Build a Fresh Fire to Rekindle Your Mama Heart

By Holly Giles | Inspiration

The Mad Rush

The bustle of the holidays is over. Now you are gearing up for the race to the finish of your school year. The activities, co-ops, sports and the looming chapters of that math book will have you worn down by the end of March and ready to throw in the towel. Fitting it all in may seem impossible, however being the supermom that you are, you will make it happen.

You will carpool to the field trips, organize the kid’s book club meeting, bake for the co-op fundraiser, spend 4 days a week in your car and fill in the gaps of your calendar with anything educational. You do this so each of your children will have learned all the subjects you wrote in your planner six months ago.

Then, around May or June, you will either set the textbooks on fire or pack them neatly away for the summer. This is when you realize there is an empty feeling in your soul. It may be tucked away, but you feel it just enough to make you wonder where the year went and question your role in it all.

I know this scenario all too well. It was me when my boys were in first and third grade. I poured myself into the “education” of my children at the expense of myself and our family life. I signed up for every class, went to every field trip and volunteered to teach at a co-op.

Our weeks went something like this:

Monday was co-op day. By the time we arrived home, I was too irritable to enjoy the evening with my family. On Tuesday all three of us were exhausted from the day at the co-op and our day never got off well or the lessons completed. Wednesday would be errands, housework and at least getting math done. Thursday we stayed at home. I tried to cram everything in that the boys did not get to earlier in the week. Friday was a field trip day. I didn’t want to pass up opportunities to awesome places, because what if we never were able to get back there again?

By Saturday I was completely spent and wanted my husband to take over any activity that was planned for the day. I usually did not want to join in because I felt physically unable to do it. Sunday night I would plan out the next week and hope I found the time to enjoy some of it with my boys.

At the time, I thought that I must pack in every opportunity possible so my kids would not miss out on the benefits of being home-schooled. The underlying reason was I felt I was not enough for my children. I believed I should just be the facilitator of their learning opportunities because I did not have what it takes to do it all.

The Truth

The truth was, I was missing out on living life with them.

I began to feel empty and inadequate for this calling to home-school. I prayed for help and guidance because the alternative was to give up. We took a break from our lessons and stayed home for about a month. My sons and I began to fall into a rhythm and routine that was not centered around a desk. We were living life together. This is when I knew the holy spirit was telling me that I was enough when I asked for God’s grace. God has equipped me with what I needed to educate my children and he was there if I would lean into Him.

All this time I was not allowing myself to believe that what I had to offer was what they needed to thrive.

You are enough my friend. This role as wife, mother and home educator is a high calling but you were chosen for this position. You are serving your children right where you are for the glory of God. In First Peter, chapter four, verse 10 it says: “As each one of us has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies.”

This simple passage speaks volumes. God has given each one of us unique gifts of our own. He has supplied us with exactly what we need to minister to our children. We all bring different ideas, thoughts, and perspectives to the table. We have been shaped by our own childhood and life experiences that in part give us direction to parent and educate our children.

The Gift

We each have gifts and talents that were given individually and meant to serve our families and others. Nurturing this idea that you are enough, with God’s grace, with your own abilities and strengths will build your confidence, relieve your stress and put you on the path God designed for you to live. It is a blessing to know and cultivate the talent within you.

Type A moms with a schedule for everything and who thrive on it are gifted in this area. Their children were chosen to be raised in that structure. Those of us who lack in this area can be blessed through their gifts. I may fall into the category of short term planning and fly by the seat of my pants at times. My children actually thrive under these conditions. If you tend to fall in with me too, we have the gift of helping others enjoy themselves more. We all can be different in our lifestyle, yet raise marvelous children who are ready for the world.

God fills in the gaps and ultimately brings into our lives exactly what is needed for each child. As mothers, we need to be faithful in that knowledge.

Rekindle Your Fire

Does this message resonate with you? Have you come to the point where you are ready to move out of the shadows and step into the light God has placed within you?

Let’s look at a few steps you can take to begin fulfilling your calling.

  • Take a hard look at your schedule. Remove any unnecessary activities and appointments. Consider cutting back on activities that take you away from your home consistently. I am not anti-co-op or classes by any means. Many serve a need and a purpose. However, I have learned that many children actually thrive and develop their own passions early, when they spend more time at home and with their parents. We implemented the “one sport per season” rule a few years ago. Only one child gets to do a sport per season unless it falls at the same place and time. If you are spending four nights a week running kids to two-hour practices there is no family
    time happening consistently.

 

  •  With some of your new found time devote it to your children. This means open and free time with no agenda. Take a walk at a local park. Snuggle up and read a few of their old-time favorites they think they have outgrown. Bake a treat and don’t get anxiety with the mess it will create. Bring out the art supplies from the bottom of the closet and doodle. Create downtime for everyone to do an activity of their choosing.

 

  • Take another portion of your found time for yourself. This may be ten minutes here, twenty minutes there but it is a must. In order to grow your gifts for God’s glory taking care of yourself is a priority. Carve out whatever this looks like in your home. For some, it may be morning coffee and time with Jesus at 6 am on the porch. For others, it could be ten minutes in the bathroom eating chocolate kisses and ignoring the fingers running under the door.

During the season of two children under four and one of them with health issues, I put myself on the back burner for the sake of the children. As mothers, we are doing our children a disservice by neglecting ourselves in mind, body, and spirit. We need refreshment to have the presence of mind to train, nurture and love our children.

  • Find a mentor. Women who have walked this path before. You are looking for someone who can help guide your personal growth, get a handle on your home education plan and be an encourager when you need it most. She won’t find her on Pinterest, Facebook or the hottest blog this month. You will, however, find her at church, co-op or at the park.

 

  •  Read books that encourage and inspire you. Not all books on the subject of home-schooling and personal growth will appeal to you. Take recommendations and then hide in your heart the bits and pieces that can be put into place right where you are. My personal recommendation for this year is The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.

Mama, find fresh fire in God’s grace right now, in this season of your life. You are a gift. You have been given gifts to use for His glory which is expressed through your family. Be faithful in nurturing your gifts so your children will thrive and be blessed by them. Keep your eyes on Him and not the world.

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