We’re about to start schooling in a few weeks. New curriculum and new opportunities await us. My children are looking forward to meeting and greeting friends at our local homeschool cooperative. They’re eager to start reading the new books that will accompany their lesson plans. My children are thrilled about participating in fun and enriching activities that will enhance what they’re learning at home.
Yes, my children are excited about the upcoming school year. Me? Not quite as much. Lean in and let me tell you a secret. Our school year hasn’t even started and I’m already feeling overwhelmed! Lesson plans, field trips, instrumental lessons, extracurricular activities coupled with laundry, housekeeping, errand running, and meal planning will create a very demanding and hectic schedule for me.
Can you relate to this feeling? Do you know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks of homeschooling and homemaking? I suspect you do. Let me tell you how I usually handle this, what happens, and why my way is the wrong way.
- When I feel overwhelmed, I fall into the arms of my husband. But when he releases me, I still feel overwhelmed.
- When I feel overwhelmed, I chat with a good friend, a fellow homeschooling mom, who understands my situation. But when our phone call ends, I still feel overwhelmed.
- When I feel overwhelmed, I open the latest homeschooling book to find tips and tricks to help me tame my day. But after the last chapter has been read, I still feel overwhelmed.
Why don’t these solutions work for me? Why don’t they provide long-term relief from my anxiety? After all, my husband loves me and my friends do too, and books written by homeschool authorities who’ve been there and done can provide useful information. I am unable to find relief for one simple reason: I’m seeking help from people instead of seeking help from the Lord.
An old familiar hymn titled I Must Tell Jesus offers wise counsel to overwhelmed homeschool moms like you and me. After each verse, the chorus rings out.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me. Jesus alone.
When we face trouble, God wants us to seek Him. In fact, the Bible advises us time and time again to do so. Consider these verses:
- Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. (Isaiah 2:22)
- It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. (Psalm 118:8)
- Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. (Psalm 146:3)
But what does it mean to seek God? Seeking God means that we intentionally set our hearts and minds on Him and that we fully rely on Him to take care of our needs. Notice the words intentionally and fully. Our seeking is not to be an occasional occurrence or performed as a last resort. Our seeking is not to be done half heartedly or partially. Seeking is an all consuming act and once we are determined to seek God, we can employ a three fold process to help overcome anxiety: praying to God, listening for God, and then following God.
- Praying to God: If we want to be stress free, we must take our concerns to God through prayer. He loves us. He understands our struggles. He longs to help us. He will listen to us, but we must come to Him with our concerns. Prayer gives us an opportunity to give our anxieties to God, who is capable of handling our hectic schedules and much, much more!
- Listening for God: Though sometimes God speaks through loud and mighty actions, many times He chooses to speak to us in a whisper (I Kings 19:11-13). After praying, it’s important for us to quiet ourselves so that we can hear God. He may speak to us through Bible verses, through the Holy Spirit, through a sermon, or through a song. We must block out all the mind-numbing, heart-hogging racket so that we can hear Him clearly.
- Following God: After praying and listening, we have to follow God’s direction. Perhaps He’s told us to remove things from our schedules. Maybe He has told us to use a different educational approach. No matter what direction God gives us, in order to find relief from our angst, we must follow His directions.
Fellow moms, we don’t have to be anxious about the upcoming school year! God has everything under control. He loves us more than we will ever know. Let’s choose to banish our anxiety by seeking Him!