Like most women, I have many roles and many different hats to wear. Often, I have to juggle those hats or wear more than one at the same time. Life it hectic, crazy, busy but happy and fulfilling.
I often find myself wondering why I didn’t just say no to whatever task is at hand, yet when that task is completed, I feel joy at helping others. I have learned over the years to pick and choose those volunteer jobs and to only take on short-term commitments outside of a few things I do regularly. This is to help me keep my sanity.
I have also learned to only take on tasks that I in some way enjoy or am skilled at. To take on a task I loathe makes me unhappy and makes those around me unhappy. There is usually someone else who actually enjoys doing those things and therefore can do a much better job at them.
Sing? I love it. I may not be the most skilled singer in the world, but I love to praise God with my voice and I love it even more when others sing along. I believe my skill in this area is in choosing songs that have deep meaning for me and also for others because they can sense my passion. It is more in the heart of the singing than in my actual skill level, which I will be the first to admit has much room for improvement.
Writing? Obviously I love writing. It is my chosen profession. It is where I feel confident, strong, capable. I also feel that God has given me a gift of written gab so that I can reach others in some small way. I have often said that if my words change just one life or bring hope to one person that I have made all the difference and I still feel that way.
Mom? Most days I love this role. My girls are my world. They are before writing, singing and the other things I love. To have the opportunity to raise them, mold them and get to know their precious souls is such a wonderful gift from God that i can hardly express my gratitude at being a mother. Having my girls was not easy. Pregnancy was at first hard to come by and later hard to maintain. I almost lost both of them multiple times, lost a child between them and yet they are healthy and thriving. This is more of a miracle than I can express, especially now that I understand more fully the many crazy hoops my body had to jump through to accomplish their being here. I thank God for them every single day. Yet, I am human and we all have our days. Any mother who has homeschooled will tell you that life is just downright insane at times. There are days when nothing seems to click and for a perfectionist like myself that can be tough.
Homeschooling my girls has grown me more than anything else I’ve done. I’ve learned to pray without ceasing during the hard times, and it has brought me closer to the Lord. I have learned that my patience has its limits and there are days when we are all just spinning our wheels. I’ve learned to take my eyes off my “to-do” lists and enjoy the moment. Recently, we set our other school work aside and we had a Jane Austen week after my girls caught the movie “Emma” on television and expressed an interest in this favorite author of mine. It was perfect timing as a movie called “Becoming Jane” was also out that week about Jane Austin’s life. We read Austin books; we studied the time period; we even learned about money of the time and worked in some math. Most of all, we laughed together over Austin’s words and at her quirky way of looking at the world and seeing the humor beneath all the pomp and circumstance. We had vivid discussions about how different things are now and yet how people are still very much the same. I know in my heart that my girls will remember this week long after they forget how to diagram a sentence. It was more educational in many ways than our typical school work. Unstructured? Yes, yet they learned so very much.
Chauffeur. Sigh. Run here, pick up this friend, take that friend home, run the teen to youth group, run the youngest to a Keeper’s meeting, run to the library, run to art class, then to music class, run to Hobby Lobby for supplies for the science experiment. My car’s wheels have been run off. I’ve always been a person who loves to run, yet these days I find myself craving the at home time I rarely get. My oldest will get her learner’s permit next year and I’m a little ashamed to admit that I almost can’t wait until she is able to get her own driver’s license. She can then run herself to her friend’s house or to youth group and I can breathe again. Then again, the thought of my baby on the road is terrifying, so maybe I take it back.
Those are just a few of the roles I play, so you can see how busy and full my days are. Amazingly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love God and serving him through the church, I love my girls, I love home schooling them, I love writing and I love my husband enough to want to keep a nice home for him. There will be time to sleep later in life.
In part 2, I am going to take you through a typical day in our household as a home school family.