Let me set the scene for you. It’s the afternoon of the first day of our hashtag homeschool journey for this academic year. I’m enjoying a peaceful and tidy home with a cup of fresh coffee in hand, a slice of orange pound cake next to me, and my laptop fired up and ready to go. Where are my precious children, you ask? Why is the house silent? Ah, that. Well, this morning was a little…insane.
The two older boys woke up grumpy and asked if they could play Nintendo first thing. Ignoring that request, I proceeded to *actually* cook them a hot breakfast (fried eggs and toast) and they left the eggs on their plates almost perfectly in tact. And the morning just went downhill from there: outright defiance, angry outbursts, a few tears, a baby that only napped for 30 min, a frazzled mama who only snapped two times. Lord, help us! Literally, that was my prayer. Lord, please help us.
But you know what? We got through it. We did a little math, read a bit, went on a walk and looked at some cicada shells outside on the tree. And then we came back inside and the boys drew what they saw while we watched a video alllll about cicadas. Sidebar- I now know how they make that sound! We prayed together and asked God to help us to learn. I only threatened to send them to public school once (kidding! Kind of.)
And now, after a tense moment of meltdowns all around, they are resting in their rooms. I am taking this moment to collect myself and our home. To write out what happened and share it with you. Why? Because I want you to know that you’re not alone. Did your first morning back go smoothly? Wonderful! Did all hell break loose and did you contemplate sending them all to boarding school? You’re not alone!
This whole thing, this road that we are walking with our children and learning how to navigate, is truly unlike anything I’ve ever faced. The only way forward is through surrender- an opening up of ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit. Is this spiritual kind of talk reserved for Sunday morning? No, this surrendered-life is available to you and me, right where we are. It is a new kind of vulnerability, trusting in the One who made us and called us by our names and redeemed us from death. A welcoming of moment-by-moment grace from a generous and loving God to propel us forward in the fight against our flesh. This surrender could be called faith, could be called hope- it has the aroma of both. It is a daily dying of our self-life so that Christ may be alive within us; we no longer belong to Adam (and Eve!) but to the new Adam, the firstborn of a new kind of creation. We belong to Christ and he is filling us with the kind of life that renews, even after a hard morning of homeschooling.
A simple prayer of surrender for you, friend: Lord, give us all (mama and kiddos alike) ears to hear and hearts that obey. Ears to hear you speaking to our deepest heart of hearts and the willingness and supernatural ability to obey. We can’t do this in our own strength, but you are great within us! Thank you for your steadfast love that never leaves us. You are more valuable than anything we could hold on to- help us to surrender it all and trust your leadership. You are good, always.