by Michaela Roekle, CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board

Seven years ago, the book Teaching from Rest rose to be one of the most popular books in the homeschool world.
Author Sarah Mackenzie struck a chord in the melody of mother’s hearts when she wrote, “How you teach is just as important as what you teach.”

Sarah’s book is still popular today. Not too long ago, the Lord reminded me of her words, and how they could also apply to our roles as homeschool leaders: How we lead is just as important as what we lead.

I have yet to meet a homeschool leader who does not wear many hats and serve in multiple capacities. Our plates are usually quite full between family, church, work, schooling,  and homeschool ministry, yet we live in a fishbowl where other’s eyes are always watching how we balance our full plates.

Ultimately, we want to lead by example and minister from a state of inner peace and rest. We want to uplift others and we do not want to lead from a state of stress, worry, comparison, negativity, or even people-pleasing. 

During the pandemic, so many of us worked hard to make creative adjustments and special accommodations for the new homeschoolers. However, I’ve found it was not so easy to climb out of that path and get back to the old “normal.” Families’ expectations and needs have changed, and the demands have increased.

One of the most humbling experiences I’ve had as a mother was when my young adult daughter came to me and said, “Mom, we all know you are unhappy. You are working too hard.”

Ouch! I was trying so hard to please everyone, that I was making myself miserable. 

Somewhere, somehow, I stopped working with Jesus and started working for others. I found myself leading from exhaustion. It was time to take a step back. 

The Lord is so good; His mercies are never ending, and His grace is sufficient. As I took time to rest and renew the vision and purpose for my role, I found myself recharging. My family prayed for me and also helped me brainstorm ways to lighten the load, like a new online record keeping system! 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” Matt 11:28-29 (MSG)

This summer, if you find yourself in a place where you’ve wandered from your mission–perhaps you’ve grown weary or jaded–let me encourage you to take a break and make intentional time to seek the Lord’s will for the next season ahead. Rest should not be dependent upon our to-do list being perfectly checked off. Having a heart and spirit that is at rest means walking calm and confident in the ways of the Lord, trusting in His perfect plan for us.  

In order to lead from rest, we must:

1: Surrender daily.

Like the treasured hymn, “All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him. In His presence daily live.” We must daily surrender the plans, the people, the meeting locations, the finances, and all of the logistics of our ministries so Jesus can have them. There are eternal rewards and life-changing blessings in store when we minister from a heart that is surrendered to God and co-laboring with Him.   

“My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You.” Psalms 63:8 (AMPC)

2: Hope in the Lord. 

As homeschool leaders, we are givers of hope to those who are on the homeschool journey. We must continually renew ourselves with hope in the Lord for that hope to overflow into the lives of others. Whatever way you find yourself recharging with hope–whether listening to sermon podcasts, bible journaling, nature walking, or singing worship songs–let that be a regular part of your routine.   

“Such hope in God’s promises, never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts, through the Holy Spirit given to us.”  Romans 5:5 (AMP)

3: Be yourself.

You were created on purpose, for a purpose. God has you ministering in 2022, for such a time as this. And to quote Sarah Mackenzie “We must look ourselves squarely in the eye and decide what is true about how we operate best.”

This is your reminder, not to change who you are to please others. Focus on serving the Lord, in the unique way that He has gifted you. There is a reason we have an entire support network at CHEA, full of wonderful and diverse groups across the state of California. Our leaders all have varying talents, stories, and experiences which they can minister from. We’re not in competition with each other, and we each have a divine purpose for the Kingdom!

“You have come to your … position for such a time as this” Esther 4:14b (NIV)

I pray you can take time off to relax, stay-cation or vacation this summer, and refuel your spirit. God wants to use us as a vessel for His glory, and He is able to do far more than we can imagine!

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)