(This post is running concurrently on http://www.7sistershomeschool.com)
I wrote this for a homeschooling audience at 7 Sisters, but really it’s for anyone and everyone! Be encouraged!
I try to write lots of value-packed posts here at 7 Sisters. I look for strategies to share with other homeschoolers. Vicki and I put our heads together regularly to come up with answers to the questions we get from homeschool moms. We want to pass along any wisdom or resources or help we can to all of you who read our blogs.
This morning I just want to take a moment to write the same way I am living right now.
It’s a little messy.
It’s early in the morning, I slept in my make-up last night so I have eyeliner down to my chin and my hair looks like a rat’s nest (without the actual rats).
I am discouraged about a number of things. Oh, don’t misunderstand: I have joy unshakable deep in the core of me. Jesus is Lord and that refrain rings in my heart no matter what else is going on. But that doesn’t mean discouragement isn’t there sometimes, too. It just means I have a way to survive the discouragement instead of being overwhelmed by it.
So here’s the first thing that I’ve decided (from my own experiences at the moment) that every homeschool mom should say:
Homeschool Mom, if you are discouraged, it’s okay. You are not a bad person when you admit that life is hard even though God is good. God is truth; I’m pretty sure He can handle us being honest. When I am discouraged, I try to say 5 positive, encouraging things about my situation for every 1 negative statement I make, but there’s no point in lying to myself or refusing to admit that I am struggling. It’s okay to struggle. The victory is assured, but fighting the battle is also necessary.
Here’s the next thing I think every homeschool mom should say:
I have dealt with several home-owner issues recently that have been stress-producing. Our well-pump tank sprang a mighty leak last week. That was my second friendly visit with our local plumber, because just a week before a pipe to the blue bathroom created rain in the laundry room downstairs. And…..oh dear, this one is REALLY hard to type….and, if I’m going to be brutally, horrifically honest, I just fought Round 4 with bedbugs.
(There. I said it out loud. Well, sort of…I typed it in a blog. Same thing kinda-sorta.)
Last spring we were given a couch and did not know it was a bad idea to take it. Since then I have been part of what Yahoo News calls a growing U.S. epidemic of clean, middle-class homes fighting a battle against bedbugs. I think Round 4 was the final Round — it was the follow-up after there have been no signs anywhere for weeks, the last vicious fogging of every space I can possibly fog, the last obsessive-compulsive ripping apart of all mattresses and box-springs, baseboards and carpets, dresser drawers and their contents.
Can I tell you what that particular fight has done to my confidence as a wife/mom/homemaker?
I have been beaten black-and-blue inside my heart with feelings of failure because my home — never a showplace, but always livable and open to all who would like to visit — wasn’t really clean in spite of my best efforts. I have been so ashamed. So afraid of people knowing.
So I’m putting it on the internet. I guess I’ve decided that it’s time to stop hiding and hating myself; now it’s out there. I have fogged, I have scrubbed, I have laundered, I have followed-up, and now I have COME CLEAN with the world. Maybe this won’t have a hold on me any more now.
Sometimes you are blind-sided, Homeschool Mom, and something beyond your control just HAPPENS.
Nope, that was too shallow. Try again. Nice and slow. Breathe down to your kneecaps.
Release the breath slowly.
Stress wrecks the brain and the body. Start protecting both with a good deep breath.
And finally, there’s one more thing I wish every Homeschool Mom reading this post would say:
The Free Dictionary defines it this way:
work in progress. n. pl. works in progress. A yet incomplete artistic, theatrical, or musical work, often made available for public viewing or listening.
If you don’t have it all figured out yet, share your life with others anyway. It’s okay.
If you get blindsided and don’t respond with perfect grace and calm and wisdom, breathe deeply and muddle through anyway. Never underestimate the power of a good, deep breath.
When you are tempted to judge yourself, remind yourself instead: We are all works in progress.
When you are tempted to judge your husband….or your kids, remind yourself instead: We are all works in progress.
Dear Homeschool Mom, if you are having a WONDERFUL day today, I am happy for you! Practice saying these 3 things now while the sun is shining, your house is spotless and uninfested, and your children arise and call you blessed. The practice will serve you well when a rockier path appears beneath your feet.
Never underestimate the power of a good, deep breath.
We are all works in progress.
Thanks for visiting with me in my messiness today. I’m now going to publish this post — one hour late according to the deadline I set for myself yesterday.
But it’s okay.