Embrace the New


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My husband and I have moved quite a few times during our almost fifteen years of marriage (thirteen times, to be exact!).  Prior to most of those moves, I’ve dreamed of how much better things were going to be in the next house.  I’ll be more organized!  We’ll invite people over more often!  The children will be better behaved!  I’ll lose 20 pounds!  It will be awesome!

But it wasn’t.  The new house did not solve all of my problems.  It did not make me a more organized, thinner, Super Mom.  I was still the same person.  I just had a new address.

There’s an old saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.”  There’s a lot of truth in that.  Circumstances and conditions may change, but I am still me.

These same tendencies can creep in as we plan a new school year, complete with shiny new curriculum and school supplies.  I’ll be more organized with this awesome planner!  We’ll learn so much more now that we’re covering 42 subjects!  The children will thrive and the house will sparkle when we start using this new chore chart!  That old curriculum was holding us back – now, the sky’s the limit!

Except, our homeschool will still have the same teacher and the same students.  We will still have those same tendencies toward laziness or perfectionism or chaos or Martha Stewart-ism.  The Pinterest images will still taunt us.

But there’s hope!

We can change.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can put aside those deeds of the flesh (outbursts of anger, anyone?) and grow the Fruits (such as patience and self-control).  We will likely never live up to our own created image of The Perfect Homeschool Mom.  (And, admit it: we all have some picture in our minds of how this is “supposed” to look.)  But we can work to improve areas in our life that may be holding us back from the task to which God has called us.

Have you struggled with procrastination in the past?  How about over-scheduling?  Then that shiny new planner may, in fact, be a big help to you.  Just remember that it has to actually be used to be effective.

Is the Lord leading you to add (or subtract) subjects from your homeschool day?  Then by all means, follow His lead.  Just be careful of the reasoning “if one is good, then twenty must be great!”  Pray about it, and see what He has in mind.

Was your last curriculum a bad fit for your family?  Well, one of the best things about homeschooling is that you can change it.  If one publisher was The Best For Everybody, then all of the others would have gone out of business long ago.  Just know that there’s no such thing as a Perfect Curriculum.  They will all require some degree of “tweaking” along the way for your specific homeschool.

The point is not to give up with an exasperated sigh: “Well, I’ve always been this way.  I guess I’ll always be this way.  Woe is me.”  The point is to have realistic expectations and to realize that changes don’t happen automatically because of an address or a date on the calendar.

In weight loss, crash diets are notoriously unhealthy and unsustainable.  The usual recommendation is to lose 1-2 pounds a week by modifying both diet and exercise.  The same can be applied to almost any positive life change: incremental is better and longer-lasting.

So, embrace the new.  Savor the New Notebook Feeling at the start of a new school year.  Fill out that crisp, colorful planner.  Learn from the mistakes of last year, and make the necessary changes.  And above all else, follow His lead.

Remember: wherever you go, there you are.  Wherever you go, there He is.  And what a blessing it is that “there” is Home!

Hip Homeschool Moms Laura Baggett Profile Photo

Laura Baggett is a college math professor learning to teach first grade and preschool at home with her two favorite students.  She and her husband, David, have moved 13 times in not quite 15 years of marriage.  When she’s not homeschooling, teaching math online, or feeding her addiction to Facebook, she writes about her adventures at Bloom Where You’re Planted.

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  1. Wow, you really got me in the heart with this one. I literally bought a new binder yesterday and thought “This is going to help me get all my financial records in perfect organized order!” Great article!

      1. I can SOO intensely relate completely to the experiences of MrsLaura’s! and her family! WOW! Its almost eery and it has inspired my next blog post–In the meantime, i have attempted to click her link to follow her BlogSpot Blog as well!! I have run into a Slight Problem: as I click the bottom link in the blog name, I am led to a blog that says “Doesn’t Exist”? ;( Is there anyone that can direct me to the proper link for the blogger? I am deeply interested in following up with her further posts!! 😉 THX (visit me at my blog above)

          1. I just figured out the problem. On the link, there’s a period at the end of the web address. I don’t have any way of fixing it here on HHM, but maybe if someone else reads this post it will help. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Rose! Believe me, this post was written from lots of my own experiences. I STILL sometimes fall into this trap. I think that new things really can be a great motivator for change. I just often get bogged down once I have actually obtained the object (or person or position) in which I had placed my hope.

      1. LAURA–please, as i requested above please forward me to the right place for your blog? Unless its because I’m NOT signed in(which is strange but) possible! Then delete my last mssg 😉

  2. It amazes me all the time that we didn’t get to know each other better when we actually lived in the same town. We are SO MUCH alike. I’m in the middle of that “newness will fix all things” faze, but it’s fading fast. Great post!

    1. Thanks, Amy! I wish we had spent more time together, too. But sometimes e-friends (did I just coin a term?) can actually be more genuine than in-person friends. None of that pesky need to impress each other. 🙂

  3. Laura did some great writing in this article — says her very proud Mom. 🙂 I’m confident that you will get more and more things “right” as you continue along this journey. Persevere.

  4. I’m new to homeschooling and everything that has been written is what I needed to hear. So encouraging! I too thought the move was gonna magically put everything into place. Its good to know we’re not alone out there!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Bell! I’m so glad that you found the post to be encouraging. I’m not too far ahead of you in homeschooling (about to start my third year), so I completely understand the need to feel “not alone.” Feel free to contact me anytime through my blog at http://bloomingbaggetts.blogspot.com. 🙂


  5. Wow! That’s a great post. I have a hard time keeping organized in my school department and bills department. I had the hardest time when my husband took a new job and went from getting a paycheck once a month to weekly! It drove me crazy, I finally just made a check list to make sure I was paying each of my bills. I’m trying to get my schooling scheduled. I do lovingly ogle school planners, and I was sure that Martha Stewart was going to be canonized in the Catholic Church for her crafting prowness, and it surely was a miracle, because her house was not strewn with bits of paper, glue gun strings, and she never had a sink full of dishes in her background shots. (She ruined it for me, with her lack of financial investing prowness.) I think my schooling will continue to get easier as my children get older, and I do not have sit right there with them. I hope and pray!
    On the topic of moving around, when my husband took this new job, then he told me, “I think we should buy a house,” I was panicked! I thought, “Goodness, we move around to much to buy a house, how about a travel trailer, or renting.” Here we are, four years in ones spot. I moved a ton as a child, with my family following my dads work, so it does not bother me to move much as an adult. I must admit, I am getting more furnitature now that we have stayed put. It will take more than one cow trailer to move me. I have for years, limited my belongings to one truck and trailer as my max for moving. I loved that when we moved, I would pack our school books in back packs. We put our clothes up first, then pulled our books out and started school. I did not worry about the school district we were in, all of that. My motto has been, ” Home, is where we are together.”

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, KB! I, too, have joked (half-serious) that we should just live in an RV since it would be so much easier to move. 🙂 Buying a house has not always been the most financially-savvy move, but it has prevented us from moving ahead of the Lord’s timing in a few instances, so that makes it worthwhile.

      I understand your struggle with keeping school and bill-paying organized. My husband gets paid every other week, so it can be a challenge. One of the best things we ever did was opening a second checking account a few years ago. It’s still a joint account like our first one, but this one I call my bill-paying account. I keep track of it on a very basic Excel spreadsheet, and every paycheck I move over half of our usual bill amounts into that account. As a result, every four weeks each category is “full” and I’m not having to suddenly come up with the money for that week’s bills. As an added bonus, doing things this way results in an extra month’s payments being saved up every year (26 paychecks = 13 “months”). Paying bills is sometimes still stressful, but not nearly as bad as it used to be. With your husband being paid weekly, maybe you could do the same – moving 1/4 of the bills over every week?

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