I don’t know about you, but there are times that I feel a bit undervalued and overwhelmed. Too much to do, too much I’m reaching for, and too many people who need me but don’t seem to notice how weary I am! I am again reminded of how, when I feel discouraged, I often try to find my value in my family and home, my skills, my intellect, or my homeschool…. It has taken me so many years and so many grown children to see that those are not ways to find my value.
Oh, do I cringe at all the books I’ve read or lectures I’ve sat through, seeking to become the perfect mom and wife, design the perfect homeschool, or ‘create’ the perfect, future adult! I am so grateful for a God Who has overridden my quest, and given me mercy for all my mistakes.
I am also grateful that He designed me to be a bit of a rebel (a nicer term is ‘independent’) because my family would be off the deep end by now! Fortunately I was given a personality that questions most everything and isn’t easily led astray – and that has been for our family’s benefit. Now, my husband may not always like my independence :o), but he has come to appreciate my perspective and hesitancy in following the crowd.
Where do you find your value?
Scripture tells us that we are not to find our value in whether: we look like June Cleaver; cook like Julia Childs; keep our homes like Martha Stewart; homeschool by the MOTH schedule, or function in our marriage like the Duggars! Each person, family, marriage, and home will look entirely different on the outside. Why? Because it’s the inside that matters! It’s the purpose that all those things are done for that counts, and it’s the attitude they are done with that glorifies our Father. God cares about our heart. He desires obedience rather than sacrifice. Our obedience is to Him and not someone else’s style, schedule or curriculum choices! And the only way we will find Him and His ways is in His Word and through prayer.
It’s so easy for us to look on the outside and think one family is doing great, or that another family is failing. Isn’t it so easy to think that if we just do ‘this’ or ‘that’, we’ll be fine, too? Or to define ‘failing’ by an activity or lack thereof? In homeschooling, don’t we often feel that if we just give up ‘this activity’ or add ‘that subject’ to our schedule, then we’ll be okay? So, we pour over the lastest homeschool magazine or attend another seminar to find that ‘perfect’ curriculum that will change our children’s attitudes about learning! Or we’ll find the perfect plan or schedule to make our family become oh, so perfect.
Now, I’m not saying that seminars or magazines are wrong! As a matter of fact, I just got finished reading an article in my favorite homeschool magazine, Home Educating Family. And there are many brave warriors who have gone before us and can point the way to a better and more effective home and family. I have learned numerous tips from seminars – but – if we think we’ll find our Utopian Homeschool, and if we get that giddy feeling that this year, because we’re doing what ‘so and so’ is doing, then we’ll have that perfect family, with straight ‘A’ students, and not lose our kids like ‘so and so’ did, we’re in for trouble!
Seek God’s outcome and not your own!
So when you’re feeling down, learn that the first thing to do is run to God! He wants a heart given to Him and His ways, living for His outcome and not our own or that of someone else we admire. He wants us to seek His Word for truth, not trying to find it in a seminar or textbook. He wants us to seek Him in prayer, truly asking for His ways and not our own or another’s. He wants us to look to Jesus as our example of righteousness and character, not to the person who’s standing at a podium or has written a book. This is where we will rightly find our true worth as a wife and mom – as a woman!
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17