Several years ago, I shared with you in a Mom’s Corner something that always hurts my heart. When I walk in the mornings, I pass by several day-care homes. I watch mommies and daddies take little children and babies from their car seats, carrying them into a house to spend the day while they go to work. My mind quickly imagines my own little ones snug in their beds, soon to wake and spend their whole day with their mommy and family. My heart fills with sadness for those day-care children and gratitude for my own children’s circumstances.
Remembering these scenes is good for me when I am tempted to complain or murmur about my situation. If I consider the alternatives to what I am doing, I know there isn’t anything in the world I would rather be doing. I also don’t feel there is anything else in the world of greater importance.
So why do I get discouraged? I let my thoughts dwell on the negative parts of my circumstances rather than keeping them fixed on gratefulness for them. If each time my little one’s fussing began getting to me, I were to think, “Lord, I am so grateful that this child is here with me and not spending each day with someone else,” rather than, “Will this child ever stop crying?”–wouldn’t that give me a different perspective on the difficulty?
I can truthfully tell you I know this principle in my mind, but putting it into practice isn’t something that comes naturally. As a matter of fact, I am selfish and will think “poor me” thoughts if the situation lends itself to such thoughts. I have had to see my discouragement as displeasing to my Lord and confess it as sin. In God’s time, as I cry out to Him to strengthen me in this area of weakness, He has been giving me the grace to think the right thoughts in what are naturally discouraging circumstances to me. It is a process He is still taking me through.
How much am I walking consistently, day by day, in gratefulness? When was the last time I thanked my husband for his hard work out of the home that allows me to stay home? Am I regularly expressing my gratefulness to my children for being able to be home so I can homeschool them? These thoughts need to be in my mind and then shared with my family.
Last year, I would tell one of my children that my school time with him was one of the very best parts of my day. Almost every day, he would reply that it wasn’t good for him. I continued day after day and eventually the closeness and expressed love for our time together overcame his dislike of the school material. He eventually stopped his negative remarks, reaching over for my hand and giving me a big smile when I shared my happiness over our school time.
Will my family think I am a content wife and mother if what they see and hear is discouragement and complaining? I can know in my heart that I am content and happy, but those around me want to hear me say it in words. Frequently, I will find if I am happy they are happy. My spirit and attitude is conveyed and transferred to them.
May we as homeschooling mothers remember to have grateful hearts for our tremendous privilege of being at home with our children. May we know that the investment of our lives in our families will count for eternity instead of being burned up as wood, hay, and stubble in an outside job. May our attitudes and faces convey to our family the contentment we find in our role as wife, mother, and teacher.