Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Would you PLEASE just cooperate!

I certainly can not say that every day is fun and games as a homeschooling mother. There are moments of utter frustration, especially when the Little Boy just will not focus on his work. Oftentimes, I find myself reciting the Scripture from Colossians 3:20: "You children, be obedient to your parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing in the Lord." Then I wonder, "Do they care?"
I pray that I am pleasing God in fulfilling my duty to "keep on speaking what things are fitting for healthful teaching", being a "[teacher] of what is good." (Titus 2:1, 3) On the days when the MonSter is particularly challenging my endurance, the children sense my struggle and seem to take advantage of my dwindling 'last nerve'. Of course, in my heart I don't want to believe they're purposely beating me down, sensing I'm being taunted in my resolve to "let anger alone and leave rage." (Psalm 37:8)
I question whether I'm doing good by my children. Are the Bible principles I'm trying to inculcate in their hearts getting through? Why doesn't it seem like they understand their commission to "be obedient to [their] parents", to “honor their...mother?” (Ephesians 6:1, 2) Am I doing something wrong? Perhaps, just as "when I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me", the children also really do "delight in the law of God", but find themselves "warring against the law of [their] minds... leading [them] captive to sin’s law." (Romans 7:22, 23) Again, I keep trying to convince myself that this is the case. That my children aren't intentionally trying to provoke me. Still, there are moments when I want to yell from the rooftops ~ "WOULD YOU PLEASE JUST COOPERATE!"
And then I retreat to somewhere private, even if that means locking myself in the bathroom for a few moments, to pour out my heart to God in prayer through the merits of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ. In my heart, I know I'm doing what is right by my children and I know they are benefitting tremendously. In my heart, I know I can not give up my commission to be "bringing them up in the discipline and mental-regulating of Jehovah." (Ephesians 6:4) In my heart, I know that God "supplies endurance and comfort" (Romans 15:5), so I beg him for "the power beyond what is normal" (2 Corinthians 4:7) to endure.
Yes, from time to time homeschooling can be a test of a mother's patience, integrity, and willpower. Matthew 19:26 provides the assurance that "with God all things are possible." Therefore, reliance on God is essential to get through the times of a frayed 'last nerve', when all I want is children who are behaving like perfect, God-fearing angels. But, I am reminded that "we all stumble many times" (James 3:2) due to our inherited imperfection, and I can not "look at the straw in [my childrens' eyes]," without considering "the rafter in [my] own eye." (Matthew 7:3) God teaches me a lesson in humility and allows me to realize that, YES ~ the children are feeding off my impatience.
On these occasions it's perfectly okay to take a breather. It's healthy for me, as well as the children, to just get out of "school mode". Whether it's for an hour, or for the whole day. It's not a mark of failure, but an act of LOVE ~ the basis of my desire to homeschool Little Miss and the Little Boy in the first place. And guess what ~ my prayers get answered.

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