At this time of year, homeschool moms are inevitably turning their thoughts to the start of next school-year, with visions of shiny new curricula dancing in our heads. The hope contained in all the unopened, un-creased new books, and the promise of new, perfected lesson plans, the sparkly new school supplies . . . It is all all enough to make one’s heart soar – and forget all about the muddied waters of the occasional school-gone-wrong days of this past spring!
In all of our new purchases and plans, in all our praying and hoping and growing, there is one thing we dare not forget, though . . . “And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”1 Or, to put it another way, “The greatest of these is love.”2
We don’t have to look much further than the famous Love Chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 to see how intricately love weaves into the fabric of our daily lives. Sometimes the words are too familiar to us, though, as we hear them over and over at weddings, in church, etc. So I decided to try to apply the concepts a little more specifically to my situation as a homeschooling mom.
Here’s my version:
“If I speak in many foreign and eloquent tongues, including Latin, and teach my children to speak them all too, but have not love, I am only like a clanging, banging school-bell.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can discern all the challenges my children will eventually have – and have them fully prepared to meet every one – and can fathom all knowledge, including my child’s algebra book, and if I have a faith that can move mountains and daily do Bible lessons with my kids, but have not love, I am only like the voice of the Peanuts comic teacher, saying “wa-wa, wa-wa, wa-wa.”
If I give all the years of my youth to the training and development of the little ones in my home, surrendering my fitness regimen and even basic hygiene in order to get all the lessons in, and my hair turns gray in the process . . . but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient when all the science experiments I attempt fail.
Love is kind when I am facing the 37th interruption during our family circle time.
It does not envy the mom who can somehow get all of her children to sit quietly and listen to the read-alouds for hours at a time.
It does not boast if my child does better on his year-end testing than the public-schooled child down the street.
It is not proud, and is willing to ask for help when needed and admit weaknesses and ask for forgiveness, even from my children.
It is not rude, even to the salesman who calls in the middle of my Language Arts lesson.
It is not self-seeking, making all kids, husband, pets and appliances work under my agenda.
It is not easily angered, even when the pre-teen pushes all my buttons and wants to debate every little thing that comes out of my mouth.
It keeps no record of wrongs, nor counts how many times I told you to not track mud through this house!
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres – even on days when the baby wakes up too early, the breakfast oatmeal burns, the orange juice cup spills all over the rug, the math book is lost, and no one can find ‘matching socks . . . and it’s not yet 8:30 a.m.
Love never fails.”
Thankfully, true love – God’s love – never fails . . . because mine sure does!
But as we look forward to the new school year, let’s remember to approach our days with LOVE, knowing that is the most important thing we can do.
1 Colossians 3:14
2 1 Corinthians 13:13
Amy is a thankful daughter of the King, finding joy in seeing redemption on a daily basis. Happily married to her best friend from college, Peter, she is the mother of 4 children, ages 3 through 11. Currently, the family is residing in Eastern Europe (the small country of Moldova) for six months, while Peter is teaching at a university there. They are thankful to be a homeschooling family that could easily pick up and move for this valuable cross-cultural experience! Amy writes on her blog, franklyjournaling.blogspot.com, as a way to record her family’s milestones and experiences, and also to express the thoughts and emotions that come along the way in the colorful journey of motherhood.
Thanks so much for these words. All the new school books are on the shelf and I have a daily schedule made, but truthfully I am dreading the first week of school because my kids are not those “model homeschool students” instead they fight me tooth and nail for the first week and I end of very exhausted and cranky. I think I am going to pin this and read this daily all next week remembering to act in LOVE.
Victoria, I completely understand how you feel! My kids are not “model homeschool students” either. In spite of that, we have managed to homeschool for 15 years (going on 16), and my kids and I have learned so much together! We haven’t always loved each other like Amy mentioned in her post, but we’re working on it! I pray that your first week of homeschooling (and all the other weeks that follow) will be the best yet!
Thank you, Victoria! It is so good to know I’m not the only one that doesn’t have model homeschool students. 🙂 It’s good to know our task (to love) can be summed up so simply, isn’t it? Now to follow through on it… that’s the tough part! I pray that your new school year starts off with more love and peace than ever before.
I love this. Your honesty and vulnerability is inspiring and so relatable! Thank you.
Thank you, Kelli! I’m glad you can relate. 🙂
I Love this!!!
So true. We can have the best curriculum, the best resources, the best teaching methods, but if the love is missing, we’ve failed miserably. Each day I have to pray that GOD will love my children THROUGH ME. Thanks for the reminder of what matters most…
Very true and wise, Tanya.
Thank you so much for this post. I know I get so caught up in the planning and schedules and self doubt that I forget I am doing this because of love!
Thanks, Mindy. I’m glad it helps!