Focusing on What Matters

So. I’m a homeschool mom. Wait! I know that homeschooling is not the most “normal” way to educate your children, but before you back out of this post, you should know that we probably have a lot more in common than you might think. Do you ever feel overwhelmed with parenting, wondering if you’re “training them up in the way they should go,” or providing them with the right opportunities (education and extra-curricular activities) to become who they were created to be? I do.

At the start of this year, I had lunch with a precious, veteran mom and homeschooler. I was feeling pretty burned out with trying to “get it all done” every day and hoping she would have some encouragement for me. This wise woman had some great advice and thought-provoking questions that brought me clarity and focus. First, she asked me how much I actually remembered from my school years (A little).  Second, she told me that she had learned that people will teach themselves what they really desire to know.

Third, she asked me, “What are the most important things you want your kids to know by the time they leave home?” We talked about the things that mattered, and I went home and made a list of what I hope to have imparted to my three blessings by the time they leave home: Love, character, and financial wisdom.

Love: That my children would know that Jesus and their parents love them, and that they would love Jesus, their family, and the world around them. That they would know that their parents loved each other.

Character: That they would become persons of character—honest, forgiving, obedient, humble, dependable, and willing to embrace hard work.

Financial wisdom: That they would know how to manage their money well—to tithe, give, save, not rack up credit card debt, to make wise investments, and be able to live on a budget.

This is where I landed. Your list might look different from mine, but whatever the list looks like, it offers us direction and focus as parents. When I start fretting about not getting all 36 weeks of the science curriculum completed in one school year, or worrying about the robotics and music classes my kids aren’t taking right now, I remind myself that if Sonny and I are teaching and modeling love, character, and financial wisdom, then we are on track.

And finally, when wrestling with what opportunities to give my children, I remember Psalms 16:5-6:

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

These verses help me be at rest with the amount of “opportunities” that fall into the boundaries of our budget, schedule, geography, energy levels, and the time it takes to have a healthy marriage. God’s boundary lines are not the same for everyone, but they are very good.

This post was written by Erin Smart. To read more about her, click here

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