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4 Truths Homeschooling Moms Need to Know

In the spirit of Titus 2, an older mom shares four truths homeschooling moms need to knowIn the spirit of Titus 2, an older mom shares four truths homeschooling moms need to know

Life in the rearview is usually clearer than through the windshield. We have the ability to see more objectively when we look back on past events than when we’re in the messy middle.

The Bible tells us there’s wisdom in the aged, which is why He commanded the “older women to teach the younger women” in Titus 2:4-5. In the spirit of Titus 2, I want to share, as an older woman to younger women, what I’ve seen through the rearview mirror—the perspective you can’t see yet.

Will you allow me to share four truths you need to know? May I mother you a bit today?

Truth #1 – Realize you are doing a great work.

Some of you may have snorted at this point. Maybe given me an eye roll, too. It doesn’t take long to grow weary of the endless mundane chores that characterize a young mother’s days. Diapers—so many diapers. Meals—you can’t be hungry again. Dishes—do they ever stop? Laundry—how can one child go through three sets of clothing before lunchtime? Seriously.

Nothing about the day-to-day mom life seems like great work. But it is. Trust me.

Right now, you are loving and caring for helpless human beings. They wouldn’t live two days without you. They owe you their very life. Scary isn’t it? Because on bad days, when you feel like if you hear Mommy one more time you’re going to explode, you think about running away and never coming back.

But you don’t. You get up every morning and several times during the night to care for them. You feed them, clothe them, and love them. Every single day.

And it matters.

Don’t ever disparage your role as a mother. You are doing a great work.

Truth #2 – Realize you’re doing the most satisfying work

You’re parenting an eternal soul. A living person who will one day grow up to take their place in the world. That little boy who loves science may one day crack the code on birth defects. That bright-eyed girl who patches up disputes between her siblings may one day broker a peace accord between warring nations.

They won’t be children forever.

When they grow up, whether they’re the president of the United States or a janitor at the local Christian school, their life matters. Even more significant, they’ll take their place in eternity. God created them for a purpose, and you’re part of this purpose.

William Ross Wallace famously said, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” There’s a reason God chose you—not someone else—to raise your children. He handpicked you to nurture and shape human beings, created in Christ Jesus for good works.

In their most formative years, you can teach them kindness, gentleness, and self-control. To love God, each other, and the world. By your words and your example, you can create a safe environment where they can grow strong—physically, mentally, and spiritually.

When the world thinks about satisfying work, it’s easy to think about brokering a deal to merge two Fortune 500 companies or performing a life-saving heart transplant. The satisfaction of a clean countertop or a kid who can count by fives to one hundred pales in comparison.

But you know what? Speaking as someone who has more life behind me than in front of me, the accomplishments I’m most satisfied with are the ones that relate to kingdom work—serving my family, serving my husband, serving my church.

In my post-homeschooling, empty nest life, I’ve received industry awards and peer recognition as an author. These accolades are wonderful, but their joy fades quickly.

You know what makes me deep-down-inside satisfied? Knowing I mothered two girls all the way to adulthood. That I, with God and my husband’s help, raised them in the faith. That I persevered through homeschooling, especially when it was hard.

I pray my girls will love God all their lives, but if they don’t, I have the comfort of knowing I did what God called me to do. I can’t compel them, though the force of my will or the power of my personality, to love God. But I can set a place at His table and invite them to feast from His goodness.

In my lifetime, professional success has been rewarding, but nothing is more satisfying than the work I’ve done for God through my family.

Whether you realize it or not, you’re doing the most satisfying work.

Truth #3 – Realize you’ll never regret putting your children ahead of your career.

Some of you regret it now. You watch your college friends take intriguing professional jobs and you envy them. They dress in stylish business clothes while you pull on a t-shirt, because you know, within an hour, it’ll be smeared with oatmeal, snot, or worse. They share their latest job promotion on social media or post pictures of a conference in Paris they attended, and suddenly, the cute pic of you pushing your toddler on the backyard swing doesn’t look as cute.

They finished college and you finished birthing classes.

The world makes everything but mothering look sparkly for a reason. Remember that hand that rocks the cradle? Satan doesn’t want it to rule the world. He wants to rule the world by convincing its occupants that joy is found in power, prestige, and wealth. In accolades and big houses. Not in teaching toddlers to pray and pointing little kids to Jesus.

If your heart is sold out to God, and you desire to please Him above all else, know this—God has given you a privilege and a responsibility that makes corporate America look like detention hall.

In twenty years, if you still want to, you can finish that college degree. You can take a job in corporate America, write that novel, travel to Paris. Who knows, God might call you to write a book or travel overseas while your kids are still young. But if you have to wait, you’ll look back on these years with satisfaction.

We spend the first twenty years of our lives as children and young adults. We spend the next twenty or so raising our families. If we live to the normal lifespan of eighty, this leaves forty more years to explore jobs, ministries, and hobbies. In the throes of child raising and educating, twenty years seem like an eternity. In the rearview mirror, they whoosh by.

Trust me, you’ll never regret putting your children ahead of your career.

Truth #4 – Realize, as you’re sacrificing for your children, God is transforming you.

As a young woman, I saw mothering as a noble, self-sacrificial role, and I was right. And choosing to homeschool? Let’s just crawl up on that Romans 12 altar and die to ourselves for our children’s sake.

Wrong.

Sorta.

Mothering is noble. And sacrificial. But God’s purpose for our mothering isn’t to pour ourselves into our children until we’re empty, then throw us away. God brings children into our life as part of His plan to conform us to His image.

I thought I was unselfish when I gave my new husband the name brand soft drink while I drank the store brand. Or rose earlier than I preferred to fix him breakfast before he left for work.

When children came, I discovered marriage had been Christian Character Kindergarten and I’d advanced to the doctoral program.

But you know what?

Every time I served when I didn’t feel like serving, gave when I didn’t feel like giving, and cared for them when I’d have rather cared for myself, I became kinder. Gentler. More patient.

Parenting became the tool in God’s hand to forge Christ’s character in me. And this is a good thing. A really good thing.

The day in and day out of parenting and, later, homeschooling taught me to rely on Him for wisdom and strength. It trained me in self-discipline and challenged my tendency to be lazy. It drove me to my knees in prayer and revealed how self-sufficient I’d been.

When I set aside my dreams of becoming a writer and embraced the callings of motherhood and homeschooling, I assumed the writing side of my life was over. When I picked up my pen again after my youngest daughter entered high school, I realized the previous 17 years had given me wisdom, skills, and perspective I hadn’t had as a 25-year-old.

In the fullness of time, when I completed my homeschooling calling, I had a deep well of life experience and decades of walking with God to draw from. This has made my second career as a writer richer, fuller, and more successful. I’ve watched other moms who set aside their careers or worked minimally reenter the workplace after their children left home and experience incredible fruitfulness.

When people ask where I was educated, I tell them I was homeschooled—and I was—right alongside my daughters. I received degrees from a public high school and college, but my greatest education, academically, emotionally, and spiritually, came through homeschooling.

Trust me when I say that while mothering and homeschooling require great sacrifice, you won’t lose yourself in the process. As you surrender yourself to God and allow Him to conform you to His image, you’ll grow closer to the you God created you to be. As you sacrifice yourself for your children, God is transforming you.

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