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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Guarding Our Thoughts

In my last post, I talked about the temptation to feel overwhelmed. I have been wanting to address this lately because I know what it is to get overwhelmed. I also have discovered a way to protect myself from this emotion.


When I walk through my house, I can easily become overwhelmed. I realized this one day as I passed by a tremendously messy closet filled with books. On the floor, I spied a stack of standardized practice tests that I had never given to my children. In an instant, that emotion of being overwhelmed began to wash over me, like a dark presence entering my entire body. Normally, I would have received that emotion and walked on with whisperings of despair clouding my day. But right at that moment, I turned away from it. I basically resisted the temptation and literally turned my face away from the reminder of my inability to "do it all" and I turned my thoughts away from the lies that I'm not succeeding at homeschooling.


Over the weeks, this temptation has arisen several times. When I saw the the Latin book lying upside down on a broken shelf in the hallway, both the broken shelf and the unused book scream their insult at me. But I turned away from the negative thoughts that were spewing through my mind. No, I didn't give my kids standardized practice tests, we failed to use that Latin book and I may have to throw that shelf away if it keeps accusing me like that. But, all of that does not make me a failure. I cannot let undone projects, plans or curriculum rob me of my peace. Neither should you.

So, we are big planners and big dreamers; that's a good thing - as long as we don't get down on ourselves for not doing all we planned or reaching all our dreams. Planning and dreaming are important. It causes us to move forward, closer to our goals. But it's so important to guard our thoughts from the accusations that we are not measuring up because we have not accomplished domestic success in some area or perfection in our homeschooling dreams and plans.

We need to believe that God is truly God over our lives, our homeschool and our children. Perhaps it was not His perfect will that I make my children work through those practice tests. Perhaps He doesn't want us to study Latin yet, or ever. As one of his precious children, He has promised to lead me and guide me. I'm believing that I'm in the center of His will and being led by Him, even when I don't fulfill my big ideas and grandious plans. I can rest in Him, trusting that we are on the right track - even when I don't "feel" like it. I'm not supposed to be leaning on my own understanding anyway...

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5

If I were to lean on my own understanding, I would certainly think I should be doing much more, accomplishing much more, reaching all my dreams and fulfilling all my big plans. I think God's more interested in giving us rest - while we are more interested in being supermom and creating superkids and being a family of superheroes. Yet, He came so that we could enter into His rest. Rest for our souls.

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

So, next time I walk by that enormously cluttered and disorganized closet with hundreds of great homeschool products I'll never have time to use even if I homeschooled a hundred years, I plan to quote that Scripture, breathe a sigh of relief and allow Him to bring rest to my soul.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

I enjoyed this post very much. I have read posts about this topic on a couple other blogs recently, so I'm pretty sure God is trying to teach me in this area! :-)

My son and I are using your Astronomy book this year and are loving it!!

Christi Lynn said...

Jeannie,
I loved this. I love that a friend told me of your blog too. It has been most refreshing and brought a slice of peace to what I know we our called to do and in the way we are called to do it. Thank you so much for your honesty and just the realness of it all
Christi

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Kudos for being a BLESSING from the Lord!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this....I needed this today. And by the way, I so appreciate your science curriculum...we have completed astronomy and now are on zoo I. I wish I could find a history curriculum that had God's perspective mixed in like your science does! If you know of one email me: connierenee2003@yahoo.com

Kathy said...

Thank you so much for these words. I came to your site a few days ago, and was so encouraged reading your "should I do this?" article where you said "if it's hard you're doing too much" and we should not try to fit into someone else's template of homeschooling. Then today I found your blog, and this post has encouraged me even more. I have to believe I was led here by God. I have been feeling so much pressure lately and your words are really helping me to put things into perspective! Thank you also for your wonderful science curriculum! We are just finishing Astronomy this year, and deciding which one to do next.
Thank you again!