I watched my husband fix his hair, brush his teeth, and spray on his cologne.
He grabbed his coffee and kissed us all goodbye. I felt a wave of bitterness well up in me. I don’t know where it came from but I knew it wasn’t good. Off he went. Again.
I chose the life I have!
I chose to stay home with out kids. I chose to homeschool our kids. I have never wanted to be anywhere other than home, from the very start. But lately, I have felt I was missing out. Maybe I needed a job or a hobby. Maybe I wasn’t doing enough.
Suddenly, it seemed like my husband was living the high life and I was spinning my wheels in the trenches. And the bitterness grew.
Was I the most unproductive, unimportant human alive?
I realized I had forgotten to get a degree and have a career that would change the world for the better. I never did learn that instrument or take up that knitting. Because I don’t have the time for self improvement. I am trying to educate these kids so they grow up as loving members of society who honor God and treat people well. That takes up more time that I have!
The more I thought about it, the angrier I felt.
The angrier I felt, the more hazy the truth became. And before long, I forgot the most important thing. I let the lie that I wasn’t enough, seep into my soul and rob me of the joy I had always felt as a homeschool mom. As a wife.
There is a cheesy little sign that I see in Hallmark stores. It reads, “Bloom where you are planted.”
I would never have bought that years back, because I thought it was silly. Of course you bloom where you are planted. It never occurred to me I could be planted but look like a weed.
Here I was, complaining about where God had me. I didn’t want to feel this way. I knew I was being kind of bratty, but couldn’t snap out of it. The new school year was coming, and I was determined to get my head in the game. I began planning and reading articles about classical education. I got all of our books arranged and ready to go. I still felt very little inspiration and even dreamed of sending the kids down the road to hop on that yellow bus so I could find my purpose in life.
But alas, I am not very good at renewing my own heart.
I prayed and asked God to change it for me. I knew where I needed to be. And I needed to want to be there. Pulling myself up by my bootstraps wasn’t working. Not to mention, I wasn’t seeing my blessings clearly.
I began to thank God that my husband had a job he loved and that he provided for our family. He couldn’t help it that he had to travel, and when I spoke to him, he told me he would rather be at home than at work on any given day. He told me meetings and lunches do not compare to the shaping of little humans. He gave me the best pep talks you have ever heard. But I still needed God to intervene and speak louder than the voice of society that was telling me to “do more.”
When I imagined me leaving my kids all day, I felt a sad pit in my stomach. What was I thinking? I knew I would never choose any other path than the one I was on. Not only is it where God has placed me, it is exactly where I want to be. How ungrateful was I? And then came the guilt…that familiar enemy, who screams aloud all my faults and threatens to bury me.
I was guilty of one thing, I had stopped believing in our mission.
I spent some time with a friend who also homeschools her children. She told me her goal was to make her days more beautiful by focusing on “much over many.” She planned to do a few things well, instead of a bunch of random things poorly. This made sense. It occurred to me I was possibly just burned out. Homeschooling is an amazing opportunity, and I didn’t want to waste it by being negative.
A little spark ignited in my heart.
Simple changes. I felt excited to give my kids lovely days, learning about deep and important things. Yes, there are ups and downs but even that is part of the process of learning. Do you remember that scene in, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” where his tiny little black heart grows three sizes? That is how I felt that day. My heart was literally full of joy over the most mundane of tasks.
The scales fell from my eyes, and I felt grateful.
My husband just left for Australia. He travels to amazing places all of the time. I fully empathize with wives who’s husbands travel. It is difficult on so many levels, and I send you virtual hugs right now. But my attitude was hurting us all. C.S. Lewis tell us that if you love someone, you want their happiness to the furthest extent. This means, I should want him to enjoy the life God has given him, including traveling.
I didn’t give myself a dose of reality.
I asked God to change my heart and to help me see truth. And He did. It happened a bit faster than I had anticipated, and for that I am grateful, because sometimes change feels really slow. And I believe my husband has grown as well. He is more understanding of how hard it is for me to be the one at home. He has more empathy and takes my concerns to heart, and because of this, we communicate better in this area.
In the past, I bloomed where I was planted, but mostly out of obligation, and growth was minimal. Now I feel I am blooming, and the joy it gives me is spilling over onto my family. They are blooming too.