I read this article written by Deborah Weuhler for the Old Schoolhouse Magazine newsletter today. It applied to me more lately than I care to admit, so I wanted to share it with you all. I hope it encourages and challenges you as it has me.
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Mercy Every Minute, by Deborah Weuhler
It was a terrible start to the week. By Monday morning at 10:00 am, I was in tears. I can't do all of this. I can't be everything to everyone. The sheer magnitude of my work load was depressing me. Why can't I be like all those other homeschool moms who have everything in order: a place for every Johnny, and every Johnny in his place? Why do I have to always struggle with being over committed on top of having more than one difficult child? What is wrong with this picture? I have lost my first love of homeschooling, and it's only October! I was quickly letting depression settle in.
When I felt like retreating into a shell, I did the opposite and I called on all the prayer warriors I knew and took their advice, be it physical or spiritual. Here is some of the advice I received:
One friend reminded me that Jesus was under a constant barrage of needs to be met, but only did what the Father told Him to do. I don't know why I think I can do it all--I really can't. I need to be more like Jesus and only do what my Father tells me to do. Jesus went away from the crowds to a quiet place to rest and be with His Father. I need to do the same, if only in my heart of hearts.
Another friend reminded me of the Psalm that says better is one day in the courts of the Lord than a thousand elsewhere. Why do I wander so often to spend that thousand elsewhere? If I were truly dwelling in His presence in the daily routines, the daily routines would not have the stress and frustration attached to them. I could then truly serve the Lord with gladness.
My sister said that when she is overwhelmed, she gets books on tape or educational movies for the kids and then catches up on her other tasks. Getting caught up on what's stacking up helps alleviate the frustration of watching more pile up while you are homeschooling. I went right out to my local library and the kids have had great incentive to get their schoolwork and chores done.
Not only were my spirits lifted by my friends, I also had several people contact me with greater needs than mine. I was able to come alongside and strengthen them and really pray for them. There is nothing like the lifting up of weary arms in the midst of battle while strengthening your own heart.