Have you ever just been going along in life, minding your own business, when something happens that takes you off guard—and your own reaction surprises you?
It’s happened to me. Recently, in fact. I met a young career woman who found out that I had been a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. Almost imperceptibly her expression changed, and she suddenly sounded like she was talking to a feeble-minded nitwit. And for just a moment, I found my heart fluttering and my brain racing. I realized I was trying to come up with a plausible “excuse,” some wonderful thing to say so my life wouldn’t seem meaningless to her.
Wait a minute. This makes no sense! I believe motherhood and homeschooling are important—even imperative. When it was my turn, I poured my life into it. I enjoyed it (mostly!). I’ve spent a good deal of time exhorting and encouraging moms to embrace their God-given role of “mom.” I write about the blessedness of it. I talk about it. I’ve lived it.
I believe it. Kinda. Sorta. Most of the time.
Somehow, though I truly believe that being “just a mom” is a high and noble position of great importance, the world’s philosophy still has some kind of hold on my brain. Wacky thoughts lurk deep in the recesses of my mind and pop out every once in a while. And when they do, I can feel like a flunky. Like I should have done, and should do, something of importance. Something that matters. Something more.
As if it’s not enough that a diligent homeschool mom is busy from the time she gets up till she pillows her weary head at night. And that being a homeschool mom is sometimes a thankless, difficult, self-sacrificing job. We are caregivers, home managers, cooks, play partners, laundresses, book readers, first-aid givers, teachers, maids, and more. It takes persistence, intelligence, creativity, and strength to successfully help shape character, teach, and train children. But even so, isn’t there something more we should be doing?
Well, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. So let’s take a peek at the pudding. I don’t mean this in a prideful way, but by the grace of God, I am truly enjoying a bountiful harvest of blessings. I have finished my mommy course, and I have survived. I even enjoyed being a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. The good far outweighed the bad. My boys have grown into godly, responsible, loving, intelligent, hardworking men, husbands, and fathers. We enjoy close, fun, enriching relationships. I believe we are seeing wonderful “proof in the pudding.” My job as a homeschooling mom was important. It mattered then. And it still matters now!
After we had children, I didn’t work outside the home. Not because I lacked ambition, but because corporate or financial ambition paled in comparison to the importance and satisfaction of being a stay-at-home wife and homeschooling mother. Training, educating, and enjoying my children wasn’t something I was willing to miss. I truly believe that life is too short and eternity is too long to abdicate to others the responsibility God has placed on us as parents.
I believe that motherhood and homeschooling are a high calling. I believe it is hard but rewarding work. I believe it is imperative work. I believe homeschooling is a God-honoring lifestyle. I believe it is noble. I believe it can have both temporal and eternal rewards. I believe it can be fulfilling. I’m thankful beyond belief that I homeschooled our boys, and I believe they are much better for it. I believe that I am much better for it too!
I believe—I believe—I believe (kinda, sorta, most of the time), but my feelings of self-worth don’t always line up perfectly with my beliefs. Weird, no?
Not really. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when we experience doubt or negative feelings about a godly lifestyle. God tells us in His Word that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. In other words, we can and do deceive ourselves about all sorts of things. In our deceived state, we get our priorities all out of whack and can end up doubting what we are doing. We may even begin chasing after the wrong things.
If that isn’t enough, Satan is the father of lies and loves to slither up to God’s children and whisper bald-faced lies in our ears. He wants us to doubt, stop, quit, give up, and throw in the towel. He doesn’t want our kids brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He hisses cold, menacing fears into our minds, trying to get us to believe that we’re not good teachers, that we’re ruining our children. He tries to make us feel that we should go out and get a “real” job. But too much is at stake to fall for any of those lies! So by the grace, strength, and power of God, we need to remind ourselves of the truth . . . again.
And remind ourselves again. And probably even again!
Motherhood is a high calling and is extremely important. Think about it: God made your child, complete with a divine plan and life purpose. He loved that child enough that He already sacrificed His own Son to save his or her very soul. Then God Himself loaned that child to you to raise for His glory. He has entrusted you with an important, living, eternal soul.
Is that a high calling? Yeah—I’m thinking so! When the Maker and Owner of everything personally picks you for a job, then willingly supplies all you need to do the job and takes the time to stay close and help you do the job—I’d say there is vast importance to your life’s job. You and your job are pretty important!
If you’re a Christian, you don’t need to buy the lie that you should “get a life.” The God of eternal life has already given you a life—both here and for eternity! You don’t have to wonder if you’re making your mark on the world. By the grace and strength of God, you’re making a mark for Him on the hearts and minds of eternal souls in the persons of your children. You don’t have to strive for some illusive purpose or meaning. You serve the God who created your purpose and meaning, and He has a personal stake in making sure you accomplish it—for the glory of His name!
God is able to empower you to help bring about the purpose He has in mind for your child (and for you!). You, dear homeschooling mom, have God’s attention. His eye of love and arm of power are with you. He is ready, willing, and able to personally help you accomplish this awesome job He set before you. You have His ear and His heart any time, any day—24/7.
Here and now, at the beginning of a brand-new year, is a great time to realize, affirm, and embrace your position of homeschooling mom! Not Kinda, or sorta, or most of the time—but all the way, completely, always! It’s a pretty big deal to raise and educate the King’s children! And He’s with you all the way.
Kari Lewis is the "mom" here at Home School Enrichment. She and Frank have been married since 1977 and homeschooled their two sons, Matthew and Jonathan, from their early elementary years through their high school graduations. Together, the four of them started Home School Enrichment Magazine in late 2002. More recently, she's been enjoying her new role of mother-in-law and grandma! You can reach her at kari@HomeSchoolEnrichment.com.