Do I Have What it Takes? Confessions of a Homeschooling Mom

Do I havewhat it takes-
Image courtesy of Turek

It was a full-blown tantrum. A messy outburst replete with yelling and tears.

I don’t act like a two-year old often, but when I do, I do it well.

I had been talking to my husband about homeschooling—about character, of all things. “I’m just not a good enough mom to do this!” I wailed. “How am I supposed to raise children who love Jesus when I make so many mistakes? I’m not the one for this job. We should send the kids back to Christian school as soon as we can.”

I had attended the first day of a local homeschooling conference and had come home feeling completely overwhelmed. The tears flowed and, with them, the accusations.

“Why can’t I be like the other homeschooling moms in the church—who have it all together?  What craziness made me think that I could ever do this?”

Then, in the middle of the storm inside, I remembered. There is an enemy of our souls who wants to attack us where we are weakest. He wants to fill us with doubt. If he can convince us that we’ll fail, we will simply give up, and we will never see the purposes of God fulfilled in our lives or in the lives of our children.

I stopped short and turned to my husband. “I’m so sorry. I need to pray.” As he and I spent the next few minutes taking authority over every lie and speaking the truth of God’s Word into our situation, a peace began to settle over my spirit. Still, I couldn’t completely shake the question: Do I have what it takes? 

The next day was the second day of our local homeschooling conference. Lord, speak to me today, my heart cried. I need deep-down reassurance. I need truth.

From the very first session, the Lord’s voice was loud and clear. The speaker, Louise House, was an older woman, a seasoned homeschooler with a curriculum distribution company—someone with years of wisdom to offer.

“Since Adam, there has never been another you,” she told us. “Your family is a rare jewel. God has ordained and given you the children that you have. He has placed you as their parents. It is not a mistake that He has brought you together as a family.”

I fought back tears. Oh how desperately I needed this reminder! When God knit my girls together in my womb, He knew what He was doing. He gave those children to me because He knew that I had something to offer those girls that no one else in all of history could offer!


And then this: “God doesn’t look for people who have it all together. He called Noah to build a boat when Noah had never even seen a boat. If God calls you, He will make a way for you.”

Later that afternoon, Jonathan Lewis, editor of Home School Enrichment magazine, spoke about raising world-changers. “There are people we can’t reach that our children can reach,” he said. “Our children are arrows. We don’t launch an arrow into battle before it’s equipped, but once it has been prepared, we launch it. And when we shoot it out, it reaches places we can’t reach. Our children will go out and bring about God’s purposes in their own time and place.”

I’ve heard similar wording before—a word given to me many years ago, before I had even met the amazing man who I would one day wed: “You are a bow. … God is taking His time to prepare you. Someday, God will bring along the right guy and he will be a bow right next to you. And together, you will shoot people into the bulls-eye of the purposes of God for their lives.”

I had asked the Lord to speak to me, and there was no doubt that He was speaking, reminding me of my calling—my destiny. Life gets messy and I make mistakes. Lots of them. But walking shoulder to shoulder with my husband and raising our girls? I was born for this.

It’s so easy, as parents and as homeschoolers, to focus on all the ways that we fail our children every day. After all, there are many. But God has called us to this and He will enable us to grow, mature and succeed. As Louise House put it, “God knows what we need, how we can endure, and how to grow us to be more like Him. There is nothing beyond Him.”

Never have I been so encouraged.

When we walk in the will of the Lord and according to His Word, there is only one possible outcome, and that is to accomplish all that He has called us to do. You see, the question is not, “Do I have what it takes?” The question is, “Does He have what it takes?”

And the answer to that is a resounding YES!


I’ve Failed!

I’ve mentioned before that my small group handed out Bibles at an event downtown. Many of the people who were there are from different religious backgrounds. Some have never opened a Bible before, let alone heard about Jesus. Well, we are going to be meeting on Sunday with those that requested follow-up. We’ll be dividing into small groups to talk about Jesus.

The truth is, last time I was involved with leading a small group, it sank faster than the Titanic. And I know better than anyone all of the ways that I mess up every single day. I keep asking myself, Am I good enough to be a part of this? Then I have to remind myself that no one is good enough. We’re all just a bunch of sinners saved by grace.

That’s the beauty of the gospel.

I’m not saying that as a way of excusing the sin in my life. No way! As Paul said, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2).

Grace is not an excuse to sin! But the fact of the matter is, we are going to mess up. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). All means all. We all sin. We all fall short. We all fail.

I am a failure. A big, huge failure. Hear me out. When I say that, I’m not feeling sorry for myself or speaking negative things over my life. It says right in the Bible that I’ve failed.

And, well, so have you.

But it doesn’t end there! The apostle Paul failed too. He says, “What a terrible failure I am! Who will save me from this sin that brings death to my body? I give thanks to God. He will do it through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25).

You see, when it comes to failure, there are two aspects to God’s grace: Grace is there to cover our failures and grace is there to help us overcome our failures. We don’t need to continue to walk in failure because Jesus provided everything we need to live a life of success!

I wasn’t leaning on grace when I did this the last time. I was puffed up, full of my own importance. When my small group closed down, I blamed it on everybody else and swore up and down that I would never be involved in discipling people again. I didn’t think that I had what it takes.

I was right. I don’t have what it takes. But that’s why, as Sunday approaches, I find myself leaning heavily on God’s grace. That grace is the only thing I have to offer to others.

Do you see the difference? Before, I was trying to do things in my own strength. In other words, I was trying offer myself. This time, I realize that all I have to give to anyone is Jesus.

One last verse. Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

That, right there, is the key.

We can move forward confidently, the past behind us, armed with the knowledge that His grace is all we need. It’s all that the people around us need too.