When I began homeschooling, I wanted my kids to enjoy the experience, to discover and grow with wonder, but I also wanted them to excel. I wanted, like many moms do, to know I was doing an okay job at this new gig and for me, that actually meant “do better than every one else.” That was the honest state of my heart.
I was consumed by the fear of of how I would measure up in others’ eyes. I was, in many ways, using my children and how well they were doing as a means for approval from others around me and as a marker of my own self worth.
These are big confessions. I’m thankful this isn’t me anymore. I’m thankful that the course of the life in our home has shifted from one of performance to one of grace…often messy grace. As scary as it is to write this on my blog for the entire world to see, I think its important to say because I have an inkling that there are moms out there reading this that may be a lot like me. Or even used to be a lot like me. I often say I am a recovering perfectionist. Striving for perfection and acceptance are like any other idol that we invest ourselves in and live to maintain; the pull to do enough, be enough, or try harder to merit ourselves is something we have to fight to resist each day.
This post is for those of you bound by perfection, or striving for it. For those of you who are fearful each day when you wake up that every step you make has to be the right one. For those of you that are embarking on homeschooling this fall and are right now diving into every catalog and curriculum magazine you can get your hands on to be sure you are choosing the perfect fit for your children. I know this. I know how you love your family to overflowing and just want to do this job well. I know how tired and worn you feel carrying the weight of training sweet babes and creating a home.
I know how this worry of getting it all right can knaw at you and become the foundation, even unknowingly, for all you do with your children each day.
When your plans crumple, when you are ready to give up control, when you become depressed as you realize you won’t ever measure up to your own expectations…If you feel like you are back at the beginning, starting all over again, in the process of tearing down an unsure foundation, know this: you are seen and known by a gracious God.He promises to rebuild,and get this: He does it for you. You can rest. You can trust him.
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with saphires.
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
All your children will be taught by the LORD,
and great will be their peace.
~Isaiah 54: 11-13
I’m praying for you. I’m praying for your heart and your journey and the beautiful chaos that will ensue this year. I’m praying that you know deep down in the hidden places of your being that you are defined by whose you are, and not by what you do. The perfection and righteousness of Christ is enough, even though alone we never will be. He will show us where to invest, where to labor, where to let go. I’m praying that we can all cling to him and be at rest, that we will let him build anew.
If I can pray for you further, or you want to join me in loving other moms burdened with getting it all right, will you message me, or leave a comment? I’d love to hear from you.