by Rachel Smith, The Old Schoolhouse
As a second-generation homeschooler growing up on the mission field, I don’t actually remember doing much that would be officially labeled as “school,” with the exception of math and reading. Books have always held a special place in my heart. Math—not so much.
Now, looking back, I clearly see the amazing and rich education I had. Life was my school. Life, adventures, hardships, sacrificing for those in need, experiments, observing …
I traveled the world and saw things that shaped the person I am today. Public school didn’t snuff the sass and wonder out of me; it never had that chance. I can’t name all the presidents, and I don’t remember how to do algebra, but I know what matters, and it has nothing to do with any curriculum.
I know that you and I are the Keepers of the Moments. I know that every day is an opportunity to add another brick to the foundation of our children’s hearts. I know that every day is an opportunity to worship the Lord right alongside our children as we join hands in the everyday mundane. Dishes. Laundry. Math. Scrubbing floors. Writing yet another sentence of copy work.
Every defiant moment, every fit thrown, every pouting tear … it’s a moment. Just a moment in time. Give it to Him.
Every beaming smile, every sweet hug, every thoughtful act … it’s a moment. Just a moment in time. Hold it close.
You Are the Keeper of the Moments. The Belt of Truth.
You don’t have to enjoy every minute. You don’t have to cherish every memory. You are allowed to feel discouraged, frustrated, exhausted, grossed out, angry, and overwhelmed. It’s just a memory in time. Blow it away.
You don’t have to turn every single frown, every single pout into a growing opportunity.
You don’t have to create a lesson for every walk, every book, every windstorm, every dead frog on the side of the road. It’s a memory in time. Tuck it safely away. You are the Keeper of the Memories. The Breastplate of Righteousness. You are allowed to just breathe. To just be. To just bask in the moment. To sit in the car and cry. To go outside and yell at the poor goats or angrily throw feed to the chickens instead of letting loose on your children. To offer grace instead of a lecture. To offer mercy instead of punishment. To give a hug. Just a moment in time. Be humbled by it.
You are allowed to create an atmosphere of peace. Of fellowship. Of diligence. Of faithfulness. You are allowed to quiet the noise and bring into focus what truly matters. Just a moment in time. Guard it fiercely.
You Are the Keeper of the Home. The Shield of Faith.
I also know, precious Mamas, that we secretly fear we are not enough. That we will fail. Oh, sweet Mama, of course we will fail. We will certainly fail in one capacity or another.
Because we are not enough. We will never be enough.
Is it not wonderful? Is it not a relief? An encouragement? To know, to be reminded, that this burden is not ours to bear?
We cannot do it all because we were never meant to do it all. God never put that pressure on us. That was the world.
You are the gatekeeper of your home. Shut the gate on that pressure. Guard your post.
We will fail because we are sinful, and making mistakes is a necessary and effective part of growing … of learning and trying. A powerful opportunity to meet God where we are … and be an example of being pulled from the muck.
We are not enough because we are not God. Only God is enough. Remember that, Mama, and add it to the foundation you are building.
Our homeschool is not enough. Our teaching of the dreaded math is not enough. Only God is enough.
Stop trying to do the impossible. Do the possible. Give Him your home. Your children’s education. There is no better teacher.
Be the imperfect daughter of the King. Be the gatekeeper. Be the loving wife. Be the fierce mama. Be YOU.
Whether you are a second-generation homeschooler, or you hope and pray your children will be, this is your legacy. The legacy your children will come back to, time and time again. Where is that legacy written? In the muck. In the mundane. In the struggle. In the stillness. In the beauty. In your hands … and on your children’s hearts.
In your HOME.
Rachel Smith is a homesteading, homeschooling mom of three, who loves exploring the Alaskan wilderness with her family. Inspired by her husband and kids with dyslexia, Rachel writes children’s books in large print and dyslexic font, as well as interactive journals/planners for homeschooling moms with chronic illness. You can find her books here: frontierhomesteading.com and on Amazon (amzn.to/3v611fF). Rachel has a deep desire to be an encouragement to other families in similar situations and loves to hear from little readers and moms in need of a listening ear.
Copyright 2022, The Old Schoolhouse®. Used with permission. All rights reserved by the Author. Originally appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade publication for homeschool moms. Read The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com, or download the free reader apps at www.TOSApps.com for mobile devices. Read the STORY of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and how it came to be.
Such beautiful words I desperately needed this morning. Thank you so much for sharing! From a mom of 4 young children, these words truly hit home and the ending about not being enough because we were not meant to be, brought tears to my eyes because I was praying last night to God to make me a better mom. So thank you again.