Awake in the middle of the night. Again. Thoughts ravage my weary mind as I desperately seek the safety of sleep.
Needs and expectations of others overwhelm my sleepless self. I need to… I should have… I haven’t… I still don’t know…
Everything feels worse at 2am.
I repeat the Truth I know I need: I am pressed, but not crushed.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
II Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)
God’s Word rolls through my brain on autopilot. Perhaps it’s the Holy Spirit. Perhaps it’s the result of years of training myself to memorize and repeat Scripture. Probably both. But the overwhelming mental pressure persists.
When I wake, the pressing needs remain reality even in the light of day.
So I once again repeat Truth: I am pressed, but not crushed.
But I still feel captive. And the captivity threatens to crush me.
How does your reality threaten to crush you?
It’s ok to admit our reality. As homeschool moms, reality is hard. Homeschooling is not a field of daisies and series of blog-worthy photos. We have accepted a nearly impossible mission. Some days, this mission overwhelms even the best of moms in a crushing reality.
We are pressed.
Hard pressed on all sides. Troubled with demands, wants, and needs. Demands from family, extended relationships, and our own expectations. Wants, desires, and preferences from our children – all different, and all at the same time. Valid needs for education, health, and character development.
Yes, we should release many expectations of ourselves.
But reality remains: The life of a homeschool mom will remain pressed from all sides.
We are perplexed.
These wants and needs demand we make some decisions. Constantly. Which curriculum and activities? When to schedule the appointments? How to shepherd this heart issue? The harder they press, the more perplexed we become. We swirl in doubt, waver between paths, and seek elusive resources.
Yes, we should choose to trust God to guide us.
But reality remains: The mind of a homeschool mom will live with constant perplexing decisions.
We are persecuted.
We tend to skip identifying with this word. Christians around the world and throughout history have truly been persecuted, severely mistreated for following Jesus. But settle here for a moment with this Greek word rich with meaning. dioko. Amid other aspects, persecute can mean “to make to run or flee, to put to flight”.
Are you ever tempted to flee from pressing responsibilities and perplexing decisions? Perhaps fear, self-condemnation, and despair are part of the Ephesians 6 battle and reality of an internal persecution.
Yes, we should stand strong and courageous.
But reality remains: The emotions of a homeschool mom will be tempted to flee.
We are struck down.
Perhaps we hide in the bathroom and eat chocolate. Perhaps we avoid making the hard decisions. Perhaps we just sit on the sofa and watch TV. Or scroll social media.
Most times this phrase occurs in Scripture, struck down simply means “killed”. The Lord struck down the firstborn of the Egyptians. Israel’s army struck down their enemies. Perhaps our dreams of a fruitful homeschool should simply die.
Yes, we should cling to long-term hope.
But reality remains: The dreams of a homeschool mom will be struck down. (Have you ever been tempted to quit?)
How can you escape the captivity of your crushing reality?
Pressed, but not crushed.
Perplexed, but not despairing.
Persecuted, but not abandoned.
Struck down, but not destroyed.
Redefine your ministry.
“Therefore, since we have this ministry…we do not lose heart.” II Corinthians 4:1
What is the Christian homeschool mom’s ministry? Your ministry is evident in your choices to soothe with compassion beyond a band-aid, to return to the defiant heart with humility over your initial response, to worship even as your life seems to unravel.
You are a minister of the new covenant. A covenant of the Spirit rather than the letter of the law. A covenant of life rather than death. (II Cor. 3:6)
You are shaping a soul to receive the grace of Jesus, not to achieve a standard of performance.
Offer your broken vessel.
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels (jars of clay), so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” II Corinthians 4:7
Do you really want to do everything right as a homeschool mom? Or do you desire for your family and others to see God’s power on display? When you are pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down, it’s the perfect backdrop for God to showcase His glory.
You are a broken vessel. Oh, but that is precisely who God wants as a palate for creating His work of beauty.
You are offering yourself as a sacrifice of praise, not as a martyr of stubborn pride.
Search for the unseen.
“…while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18
Will you dare to believe your current source of significant stress is exactly where God is already moving? Will you search for light in the darkness, for morning in the midst of night, for joy in grief, for hope in despair?
You are royalty. It is the honor of kings to search out a matter, especially when it reveals God’s hidden glory? (Proverbs 25:2)
You are seeking the eternal glory of God Himself, not the temporal praise of visible success.
We can escape the constant mental pressing.
Will you choose to live the but not?
Yes, reality is hard. But it need not crush you.
1. Redefine your ministry to remember you are leading your children to receive grace rather than to achieve perfection.
2. Offer yourself, a broken vessel, as a sacrifice of praise to display God’s power and beauty.
3. Search for the unseen eternal glory in the midst of your current struggle.