Sunday, March 29, 2020

“Lord Jesus, make my face right!”

It is the prayer I utter regularly during my homeschool days.

I fail on the daily.

My mission is to lovingly teach and guide my children and yet I catch myself with a tone of voice that just isn’t right. I don’t even have to tell you what my face looks like in that moment. Not to mention, my body language, as I point harshly at the problem at hand and instruct in a manner that no student would find beneficial. 

Once again, I have fallen short. I see the look of frustration and discouragement in my child’s eyes. The tears begin to well up and I can see clearly what I have done. I have communicated to my precious child that the lesson is more important than she is.

Time for a major reset.

Time to apologize.

Time to ask for forgiveness.

Time to try again.

“Mommy needs a quick time out.” I say, as I step outside on the porch. I take a deep breath. I might even jump up and down a few times if I am dealing with some anger. I cry out to my heavenly Father, “Lord Jesus, make my face right! Help me to love my children well and teach them with kindness on my tongue. I cannot do this without your strength! Help me to see them with your eyes and love them with your hands.”

I call to my child, “will you come out here with me?” I wipe away her tears and get down on her level. I look at her in those sad eyes and see the pain I have caused.

“What is more important to mommy, you or school?” I say.

She smiles and says, “Me.”

“You are right!” I say, “You are way more important to me than any school lesson we are working on. I need to ask your forgiveness. I was acting like school was more important than you by they way I was talking to you. Mommy needed a time out to make her face and voice right again. Will you forgive me?”

“Yes!” She answers quickly.

“Can I try again?” I ask her.

“Yes, Mommy.” She responds.

“I love you, sister.” I say as I pull her in close for a hug.

“I love you too.” She says as she squeezes me tight.

We take a few more minutes to snuggle the kitty cats and pet the puppy dogs. Our work will be waiting for us when we head back inside. When I realize that we are approaching lunchtime, I choose to feed my people before we begin again. Everyone will feel better with a full tummy. I brew a cup of coffee and settle in beside my little love to try again.

I will never be a perfect mom. I will certainly never be a perfect homeschooling mom. However, I will give this season everything I have. I will teach my children what it means to stop, reset and humbly ask for forgiveness. I will teach them that I am after their hearts. I will model for them what it looks like to seek the Father, listen for his voice and walk in obedience to him. He will always know the way.

I admit, there have been times where I have looked longingly at the big yellow school bus that drives by. Certainly, that is the answer to all my struggles, right? I have cried out to God and asked if this cup of homeschooling could pass from me. A little dramatic? Yes, I know. When you are pouring yourself out day after day to answer the calling to homeschool your children, there are moments when the painful reality of your insufficiency becomes too much. It was during one of these seasons for me when the Lord gently communicated two important truths to my heart. I was at worship one night, singing praises while feeling exhausted and defeated. I told him that I didn’t want to do it anymore. I wanted released from homeschooling. He spoke right to my heart, “I will be with you and I will bring you joy.” The tears rolled down my face. I believed him but I sure wasn’t feeling the joy at that moment.

I have good news.

The joy did come and it continues to flow.

My fellow homeschooler, He will do the same for you.

He will be with you.

He will bring you joy.

And guess what?

He will even make your face right!

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11 (ESV)

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26 (ESV)

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