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.