Yes, we all have them. Those days when we're sure that nothing else could possibly go wrong, and then we surprise ourselves. Expressions like throwing in the towel, bailing out, and running away from home all float through one's mind. What to do on such days?
Within the ranks of Christian women I know, there are those I can call upon in such times of distress who "won't let me off the hook." These are women that I trust to be real with me when I am in a state of frustration and despair. Why have these women earned my trust? Well, for starters, they don't have me up on a pedestal. To them, I'm just who I am and they don't have some unrealistic expectation that says, "Nothing must ever go wrong at her house!" Moreover, they know the details of my life and situation and aren't reluctant to point out that I'm whining or re-hashing issues that I need to turn over to the Lord. Some of these "counselors" of mine don't even live in my state, nor do we get to see each other in person very often due to the distance between our homes. That said, they are among my dearest and closest sisters in Christ.
I recommend that all home schooling moms have a "short list" of other women to whom they can repair and grant permission to speak directly into their lives. But, these selections should not be made frivolously. Make sure that the person you summon for help will be the sort of person who uses the Word of God to counsel and uses it in an orthodox way. She should be ready and willing to exhort you rather than merely commiserate with you. If she is a decade or two older, that is a bonus! Most likely she'll have the benefit of a long-range perspective that gives her insight as to how dire your circumstance actually is. Chances are you'll leave these conversations with a smile, having re-evaluated your problem with a plan to work out whatever the difficulty was. Additionally, you'll have another opportunity to praise God for the sister He has provided for you!
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].