The idea behind this post comes from a good friend of mine who has been encouraging me recently as I've struggled with something that normally comes easy to me. You'll never guess what that "something" is I've been struggling with...
Since my first child was born 18 1/2 years ago, I've been a "teaching mom". My son entered the world with a collection of books and classical music that surpassed those of many full-grown adults. Truth be told, I was reading to him before he was even born! Preschool? I was his teacher (and the teacher of my 4 daughters). Elementary? Me again. Middle school? Yup, that was me. High school? Uh-huh, me once more. College? Well, I didn't teach him during his time at Friends University and I certainly won't compare myself to the professors he'll have at Wheaton College this fall, but I'll just be a text message away should he have, say, a grammar related question.
I've taught Vacation Bible School for 16 or so years, Sunday School for 17 years, written lessons for our youth group, did the same for a Wednesday night children's program, and am about to begin my 14th year of homeschooling. I have probably used or examined curriculum from all the major Children's Ministry publishers, and am becoming pretty familiar with Youth Ministry curriculum. For a whole lot of years I've been tweaking and adapting Bible lessons, studying and compiling notes, setting aside articles and gathering resources, and generally working to make sure each child I come in contact with feels as if they are valued and loved. And yet the last few weeks as I have prepared for this year's VBS, I have been feeling just plain out-of-sorts. Last night as I worked to calm myself down and teach the lessons to each of the 4 age-divided classes, my jitters multiplied and I felt like, well, a failure.
There, I said it - FAILURE. Homeschooling mothers wear many hats, and for the most part we do all of our jobs well. Maybe every task isn't achieved with excellence, but many of them are! Perhaps we don't have a gourmet dinner each evening, and maybe the laundry waits a couple of days to be folded, and (in my case) those precious photos of the kids may never make it into the scrapbooks! But those things don't make me a failure, do they? Don't I know that I'm only meant to do the things God has called me to do, and He has no unrealistic expectations? Yeah, I do know that. And I need to remember that more often.
What about you? Are there things in your life that set you up to think you're a failure? If you viewed those things in the light of God's great love and His lack of unrealistic expectations, could you change the way you feel and maybe even the way you live your daily life?
Today as you go about your business, remember that all God's promises prove true. Take the time to open your Bible and find out what some of those promises are. And don't tell yourself you're a failure - because you're not :)
As for me, I'm going to have a fun and blessed evening teaching some cool kiddos about Jesus!
Day 101 done :)
Jan L. Burt