When the Dear Knight and I started this homeschooling journey we knew only two homeschoolers: one family had been doing it for several years and used the textbook method and one had really just started out using the eclectic approach. Both very different from the road DK and I chose but both inspiring nonetheless. I knew I wanted to experience the same joy and delight in spending hours with my children as these families did and still do. And as I’ve watched these two families over the last 7 years I have noticed something remarkable–I not seen even a hint of burnout…just a joyful, pleasant desire to raise their children in the way the Lord has lead them.

So what have these families got that I/we don’t…I have really struggled with burnout these last 18 months…I have tried to pray it away, read it away, pretend it away, and teach it away. Yet here it still is. Some days I just don’t think I can face another page of math facts or history narrations or even fun read alouds. Frankly, I just want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my head and sleep my day away, pretending that my house is in order and the children will care for themselves. This is NOT the reality I envisioned almost 8 years ago.

I am not sure what I need to do to get back what I felt I’ve lost–denial certainly won’t do it. I am not even sure a long vacation would help refresh this tired momma. New curriculum won’t satisfy and adding another “How to be the Perfect Homeschooling Mom” book to my to-read list just heaps guilt and discouragement upon my head…better that I wear sack cloth and ashes that fan that fire.

But sometimes in the midst of those days when all seems either absolutely hopeless or at least a complete wash God sends me a reminder of His faithfulness—even when I have failed to lean on Him as I KNOW I should. This day and last have been those God-filled days that He graciously gives top remind me of His presence.

I have for a long time wanted our days to be filled with a peace and joy and quietness/gentleness (not silence mind you, 5 children ARE noisy) that only comes from a Spirit-filled home and life. Most days my pleas are seemingly unheard…then God does His thing!

These last two days have been all that I’ve wanted for a long time…the older chicks did not spend their entire waking moments arguing as is the morn around here. Baby cakes did not spend her entire day crying and fussing as is her norm. And Tink did not spend her days trying to wreak every bit of havoc possible in as short a time as possible. there has been peace and gentle ness (as much as is possible with 6 distinct personalities all living in the same home). We read aloud for over an hour yesterday morning–I can’t tell you the last time we read for more than 5 minutes without some horrendous disruption from Babycakes and Tink. The older girls and I completed two science projects. And the older girls did a few math pages without tears (well, only a few and they were quickly dried). And today we read aloud TWICE!–once this morning and again after lunch! As I sat in the chair reading I looked up and there was The Boy building his newest LEGO set (he works hard around the house and for Grandpa in order to have spending money for LEGOS and hockey gear), LaLa was in the kitchen mixing up a batch of our favorite chocolate chip cookies, Mimi was at my desk drawing pictures of whatever struck her fancy, Tink was quietly (will wonders never cease) watching The Boy and drawing her own pictures and Babycakes was, and still is as type, napping. I could hear the fountain right outside our family room window and the ceiling fan was creating a gentle cooling breeze.

This is what I pictured so long ago…a sense of peace and tranquility. A sweet life that seems hard to find most days and yet I’m sure is actually very close…I intend to savor these moments and hide them in my heart…I know this season of my burnout is not over but I do hope these days have been a harbinger of what the future holds.

originally posted 7/10/07

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