Would you lay down your life for your children?
I don't know a single homeschool mom or dad who wouldn't answer "yes," if asked. But how do we answer that question when it crops up in day to day life?
Do we lay down our blogs? Our favorite forums? Our Facebook and Twitter applications?
Do we lay down our books? Our meetings and activities? Our "me" time?
Do we lay down anger, frustration, impatience and irritability?
Will we really lay down our lives for our children? Let's take an honest look at what needs to go...
Many of us have given up careers and other pursuits in order to homeschool our children. We are vibrant, intelligent individuals and we feel entitled to have hobbies and interests of our own.
But how many times will we tell our children to wait so we can read one more blog or answer one more forum post? How often will we tune out our children in order to tune in to talk radio or TV?
Now, I'm not suggesting we give up all of our interests, but I am suggesting that we take an honest look at the amount of time we spend pursuing those interests at our children's expense.
For me, excessive computer use is a major temptation, and I've found LeechBlock to be a useful tool in helping me monitor and limit my time on the computer.
I'm fairly opinionated, and I entered the world of motherhood and homeschooling with specific goals and expectations of my children. When things didn't go as planned, it was humbling to discover that there was nothing wrong with my children - my goals and expectations were seriously flawed.
While it is great to have a vision for our families, we have to know when to set our ideals aside and embrace the children we have in front of us. What are their needs, wants, talents and dreams?
Instead of becoming frustrated because our children don't fit into our ready-made molds, we can spend time getting to know them and helping them grow into the unique individuals they were created to be.
One of the most difficult things I've had to lay down is my desire to please and impress others. Several years ago, I realized that saying yes to those outside our home often meant saying no to those within our home, and I decided to start saying yes to those who mean the most to me.
One of my favorite reads last year was The 4-Hour Workweek, and I recently came across The Best Decline Letter of All-Time on author Tim Ferris' blog.
Yes, the letter is worded rather rudely, but if you focus on the tone of the letter, you miss the overall message. Edmund Wilson decided to say no to those who would use him so he would have time to say yes to the things that really mattered to him.
We would be wise to say no to the users in our lives - even if those users are extended family members, longtime friends, homeschool group members or *gasp* even church leaders.
1 John 3:18 says "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
John 15:13 says "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
In 2010, let's not just tell our children we love them, let's resolve to lay down our lives for our children.