Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dear Homeschool Mom:Your Kids DON'T Hate You

Dear Homeschool Mom,

I know it seems like it to you (it sure does feel like it to me), but your kids don't hate you.  They roll their eyes, yes.  They moan and groan, yes, yes.  They don't even try to hide the fact that they hate this school thing you do.

But they don't hate you.

They just don't get it.  They are young, immature, and primarily concerned with having fun, so they don't get how important all this school work is.  They have no idea how useful it will be to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide some day.  They have no clue the great treasure  there is in knowing the story of this world or what makes things work in this world.  Even if they secretly enjoying learning history and science, ask them to write a sentence about it, and the sighs and complaining begin.

You may try to deal with this through discipline. Be like me and withhold use of electronic devices.  Or settle it in your mind that this is the way it is.

And don't take it personally.  They don't hate you.

They hate what you are making them do.  They resent the work they have to do, cause, hey, it's hard.  It interferes with all the free Lego play and conquering the next level of whatever the latest video game is.  It mean less time on Mindcraft.  It interrupts the reading of the book they can't put down for the book they loathe.  In short,  you are trying to teach them to deny themselves. To prioritize responsibilities.  To learn early on the value of hard work.

And they haven't learned any of this yet.

But they love you. They love that you make them dinner  and drag them into the living room to hear another chapter of a great story.  They love that you are there to drag their butts out of bed in the morning.  They love you even when you get cranky and frustrated and want to quit.  They love you when you have to remind them again to do their chores.

They just don't like what they have to do.

It's so very hard feeling like they hate you. It's so very hard to be the "bad guy".  I know you dream of just having fun with your kids and you might even think that would make your home the happiest place on earth.  No chores, no school work, no responsibilities.  Just letting everyone do what they want to do.  Maybe it seems to work for some of your homeschool friends.  Maybe it seems like other families are happier. And other kids don't hate their parents.

But they all have their moments.

You need to remember your moments.  The precious ones.  When the kids beg for another chapter.


When the big kiddo helps the little kiddo. When your girls get along and your son rocks the baby to sleep for you.   When they say "thank you" for taking them to McDonalds. When they come up and put their arms around you for no reason.  When they plant a kiss on your cheek and say "I love you mom".  All the times they don't put up a fight.  There are lots of precious moments.  Don't let the Jonah days get you down, Mom.

They love you.  Someday they might even thank you for making them do all this hard work.  Until then, love them dearly.  Be the one to apologize. Be the one to give the hug that bridges the gap. Be the one to remind them you think the world of them.  Let them have hot cocoa right before dinner.  Talk to them about something other than what they should be doing. Don't forget they are your children and not your students.  

Agape love is doing what is best for the person who is being loved, even if it doesn't seem best to them. All this work seems miserable to your kids, but don't let that deter you.  It is an expression of your love to teach them.  

Remember that they need you to be tender and tough.

And remember that they love you.

Now go give them a hug.



Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Small Days

I have just a few minutes as I sit on the deck with my coffee.  School is done.  I am tired. We are all grateful for a break.  I escape outside, to this fall-ish day, already cool with a hint of crispness.  The leaves are still green but soon it will be a colorful wonderland back here.

I am thankful.

Thankful for these few small minutes.

I pray the baby doesn't wake up. He doesn't like to sleep much during the day, but oh when he does... it's just a little bit of heaven.  We adore him, of course, but we all appreciate a little nap.

The introvert in me needs these small moments.  As I sit out here, I pray. I thank God for this day, because if I don't, it all seems like a crazy mess.  But when I do, it all seems just as it should be.  I pray for my best friend. For Pastor Saeed and his family.  For my baby. For my Petite who I feel is getting lost in the busyness of our days.  I pray for our upcoming trip. The flying, oh how I hate it. And I'm leaving my three oldest babies behind.

I tear up when I think of it.

I see a wispy little cloud float by.

And I think of how these are the days of small things.  Small moments like this when I get a chance to think, to breath, to savor a moment with my Savior.  Small moments of remembering that this is life and it is good.  Small moments in the midst of small things.

Nursing a baby.  Wiping the counters.  Reading lessons.  Making dinner, again.  Dust flying. Fingerprints on my mirror.  Half-eaten cookies on the table.  Floors that need to be swept and that rarely get mopped.

These are just little things I do, day in and day out.

I remember the days of big things.  Like planning our wedding.  And starting a Bible study in our home.  Of selling our house and settling into our new one.  Of special vacations.  I remember the days of our babies coming into the world and God's fingerprints over every single moment.  And the day I met my best friend who was brought to me by Him.

Those days and seasons when the Lord showed up in a big way.

But I find most days are like this.  Just little moments that require me to look harder to see that He is here.

That's why I need my coffee on the deck.  And that blessed hour after everyone has gone to bed.  And as many minutes as I can grab first thing in the morning with  my Bible and my journal.

To thank God for these small things.  And to be reminded that small doesn't equal unimportant.  These days matter, just as our youngest family member matters.  These days of throwing in wood, changing diapers, flushing toilets for those who forget, matching up socks,turning off the lights that always get left on, and reading books aloud, are no less significant than the wedding days, the birthdays, the holy days.

"Do not despise these small beginnings, because the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..."
Zechariah 4:10