You make plans. You struggle over choices and possible outcomes. There are sacrifices and battles in order to make it happen. Then you take big steps into the journey with hopeful eyes only to be met with the biggest brick wall in town. Maybe the future now looks exactly the way you DIDN’T want it to. The choice to homeschool often involves a scenario like this. For some, homeschooling becomes the only option – and maybe the least desirable at first. Others start the journey full of conviction to homeschool and expect to LOVE it! Only they discover it is different – maybe harder – than was first thought. There’s also things like pregnancy, finances, health or any bump you may not have seen coming in your life that causes you to reevaluate everything. Circumstances change and the green light fades to a glaring red. Whatever the case, here you sit staring up at this enormous mountain that you never intended to face in the first place.
One of my very real struggles with homeschooling right now is time management. My children are young, I work from home part time in a few different capacities that are very important to me, we recently moved and are working to sell our old house, and life is full of important things. Cutting something out is just not an option, but yet cutting something out is my mountain. If you are like me, there can be multiple waves of devastation, anger, and of course bargaining (looking for some way this could be anything but what it is). After a while though, the mountain is still looming and nobody is standing by handing out hiking gear. So, what do you do?
Beg for Mercy. Sometimes we get in such a rush with our plans that we forget to talk to God about it. Even when we do walk every step with Him, and the mountain still stands, it is time to beg God’s mercy. That mercy might not move the mountain, but it can change you. Maybe the timing is bad and what you’re being asked to give up will come back at a later (better) time. Maybe I’ve been neglecting something vital. Or maybe this is just not the way His will for our family is going to be carried out. He can surround you with all kinds of mercies – certainly the ones you never imagined!
Start Over. Back away down the mountain and reboot. Retrace the steps and make sure you did your homework. Look for anything that you can do proactively to help the situation. Reevaluate things like health factors (exercise, water, sleep, diet), time factors (unnecessary activities, outsourcing options, time management skills), relationship factors (Is everyone, including me and God, getting what they need?) and priority factors (Is this still the most important thing? Have my values changed? Does this align with all of my values?). Gather your conclusions and…
Buy New Hiking Gear. Start accepting what the new normal may have to be. I’m probably not going to find an extra 8 hours that just weren’t being used so my mountain is probably still there. But with a few new conclusions and a greater trust in God’s timing, we can devise a new plan (buy new gear) to climb that ugly-not-what-you-ever-wanted mountain.
This was originally published at Homeschooling with Heart, The Old Schoolhouse Blog.