Thursday, October 8, 2009

There is Always Hope Because He Gives

Our school days are full. They're beautiful. Learning is abundant, and new discoveries are treasured deeply by both of us. Reading, writing, number, faith, nature study, history, geography, baking, home-keeping, music, dance, art. We're persevering daily, with rhythm and regularity. I knew this would happen....I believed it could happen, with His grace.

Last year I struggled with thoughts that I wasn't good enough at this homeschooling thing. I worried that Gianna would fall behind other children, not from any deficiency on her part but from my own lack of discipline. The virtue of discipline, essential to education, is probably one of my greatest weaknesses. So naturally I would be concerned that without such a habit formed in myself, how could I possibly form it in someone else? I spoke many times with my dearest friend about my lack of confidence, and she reassured me again and again. Good friends are priceless.

The day after I wrote that post I had something of a revelation, or more likely a reminder of something I already knew. I happened to be reading the story of Saint Paul's conversion and remembered. GOD IS ALL-MERCIFUL. His love for us is so encompassing that He bestows graces we don't deserve in order to have us. He wants us for Himself, and for our own happiness. I suddenly realized if He could convert St. Paul, a treacherously sinful man who'd committed vile and murderous evils, surely He could convert me, His broken and sinful daughter. He could knock me upside the head, give me the virtue of discipline in an instant if He wished, or He could bless me with subtle graces over a lifetime to increase in me what is lacking. I knew then and there, that day. I was not alone on my path toward this virtue. I had a loving and merciful Father who would help me. And now, I had great hope.

I've prayed every day since then in the first hour of the morning, for more grace and more discipline. I'm growing. I see the difference in our days of learning. I'm persevering in ways I failed last year. I wasn't knocked upside the head - I still fail and have a long way to go. But I don't wonder anymore, whether or not I can do this homeschooling thing. I've stopped pondering (too much) that my faults are going to ruin my children. Every mother doubts herself. I now ponder on His mercy, on hope that He will fulfill in me what is lacking. Only He can. And I'm gonna keep asking.

11 comments:

Mary said...

May the Lord continue to guide you through this homeschooling journey Kristen. The result is well worth all the doubts and moments of question. Trust that He is with you through it all giving you all the grace necessary.

Lucy said...

very encouraging. I feel trapped in a home education nightmare lately - mostly my own fault with a bit of one of my children's quirkiness thrown in - and I will be thinking of your post and borrowing your prayer.

Betty Beguiles said...

I can only echo what Lucy said. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Kristen! Your reflection is exactly what I needed to read right now.

If you should ever feel so inspired I would love to read more about the rhythm of your days. :)

Much love and many blessings!

carol said...

amen

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Oh Kristen, I needed to hear this. I struggle with the same concerns as my oldest is 4.5 and we're just dipping our toes into the homeschool waters - I'm afraid that I'll fail, that I won't be disciplined enough, that I won't be able to handle the needs of school and younger children. Frankly, I'm terrified. Yet God IS all-merciful and he won't leave me to do it alone. Thank you for the reminder.

Sarah said...

Inspiring. Even as a second year homeschooling mom, I doubt and I question. What a wonderful reminder of God's infinite wisdom and grace. I've got some more learning to do yet!

Catholic Mommy Brain said...

Very helpful! My own discipline (or lack of) is one of my greatest struggles and fears about homeschooling. Thanks for the perspective!

Christine said...

Thank you fro the encouragement. I had a very hard day and I needed this reminder.

mary@evlogia said...

Last year I was talking to a monastic and another person asked her the question about how the shortcomings of a parent affect their children. She responded by saying that if a child could only benefit from an all-wise parent, then the Lord would have fashioned nature so that only the elderly could procreate. Her extreme example meaning that there is a spiritual benefit in an imperfect parent raising a child. I think our children are encouraged and inspired as they watch us labor to acquire God's grace, struggling to overcome our own weaknesses by turning to Him. There is nothing greater that we could teach them. Your story is beautiful. As a fellow homeschooling mother, it is always heartwarming to see how God saves us through our love for our children. It is a beautiful life.
So happy for you and so happy to be working along side you.

Marla said...

Hi, Kristin.

I think you are doing a beautiful job. This is my family's 12th year of homeschooling, and I have felt inadequate many, many times. My two oldest are in college now -- one will be graduating at Christmas time -- and they are both doing beautifully. I hope this encourages you, because I have never been a perfect mom in any way, shape, or form. I have also, long ago, worked as a public high school teacher. And I can tell you pretty confidently that your girls will not fall behind their peers. You have an excellent classical education yourself. Just try to pass that onto them in a way that is peaceful and joyful, knowing that some of the time you are not going to feel peaceful and joyful. ;)

God bless,
Marla

Karen said...

I happened upon your blog through Building Cathedrals. While I read it, I thought to myself that you reminded me of another young mother who has a blog. I found her blog through Danielle Bean's blog. (I know--it is starting to get complicated.) In any case, I wanted to tell you that I was reminded of the mother who writes Blessed Among Men (and whom I have chosen as a role model because I would adore to have all sons), and it turns out that she is your dear friend! How charming is that?