By Lauren Novak
As I look outside at the beautiful changing colors all around me, I’m reminded of the seasons of life. Not just the seasons of a year with specific weather conditions that may be different depending on where you live in the world. I’m talking about the countless seasons we face in our lifetimes no matter where we live. Seasons of growing up, seasons of schooling, seasons in our careers, and specifically, seasons of raising children… children who quickly grow from newborn babies to toddlers to preteens to adults in the blink of an eye! In each season, we have had to be reeducated and learn new skills to not only make it through but to flourish during these times in our lives. We discover so much about ourselves during each season and strengths emerge that we didn’t know we had as we learn into this new learning that comes from love. Our love for our families is deep and it drives us into learning all we can to help them. We are all here because of a common bond we share with a health condition in ourselves or a loved one and most of us, specifically, because of eczema. We have had to reeducate ourselves on diet, lifestyle, mentality, healing, western medicine, etc. There is such beauty in the changing of seasons and the learning that we do out of love. Focus on that beauty in the hard times and remember that “God gave us not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7, emphasis mine). We find power and strength in the most challenging of circumstances. We make mistakes, we fall, but we get up and brush ourselves off and press onward to do whatever it takes to help our families flourish.
Something happens to that power when we think about homeschooling though. For those of us with school-age children, we often don’t believe that we have what it takes to handle this season to help them learn and grow. We think we need a school to provide what our children need. Often this is just a mental block we need to overcome. I was called to homeschool. I didn’t want to. I tried to make excuses why I shouldn’t. I’m still flooded with negative thoughts that I’m failing my children and that someone else can teach them better than me. It’s a fight to take “every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) and replace them with truth. The truth is that those thoughts conform me to the world and I am called for something different as Romans 12:2 states: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The days may not live up to our expectations, we may get discouraged, we may continue to wonder if we can do this, we may want to give up after the boycotts, and the meltdowns, and the tears (our tears and our kids' tears) but we are not alone. This is the time to reeducate ourselves and lean into this season even more while focusing on our most important job. No… not the lesson plans, or the schedule, or the keeping up with the amazing homeschool family moments we see on social media. It’s the job to “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). It means being present and fully knowing our children and loving them through it all, cultivating their hearts and minds, and finding the beauty in this season as a family.