A few years ago someone (who shall remain nameless) actually asked me why I am so “busy.” I felt my insides shudder as I tried to think of a way to graciously put one husband, seven children (and all that entails), homeschooling, laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, yard care, running a homeschool ministry, extended family & friendships, bookkeeping, phone calls, e-mails, writing, and traveling into one sentence. After a few minutes of trying, I gave up. More important than giving up trying to explain was simply giving up the feeling that I needed to explain my busy life.
As my friend Margaret told me, “It is what it is, Heidi! God didn’t create us all the same, and what makes you crazy makes another mom sane.”
She was right as usual, and I think her point was that we need to extend grace to each other. Just because I don’t parent like you do doesn’t mean I’m right, you’re wrong or vice versa. If it’s not a sin issue, I think there’s a lot of latitude we can give each other! It’s amazing what a little encouragement can do.
How often we’ve seen this in the homeschooling arena: The constant comparison and need to be defined by a certain curricula or homeschooling style makes us forget that God created us all uniquely. I may never be the Unit Study Queen and my children may not get to enjoy homemade bread every day but I make a darn good pizza and I’m working on having more fun. Does that count? Oh yeah, and my laundry is all caught up… or at least it was for five minutes. That should count for something!
I think God smiled when he put such distinct personalities in each person. What creativity! What genius! What an opportunity for growth in me!
Be yourself, busy mom! Pleasing God is as simple as trusting and obeying Him.
And at the end of the day, He is the audience that really matters. Everything else falls into place when our priority is on pleasing God and not men.
A little grace can go a long, long way.