By Elizabeth Thomas
I do laundry, pay bills, wash dishes, return movies and library books (sometimes on time), shop for groceries with coupons I spend hours clipping, buy birthday cards and gifts, wash the car, take care of three cats and a dog, cook dinner, and, once in a while, I get the house clean. I currently do not have cable or Internet service and almost never have time for my personal hobbies, which include sewing, scrapbooking, and gardening. I also have a part-time job that I’ve had for about six years. And if that’s not enough, I am the mother of not one or two, but four daughters that I also homeschool.
Some mornings I wake on on the “me” side of the bed and think, “Why me? How did I get here?”
As a young teenager, I used to say I would wait until I was 30 years old to get married and have just one kid, a boy! I was into my social life and, well, myself. The very idea of becoming a housewife who homeschooled really never crossed my mind. The insanity of it all makes me laugh now! Sometimes I think my life today is more like that part of “Cheaper By the Dozen” where everyone is screaming and yelling in total disorder.
I was reading in my devotional a few days ago about these verses in Proverbs 31:27-28: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.” I almost threw my devotional on the floor when I read this! I can’t put into words how far from this verse I felt that day.
I was having issues with church, feelings, and family — and in the moment, nothing seemed to be going the way I thought it should! I felt like I was under attack by Satan, and I was about to bust into a million shattered pieces. I was emotionally drained. Blessed? Ha ha — I didn’t feel that way.
There will always be days like this — at least I know there will be for me — but the truth, God’s truth, is the light at the end of the tunnel. The truth is this: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
If I keep my eyes on Jesus and His plan in my life, all these “speed bumps” become irrelevant. Satan wants me to feel inadequate, to fall down and stay down. It’s a huge job to be a wife and a mother and a homeschooler, and inadequacy is an easy feeling to get trapped into. The truth is I am blessed! I can do this because I am blessed with the gift of prayer, and God’s strength in my weakness! Everyday is a new day, and we can start that day in devotion and prayer.
Homeschooling is another gift I’ve been blessed with because we have the time to learn this important truth! We can spend eight hours a day learning how blessed we are as a family, even when we don’t always realize it. Being able to do this with my girls gives me the opportunity to not only get to know them and who they are, but it gives me an understanding of my parents that simply was not there before. Everyday I think, “Wow, my father taught this to me so much better, I wish I would have paid more attention.” I respect and honor my parents a lot more now, and that is really a gift in itself.
My children amaze me, frustrate me, and bless me with so much patience and love that I don’t think I would have if I worked full time. I honestly like them for who they are! Yes it’s rough and heavy work, but I honestly wouldn’t trade it for anything. And yes, I like to think, Proverbs 31:27-28 is talking about me.
Staying in the Word really helps our daily focus and keeping our “feelings” in check. I just have to remember that in my weakness, He is strong. When I look back on the past couple of weeks and what we’ve been through, I can see this clearly now.
— Elizabeth Thomas is a blessed wife and mom of four girls — Stormie, Rachael, Faith and Cadence — who are all homeschooled. She was homeschooled all through her school years and has been homeschooling for three years. She lives in Sapulpa, Oklahoma.