I spend a lot of time worrying. Worrying that I do not spend enough time doing “school”, building character, or exposing EVERYTHING there is to learn about the world to my sons. I contemplate handing them over to the “system” so they will get what they need and I don’t have to feel like a failure anymore. They can wear uniforms and fit in with everyone else. I can stop going against the grain, which honestly is exhausting, and just give in. That is my truth.
If I dig way down deep and expose you to the real me you will see that most of the time I feel lost. Am I really enough? I totally don’t feel equipped to “do” all that needs to be done to prepare my children for the world.
Then there is the fear. Whoa, the fear. Where am I going to get the money for extra groceries (boys eat a lot)? I spend $100 on Monday for food and it is all gone by Wednesday! Moreover, there is no room in the budget for size 12 shoes for the 12-year-old this month. Did we really use that many more kilowatt-hours this month to make our power bill jump fifty dollars? Then the parenting through fear comes alive.
I don’t see how I can sell enough books and online classes to make ends meet. So, I begin to believe that chasing my dreams should go on the back burner until…forever. Similarly, I believe this is never going to work out so maybe I should just get a job at Hobby Lobby at night. Because, if I can just find $500 a month, we can make it through and I won’t worry anymore.
Guess what? Fear is a liar. For example, fear breeds worry and anxiety and the feeling of being lost. Why is letting go of fear so hard? Because truly letting go, resting in faith, and doing the next thing can be scary. So scary that fear is more comfortable.
This last season of life was so hard. Loss, sadness, anxiety, and fear. So hard that that lost feeling came creeping in. That feeling of how on earth can I keep my head above water and make every think I am doing great?
I thought about giving up on The Giles Frontier. Because I am a small voice in a big pond. And no one really cares anyway. So, I left social media for a few weeks. I just did the next thing each day to make it through. I got up each day. I fed my kids. I did the laundry. We read books. My parenting through fear began to subside.
I laid everything out there every day to Jesus and just rested. Rested in the hope that He would carry me through.
Then, rest brought my focus back to the truth. The truth is found in God’s word, not our world. Our decision to create education for our boys around living life together works for us, not everybody. Jesus is standing in the gap of their education and I am following His lead.
They are my missionary work.
They are my missionary work.
My next thing is to help them follow their passions. This has led me to go way out of my comfort zone and join my boys on a deer hunt this weekend (ok, well maybe only because another parent is required). I am fine with primitive camping, no toilets, and all of that. However, I am quite used to cooking with venison that they bring me all nice and packaged in the food saver packaging.
I have helped harvest parts and pieces of a deer. In addition, I even live with a deer mount in the boys’ bedroom and antlers in the living room. I have not, however, witnessed the hunt or kill. I may cry.
This is the reason why I run an old folk’s home for chickens. I can’t bear the thought of one ending up in the soup pot. Not to mention our eight-year-old chickens don’t even lay eggs anymore. However, I am so grateful for the skills my boys are learning and the food those skills provide us that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Sometimes we have to do hard things to grow and learn. As parents, it is so much easier to stay within the confines of our comfort in many areas of life. This breeds a kind of parenting through fear. Guiding our children on a similar path that doesn’t cause friction or a crimp in our schedule. Yet, our children need us to step out and do hard things to help them reach their potential.
One thing I know is that raising these boys has caused more stretching, growing, discomfort and crimping in my schedule than at any other point in my life.
Maybe that has been part of His plan all along.
Have you gotten too comfortable in your parenting path? Do you find yourself facing fear too often? Know you are not alone.
What can you do to guide your child’s potential and talents? I’ll be thinking about that as I am scrunched up in a hunting blind, wearing camo and something called “dead downwind” (lovely).
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