The ugly threat gushed quickly from my mouth in a moment of complete frustration. The words, my words, had cut so deep the wound was unbearable. I saw the salty water brimming in my son’s eyes as he turned to hide the spillage. I had said the words before but vowed to never say them again. Honestly, I was tired of homeschooling and wanted out. The harsh words and threat of public school had rolled off my tongue and pierced the air between us.
Why did I want to give up, when I loved the adventure at the first of the year? Why was I struggling to finish? When seeing the hurt I had caused, I settled in my heart we would finish and finish well. I was going to be ‘all in’ for I never wanted to see that look on my son’s face again. I had to refocus and renew my will, if I was to continue.
Have you ever wanted to quit? Maybe you feel like quitting on your marriage, or your job. Are you tempted you to walk away from a commitment to volunteer? My story related to homeschooling but honestly, there are so many times in life I have wanted to quit in other areas as well. How about you?
So what is a gal to do, when she should continue, yet, everything within is searching for excuses to quit? Can I whisper some encouragement in your ear? Here are three points which have carried me since that day. These truths have helped me finish the race before me. (Acts 20:23-24) Hopefully, they will encourage you as well.
My A-B-C’s of commitment:
1. Anchor Yourself with the Reason
Remember why you started the commitment in the first place. Write it down. Was it a personal goal? Was it a calling? Is it a commitment that will make you a better person? Be reminded of your ‘why.’ Sometimes when we are in the middle of a storm, we forget the reason behind the actions. Refocus on your reason and let that be your anchor. Remember the ‘why’ of your promise.
2. Believe in your God-given Ability
It is tempting to see what another is doing, and walk away feeling less than and lacking. Once I heard a mom brag about her gifted son learning to play the guitar, so I signed up all four of my children in guitar lessons. Then there was the challenge of soccer, football, and piano lessons. Yet, the truth is we need not compare our days with anyone else’s. Just because ‘that person’ is doing a certain activity, does not mean it is best for me.
Theodore Roosevelt stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Instead of copying my neighbor, I learned to ask the only One who really matters. He will direct our steps. He promises to give wisdom, when we ask. Peace is found in stepping into your personal calling. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
There is a sign in my bathroom which reads, “If God calls you to it, He will see you through it.” My friend, He has given you everything you need for your calling. Trust your God and believe in yourself. “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,” states Christopher Robin. You were designed for such a time as this.
3. Create a Positive Atmosphere
I had to start by changing my attitude. Constant complaining steals the love of life from the soul. Aquire the position of a positive attitude. For me, I have started a gratitude journal. I remind myself daily for the gifts in my life, and I thank my Lord for the many blessings. This practice has made all the difference in the world.
It has been a few years now since the threat, though it seems only last week. With twenty-five years of this journey behind us, I can testify that homeschooling was the best choice for our family. I am so glad we did not quit. Now with three grown men in college and one daughter with her master’s degree, happily married and the mother of two beautiful children, I believe in homeschooling now more than ever. By God’s grace, we finished the race laid before us. All four of our children graduated from our little school and have stepped into other adventures. This journey has been a joy and privilege; as well as a life long learning opportunity for me.
So my sweet sister, instead of throwing in the towel, let’s think through our A, B, C’s and, I will meet you at the finish line.
Believe in your ability.
Create a positive atmosphere