Wednesday’s Words of Encouragement: Keep Calm and Homeschool On (Guest Blogger Ann Minard)

Keep Calm & Homeschool On

I wasn’t always angry. Those early years of homeschooling definitely didn’t start out that way and only by the grace of God they didn’t end that way but for about a year or two sandwiched in between my 16 years of homeschooling it was a daily struggle for me to Keep Calm & Homeschool On.  I was caught in the sin of anger and didn’t know how to get out. I verbally abused my daughter during math, her hardest subject, and one time I even threw the math book at her out of anger, I was horrified as I saw it slam against the side of her head almost as if in slow motion. My youngest , who was having some behavioral issues, was also the brunt of my anger as I would call him names out of frustration and slam doors one time breaking a closet door right off the hinges. In the early years of homeschooling I had envisioned days as sweet and wholesome as a scene out of The Little House on The Prairie. Yet here I found myself caught in a horrific scene out of Mommy Dearest.

Then one night out of desperation I cried out to God contemplating if I should even continue homeschooling. I told my husband I was doing more harm than good and that I was quitting homeschooling and quite possibly motherhood!  He reminded me of God’s sovereignty and how God chose me to be their Mother.  Soon afterwards God answered my cries on a Sunday morning that I will never forget.  It was a simple yet life changing sermon on James 4.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud

but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

 

Minards

 

Wow…..God’s word cut through me like a knife. I was angry because I wanted something I was not getting:  good, moral, well behaved, children that made me feel and look like the great Mother I tried desperately to become yet somehow always failed. I was trying to find my identity in being a good homeschool Mom rather than in being a child of God. I was being proud against my children expecting more of them than of myself. I repented and asked God for power to overcome this sin. Reminding myself that the same power that saved me from a life of moral debauchery was able to help me overcome this sins of anger and self-reliance!  I repented to my children asking for their forgiveness. I also repented to a close friend and sought accountability from her.  Slowly but surely I felt God’s healing balm begin to smooth over and bring healing to our family. God’s power was at work and it was around this time two of my children came to know the Lord. What a Savior! What a Gospel!

Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of sin

Romans 4: 7-8

I love this quote by Elyse Fitzpatrick and I think she sums it up way better than I could:

“Most of us are painfully aware that we’re not perfect parents. We’re also deeply grieved that we don’t have perfect kids. But the remedy to our mutual imperfections isn’t more law, even if it seems to produce tidy or polite children. Christian children (and their parents) don’t need to learn to be “nice.” They need death and resurrection and a Savior who has gone before them as a faithful high priest, who was a child himself, and who lived and died perfectly in their place. They need a Savior who extends the offer of complete forgiveness, total righteousness, and indissoluble adoption to all who will believe. This is the message we all need. We need the gospel of grace and the grace of the gospel. Children can’t use the law any more than we can, because they will respond to it the same way we do. They’ll ignore it or bend it or obey it outwardly for selfish purposes, but this one thing is certain: they won’t obey it from the heart, because they can’t. That’s why Jesus had to die.”
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

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