Monday, January 20, 2014

Day Twenty: Patience In Homeschooling

"I'm going straight into that principal's office tomorrow and signing you up immediately! If you're going to disrespect me as your teacher one more time, I will have no other choice. Try that at school and see what happens! They won't take kindly to all that mouthiness, I promise you!" I raged, looming over her with hands on my hips.
My girl stood with big brown eyes like saucers, confounded by the sight before her. She was suddenly quiet as she gazed upon her mother having the same tantrum she had just displayed. Her shoulders slumped and she looked down at the floor. "I don't want to go to school, Mommy," she cried.
My muscles loosened and I sighed. In that moment, I realized I had lost my patience over a ready bomb that could have been deactivated in a much different way. Shame crept over me as every moment I had lost my cool raced through my mind. I pulled her toward me and wrapped my arms around her. "I love teaching you, Babe, I really do. I just want you to remember to honour Mommy, as the Bible says, and obey the rules of our homeschool. Will you forgive me for being so impatient?" Through her tears she gazed up at me, still frowning.
"Okay (sniff)." And she buried her head in my sweater.
Patience is a daily request I make to the Lord. But because His Spirit is resident in me, and He is all-patient, I have the ability to exhibit patience to my children. I am not helpless. I am not left without a way out of the temptation to lose it. (I Corinthians 10:13) I am responsible, and capable, to obey and be long-suffering as Jesus exemplified. He said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." (John 14:15, 16) Thankfully, when I fail, the Holy Spirit rescues me every time as He is my "Helper". He knows my heart and that I desperately desire to raise my children experiencing this beautiful fruit of the Spirit in me. I want a soft answer to be so normal in our home that they are surprised when they see impatient behaviour. (Proverbs 15:1) I know that my greatest weapon against impatience is communing daily with the Giver of this fruit. (Psalm 27--amazing! Galatians 5:25) I see such a difference in my responses to my children and husband when I do.
After posting yesterday's writing about roadblocks to homeschooling, I thought about how impatience is likely the next biggest concern for mothers. They fear they won't have enough patience to deal with their children by educating them and being with them all day long. Well, they're absolutely correct--they won't, and I don't either. However, just as we rely on God to provide financially and to turn the hearts of our husbands, we trust that if He's leading us to this calling, He'll provide the patience when we ask. It doesn't mean we won't make mistakes, but we will grow in Him and get a little closer to the way His Son lived and was an example for us. Psalm 103 speaks of God's great long-suffering with us and that He doesn't punish us according to what we deserve. Since patience is directly related to mercy and we have been shown unfathomable mercy in our lives, we remind ourselves that we must have mercy on our children when they are behaving or learning in way that is frustrating to us. We have the ability to have patience in our homeschooling when God is the One who leads us.
1514. for the unbelievable mercy God grants me each day
1515. the news Linda received that the plate in her head will be operated on to be fixed
1516. that Kim began her treatments and is on the road to healing (believing!)
1517. for another birthday for my two January kiddos!
1518. for a continued love of homeschooling even in our eighth year
1519. for the readers of this blog who let me know once in awhile that they're "tuned in"--thank you!
1520. how gratitude really does change hearts and minds and bring joy to your life
1521. for intimate conversations with my big girl
1522. how he often says out of the blue, "I love you, Mommy."

1 comment:

Camille said...

#1519...I am thankful for YOU! :) Hang in there, my sweet are doing a great job! And, yes...patience...I cannot tell you how many times that has been posed to me as the reason the Mama facing me cannot home educate. I reply, as you do...none of us has patience's a gift of daily grace. And, I fail so often. But, HE forgives and gives more grace day by day. Hugs to you! Camille