Monthly Archives: August 2006

Confessions of a Bad Year

I am very active in my homeschool community.  One of my ministries to moms for the past several years has been to help those who are just starting to homeschool.  I have really loved talking to them and guiding them through their first year.  I love the excitement in their voices when they tell me about a really good day they had & how surprised they were when their kids actually wanted to “do school”. 

 This past year was hard for me though.  I continued to mentor and teach the moms, when deep inside I have felt that I had no business telling them anything.  I guess I felt a lot like a hypocrite.  I had to try extra hard to get excited about curriculum and why this works for some & that doesn’t work for others.  Our school year, I felt, was horrible.  We weren’t getting much of anything done it seemed.  It was my 10th year & really felt like I had no idea what I was doing!!  My oldest is high school age and yet she was falling between the cracks in a really big way, at least that is how I feel.  She is dyslexic and needed a lot of my attention that I did not give her.  I needed her to do some of her work on her own and she didn’t.  She is the oldest of 9 and I am expecting the next one anytime now. Everyone kept telling me, “Wait until they get older then they are more independant.”  Not her!!  I feel guilty for getting frustrated with her, but I still do.  “Just do the work!” I want to tell her.  I try really hard not to compare her with her younger siblings that are more on target, but I know I still do.  I also have a son who is almost 13 & still can’t read very well.  His younger brothers help him read stuff.  This is driving me crazy, because he just really doesn’t seem to care.  He has missed many opportunities of service at our church because he can’t read.  I have heard from many moms who have sons who really didn’t learn to read until they were close to 14 years old.  I didn’t want my son to be one of those.  He is behind in everything else because he can’t read.

I really wish I could just erase this past year.  This week is our last week of school.  Since I am about to have a baby we just kept going through the summer so that we could take a nice break after I had the baby.  I’m afraid to let them stop though.  My 2 older ones are going to keep doing math a few times a week so they don’t fall to far behind, but will my dyslexic daughter do it with out me reminding her constantly?  I don’t know.  I’m afraid if we stop school then we may never get it started again.  Mainly because I don’t want to.  I need the break.  I know that, it is obvious since I am writing like this.  If any other mom came to me & told me this stuff  I would tell her that she was burned out & needed a break. I know that I am not totally alone in this, I just have never admitted it.  I’m the one that helps those who are feeling this a way to pull out of it.  The stresses of mommyhood are huge right now and adding teacher to it is just too much.  I guess this teacher needs to take her well deserved break & just be mommy.  I have noticed in the past that my kids have actully learned a lot during our breaks. Several mastered reading, one began writing stories on her own & still writes without ever being told. Another proudly memorized poetry and scripture.  I just had to get out of the way & let the relaxed schooling happen. Another copied the Shakespeare play, “The Tempest” and is now a huge fan of Shakespeare.  I guess that is what we are in need of…me to get out of the way.

Thanks, I feel better!!

Peeling off the layers

Philippians 1:6 says“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” I decided one summer I would redo the boys’ bathroom.  The wallpaper was coming off in places so I decided that I would strip the paper off & paint it.  My summer was almost over when I finally decided it was time to strip and paint.  I got my kids involved and we had a blast making a huge mess.  As I was peeling off the layers I thought,” this is me”.  I, like the wall, look really good in certain areas, but there are those places that I hope others don’t see.  I hate when people would come over, because the boys’ bathroom was also the guest bathroom and it looked horrible. The paper had come loose in a few places so my little ones took that as an invitation & peeled away.  In other areas it was peeling off with no-ones help.  It was embarrassing to me for anyone to see it.    I don’t like for people to see what I am like inside sometimes.  I’m prideful, arrogant, selfish, and jealous and many more I’m sure.  I want people to see my wallpaper not the real me.  We kept peeling the paper and one of my sons said, “Look mom there’s an ugly wall in there!  Are we going to paint this?” 

As I finished taking all of the paper off the wall this verse came to my mind.  “I’m like these walls aren’t I Lord,” I prayed.  “I have so many layers of filth that you are trying to peel away.  You have begun such an amazing work in my life but my “wallpaper” keeps getting in the way of the beautiful picture of me that you are painting.”  If we truly desire to become the masterpiece that God has intended for us then we welcome the layers of wallpaper to come off, as painful as it may be.  My son was right about the wall underneath the paper.  It was plain & kind of ugly, so are we without our “wallpaper” until the Lord begins painting His masterpiece do we really begin to look beautiful.  I’m not done with that bathroom yet, but I hope that it will look better after I get done, than it did before I started.  I’ll finish the bathroom, but the Lord will never be finished with me while I am still on this earth.  I pray that while I am living that my life will reflect Christ and people will see the beautiful masterpiece that He is creating in me, but I also look forward to the day when He has completed His work in me. 

What a glorious day when I can stand before him with no layers of wallpaper, only as His masterpiece.