I stared blindly at the ceiling as I lay in bed and thought of the evening I’d just spent. Sleep didn’t seem to come easily. Or soon. I couldn’t stop thinking of them… their tender, lineless faces, bright smiles, dark hair and the playfulness of youth in their eyes. And, I couldn’t help but — for a moment — wish that I were once again in the place they were last night — once again a young mother with seemingly limitless opportunities before me — a young mother with a vast clean slate before me.
As I stood there sharing with them, glancing down at my notes and back up to their faces, every now and then I would catch a glimpse of a smile or a nod or an inquisitive look and I felt inadequate to convey what I knew must be conveyed to them. O, how I prayed that, if nothing else, I’d at least give encouragement to press on — to not give up. So I began by sharing some thoughts on the life of Elijah and how the Lord fed him — sustained him, spoke to him — even though he seemed to often face situations that were too great for him, but the Lord fed him and he carried on the strength of that meat…
I’ll write more about some gleanings from 1 Kings another time.
So, I was sharing things I’m glad we’ve done, decisions we’ve made as a family — as a homeschooling family — through the years. I intended to share things I regretted doing or not doing, but as I was preparing my notes, I realized that having an old mom stand before them with a list of regrets was not going to help them very much — and it certainly wasn’t going to help me at all. I already spend too much time at the regret counter as it is. But, on the other hand, I had to share some of the shortcomings — and, as you know, there have been many through the years — so that they could see more of my heart, God’s mercy and His grace and where I was coming from when I was exhorting them to press on. I referenced Philippians 3.14-15
All day as I’ve worked in our home, worked at the kitchen table on math and spelling, reading and writing, I’ve been seeing the young mother’s tender faces before me and I’ve thought on how it was in the beginning for me… the beginning of homeschooling, the clean slate days, the: We can be/do/study anything! days.
It was so impressive that they were so eager to learn — the purposeful intent of their lives. I so wish that I had been as they. Many had very young children, some not even “school-age,” yet, there they were: already deeply committed to the task at hand, gathering information, tools and inspiration for the road ahead.
Knowing this, I felt then — and I feel more so, now — a very strong conviction to be careful with their thoughts, careful with their questions and respectful of their plans. What an honour it was to share with them things — ideas, suggestions, helps — that just might become part of the foundation of their homes. I hope that some of our experiences might help them and that some of the “things we’re glad we did” just might become some of their “things we’re glad we did.” And, perhaps, someday one of those mothers will stand before a group of beautiful, bright, lineless faced, eager young mothers starting out on the path… and she’ll be able to encourage them to press on… because she did.