“Are We There Yet?”
(and other repetitive questions from a military homeschool mom)
Surely I am not the only one who’s heard the impatience echo around their mini-van… “Mom, are we there yet!?!” Yup. As a military family, we have certainly had our share of traveling. From moving every couple of years to visiting relatives or vacations just to get outta Dodge, I’m pretty certain that question has rung in your ears at one point or another, too.
Oddly enough, though, I can also relate that impatient question more to this season of raising my kids than I do to a destination on a map.
I am a military homeschool mom.
To be honest, I did not plan to be. But that is the role I am wearing these days. And I am covered, often quite literally, in it. Each moment proves to unfold a little differently. It may look like lesson plans, science projects, and grade books, but it can also look like victory grins, high fives, and dance parties when a concept or milestone is conquered. It can look like temper-tantrums and tears when a concept (or character lesson) seems out of reach and too hard to master.
It can look like character issues hitting a wall when the easy way out seems way too easy and the hard way, though right, just seems too far…and, well, hard. Yes, choosing to school at home is messy. At least it is with us. I don’t seem to have much time to myself, and most of my schedule belongs largely to someone other than me. But I also realize that these moments, though often messy, are bountiful gifts from my Heavenly Father.
Though I rarely feel like I am mastering this masterpiece of love and sacrificing, growing and learning, I cannot deny His mighty promises of grace that have sweetly covered each of us all along this road. I am learning that step by step, piece by piece, we are getting there. It is messy for sure, but we ARE getting there.
Now, I am not saying that homeschooling is a religious mountaintop that every mother must climb, or that choosing to homeschool somehow places me in a stratosphere of higher spirituality than those who don’t (goodness, NO!). But I am saying that being a mother – raising children, being intimately involved in their lives, both academic and social, 24 hours a day – is a sacred calling, and it is not for the faint-hearted.
Personally, I will admit that I seriously need bravery in spades.
As mommas, the temptation to take the fate of our children and the success of their future upon our human shoulders is almost overwhelming. But truly, it is not ours to hold. We guide and love, provide and protect our children, but we cannot choose the path through life for them.
We love them, but we cannot love them enough to eradicate pain and suffering from their experiences. We can sacrifice for them, but we cannot sacrifice enough to get them into heaven and make them follow hard after Jesus…though, I admit, sometimes I wish we could.
The older I get and the longer I walk side by side with my children through this life, I am realizing something really cool. Each day, in my life and the lives of these precious souls I have been blessed to walk alongside, I am finding these simple Truths revealed in abundance…
His grace is so good, so full, so sweet, so provisional, so timely, so absolute, so saturating, so beautiful, so complete, so amazing. And when I fall short, mess up, drop the ball, lose my way, make the wrong choice, say the wrong word, and a long list of other shortcomings…
His beautiful grace comes and pours itself over it all and fills in the gaps.
He does that, over and over and over again. He is that good. He is that trustworthy.
And so, my dear friends, if you find yourself weary today, I want to encourage you to keep pressing in to His Presence and running this race that is set before you. It’s worth the effort, I promise. All along the road, we may have days (or seasons) where we are just huffing and puffing and feeling like we are dragging our weary feet to the finish line. It’s really ok. You and I are not alone.
Let us never forget to take a moment to look around and take note of His goodness and amazing grace that has followed us. And when we do that, we can honestly testify that we are indeed getting there…a little closer to one another, and hallelujah, a little closer to Jesus.
Recently, as I was going through an old playlist, I came across this gem of a song by Steffany Gretzinger called “Getting There.” It is a great song to remind us that, through His great faithfulness and our refusing to give up, we really are “getting there.” I pray that it encourages you to keep running the race that He has put before you.
With joy for the journey,