Thursday, May 15, 2014

Complete In Him

My children have one week left of school and they will be able to sleep late, enjoy the warm weather outside, and just "be" without obligation.  My children are homeschooled, but not in the traditional sense. They attend an online public school. They have to be in attendance 180 days, take the state tests, and actually attend "live lessons."  However, they still have a somewhat flexible schedule and can work around extra-curricular activities.  This was the first year for my two youngest children to attend and the second year for my oldest.  It was a big change for all of us.

Previously, I had taught my children myself and put together their curriculum, as well. It was fun for me and them, especially receiving all the new books and materials at the beginning of the school year.  Why switch, right?  I'm getting to that.

As a homeschool parent, the stress levels sometime get so high that we feel like we are having a nervous breakdown.  At least it felt that way in my experience.  But in 2012, I was at the breaking point.  It had nothing to do with educating my children, but it had a lot to do with personal crises, one being my dad passing away.  I was driving back and forth, trying to help my mom adjust to life without my dad, while I was still trying to come to grips with it.  So, my husband and I both decided that it might be a good move to change some things that would make it easier for all of us, because, let's face it, when Mom is stressed, the whole family is stressed!!!

Now, I did not go into this without some serious prayer.  I mean, I was a homeschool mom!!! What kind of example would I be if I didn't do it the way other parents did it?!!!!  Yeah, I had that mindset and a few of the "perfect" (or, so they thought!) moms decided it was in my best interest to let me know that I was wrong. Boy, am I glad I did not listen to them!!!

This has been the best choice for my family.  My children have adapted and-gasp!-actually enjoy it. Had I listened to those "perfect" moms, my family would still be stressing and the educational process would have been hindered.

My point is this:  the choices you make are yours and only you know what is the best direction for you and your family.  Don't let others' seemingly perfect lives affect your decisions.  2 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV) reads, "Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves.  But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding."  In other words, don't let those who exalt themselves make you feel less.  They are not wise for comparing based on their high opinion of themselves.  Be confident in yourself and your decisions and, when you do make mistakes, learn from them, don't stress over them.

Not only have I had to pull this verse out over the homeschool issue, but there have been times in my life that I have felt less than adequate because someone has said something to belittle me, listened to gossip about me that was not true, been jealous of me for one reason or another or, they truly thought they were better than me.  Whatever the reason, I have struggled with low self-esteem and tried to live up to others' expectations of me based on their opinion of themselves or because of their misguided thought patterns.

Colossians 2:10 (KJV) reads, "And ye are complete in him."   We don't need to measure up to others, only Jesus.  He created us in his image and he is our perfect example.  Don't let negative words and actions determine who you are or the choices you make.  Be confident in the Lord and hold your head high!  He has a special purpose for you!

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