Chris took the children to church this morning while I rested. Even though I pray all the time, study my Bible regularly, and truly worship God in my heart without church, I still don’t like to miss church. My pastor gives the best sermons in the world and it’s nice to visit with fellow believers. When I can’t go, Chris and the children tell me about the sermon when they come home. That’s good, but it’s not the same as hearing it myself.
Sometimes our pastor plays a short video clip of missionaries or something pertaining to the sermon. This morning the children and Chris came home telling me how powerful the video was that he used today. You can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX_7j32zgNw It’s amazing! The video is a sermon entitled “That’s My King!” by S.M. Lockridge. Take six minutes of your day to watch it. It will thoroughly inspire you!
As Chris and the children were telling me about the service, Chris also mentioned that a new family visited today. He thought I might know them because they homeschool and have ten children. I immediately thought I knew who he was talking about and I said, “Were they perfect? Sitting in the pews quietly? Dressed neatly? Etc.?”
Chris thought for a moment and said, “Yes, they were.”
He gave me a kind of funny look and Sarah said, “Mommy doesn’t like perfect,” as if that would explain everything.
Although I denied this fact, I couldn’t help but think of my wonderful editor. We’ve had many discussions on this topic and I immediately thought, “Gee, it’s pretty bad that my editor would probably agree with my 12-year-old daughter on this topic!”
Instead of saying that, I said out loud, “Oh yeah, I know who they are. That’s the ___ family. They are as sweet as can be.”
“You don’t mind that they are perfect,” he asked, imitating the way I had said the word.
“Oh, no,” I said, “Of course not, but they are pretty perfect.”
I told him how the mom had shared at a mom’s meeting one time how a new homeschooling mom had asked how to reduce her stress. This mother replied that she didn’t have any stress because they followed a strict schedule so everyone knows what needs to be done when. They get up at 6:00 and all the children are responsible for getting dressed and doing morning chores by 7:00, when they have to be at the breakfast table. They eat a full breakfast every morning with dad before he leaves for work so that he can do Bible study with them. Then they clean up the dishes and start school at 8:00. They do school for four hours and then break for lunch at noon. The children rotate lunch and dinner duty so that mom doesn’t have to cook the meals. After lunch, they have quiet time, then play time before dinner. After dinner, which is served at 6:00, they have family time for a couple of hours and then the children are in bed at 8:00.
I remember watching the reaction of the new homeschool mom as this veteran homeschooler was sharing this information. The new homeschooler looked as if her eyes would pop out of her head.
To ease her mind and help her get her eyes back into their sockets, I said, “Actually, I think that might drive the average person insane!
“You don’t have to do it that way,” I stated.
The veteran homeschool mom is one of the sweetest people I know and I was quick to acknowledge to the group present that if they were able to manage their household so efficiently and maintain a schedule so expertly, then by all means they should do so. That is a wonderful way to train your children about scheduling, discipline, responsibility, commitment, etc. However, I also think that it’s just not possible for some families to maintain such structure and if they try to do it and can’t, it’s a greater source of frustration and stress than they had to begin with.
I really am not against “perfection,” but rather the idea that we can attain it. Perfection is attained through the only one who is perfect – the Lord Jesus Christ. Also, it’s very easy to look at someone else’s situation and desire to be like them, but God gives each of us our own unique abilities and challenges. Instead of worrying about or comparing yourself to others, seek the Lord’s will for your life – and your homeschool.
Rather than seeking perfection or an idea of perfection that you’ve developed by observing someone else or creating an ideal world in your mind, seek the Lord. Seek God. Know God. Love God. Obey God. If you do this, the rest will follow and it doesn’t much matter if you follow a strict or a flexible schedule so long as you have the Light to guide you.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33