A MUST WATCH. 3 MINUTES.
What’s your mission? Sometimes it’s so easy to get distracted from it, isn’t it? I want you to take a second before we begin and think about what your mission is and what has you distracted from it.
Maybe this is the first you knew that our plan is to homeschool our children. Well, now you know! We are starting on Monday (Breathe Leanne, breathe!)
I am so excited and scared all at the same time. Monday, like June 30th?? Why are you starting a new school year in June?! That seems odd. GREAT question! There are a couple reasons why I'm starting this Monday.
First, Oskar is ready. He has been asking me for months to start homeschooling him. I am following his lead in that he is ready to learn and excited for it too.
Second, I plan to homeschool all year round. There are a couple reasons for this too. I know my character and I know that if I had a whole summer off, it would be hard for me to mentally, physically and emotionally get back into the routine of school.
From what I've learned from reading other blogs and talking to others, a homeschool day (more so for older grades) can take all day. After looking at my lessons and planning even for the future, my hope is that by homeschooling all year, my children will be able to have more free time daily, since the hours of work will be spread out over the summer too. Although they won't have two or three months off in the summer, they will have more time every day throughout the year for outside time, or free time.
I also feel that it would be better for my family that the children don't have a whole summer off for similar reasons as to why I wouldn't want to have the summer off. I think they would have a tough time getting back into daily routine. Plus, I think just having routine is good, summer or not!
The last reason I am starting this month, is because June was when I was able to get curriculum the soonest. Oskar is enrolled in a charter school for homeschooled children. He will attend the school Fridays during the months of September through May. This school offers enrichment classes and gives the children opportunities to make friends and have time with other people. In addition to attending this school on Fridays, we obtain a monetary allotment, depending on the grade the child is in, for curriculum and things like: internet, outside the home lessons (i.e. piano, karate, art, etc.) Since we get money for curriculum, June 15th was the soonest available to order curriculum... and so we did it then!
Here is a picture of our homeschool area. We made room in our den, where the kids usually play, where it's bright and where we could let fresh air in if we needed. I bought a plastic pocket calendar to teach Oskar the calendar well as he doesn't quite grasp the whole concept yet. I also bought a magnetic bulletin board for the All About Spelling and Reading Program, as they recommend a magnetic surface for letter placement. At ShopKo this week, that colorful rolling cart was only $27.88 (thanks to a great friend who let me in on the deal!). I plan on implementing the Workbox System, created by Sue Patrick. I heard about this from Erica Arndt, from www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com and loved the video she has on YouTube, shown below:
As I said, we are very excited to get going! Check out my curriculum choices here and if you have any tips, recommendations, or just want to ask a question regarding what I'm doing, leave a comment below, or message me using the "Contact Me" tab. Thanks!
Only a Mom.
Isn't being a mom so great?? Maybe that's a bad question for you right now. Maybe you just yelled at your son for doing something wrong. Maybe you can't concentrate because there is yelling and craziness going on in your house and all you want to do is lock yourself in a quiet place and read the rest of the this post in peace. And. Quiet.
Oh, do I know how that feels!
The question of "Isn't being a mom so great?" was somewhat rhetorical. I was asking the question because some days, I still struggle answering that question. Some days I have just yelled at my son Oskar or I just want time to read whatever online, and I can't even think because of the noise in my house.
Something the gracious Lord as been teaching me is to slow down, put my phone away, close my computer and pay attention to my children more. Not just love them- but like them too; enjoying them, making an effort with them, having laughing fits, being goofy, doing puzzles together, encouraging them... and putting down other things I want to do, in order to do things with them.
This can be such a hard thing to do, because there are so many things I want to do... but selflessness is a must in this thing called Mommahood.
I am reading a really good book called Hands Free Mama written by Rachel Macy Stafford. I would highly recommend it to any mom who loves her phone or computer. It has really shown me that I have missed out on many moments because my eyes were glued to a screen rather than to my kids. She also has a blog.
God has also shown me recently that I have been looking for another place in this world for purpose. I want something more than being a mother. I want belonging and identity somewhere else besides the home. I want other people besides my children to want or need me. For me, this has included many things like: selling handmade cards, getting over-involved in a group, pursuing or looking into being a sales rep in a variety of companies, and even... blogging (yes, I said it.)
None of these things are bad, but when I was substituting my purpose of being a mom for something else or when I was searching for something more "purposeful" I was wandering aimlessly from my target: my family. I wasn't happy with just being a mother to three children. I wanted more.
I have found myself busy doing many things, trying to be me; the "me" that is there somewhere... was there, when my children were not here yet. But my children have been given to me now, and that means my mission for life- my purpose has changed.
Although having me time is super important in order to have renewal and sanity, I want it to be just that- me time. Not, I'm on a search to find something other than mothering these children!
Being a mom is a hard job- no doubt. We were called to a tremendous purpose and calling. It requires selflessness and hard work. But regardless, it is a calling- one that we were designed and blessed to do.
I think there is a time in a woman's life, when God does give us more than one purpose- like a working mom, or a woman with other responsibilities, a calling of another sorts. But now, is not my time for other things. My mission is to be a partner in life to my husband, supporting him in ministry, to train and raise up my three children, and start homeschooling this month with my oldest Oskar.
If I am not willing to do the one thing God has for sure placed in my life, how can He trust me with other things?
It's such a hard reminder when I find myself searching for another purpose. It makes me realize that I am unsatisfied with my calling. I find this because I'm not giving it my all- all my energy, all my focus, all of ME. What if God would give me full blessing and identity in this calling, since it is what He intended? I am on my journey to that place... God is showing me places that I am trying to find my purpose in and removing them one by one. In addition He is showing me areas of my family life that needs more attention, and showing me how precious my children are in His sight.
I filled this post with pictures of times with my kids.... times that I may have missed if I had been doing something else. When I saw these pictures, it made me wish I had plenty more. I read something a couple days ago: "You are the one who helps create your children's memories." I want my children's memories to be like this picture below:
A memory of Mama going down a huge bouncy slide with them.
Your children's memories are in your hands. I don't want my kids to remember me on my phone, or on my computer, or busy doing my things. I want my focus to be on them, and my purpose in this world and in this season of raising them. My prayer is that I would be okay with that. That I would stop trying to find something more.
Although there are many moms out there doing the same mundane things day in and day out, it's a wonderful thing. I don't need to be unique and find success in anything else because I don't want God to say one day, I gave you this really important job of raising these children. I entrusted them to you... and it wasn't good enough in your eyes... you had to go find something less important to give you temporary satisfaction and a false sense of purpose.
I am a mother to three healthy, beautiful children. This is my mission field. This is my life. I don't want my children to get half of me, or what's left after I give something else all my time and energy. I want them to get all of me.
Can you relate? Share in the comments below!
The last_____ of my life (fill in the timeline- since I was 12? the last five years?) I have been trying to buy beautiful. I have been striving to be stylish, pretty, "together" and skinny... all while I'm a size 12 and just having three babies. Maybe if I buy this pair of shoes or this accessory, it'll make my outfit complete, therefore making me look good. Maybe if I have my nails done, my skin radiant, my belly hid (behind a really high-waisted pair of pants!) someone will find me beautiful.
The cost of worldly beautiful is expensive. In November my husband and I agreed to a certain amount of money to get me through a whole year for clothes, makeup, skin care, hair care, etc. Since I had more than my monthly spending money, I was able to buy nicer clothes and I wasn't settling for a $3 shirt from Goodwill.
I thought I was going to feel so much better about myself once I had the wardrobe I really wanted. Well I can tell you- I felt worse. It's nice to have the clothes you want, but my heart was hoping I would feel more confident, less fat, more beautiful, more worthy (of I don't know what) by having the ideal wardrobe and the accessories to go with it.
I sought after for a beauty that doesn't exist. I was seeking an identity associated with what I looked like.
Recently, I read a book that explained a woman who strives for beauty is actually hindering her beauty. God did not create us and design us to go find our beauty in things we wear... but rather to identify ourselves with Christ and let Him change our heart for the things He is interested in.
The closer we get to Jesus the more we reflect His glory... Jesus is Beauty. He designed it and He's perfect. I was pursuing beauty the world portrays... and let me tell you it does not bring you closer to Jesus- it leaves you unsatisfied, parched and starved.
I gave all I was to satisfy my earthly beauty. But what I need is my inward beauty to be seen. When I concentrate so hard on looking good (or any earthly thing) my heart is restless and focused on the wrong thing. Ever have that? When I rest in my identity in Jesus, my God-given character- the one that pleases and honors the Lord, Christ is seen and that is beauty.
All along, I thought beauty came with a price tag. It comes with sacrifice. Death to yourself. Death to pursuing earthly beauty. Clinging to God and His love- letting Him show you the depths of your heart... the one that has been changed by His grace- that's beautiful.
Although I am bawling right now and am not physically attractive, God thinks this revelation in my heart is beautiful because it's a heart that is aligned with His.
I don't know how to reverse the thoughts I've had for so long. But I want so bad to not think about what I'm going to wear until I go to the closet to get dressed. I want so bad not to think about what others are going to think about my newest shirt or latest trend.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's okay to dress nice and do your hair, nails and buy new and nice clothes. But when I thought about it too much and I desired beauty through it, it became an idol to me. It was pursuit that leads to false identity.
I want my identity to be in Jesus alone. I want Jesus to be seen in my life. I want to display all the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I want others to want Jesus because of my joy in Him. That's beautiful.
Lover of Jesus, wife to a great husband, mother of 3 young children. I love to write, cook, and make greeting cards! Read more about me and my family here.