image source: Hillary Weeks
Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed? Are there days where it seems like no matter how hard you try, things just don't go well and you wonder if you are really cut out for this homeschooling or teaching or mothering thing?
I do sometimes...
I know I'm not alone. Discouragement, fear and doubt are some of Satan's favorite tools to use. And sometimes we help him along by the thoughts we think, the self-talk that runs through our minds throughout the day. Sometimes we aren't very kind to ourselves. If we aren't careful, we can come to the conclusion that we are a failure and be tempted to throw up our hands in surrender.
I know that when hard days come, there is always hope, there is always a way up and out of discouragement. I think it starts with slowing down and taking time to be still, to spend time in sincere prayer, earnest scripture study, temple attendance, and the like. When we are still, we can feel the Spirit of the Lord and be filled with a sense of His great love for us and gratitude for the multitude of His blessings.
A feeling of renewed vision and purpose can come as we exercise faith in the Lord and learn to see ourselves as He sees us.
We are born with specific missions to fulfill and God has given us everything we need to fulfill the measure of our creations. It is up to us to discover His will for us, choose that "better part," and move forward in faith, having confidence in His plans for us.
"Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously!"
If we truly understand how precious we are in God's sight, and how He would never give us more than we can handle (with His help), then we can have the courage to carry on through the hard days that come. We can choose to be kind to ourselves, refusing to think negatively. We can give ourselves the freedom to learn from mistakes, to grow and become who God knows we can become. We can live with gratitude for God's tender mercies.
One of my favorite scriptures is:
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!"
This is the one that I repeat over and over to myself, on those days when I want to cry or when I wish that time could stand still to let me catch my breath. And every time I choose to look to the Lord and plead for His help, He always gives me the strength I need to fulfill the stewardships He has given me. He helps me to have peace. When I am encircled in His love, I truly feel that "all things are possible."
His light banishes the darkness of overwhelm, discouragement and fear. "The Lord is my light, He is my joy and my song. By day and by night, He leads me along!"
P.S. - I recently found an awesome blog post on the topic of discouragement and the fear of failure. This post, written by Seth Ellsworth, opened my mind to the thought that there really is no failure, there is only learning and growth for those who are honestly striving to become better. I was reminded how important it is to be aware of my thoughts, for they are powerful in helping me to become who I want to be. It is definitely worth reading and re-reading!
P.P.S. - Having six kids, ranging in age from 8th grade down to a toddler, I have been in need of a curriculum that will streamline and simplify things for me. I love lesson planning, but have come to the point where I have such a range of grade levels that I just don't have the time and energy to plan sufficiently for all of them. The past several weeks have made me finally decide to look for an all-in-one curriculum that would work for our family. I was delighted to discover Trail Guide to Learning from GeoMatters! The more I looked into this curriculum, the more excited I became. I love how it incorporates living books, focuses on great people and great ideas in history, has strong language arts including copywork and dictation, integrates science and art into history, includes hands-on activities and (of course) the fact that it's all planned out for me. One of the best things is that I can teach multiple ages together at once! I am definitely going to try it out and will write a full review in months to come, but I am so excited about it that I wanted to let you know about this fantastic resource!
Marcina and her husband, Aaron, have six children. This is her fourth year of homeschooling and she is grateful for the opportunity to teach her children at home. It continues to be both a challenge and a delight! In her spare moments she enjoys family history, gardening, reading, singing, listening to beautiful music, and learning new things.