As a homeschooling mother of four, I have learned a lot over the years. I have met Odysseus, realized that the Mongolian Empire was larger than the Greek and Roman ones, found out that buckwheat is a fruit and not a grain, and been amazed at the amount of fossil and geographic evidence in support of creation science. Totally fascinating!
I am not surprised to have learned so much. What does surprise me is how much homeschooling is changing me. When the Soviets embarked on their great communist experiment and tried to institutionalize childcare they soon learned that “you can not pay a woman to do what a mother will do for free”. I wholeheartedly agree with this observation. I have to daily confront my weaknesses, fears, and mistakes. I’m not sure I would do this except for the love of my children and of Christ.
So what does this have to do with Winston Churchill and his famous admonition to “never give up”? To never give up is the most important lesson I have learned so far. It is the skill most necessary to fulfilling this work for Christ. Any work for Christ. It’s the ability to look your mess in the face and say, again, “How can I do this better the next time?” “What caused this to happen?” And, with Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.”
A few months ago I realized that my system for managing my children’s workbooks was woefully confusing and inefficient. My head was spinning. If I was an owl it would have done a 360. So I did what every mother would do. Jumped in the car and headed to the nearest store…kind of. I drove and prayed. Ok, begged. I pulled into Office Depot’s parking lot and walked in, still praying for wisdom. The result of those prayers and the shopping trip is my current system which is working beautifully for us now.
We can’t throw up our hands in despair. If we’re going to do this job we have to challenge ourselves, forgive ourselves, and depend on Christ. Is it a garage full of unnecessary junk, late nights spent watching the show we should have turned off, or sickness we have no control over? Take it to Christ. Follow what He says to do. Brush yourself off when you fail and start all over again. This is the greatest lesson our work teaches us. By it we are refined, and through faithfulness God is glorified.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9