“In all labor there is profit but mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
Help for the Hero
Have you ever played “homeschool hooky?” You’ve played if you’ve ever had one of those homeschooling days when you felt like you didn’t really get anything done. Maybe you commented on Facebook statuses about homeschooling, served bland leftovers that really didn’t require effort, texted with a friend, scanned the book sale ads, and kind of just lazed around or something similar. I would be lying if I said I’ve never experienced days or longer than appropriate times like this (not counting Christmas break), even on school days. Thankfully, the Lord is showing me that these kinds of school days not profit our family, and that they also don’t bring real joy either. On the contrary, I usually feel depressed or annoyed with my family or myself when my rest time hasn’t been earned. It has been said that a hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom (Bob Dylan). Instead of falling into a pattern of half-hearted homeschooling, try to plan to do your fun but mindless tasks when you’ve truly earned your break. You will not be sorry for giving your family the time they’ve asked of you if you aren’t trying to sneak away to do something else As a reward after your hard work, allow yourself time to really enjoy and soak up these leisurely activities all at once, so you too have something other than cleaning, teaching, carpooling, etc. to look forward to each evening or morning.
When you are tempted to frequently do unproductive things during school hours, try to picture yourself as your school-aged child or children sees you. Do you want them to see, foremost in their minds, an image of their mom running off to scan a clothes catalog or to gab with friends online? In a few years, they will be older and will need you less and less. They are also watching your behavior, and may think that what you do is what they are expected to be doing when they are adults. Let’s try to model hard work and healthy relax time to our families!
Kids Can Too!!
When you see your kids spending a little (or a lot) too much time scanning the Internet, watching TV, or loafing around, give them some incentive to work hard, other than that they’ll get in big trouble if they don’t. You are a creative woman of God who loves your children deeply. Let this be most evident as you put your brain to work, thinking about what makes your children motivated to work hard. What subject is their favorite? Help them with a project in this area, take them on a fun field trip exploring, give them a tangible reward for x amount of minutes on a clock for cleaning, or cuddle them with a story you both love. In other words, allow some fun to sneak into the hard work time, so none of you are as consumed with escaping it!
Think about what acts of service you do for your hubby on a weekly basis. Spend some time thinking about what areas of labor your husband may be struggling in, in terms of his weekly chores or duties. Could you surprise him by doing his ironing? Could you offer him a neat bedroom, his comfy slippers or robe, hand him his favorite magazine or book, and tell him you want him to relax while you put the kids to bed? Could you wear a special, romantic outfit to bed on a night he would enjoy but not expect it? These simple loving acts are wonderful ways of showing him some tangible profits for his daytime labors. If he doesn’t offer you simple acts of service in return, let him know if there is something he can do to help you enjoy your reward after a long day of teaching. He’s your partner, and needs to know how to help his hero want to keep her day job!
I know there is no condemnation for me when I am less than a perfect parent and spouse, but I want to serve You foremost. I ask that You would help me to do my best with whatever energy I have to offer to my family this week. May You help me to focus on the work involved in being a teacher and wife foremost, and help me to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. May I use my teaching gifts to love my family well, and to bring them closer to You. Amen.