Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone! The struggles we face to get it “all” done boil down to one simple question: What’s important to you? But who defines “important?” For the Christian, the answer is found in the Word of God.
Mentioned in Podcast
- Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight, by Heidi St. John
- All The Pretty Things, by Dr. Edie Wadsworth
- Sign up for my FREE Essential Oils class that will be from January 15th through the 21st
TRANSCRIBED PODCAST BELOW
Hi you guys – Good morning! Welcome to the show! This is Heidi St. John.
I am so glad that you’ve joined me today. Today is Monday the 7th of January. It’s MailboxMonday here at the podcast and I’m going to be continuing something I was talking about on Friday – which is embracing God’s priorities. This is taken from a book I wrote several years ago called Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight Managing Your Days Through the Homeschool Years.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything that you have to do – stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged!
All right. So a couple of things before we get started. First of all I want to say thank you to everyone who’s been leaving reviews over at iTunes for this podcast. It really helps us a lot if you rate the podcast, leave reviews for it, share it on social media, let your friends know about it.
We are so excited about what God’s doing over here and we’re coming up on a brand new series at MomStrong International. So if you’re not familiar with MomStrong International this is a ministry that we started a year ago – so it’s a relatively new – with the heart and hope of getting you into God’s Word on a deeper level than what you may have been doing already. So those studies start fresh every Monday. The first Monday in January is when we do it. And so that starts today. It’s not too late to join!
You can sign up there just two dollars a week at MomStrongInternational.com. This month’s study is called Find Balance and Breathe. Doesn’t that sound good in January? And speaking of finding balance and breathing – I’m going to be coming to Abilene to encourage you for the Heidi St. John conference – that is coming up on Saturday, the 19th of January. It’s not too late to get tickets for that.
Right after that, I will be in Coos Bay, Oregon for my women’s conference. You can bring your daughters! A lot of you been asking about how old do I think your daughters should be if you want to bring them. We’ve had girls come as young as 14 years old and have them bring their Bible. When come bring your Bible, bring a notebook – and be prepared to just soak in the Word. We’re going to worship and eat lunch together. I’m going to have an hour of questions and answers. We are just really looking forward to that. I’ll be traveling to see you with my entire staff, and my husband, and our two oldest daughters who helped me with worship. So it really is a wonderful time.
Also really quickly – I wanted to let you know I’ve got a brand new essential oils class coming up! YAY – I’m really excited about this. It’s a Facebook class and it starts on January 15th. So it’s next week – you’ve got a little bit of time. You can register and join us at the TheBusyMom.Com/Oils.
This time we’re gonna be doing a series called I Can Be Well. it’s a class about spiritual, and emotional, and physical wellness. And we’ll basically just going to be teaching things that the Lord’s been teaching us over these past few years. I’ve been using essential oils for about ten years. But obviously there’s a lot more to being well than just using essential oils. However, they have been a huge part of our family’s wellness. And so, I love to talk about it. My friend Dr. Eadie Wadsworth is going to be joining me. You may remember her she wrote a book called All The Pretty Things for Tyndale. She’s a physician who also loves to talk about natural ways to be healthy. And so she teaches on essential oils and I know you’re going to love her teaching as well. I love to talk about essential oils and intimacy – which is what I will be doing. But join us the classes free! January 15th through the 21st and again you can register at TheBusyMom.Com/Oils. I will link back to that in the show notes today.
All right. This is Monday and so I always talk about letters that I get. If you have a question that you would like to see answered, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can e-mail me anytime – our staff loves to hear from you! And we love to organize your letters. The main thing is – it would help me if you would say MailboxMonday in the in the subject. So that’s the main thing.
So I want to kind of continue, but I’m going to start off with a letter that I got from a young mom. Her name’s Hannah. So sweet Hannah, this is for you.
So Hannah wrote to me several months ago – sorry it’s taken me so long. And she said:
Dear Heidi, I am a mother of five children. My youngest child is just two months old and our oldest child is nine. I am frustrated and discouraged. I feel overwhelmed. I feel inadequate and unable to do the things that God has asked me to do with regard to homeschooling, let alone taking care of my house. Can you encourage me?
Okay Hannah, I absolutely can encourage you! First thing I want to encourage you to do is if you guys haven’t picked up my book Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight. I want to encourage you to do that. You can find it anywhere books are sold. You can find it on Amazon. I’ll link back to it in the show notes today. It’s is chock full of practical information for those of you who are trying to manage a busy household, and it’s not just good for homeschool moms – it’s good for any mom – but it has a particular slant for homeschooling moms just because that has been my road for so many years.
And so, we talked about embracing God’s priorities and how important it is to put your relationships in the order that God says to put them in. And so, we talked about marriage on Friday-remember? We talked about the importance of being like the Wonder Twins. I know that I was dating myself a little bit – but I still love the analogy – “Wonder Twins Power Activate!” – right?
And when God brought you together as a husband wife. He did it with a Kingdom purpose in mind. God never does anything apart from a Kingdom purpose. So the main thing we do to keep our houses, to keep our homes rather, working the way that God designed them and wants them to run — is to embrace God’s priorities. We nurture our relationship with the Lord, and then we nurture our relationship with our spouse, and then out of the overflow we nurture our relationships with our kids.
And I often tell a story of something that happened to me many many years ago as I was homeschooling and my kids, sort of just sitting around said “mom, you’re no fun to be around anymore”
Anybody? Anybody? A moment of silence for all of us moms who are no fun anymore. Ouch! Right? And those were the words that were spoken from a teary eyed 9 year old after I asked the age old question – What’s wrong?
And it took some time for me to get the answer out of my tender hearted child. You see, things had been tense for weeks but I ignored most of the signs hoping that eventually the kids would adjust to my new and improved way of doing things. So at that point it had been about four months since I’d implemented a new routine. So, some of you are doing that right now for January – you’re implementing a new routine and you’re being kind of hardcore about it. That’s what I was doing. And as it turned out I was driving my household a little bit nuts with my hour-to-hour schedule. And I’m sad to say it wasn’t good on the relationship front. It wasn’t really working for us.
You see – I had reasoned and justified away any excuse for a walk to the park, or a day off on my schedule just by looking at the sheer amount of work that I had to do every day to get through my day successfully.
Right? There’s so much to do. Can you guys relate? There’s laundry to do, and dishes to wash, and dinner has to be made – and don’t forget about schoolwork! And my heart really was in the right place. But as I look back now, I can see an immaturity because I wasn’t keeping my eyes on what was really important.
You see, my reasoning didn’t leave very much time for relationships outside of the necessary, and oh-so-daily, character and obedience training that all moms are doing with their kids. And days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months – and I couldn’t remember when the last time was I’d bake cookies with the kids or did anything that wasn’t related to housework or schoolwork with them for more than five minutes.
I was so busy surviving our busy life that I wasn’t taking the time for the stuff that makes life great.
And this isn’t a guilt trip. So, some of you were like – “Oh man here we go – guilt tripped.” You know, this is not it. Get out, unpack your bags.I’m not trying to send you on a guilt trip because the fact is – being able to relax with my family wasn’t a priority for me. That’s really what I learned for myself – and I learned it from my kids. My kids were the ones who really opened my eyes to this fact because, here’s the thing – I am a Type A personality. I still struggle with it. My Type A personality grates against a free afternoon at the park because I worry about things that feel are more “important” that I’m not going to be getting done.
But here’s the question, and Hannah, this is the question I want to ask you. Who defines important? Who defines it? You see, as our children have grown older I’ll confess that my definition of important has undergone several changes. Probably due to the fact that I’m recognizing that things I worried about as a younger homeschool mom were often the least important things. I’m telling you guys – I wrung my hands and fretted over whether or not there are big gaps in their education, right? Anybody? Prepositions, Algebra lessons, writing assignments – proving my homeschool savvy – that had become my focus instead.
And I’m here to tell you right now – I’m just gonna let you guys off the hook. I’m gonna answer an age old question – YES, there will be gaps in your child’s education. Here’s the thing – we want to embrace God’s priorities. Wherever your kids go to school – whether you put them in a Private School or Christian School, or you homeschool them – there will be gaps in your kid’s education. And I just want to encourage you. God will finish in your children when He’s begun in them through you – if you will be faithful to do what God has asked you to do. So God tells us in His Word what’s really important, right?
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you as well
And it’s easy to get busy doing the wrong things. And in fact – I think sometimes even the right things end up being wrong. So please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you need to ditch your schedule. In fact the opposite is true! And I’m going to talk to you, probably on Friday I’ll continue this this conversation with you – and we’ll talk a little bit about scheduling. And I’m not saying don’t do school if you’d rather be playing a rousing game of Sorry either. What I’m saying is – keep your finger on the pulse of your family.
And so that means we’ve got to periodically make time for self of evaluation – so what’s working? So Hannah – what’s working in your home right now? What’s not working? Are the relationships in your home suffering because of something that you were doing that could be changed a bit? Ask yourself – When my children are grown, what do I want them to remember about their mom? What do I want them to remember about our homeschooling? Because my hunch is – you don’t want them to remember a hurried, harried, stressed out mom who wasn’t much more fun than a math assignment. Right?
And when our kids graduate from our homeschool – I’ve got almost four down and three to go – I want them to remember that I loved them. I want them to remember that their dad and I love them. And even on busy days – I hope they remember that we loved them. I don’t want my kids to look back and think of me as a mom who cared more about academics and housework than I did about dreaming with them, or enjoying the stage in phases of their lives. The days go by so fast. I’m just preaching to myself right now, you guys don’t even have to listen 🙂 I’m just talking to myself. 😉
Because this is still a struggle. It’s still a struggle. Even for a mom who’s been at this for a long time. And most of the moms I know are always trying to learn how to make the most of the precious daylight hours. But there’s a bigger picture that we want to keep in focus. So as we talk about planning our day – which we’re gonna do – I want you to keep this in mind – time is a gift and so are the children that God has given us to raise.
So try this. All right, close your eyes with me. When you think about homeschooling, and schedules, and housework, and dishes, or your car pool, or whatever it is that you got going on — ask the Lord to give you His perspective. We don’t need our own perspective. Everything else will fall into place when we know we’re doing what He’s asked us to do first.
You know, I went home the other night after a long day of working. And our kids had been helping us – I told you guys we started the Homeschool Resource Center last year. It’s wonderful, but it has added a whole new dynamic to our family and it’s easy for me – even though my husband they’re doing a really good thing – it’s still easy for us to forget what the best thing is and to get caught up doing the good thing and sacrifice the best thing.
So when I came home from the Resource Center last night – it was probably about 8:00 at night, and our kids been helping us get ready for something. And my littlest one, who is 8 years old now, she had gone upstairs to brush your teeth. And I said – Hey would you like would like to read a story? And her eyes lit up! I’m telling you that those next 20 minutes that I spent – I put a blanket in the dryer- This might one of my favorite things to do in the wintertime because it is so cold in my neck of the woods. And so, I put a big blanket in the dryer for her while she finished brush your teeth, and I went and picked out a couple of picture books – and I just sat down with her and we started to read all snuggled up under that warm blanket from the dryer.
And when I went to bed that night, I think I slept a little bit better. Because my heart had been satisfied knowing that I had honored God’s priority – which was to nurture the heart of my child. And I truly believe that in Christian Homeschooling, for homeschooling moms – it’s really nothing short of a God-thing because apart from His leading – you could never do it. Apart from God’s leading in your life – we would never have His power, that’s perfected in weakness.
So if you’re feeling ill-equipped for the job right now if you’re struggling to know that what you’re doing is right can I just encourage you? God says His strength is made perfect in weakness. So whether you’re an accidental homeschooler like me, or you’ve always known you would homeschool, or you’re just thinking about it – the challenge that home-education provides us with is fertile soil in which to dig deep into the truths of God’s Word . And to find out just how powerful He really is. That’s what being a mother has been teaching me. That’s what being in the hordes of homeschooling has been teaching me, and I hope to pass on some of what I’m learning to other precious moms like you Hannah – and my hope is that you find encouragement as you listen to what I’m saying.
As you listen to what I’m saying, I want you to look at yourself in the mirror and just say: Lord, show me what you need me to do – what do you want me to do?
he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion
He didn’t say – He might. He didn’t say – if He’s in the right mood He would. He said – He would see it through to completion. So whether you’re at the beginning of your journey as a mom, or you’re a veteran – you can feel a little bit lighter and a little bit more confident knowing God is gonna finish it. That’s why I’m saying – if you do your thing, if you do what God asks you to do, if you honor His priorities – which sometimes frankly, it means leaving your sink dirty. I know The Fly Lady would just be shakin’ in our boots at this – but sometimes it means you don’t shine your sink. Sometimes it means you go snuggle with a kid under a warm blanket from the dryer.
Precious Mom’s, let’s be known for going to Jesus to seek His priorities before we pencil in our own – because He’s the one who helps us maintain balance throughout the homeschool years, throughout the years of raising children. It’s not always easy, but it’s a journey worth taking. I’m always telling people that being a mom is the hardest best thing I have ever done. And being a homeschool mom the hardest best thing I’ve ever done with my children.
So come on, let’s be encouraged – because God wants you to be encouraged. He wants you to be intentional about how you spend your days, intentional about how you spend your time. And so often the questions that I get from moms are because they’re burned out because they haven’t embraced God’s priorities. And so one of the things I talked about in the The Guide to Daylight – every chapter in The Guide to Daylight was a particular kind of daylight. So I talked about intentional daylight – which is why you need a plan action A.S.A.P.
Right? We need to have a plan. I’m gonna come back on Friday and we’re going to talk about that. But I’ll give you just a little bit of a preview because I think plans are really important. But I don’t think that the plan should run you – I think you should run the plan.
Right? And so – oftentimes we get discouraged and we forget why we’re doing what we’re doing. And a crucial component to success in what you’re doing is coming before the Lord. It’s embracing His priorities.
Have you guys ever been mistaken for a mom was supernatural patience? Anybody ever seen you in the store in the middle of the day and said – “oh kids, why aren’t you in school?” and your kids say – “Oh, I homeschool!” And immediately the checker will say – “oh yeah I don’t patience for that.” And I was laughing. One time I told my friend – I just want want to punch her in the kisser.
It’s not about patience. It’s not about patience. It’s about perseverance.
It’s about resolve. And most homeschooling moms know the truth about patience. It’s not a prerequisite for homeschooling, it’s not a prerequisite for mothering. In fact, any mom that I know that has been at it for more than five minutes will tell you patience has nothing to do with it. Longevity and success in homeschooling is a result of resolve and obedience. It’s not about patience. It’s about knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing instead of just how.
So we can talk about the house all day long, but you gotta know why you’re doing it. And Spirit-led homeschooling, Hannah, I want you to hear this – Spirit-led homeschooling is going to bring with it a quiet confidence that comes from knowing that even on the days when you don’t feel like you’ve been successful at all – God has your back.
God has your back. After all – listen to me Mama – these kids belonged to Him long before they belonged to you. He knit at each one of them together with a foreknowledge that you would be their mom. And remember, I’m always telling you – you are the right Mom for your kids. And God’s plans for your children are vastly more important than your dinner plans or your fancy schedule. Do you believe it? You need to because God wants to work in your heart as you trust Him to finish the work He’s begun in you through the process of mothering your children.
I going to end today just talking really briefly about the goal of education because I think we forget. You guys remember when you were in school? I bet you do. And many, if not most of the moms I know who are currently homeschooling their kids. – they were not homeschooled themselves. I was not homeschooled. I went to a Christian School. My husband was not homeschooled – e went to a Public School. We attended school away from home. We were discipled by our teachers, and we often don’t think of education this way. But at the end of the day – here’s what is:
Education is discipleship. Discipleship is the goal of education.
Christian homeschooling should not be simply about teaching the ABC’s. Yes, academics are an essential component of it. But the foundation and power of homeschooling is found in the quiet resolve of two parents who are committed to teaching their children to be fully devoted, mature followers of Jesus. That comes first.
And by the way, I know there are a lot of single moms listening to this today and I just wanna encourage you right now – that if your husband has left you, either through his own decision or the Lord has taken him home – God said that He will never leave you or forsake you. That He will be your husband, that He will help you.
He said I’m going to strengthen you and hold you up – Isaiah 41:10. And I’m telling you what – I love my husband – but having God at the helm of your house has got to be better than any earthly person. He doesn’t let you off the hook, He wants to hold you even tighter and hold you up.
So Hannah, I just want to encourage you today. The Lord has you. He loves you, has a plan for you. Nurture the relationships first in your home and then homeschool children out of an overflow of what God’s doing. Everything else will pale in comparison.
If you guys are enjoying this podcast it would encourage us greatly if you leave review for it over at iTunes. Also, I don’t want you to forget I’m going to be in Abilene. So come out and see me January 19th! You can register right now at HeidiStJohn.com/events.
Have a fantastic day everybody! I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for the first podcast of the new month of Bible Studies! Thanks for joining me. And you can sign up for the Bible study at MomStrongInternational.com.