A Little Grace Can Go a Long Way

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.HeidiLove - Page 001
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.

Heidi St John Guide to Daylight

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Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children from toddler to adult and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you.
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John

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7 Responses to A Little Grace Can Go a Long Way

  1. Julie says:

    Thank you. What a thoroughly accurate and timely post!

  2. Sana says:

    Thank you for writing this. I was thinking about the same all day. We are so busy comparing ourselves to each other that we forget the greater purpose of our lives which is pleasing God.

  3. Apolonia Sanchez says:

    I was just telling my friend this at dinner. Thank you for sharing this with me. I tend to get judge harshly for Homeschooling my children.

  4. Katarina says:

    Humility is at the heart of being a Christian. Striving for humility will tend to direct our thoughts elsewhere instead of constantly evaluating ourselves (including comparing ourselves with others) and also instead of critiquing others. Striving for humility is learning to see ourselves for who we truly are. There is plenty of work for me to do in getting the log out of my own eye.

    One of the greatest blessings of homeschooling is that our kids are not growing up in the chronically competitive mentality of the traditional classroom. It is hard to shake that mentality once we have spent a good 12 years in it. It continues on, long after graduation day. In fact, unless we intentionally rid ourselves of it, it can last a lifetime.

  5. Margaret says:

    I’m sorry, but as a child of un-schooling I can’t just be okay with that lifestyle. It’s irresponsible and is neglect of your children.

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