Posts tagged scripture
Here is an article I recently wrote for The Homeschool Lounge, a free online forum for homeschooling moms. It’s a wonderful place to find (and give!) encouragement. And even if you aren’t a homeschooler, take a look at this article, you’re sure to find some tips for recharging. Be blessed! –Gena
Summer is here, and for many homeschooling moms, it’s a chance to put the books away, take a break from co-op and recharge in time to start again in the fall. And while the kids may enjoy the warm weather, complete with fierce water slides and drippy ice cream cones, moms need to carve out some time for themselves.
Before you start planning your lessons for the fall (if you haven’t already!), make sure you give yourself a mental break and do something just for yourself. And if that nagging sense of guilt tries to raise its ugly head, remember that even the Apostle Paul took time out of his busy schedule to be refreshed (Acts 27:3; Rom. 15:32). As you give yourself a mental and physical break while renewing your spirit, you’ll be ready to tackle the new school year with peace, joy and grace.
Here are seven simple (and cost effective) ideas for putting a smile on your summertime face.
Read… just for yourself… just for fun.
No, that new curriculum you just purchased does not count. Neither does the educational self-help book, the learning styles book or any other how-to-homeschool book that is on your to-read list. What does count is any book or magazine that you pick up and think, “That looks fun.” Novels, memoirs, spiritual helps, magazines and of course, the Bible are ways to give your mind a time-out from academic rigors. Often, these are times when inspiration hits, giving you fresh ideas for the fall.
Have lunch or coffee with a friend.
Set a time out with a friend or group of friends who encourage you and lift you up. Don’t call that person who complains about their life, husband or children. Find someone who speaks into your life like a fresh breeze, someone with whom you can be honest—someone who inspires you and simply makes you smile.
Plan a spa treatment for yourself.
Yes, we’d love to visit a swanky spa with master therapists who pamper us with plush towels and fabulous essential oils, but hey, we’re homeschoolers and many of our budgets just don’t allow it. That doesn’t mean you have to forego the pleasure; it just means you have to improvise. For a small investment, you can make your own spa treatments. MakeYourCosmetics.com offers several recipes. My favorite is their Easiest Body Sugar Scrub Ever which combines a cup of sugar, a half-cup of olive oil and two drops of vanilla or almond extract. Simply mix and enjoy!
Restart a hobby.
Dig out that half-knitted scarf, that unfinished sewing pattern, the untouched watercolors or any other project that you’ve been dreaming of finishing. Not only will finishing these projects give you a personal sense of accomplishment, the repetition of endeavors like knitting and crocheting have a physical calming effect that can be great for your health.
Plan a series of date nights with your husband.
Don’t miss the chance to reconnect with your spouse during this season of repose. To save money, try trading off date nights with another homeschooling family. Even if your outing only entails sharing coffee at your favorite bookstore’s beanery, this time can help you emotionally and mentally prepare for the upcoming year so that you stand united in your plans for your family.
Begin an exercise program.
When you feel physically strong and confident, you can’t help but pass that confidence on to your children and impact your home for the better. If you’ve wanted to improve your fitness level, shed some excess weight or set a new goal for yourself (like running or learning a new sport), start now. You may experience some initial soreness or need time to learn the process. Let this break give you the permission to do just that.
Try out new recipes.
If you are beginning a new fitness routine, you may want to adjust your menu too, or you may have always wanted to learn how to cook a certain cuisine, like Indian, Thai or vegan. Whatever the reason, fall in love with your kitchen again. Instead of clinging to the same-old, same-old, find new recipes that will inspire your children and entice your spouse.
Billy Graham once said, “Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.” So much depends on you being in the best possible place—spiritually, emotionally and physically. So before you tackle the upcoming school year, make sure to take some time to restore your health and wellness. Remember, you’re family needs you—the best possible and refreshed you!
If you have a way that you like to recharge, please share. Let’s learn from each other!
This past weekend I received one of the nicest compliments ever. It occurred during a trip to Mickey D’s. Like most moms, it takes me a few minutes to break out all the necessary accouterments—high chair, hand sanitizer, infant place mat, napkins, straws, etc. After ordering, my husband arrived with the food, and we passed everything out. There was nothing spectacular or unusual about the arrangement.
Toward the end of our visit, a woman approached me. “You have a beautiful smile,” she said. “You look like you are really enjoying your life.”
I laughed, “I have my days, but for the most part, I really am blessed.”
After she left, I thought about what she had said. Yes, I was enjoying that day, but the week before had been a different story. During that week, I had been exhausted and frustrated. One too many sleepless nights with my infant and one too many things to do had left me questioning my life… Why was my house in such disarray? Why was I having to repeat myself so much with my kids? Was I ever going to catch up with my work? And were we ever going to finish this year of homeschool?
All of these things and more were swirling around in my head. In desperation I had cried out to God. “I really need an encounter with You. I need to know You’re there.”
I had prayed that simple prayer before attending church, fully expecting to have a rhema moment with the Lord during the service. It didn’t happen. Instead, He answered my prayer in another, gentler, way. Over the next week, little things began to happen. I was able to get more rest. I was able to catch up on my housework. I had a breakthrough with my children. My husband gave me some words of encouragement that helped me put things in perspective. My daughter, who had seemed to plateau in math, made a jump in her understanding. Things had come back into order.
Not only had I experienced some external triumphs, but I had experienced some internal adjustments too. I was reminded once again of God’s immense love for me, and it showed in my appearance. When I thought back over the previous week, I realized that the Lord had answered my prayer. He had shown up in the midst of my exhaustion and frustration, and I’m so thankful for it.
One of the greatest blessings of being a child of God is the realization that you are not alone, that you don’t have to carry everything alone and that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you and works things together for your good (Rom. 8:28-39). If you are struggling with your own exhaustion and frustration—in your home, your work, you family, your homeschool, whatever—then I encourage you to ask God for an encounter with Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself, in all His love and mercy and grace, to you. He may not do it in a way that you expect, but He will do it. God bless!
I started running a few weeks ago. It’s been fun and challenging and empowering. There’s nothing quite like doing something you’ve never done before. Today my program dictated that I run for 20 minutes straight, something I’ve never before attempted.
The first five minutes were hard, knowing that I still had several minutes to go. At the ten minute mark, I didn’t think I’d make it. My mind began entertaining thoughts of quitting. My legs hurt and my breathing became labored. Just as I was replaying the idea of quitting, the thought occurred to me: If I quit, I’ll never make it past this leg. I knew that I would have psyched myself out and that 20-minute interval would become a giant that I would have a nearly impossible chance of beating. So I hung in there.
I slowed my pace and repeated over and over in my mind, “I can do this; I can do this. Don’t quit.” Suddenly I was at the end of my interval. I felt like a true athlete and let out a whoop to prove it.
How many times do all of us struggle to conquer a difficult challenge? How many times are we tempted to give up? Even in our homeschooling, when times get tough—when we’re tired, when our children don’t seem to be catching on, when our schedules become hectic, when life seems to be beating us up—we can begin to entertain thoughts of calling it quits.
First Corinthians 9:24-25 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
Yes, these verses are referring to salvation and the calling of the Gospel, but the spirit of the verses can be applied to any race God has called us to. If He has called you to homeschool your children, then realize that you are in a race. You, and your children, are in training for what the Lord has for you. It will not be easy to achieve, but it will be worth it.
And be encouraged, knowing that you are not the race alone, for whatever God has called you to, He will equip you to complete.