The Greatest “Why”
Every year, right about this time, I have a total meltdown. Yup. It is shockingly messy and yes, it is typically loud. I should just go ahead and put it on the calendar so I can just stop being surprised by it…again.
You see, I am a lot of things. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a military spouse. I am a sister and a daughter and a friend. I am cook to teenagers who have severe food allergies. I am over 40 and actually at peace with that. I am a worship leader, a writer, a creative, craving heart. I am a soulful girl, who longs for an authentic life and walk with Jesus. I love to lead thousands in worship just as much as I love to worship alone in my prayer closet or in the car on the way to the grocery store.
I know who I am. But…
You see, among those things that I am, I am currently something that is, quite frankly, consuming a HUGE amount of my bandwidth and wakes me up in a sweat in the middle of the night.
I am a homeschool mom of teenagers.
And I will share something brutally honest with you. I am pretty sure that I am not the best at it.
Sure, I am committed to giving them the most academically rigorous (or complete) education that I can. I lay out all the necessary requirements, grade all their papers, projects, and their various math problems. I keep an honest gradebook and they all seem to be doing fine, but I confess that I am regularly just not convinced that my attempt at academia is the very best there is to offer them. I am pretty sure I don’t have it to give.
Yes, I know who I am and experience the presence of Peace daily, but just as quickly as I nod my head in assurance, the cracks of comparison and fear of failure seep up into the spaces I thought were solid. I mean, these are my children. They deserve the best, right? Am I the best option for them?
Yes. I am.
And I remind myself again. There is no one else on the planet (outside of Jesus, their dad, and I) who loves them as much as we do. And Jesus, in His infinite wisdom and discernment, goodness, and love saw fit to put them into this family and my arms.
And here’s the thing. If I pour science, math, and English into their hearts but forget the subject that will save their very lives, what have I given them? Yes, every year right about this time, I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I have a job that is just too big for me to manage well. Every year right about this time I feel frustrated and full of self-doubt and anxiety that at the end of the day I am gonna really mess my people up. (insert big sigh)
The very best I have to offer them is not actually in a textbook, but in THE Book.
If I give them Jesus, then it’s worth it. All the conversations we have, all the life we live together, all the character training moments, the wiped tears, the relationship navigating, the “family-is-the-training-ground-for-your-life” stuff that happens every day–all of it is about growing up the next generation for Christ.
This is my greatest why.
Let me be clear that I am not saying homeschooling (or any other method of teaching our children) is best. I’m just clarifying that raising children (and parenting them) is scary. It is. It is glorious, yes, but it is also a ground where the enemy would just love to confuse and mislead our focus, too. If the enemy can convince us that we just aren’t good enough for the job, perhaps we might be tempted to give up or just shrug our shoulders and back away from those messy, hard spaces that are desperate for us to press in deeper.
The enemy of our souls, of our children’s souls, would love nothing more than for us to believe that success is about us. It’s not. It’s about Him and our/their relationship with Him.
So, this year before I melt down, I’m gonna remind myself that it is not about me anyway. (Thank goodness!) This year, this moment, I am gonna remind myself (and you) that if we raise doctors, lawyers, engineers, and physicists, but don’t raise up the next generation for the Lord…we WILL have truly failed.
In a culture that celebrates the smart, the beautiful, the successful, the accomplished, let us be careful what standard we allow ourselves (and our children) to be measured by.
Let’s be parents, friends, sisters, wives, worshippers, and servants who are rock solid in the only One who matters.
May everything we do, everything we are, the words of our mouths, the focus of our lives be about and point to Him.
The song I want to share with you today is new from Casting Crowns, entitled, “Only Jesus.” I heard this song in the car when I was dangerously close to my annual meltdown. The words and message were as timely as they were direct. I literally pulled my vehicle over to pray and repent of my self-centered focus and release, once again, that He is the only “why” I need in everything I do.
So, if you are feeling inadequate, small, or perhaps just in-over-your-head in this great big, full life, remember who holds it all. Remember your greatest why…Jesus. He is enough. Right here. Right now. For your family. For you. His Truth is a message worth sharing and at the end of the day (literally) the only Name that matters.
With joy for the journey,