I homeschool. Duh. I've poured my heart and soul out about that like six hundred times on this blog. Give or take. This was a calling for me. I cannot explain it any other way. I didn't want to do it. I tried to pull a total Jonah on it. But, alas, here I am.
I'm not a teacher. I never wanted to be a teacher. I have no training to teach. And yet, I spend my days with three school aged children ranging from early reader to advanced tween. My goal when I started this was to stay one day ahead of each of them. I would have a plan and be studied up one day in advance. That's all I'd need, I thought. Even that, apparently, is too lofty for me.
I don't know how real teachers do it.
Okay, I guess I am a "real" teacher whether I believe it or not, but you know what I mean.
In a culture that loves to villianize, I would have been fired about ten thousand times by now. I lose my temper about 450 times daily, over silly things. I have to apologize about 450 times daily, even when I'm justified in being upset, because nothing warrants an explosion the likes of which I am capable.
On the flip side of "not being a real teacher," I'm a mom. It's hard to say where one role ends and the other begins, maybe there's no difference, but the stories are the same. It's not that I never wanted to be a mom. It's just that it wasn't my goal in life. I never realized what a blessing it would be to have kids, to rear children, to see the world through their eyes.
Now I have five and I'm pregnant with a sixth. It's a big task. Some days it feels like I'm tapped out. I've given all that I have to give. I can simply not heed one more request, demand, need. Some days, that happens by about 10:12am. My well is empty. I have nothing left to give. I can feel myself switching into Mr. Hyde mode and for the well-being of everyone involved, we take a break. The kids go outside. The babies get in their bed. Mom sits in the rocker and stares at birds with a cup of coffee like a 90 year old woman and thinks about nothing at all.
But then, I think about Jesus. He spent literal years ministering to people who required so much from him, onto whom he poured out unceasing love and healing and teachings, with whom he never unjustly lost his patience. They literally pressed onto him. Don't you know he must have been exhausted?
He never stopped loving on them.
I don't ever stop loving my children, but sometimes, I don't love on them. I try to tell myself it's good that they can see my triumphs as well as my many, many faults. There's no way I'll ever be their personal Jesus. I simply cannot live up to that, though every day I'm being sanctified, I know I'll never, ever come close. Maybe with each passing day, he is teaching me patience. It's a fruit of the spirit, after all. Fruit starts out as a seed and has to mature. I'm certainly not there yet.
I do take solace in knowing that when things got the toughest for him, when he was sorrowful and troubled, he retreated. He pulled back and cried out to his father. Jesus taught us how to reset. Pull back and cry out.
This is my reminder today. Don't hurt the ones dearest to me when I'm worn out and weary, when my shallow well of patience has run dry. Just take a walk in the garden and cry out to Him.
It's so simple.
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1