By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
We began our homeschooling journey seven years ago, and I must confess that my first years of homeschooling felt monumentally difficult! As I reflect on those earlier years, I think it was a combination of a lot of pressure I put on myself to produce a super genius as well as the idea in my mind that homeschooling was only for a certain stereotypical mom that, honestly, I didn't want to be. I had to radically let go of the idea of what the culture had told me motherhood should be and fully embrace the call I felt to shepherd and teach my children from home.
Thankfully time has been a gracious teacher for my soul, and I've been patient enough to walk through the tough parts in order to have the privilege of seeing the fruit of our labors. I've had a front-row seat in seeing my children wrestle with the wonder and mysteries that fill our world. We've all grown together as we've trusted and co-created a space of connection and learning in our home alongside a vibrant homeschooling community. All the seeming sacrifice has truly produced a gift for each family member as we've walked this road.
First-time homeschooling Momma, I want to say to you: it's okay if this all feels impossibly hard at the start, middle, and probably the end too. This is hard work, possibly the most challenging job you will ever do. Committing to radical family and community togetherness is no easy feat! If your kids struggle, be patient; they will bloom in their own time. It's a lie that every four-year-old can read chapter books. Most of my kids didn't learn to read well until 8!
Momma, you don't have to be perfect to do this. You will lose your temper. You will shed tears. You may feel unseen and uncared for by your people some days. You will overlook teaching your kid some seemingly important skill at the time. Your kids will often fight, misbehave, and test your patience.
If you have toddlers, they will bring mayhem to your school day! You will never teach it all the same way or at the same pace as traditional schools. All of these pieces of the journey are normal. These struggles do not equal failure; they are just a part of being this close to your children. Keep praying, keep showing up, don't forget to invest in yourself, and be relentless about finding your people. They will keep you faithful to this call when your flesh wants to give up.
Here are some heartfelt prayers for you as you start this holy journey. Remember, first and foremost, your job is to be obedient to God's call for your family. Success is secondary.
1. A Prayer for Patience
Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Jesus, as we embark on this great learning journey, give us the patience we need to hope for unseen holy fruit to grow in our lives and our children's lives. Keep us filled with hope, even when the enemy would try to discourage or distract us from the true mission of this work. Keep our eyes fixed on you, even when we feel impatient with the progress in our homes. Help us trust that as long as we are faithful, you will meet the needs we encounter as a family along the way. Give us the grace to love our children beyond what often feels reasonable. Help us to be slow to anger and patient as we lead them toward your goodness and beauty. Amen.
2. A Prayer for Steadiness
God, fill us with wisdom. May you, through our family and community, show our children your way. Bring people alongside them that will radically invest in them, encourage them, and help to guide them. Would you give us the strength to run this race of life for your glory? Keep your hand on our home. Let your ways be something that they do not depart from. Amen.
3. A Prayer of Strength
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Jesus, as I step out in faith, listening to the call you have put on our home to homeschool, I pray that I will learn to rely on you for strength daily. When I feel weary, give me the tools I need to be renewed. Show me how to love my people well over the months and years to come. I ask that there would be a harvest from this work. That our children would come to know you and make you known through their studies. That our home would be a place of connection and grace. That we'd be able to experience wonder and joy together every day. May this decision to step outside of the norm be something that creates beauty in our home. Amen.
4. A Prayer for Grace
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Father, I thank you that you are a gracious God! As we begin our homeschooling journey, I know neither will my kids be perfect. We will lose our cool, be tempted to be lazy, unkind, and so much more! We call out even now for your grace. Would it cover our school year! Help us to embrace the pace of grace daily so that we would rejoice when we see you at work in our weaknesses. Most of all, may your power rest on us. Amen.
5. A Prayer to Find Truth
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
God, we see that our world is full of chaos and discord. It is so easy to stray away from the things that matter to you and follow the ways of this world. We ask that we find your truth every season and cling to it. Would you write your words of truth on our hearts, and may they be the way that guides our choices. Protect us from distractions, outside pressure that tells us we aren't enough, and temptation. Be with us each day on this journey. We love you. Amen.
Remember, you are never alone on this journey! God is with you each step of the way. He gives us the grace to forgive and try again on the days that go badly. He celebrates with us on the days that magic seems to be unfolding in our homes. This journey is about obedience. Trust him for each day, and he will give you the strength you need to homeschool well.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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