My heart’s been broken, strengthened, healed, and broken again many times through these homeschooling years. Homeschooling has been a heart journey towards learning, living, and loving each other. I put together an acrostic based on the word, HEART, because the lessons I’ve learned from these five words have helped me love my family better. This month’s word is Hear.
My ears are one of the gateways to my heart. If I’m not careful with what I hear, I grow lost, confused, and desperate for God’s intervention.
I’ve let the critics words change my focus from pleasing God to proving them wrong. This brought angst to our home because I put pressure on my kids to perform to expectations based on the criticism I was listening to in my head and heart.
I’ve gotten great advice from respected homeschooling moms. And like a kid in a candy store who cannot decide which treat to sample, I sampled all the ideas. Sampling ideas was fun, but when they didn’t quite work out they way I thought would? I would teach out of frustration because of my disappointment, which made for unpleasant days for my kids.
The worst voice I listened to was ‘Doubt.’ This voice may not have been the loudest in my head and heart, but it was the most influential. Because of doubt’s power, listening to the critics and trusting other moms’ plans was easy to do. The failure to live up to the criticism I heard and the inability for the ‘great ideas’ to come to fruition in my home fed the voice of doubt and I hopped on a mental crazy-cycle of self-criticism, and searching for answers in more idea sampling.
I needed God to intervene. I was desperate for his voice. His revelation surprised me, though. He showed me that listening to the critics, getting advice from other homeschoolers, and dealing with my own doubt is not something I should stop doing. It is not something I need to be rescued from. It’s actually part of his plan.
It’s part of his plan because it produces a desperation in me that only he can fill. He called me to this homeschooling mama role and when the critics voices get too loud I can run to him and ask him for grace and wisdom on how to deal with the wounds the criticism cause.
He has gifted me with people who have gone ahead on this journey and I should take advantage of their wisdom and expertise, but he will guide me in the path our homeschooling journey should take. The advice we receive should be brought before him and his wisdom sought for our home schools.
My doubts about my ability and my doubts that my kids will have what they need as adults can almost make me impotent and frozen. It’s when these doubts overtake me that I’m given an opportunity to run straight to the One who is strong and mighty to save. He is able to be my anchor in the raging storm that my doubts bring to my heart, and he takes these thoughts and transforms them into statements of faith.
I can trade my, ‘I can’t do this’ in for ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ I can trade my, ‘What was I thinking?’ in for ‘His ways are not my ways and his thoughts are not my thoughts.’
Mamas, your daily struggles with what you hear, whether it’s from your critics, your friends, or yourself, are opportunities to rely on God and hear his heart for you. He is holding you in his hands, close to his heart, whispering strength to you. Lean in and listen close. His heart is beating for you.
Hearing God’s heart for our home has enable me to love my family well. Listening to his heart can do the same for you. Lean in, friends, get close and hear his voice for your family’s journey.
Jessica Van Roekel is a woman on the journey to wholeness through brokenness. She believes that through Christ our personal histories don’t have to define our present or determine our future. Her greatest desire is to see people live this ‘God-life’ with all the power and grace that God provides. Jessica lives in a rural community with her husband and four children. She leads worship on Sundays, but seeks to be a worshiper every day. You can connect with her atwww.welcomegrace.com and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/JessicaVanRoekel