Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Do you ever feel stressed out, like a failure and just plain want to give up as a home school mom? 

I have a secret for you-  me too!  The truth is, everyone does sometimes. 

What triggers this process?  Maybe something isn't going right- maybe it's a lot of things.  The house is a mess; you are comparing yourself to someone else and you feel like you are missing the important stuff.  You want to throw in the towel and get an easier job!  But is that really the answer?

Maybe it's time to re-evaluate.


We all have things that rob us of peace.  Sometimes our lives can be so busy that all of a sudden we find our home is unorganized; our little one is fussy and in desperate need of training; the windows are dirty and we are stressing out while teaching math because we know an important bill hasn't been paid! 

Now is the time to identify exactly what is robbing us of peace; pray with our spouse for wisdom and rally the troops!

It's okay to take some time out to tackle those windows and pay that bill.  And nothing helps to train a toddler out of whiny behaviour faster than being put to work and being praised for their efforts.
When the visual clutter is reduced peace is often restored and mom and kids can focus all the more on the academics or on reading an encouraging piece of literature together.  Put those peace robbers to rest-- even if that means taking a few minutes out a couple times a day to zip the house back in order. 

It really is worth it.

A picture Lydia drew of me reading the Bible with the girls.


Paul says that to comparing ourselves among ourselves is not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12,17) but often we fall into that trap, don't we?  We look at the outside and notice when someone else seems to be doing better than we are and then we beat ourselves up.

Of course we usually don't compare rightly.  We compare an area in which we are weak to someone else's strength area.  We do this over and over and soon we see ourselves as a Wemick with all dots and no stars... sigh.

Of course, compounding the problem of comparing is that it usually results in being self focused and covetous- we want what they have (or what we think they have)- which keeps us from being thankful and content.  As our focus shifts to what we don't have we are not able to be thankful for what we do have. 

When you are feeling overwhelmed it is a great time to count your own blessings-- and not your neighbors.

Look at those sweet faces looking up at you and relish in the fact that YOU get to disciple those punkins in the Lord.  You have the ability to teach them your values; encourage them to esteem their brother as better than themselves; chip daily away on that pride (ours and theirs!) and protect them from the ungodly philosophies peddled in the world that would wreck havoc not only in our homes, but in their hearts.

You are able to give them the best teacher possible- one who loves and understands them; who sympathises with their weaknesses and prays for them.  Yes- YOU! 

No, they haven't arrived.  They are not perfect angels.  And honestly- neither are we. 

BUT because we are together we can help them to see their sin (and ours) so that we can seek the Lord and His mercy together.  As we learn God's Word and see our sin we are all the more motivated to freely run to the Fount of true, saving grace- the Lord Jesus.

Take time to thank God today for giving you the challenge of bringing up your children in Him.  Remember that He created your family for His own glory.  Ask Him to open your eyes and your heart to what is real and eternal today and count your blessings.

Seeking to focus on God's Truth.


So often we can become worried and distressed over the minor things (and when I say we- I am really saying me).  Spelling, geography, knowledge of literature- they all can become elevated to critical importance and then we make an important mistake.  We think that a teacher in a Christian school or a teacher in a government school has some secret key to knowledge and can make our children wise.

But the truth is, God does not say that if any of you lacks wisdom, let him go to school. 

He says:
"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." -James 1:5

There are times we can be so wound up mentally that we are tempted to believe we don't have time for worship and Bible with the kids- we've got to get to those academics!

But Who gives the knowledge of the things we wish our children to learn?  (Thank you Lisa for this verse!)  We want our children to gain knowledge in all kinds of literature and learning and so we pursue those things, but we learn that GOD is the giver of all those gifts:

"To the four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning." -Daniel 1:17

Determine to set your own preconceived ideas aside; to believe God and take Him at His Word.  I had to be reminded again that my God is the One who fed thousands with five small loaves and two small fish (I love that Luke mentions that the loaves and fish were small... in case we thought big loaves of bread and fish would feed five thousand plus people- Luke 6:9)... and had twelve baskets left over!  He doesn't need us to bring Him perfection.  We bring Him our little bits and He does the real work.  His load is light. 

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."  -Matthew 6:33

"John replied, "No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven." -John 3:27

Keeping things simple.


Adjust not only your own expectations, but feel free to make adjustments to your routine that simplify. 

Creating Routines:  Remember in generations past families would have Monday as Meatloaf night and Tuesday as Taco night etc?  Routines can really help when we are feeling under pressure.  Whether they are meal routines or the routine of assigning an older girl to read a couple of books to a toddler before nap time.  If it is wholesome and it simplifies life, embrace it! 

Doing things Together:  Often just making the switch to do things together helps to simplify.  If everyone does chores at the same time, exercises at the same time and rests at the same time- even that adds simplicity.

Give yourself a Break:  Pencil in family and rest days on your calendar.  It may mean saying no to activities that would crowd into those slots, but often the fellowship within your family is lacking during these times when you are under pressure. 

Purge the Extra:  It's easy to accumulate a lot of stuff!  The problem is, the more we have the more we have to take care of.  Purge things you don't use.  Tuck away things you don't use daily.  Remember that your cabinets are valuable real estate.  If you are not using something maybe it's time to give it to someone who will.

It's ok to make changes that help you to simplify. 

Celebrating Oktoberfest with our German Uncle Sven and family.

Get the rest you need.  A friend of mine often reminds me that this race is a marathon, not a sprint.
That thought is helpful to me. 

Remember to contact a godly friend who will pray for you and encourage you in the Word when you are down.  The Enemy would like nothing more than to divide and conquer. 

Exercise and eat foods that will give back to you- fruits and vegetables in place of french fries not only fuel you but help you to feel better about your choices.
Connect with your spouse.  If you can't go out, have a date at home!  Feed the kids early and let them watch a sweet video while you and your spouse have a special dinner over candlelight.

Take a little time out to do something that you can succeed at-- baking, writing, sewing, photography or some other hobby you have tucked aside.  Give yourself a little time each week to do something you can feel good about. 

And remember that God is glorified not in our strength, but in our weakness.

"But God chose the foolish things of the world
to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world
to shame the strong."

-1 Corinthians 1:27


  1. This is such a timely post. Thank you for sharing. I was just asking my sister in law last night for some tips with how to get through stressful seasons, so I love your practical tips.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on how to teach your girls (especially if they tend to be shy), how to initiate friendship with other kids their age. I am noticing that my Hailey is having a hard time making friends at our new church, and I'm not quite sure how to teach her that skill. Have you ever faced this with any of your girls?

  2. Oh! If only my printer was working! I will be back to read this post again and again - thank you so much, this was so very refreshing, and exactly what I needed to hear! :)

  3. I love the wreath in the first picture and the *Grace* plaque.
    I think Lydia is going to be an artist when she gets older! :D

  4. I have been thinking on exactly the same issues Rebecca especially the comparison game. It is so easy to play when we have such easy access to so many lovely images on blogs and sites like pinterest. The danger is rather than viewing for pure appreciation and inspiration we start playing that comparison game especially when it comes to our surroundings. I really have to watch myself when I 'browse the beautiful' if you understand what I mean. I find myself sighing and looking around my own home and it is so easy for discontent to set in. 'Why can't my living room stay looking like that?' When I start asking myself those kind of questions I know I need to step back and start doing all those things that you suggested. Counting my blessings, simplifying and so forth. Thank you for a wonderfully encouraging post. It is so good to know I am not the only one who sometimes feels like this.

  5. I really needed to read this tonight. Thank-you! I said to my hubby just today that I feel like I have been out of the home too much and I'm struggling to keep up. The clutter is building, the baby is unsettled and the toddler is mischievous... I've felt a little stressed! This week has been full of appointments and errands. Definitely a planning issue :D

    On the upside, my new system for 'drying dishes duty' for the three older children is working wonderfully!

  6. Very timely! Feeling pretty overwhelmed these days...needed to read your post for sure.

  7. Hi Rebecca,

    I think a month or two into the beginning of the term, we all feel like this!

    I remember reading on Jeannies Journal that raising and educating our children is not a race its a journey. That really put things into perspective and helped me to relax and focus.