Being a good homeschooling mom to four doesn’t just happen. It takes time, effort and planning. I use schedules and overview plans to keep me on track. The real life of having four kids helps me be flexible and keeps my type A personality from itemizing every moment. I love my kids dearly and am SO glad I get to train them up in the way they should go by homeschooling them. It is truly a gift. However, it is taxing.
By spring I was so drained from the grading papers, planning, and scheduling. Plus making sure everyone who wasn’t being taught at the moment was doing what they were supposed to be so they weren’t distracting to the child who was being taught. Then trying to get laundry done. And what’s for dinner tonight? Gotta watch the clock and get that started at the right time…
I was desperate for some time to rest and refresh. I had high hopes I would get that in the spring but when my hopes were dashed, it was like an emotional train wreck in my soul. The floodgates of tears opened up. I tried to close those gates and they’d shut…for a time. Then they’d burst open again. With no warning I’d start crying. I began to wonder what was wrong with me. At this point I had no idea what the source was. It wasn’t ’til I started talking with someone that I realized I was burnt out. The cure for burn out is rest. Unplug from your normal daily activities. Relax. This was a new concept for me. I’m the homeschooling mom that takes a break here and there. Maybe a week or two. Otherwise I powerhouse through. I usually lighten the load for the summer but summer break… what’s that? I knew I needed a break. I needed rest. But not just any rest. A deeper kind of rest was needed to fill up what was depleted.
I also noticed I hadn’t been spending time with the Lord like I should. I was reading my Bible and praying but good quality time with the Lord – you know the sit there and soak in His presence and let His love strengthen you – kind of time was scarce. I had let disappointment from some unfulfilled hopes and dreams come in between my relationship with the Lord.
During worship one Sunday, in my heart I heard the phrase, “Be Mary”. Immediately I thought of the story of Mary and Martha and how Mary sat at Jesus’ feet listening to Him. Then I began to doubt myself if it was Mary or Martha at his feet. Realizing the Lord was telling me something specific I relaxed. Later I was curious how the story went so I grabbed my Bible and found the story in Luke 10:38-42:
As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village
where a woman Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister
called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.
But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had be made.
She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has
left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset
about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen
what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
The Lord was showing me that not only do I need to take time off but I needed to be close to the Lord and listen to Him as Mary did. Resting at His feet. Pressing in with expectation. Hanging on every word. Listening intently to what He has to say because you know His words will transform you and change your life. That is resting in the Lord. That’s the kind of rest that will strengthen you. Fill up what has been taken.