By Karen Smith
Remember the song, “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” that was made so popular by the movie Frozen. Homeschool mamas could make a song famous entitled, “Do You Wanna Ride the School Bus?”
Go ahead and be honest, as homeschool moms, this phrase has undoubtedly come out of your mouth. “Do you want to ride the school bus?” If you have more self-control than me, then maybe you’ve just thought it. I, on the other hand, have uttered this statement to my children on more than one occasion. I even follow that statement up with, “and go to school all day then have to do hours of homework when you get home!” And after we have these moments of thinking or speaking these thoughts, this stabbing pain comes like a dagger straight into our heart along with the question “why did I say that?”
I want to speak to that weakness we all experience at one point or another. Why do we lose it and let words fly from our mouths with our kids? Why do we allow selfish thoughts to enter our minds and impact the way we respond to our children? It’s simple. We are sinful, fallen people doing our best to raise sinful, fallen little people. End of story. No further questions needed. We can psychoanalyze ourselves until we make ourselves crazy, but the truth is, we aren’t perfect, we won’t ever be perfect, and our children won’t be perfect (and that’s not our fault). Therefore, we falter at times.
Hope for Worn-Out Mamas
The good news, I serve a God of wonders. He is strength when I am weak. God is peace when I am in turmoil. He forgives when I am unruly. God is wisdom when I don’t know how to parent. He gives comfort when I am at the end of my rope. God says, let go and come to me.
You see on those days when my imperfections arise for all to see, God simply says come. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) I love how The Message Bible translates these verses: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Today, may we come to Jesus. May our hearts be light and full of joy as we experience His rest, His wisdom, His comfort today.. May our children see God’s love flow right out of our mouths.
Friends, I don’t tell you these things because I’m perfect and have it figured out. Nope, I tell you these things because I experience every day my imperfections and the remembrance that I need Jesus.
When my eight-year-old and I work on writing every day, I need Jesus. She has dysgraphia, and it makes life difficult for sure. When my 17-year-old daughter is struggling with anxiety, and I’m ready to scream that anxiety right out of her, I need Jesus! I need Jesus as I release my son into the real world to flap his wings on his own. I need Jesus every day.
You can do it, mama. You can’t do it on your own, but with Jesus, you can do it. In May, I graduated my oldest son. It was a day full of many emotions. But the one thing that became so evident to me as he graduated from homeschool, there is a piece of me he carries with him. It’s not the days I yelled, “Do you want to ride the school bus?” Instead, he carries with him, the love that I have poured into him. He understands what it means to come to Jesus because he has watched his mama have to come to Jesus on a regular basis. He knows in life, we get tired, and Jesus gives us rest.
So mamas, today, I remind you, Come to Jesus! His yoke is easy and His burden light. It’s okay if you think “Do you want to ride the school bus?” That’s just your reminder that it is time to experience His rest in your life. And remember, you aren’t perfect so don’t expect yourself to be perfect!
Karen Smith was born and raised in Southwest Arkansas. She graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in 1996 with a BSE in Elementary Education. In 1997, she and her husband Zine Smith moved to Huntsville, Alabama. She has worked as a Children’s Minister for several many years before coming home to minister to her own family. She has devoted her life to homeschooling her children, serving as VBS director and other roles in her local church. In May 2017, she graduated her oldest son from homeschooling. She continues to homeschool her 17-year-old and 8-year-old daughters. She is also the caregiver to her husband who suffers from a progressive form of Multiple Sclerosis. Karen blogs at Glimpses of Faith and Struggles. She loves to share her life with her readers and encourage their hearts as she leads them to the One who is Good, the One who is Control, and the One whose strength is made perfect in our weakness!