Anonymous said...

Amen, amen, AMEN!! Thanks so much for this - today is May 5, 2010! I did a search for HSmom's devos, and this was the first one to pop up, just like one of the above posts stated. I often feel inadequate, when I compare myself to others who "seem" to have it all together. However, if I were a betting a woman, I'd wager a tidy sum that they are not as "with it" as they would like for us to believe. I also like what another post said about HOMEschooling -- we've been spending too much time AND money "travel" schooling, to this group co-op, or that group field trip, and for what? Socialization?? UGH THAT WORD -lol- My children have yet to form relationships with any of the children in those groups. So, I'm going to stop dragging them all over town, just so I can feel like I'm doing a better a job. Thank you so much for this OBVIOUSLY devinely inspired post. It was such a tremendous blessing to me, in a desperately needed moment. God bless you!

Lisa33 said...

Thanks this is just what I needed today, and everyday!

kidscatsndogs said...

Truth is timeless and always relevant. So it is well spoken and scripture covered with your post of three years ago. I have been in a lonely broken state as a homeschool, adoptive mom for too long. Your post was so transparent to me that a door finally swung wide open to confirm that many many mom's struggle in this way!! I have bought into the facade by the world and most women that we must suffer in silence and keep up the front. What a lie from the evil one to keep us in bondage. Your post is so open and honest. Why can't we women trust each other more with these truths so we can be strong and confident in the most important job on earth? I know for me, the brokenness is so deep and seems to surface so raw as a mom and a wife. I am so encouraged and renewed by this devotional find this morning. Thank you for using your gifts and talents to reach a lonely generation. I am sorry for my long windedness...a caged bird has only her singing to free her!!! LOL

Sprittibee said...

I love when I read back through these posts and see how much of the Spirit is in them - it's almost like I didn't write them at all. Strange to think that you could "preach" something so true and then need to come back and read it for yourself because it didn't originate with you in the first place... but from Him.

He is truly the good in this world. Thanks so much for all your comments, too. I have very little time online and I so enjoy reading what you all write. I wish I had time to respond to every comment, but I usually keep personal responses to email. :) Email me if you ever need to talk to a live person! I'm here... avoiding my laundry like the rest of you!



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