Do you ever feel overwhelmed? The task of educating your children too daunting a thought? Concerned about teaching character more than academics, yet somehow trying not to sacrifice said academics? Questioning curriculum choices, methodologies, and educational philosophies? Feel like you are on a tight rope, never sure if you are doing the right thing?
I have realized lately that I am impossible to please. Over Christmas break I began to question if I was doing "enough" in our homeschool. Sometimes those sparkly catalogs, websites, and forums get me thinking just a little too much.
The day after thinking I might not be doing enough I read a few threads on a forum I frequent about being relaxed in the early homeschool years, and visions of cuddling with my precious cuties on the couch reading read alouds for hours danced in my head.
Then Monday came. Our first day back to school after Christmas break. We started school at 9:30 and ended at 4:00 just in time to get E to the gym. I began to question my approach. 6.5 hours of school is absurd for a seven year old. (So much for my fears of not being rigorous enough!)
Tuesday. hmmm today was too easy. Perhaps we should do more...
Sound familiar? Ok, I will be honest. Usually the pendulum swings of emotions and self doubt don't swing so closely together, but I do feel like a yo-yo sometimes. Are we doing too much? Are we not doing enough? Should we be doing more writing? Adding in Latin? Not do writing or grammar formally? You get the idea. I could mentally decimate myself daily over stressing about my children's education. The responsibility weighs so heavy sometimes...
The pressures of life expand to so many other areas-- friendships, family, ministry. What to do, when to help, when not to. Facing life threatening illnesses and life changing decisions of those you love. Challenges like these and the salvation of those you love-- way beyond the scope of our control. Sometimes the weight can just seem impossible.
Reading in my devotional today, I had one of those moments. You know the ones where you have read that verse over and over but all of a sudden you see something you have never seen before?
Mark 10:27 "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God."
"It is impossible" Not it may be impossible or it may seem impossible. No. It IS impossible. In a strange but comforting way, I take heart. I can't do it...no matter how hard I try. My strength is not enough. My abilities and efforts will not turn my children into mighty servants and warriors for Christ. My pleadings and less than eloquent attempts of sharing the Gospel will save not even one. My heartfelt help to others does nothing.
Despairing news? Not at all! "But not with God. For all things are possible with God." Apart from the sovereign grace and work of Christ, ALL is futile. But with it? ALL is possible.
What a great reminder to spend less time fretting and more time praying. As I have been studying the book of James in the last few weeks, I am constantly aware of my need for faith and works to go hand in hand. However, stressing over those works will get me nowhere. However, resting in His grace as the faith He has implanted in my heart blooms into works around me-- in my marriage, my children, my family, friends and the world-- that allows me to breathe.