Just over 3 years ago, I was 4-5 months pregnant with my very welcomed but highly surprising 4th child. At that time, my 3rd was still shy of his FIRST birthday, and I had a daughter going into junior high and one struggling greatly due to dyslexia and dyscalculia.
As a new school year loomed large, I was overwhelmed. As a matter of fact, I was CERTAIN that I could NOT do it. I could NOT successfully homeschool my two girls with any sort of excellence while wrangling a newborn and tiny toddler. I went to the Lord with my great overwhelm. Shockingly, to us and everyone around us, my husband and I felt completely led to put our two girls in the local public school. (I’ve written a full blog series here about how to process through considering school.)
Relief, shame, terror... Basically all the things washed over me. I set to work preparing us to be "school people" and getting my girls emotionally ready for a totally new experience - one they were both excited and terrified to begin.
And things went OK... for a few days. There were kinks and conflicts and nerves and bullies. And the whole thing is a long story, but suffice it to say that those 30 days of school silenced every single fear I'd ever had about homeschooling.
I'd feared I wouldn't have enough time for them, when in fact their teachers had even less time for them.
I had long-feared that I was failing my daughter with multiple learning disabilities, believing she would be "better helped by a professional." Reality taught me that an excellent and patient teacher to 40 plus a helpful aid could never trump a determined mama.
I feared I was keeping them too isolated since we were in a season of newborns and naps. What I learned is that minimal socialization is better than being harassed about your clothing style, excluded from the "club,” or having to navigate the landmine of a friendship laced with self-harming and suicidal threats.
At the end of our month in school, I had learned two lessons I carry with me today:
1- That as hard as I'd cried over bad homeschool days, I'd never lost nights of sleep over the spiritual warfare at play in my children's lives. I'd never worried about their mental stability or their confidence. I'd never worried about REAL isolation before.
2- More importantly - That what LED me to seek God about schooling was FEAR. It was me looking at the culmination of every task and test and skill for the next several years and laying them upon my own lap, at 20+ weeks pregnant.
I was overwhelmed because my perspective was wrong.
I wasn't focusing on my ONLY JOB: Today. I was focusing on, grabbing hold of, and attempting to control what is only God's to control: tomorrow and every day after.
It was not (and is not) my job to do everything perfectly for all time. And honestly, I tend to look at the world that way: If I think I'll fail, I may never even begin at all. (And I know I'm not alone in that because I hear from A LOT of nervous, first-time homeschool mamas .)
But what that amazingly excruciating experience taught me was that my only job is today.
Can I obey today?
Can I teach today?
Can I hug and comfort today?
Can I prepare a meal today?
Can I do the laundry, chauffer the kids, teach a math lesson TODAY?
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:34:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
I had gotten bogged down in all I knew I'd eventually have to do that I couldn't see what gifts I already had. I didn't trust God's grace to be sufficient for my MANY weaknesses. And God was merciful enough to let me see how wrong I was.
I'm not sure who this was for... Maybe just to remind myself. But whatever it is that's looming large- finances, marriage troubles, parenting struggles, home education burnout- I want to remind you (us) that tomorrow is not our concern. Today has enough troubles and jobs and tasks and REALITY to focus on.
Possibilities and scenarios and potential failures are not within the realm of our finite little selves. And praise God for that!
So lay it down, my friend. Look at TODAY. Can you do it today? And even when you think you can't because you're just sapped of all your "I can!", remember the one for whom everything is YES in! (2 Corinthians 1:20) Lay that overwhelm down and trust your mighty God to do all He has promised to do. Trust him to be who HE IS.