Monday, September 7, 2009

Tears and Fears for the First Day of School

Tomorrow, for many of us mothers, marks a day wrought with mixed emotions. For those of you sending kids back to school, I can only imagine a swirling tornado of sadness over the lazy days of summer come and gone mixed with a bit of glee at the prospect of settling back into a routine where the kids won't be under foot all day. (I could be totally wrong on that one and I'm willing to hear about it. I daydream about that mixture of emotions for you and project what I imagine I would be feeling.)

For me, as a homeschool mom, it is a day that stirs up and exposes some of my most raw emotions. I have already spent a good part of today feeling overwhelmed with the daunting task of being my children's mother, teacher, discipler and friend. I want to be planning with great joy and expectancy all of the valuable lessons we'll learn together this year - both from the books and in our hearts - but I am paralyzed with fear and dread. I simultaneously battle wanting to treasure these special days at home fully engaged with my children and wanting to drop them off at the curb of the local elementary school. I love homeschooling and I hate homeschooling. I love it when I am worshipping Jesus and peacefully submitting to the call He has placed on my life for this season. I hate it when I am worshipping myself and do not want to bear the responsibility of being the constant source of influence, education and inspiration for my kids. It is beautiful and ugly, exhausting and exhilirating - it is a picture of redemption in our family. God working in each one of us His plan to make us more like Him. For reasons unknown to me at times, God has marked out this path for me on the way to Christlikeness. Every moment of every day of homeschooling becomes an opportunity to model to my children what I tell them constantly - they need Jesus and so do I.

As I spewed tears and fears at my husband, he calmly asked the children to leave the room. He proceeded to listen to my scewed and irrational thinking and gently corrected me. He pointed me toward Truth and the ultimate source of my homeschooling success and assuaged fears - JESUS. As I was allowing his words to soak in, I heard some giggling and whispering upstairs. My 3 sweet students has changed clothes into their Sunday best and marched down the stairs in a single-file line - not unlike the Von Trapp family. They all proceeded to ask for my forgiveness for moments of disobedience and chaos that helped contribute to my place of utter desperation. They each in turn shared from their hearts about what great parents we were and how much they loved us. And then, they prayed. They thanked our Lord for this family and my 8 year old daughter asked God to help me always look to Him first.

And that, I remembered through tears of brokenness, gratitude and joy is what worship is all about - every moment of my life, looking to Jesus and recognizing His tender loving grace.