My husband and I attended the NCHE convention this past weekend, an event we look forward to all year. Not only is it a weekend away without kids, we thoroughly enjoy listening to the speakers and browsing the book fair.
Okay, I thoroughly enjoy listening to the speakers and browsing the book fair.
My husband enjoys the first few sessions and browsing the book fair the first 5 times though, but after that you’ll find him outside wandering the streets of Winston-Salem, NC and I’m on my own.
But this year at the convention, I became blatantly aware of the fact that we are not your typical homeschool family. There were the obvious differences, for example most homeschool families have at least 5 children and they’ve got it all together, the kids are all perfectly behaved, and play a variety of instruments. Or so it seems to me.
Our family, not so much.
We have only (as someone at one of the vendor booths made clear) have two children, we don’t play any instruments, and most days it’s a struggle to reach the end of the day without sacrificing a life. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but you get the picture…our house is complete chaos 99% of the time.
So those are the superficial differences that anyone can see. The differences that were made clear to me during the convention go much deeper. I realized that all of the speakers were stay at home, homeschool moms. I am a work full-time outside of the home, homeschool mom. The Enemy taunted me, saying that my kids are suffering because I’m not with them enough, and that I won’t be able to keep up this double life much longer, that my homeschool is about to come crashing down around me.
I realized that these women had been devoted Christians most or all of their lives, and now they are passing on that legacy to their children. I am merely 2 years into my walk with Christ. I am constantly learning and messing things up. There is so much about my faith that I don’t know, and yet here I am trying to teach my children to love and honor God. Satan taunts me, saying I’m a hypocrite and that it’s just a matter of time before I screw up enough and he has a clear shot at my children.
He’s constantly telling me that I’m not equipped for this lifestyle.
These wonderful speakers also have fabulous husband who are usually involved in ministry. They are the spiritual leaders in the home, just as the Bible commands. They work hard outside the home and return each evening striving to lead their families closer to Christ. I have a fabulous husband who works from home, loves his children, and takes care of all the household chores.
He also happens to be an unbeliever.
He doesn’t have any religious affiliations, which leaves me as the spiritual leader in our home. This is something I’m just now coming to terms with. More on that later! As I listened to these speakers, I could feel that familiar tinge of discontentment rising. Why couldn’t my husband be more like that. The Enemy was shouting that our marriage would never last, we could never overcome these differences.
The last day of the convention, I began to feel a different pull on my heart. I felt God speaking this time. He was telling me to be still, to remember that He called me to this life. He called us to homeschool three years ago and has equipped us each step of the way.
I had to understand that He is leading me so that I can lead my children.
I also had to realize that the husband He gave me is a wonderful person who does so much for our family, that I must show my husband Christ through my life each and every day, and the work that goes on in the heart of another is His work, not mine.
And maybe the most important thing God impressed upon me was that it’s okay to be different. We don’t have to look like the typical homeschool family. God has put us where we are for a reason and we must be able to figure out our purpose.
He put the idea for the blog in my mind and in my heart.
He spoke to me and said “Heather, you aren’t the only one who struggles in these areas. There are single moms, divorced moms, widowed moms, other moms with unbelieving spouses who are also struggling to balance work, homeschool, and leading their families. Satan is screaming lies to them too! Link your lives together. Help each other through your challenges, but be real.”
The idea for the blog actually came from my husband, but I fully believe it was God speaking through him.
“But I am not a writer,” I told him in the car on the way home.
The next morning, I woke up with a feeling of God saying “Trust me, I will give you the words.”
So here we are.
Upside Down Homeschooling. Because our lives have been shaken up. We are stretched to the max.
But we are always, always sustained by His grace alone.
Has your life been shaken up? Are you stretched to your breaking point?
Are you upside down homeschooling?