Dear Homeschool Mama: Picking Up The Cross


Dear Homeschool Mama,
We pretty much devote our lives to raising our children. We homeschool, we read the Bible every day, we have Sunday worship together, we discuss sin, we offer forgiveness and grace, we discipline, we sing hymns, we love, and pray like crazy.

We discuss the events in mainstream media and our world today. We address them from a biblical perspective and encourage questions.

We keep a straight face and hide the embarrassment when sensitive subjects come up at the oddest of times because we know there is no time like the present to talk about those things. We are quite open and straightforward with our kids.

We warn them of the devil, the world, and their own flesh. We desire to teach them and train them up in the way that God calls us to in His word.

We strive to do crafts and projects and field trips and make amazing memories with our kids. We want the very best education for them, and we want them to be all that they dream to be.

“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw.
All I am I owe to my mother.
I attribute all my success in life to the moral,
intellectual, and physical education I received from her.”
George Washington

But every day we feel like we failed.

We say things we shouldn’t, we yell.

We let them watch more Netflix than is healthy, we let them eat too many carbs and not enough protein.

We forget to show them just how much we love them.

We make mediocre meals and we lack in the creative (fun) department.

We didn’t play that game or read that book.

It was all we could do to “survive”.

And then we get in bed at night, after we messed up all day long.
In the quiet dark, we fear and wonder and cry and pray and beg God to take our brokenness and imperfections and make something beautiful from them. To whisper into our children’s hearts while they are sleeping that their mama tried and really does love them, but more importantly that her failures do not reflect the perfect love and sacrifice of Jesus.
We pray that somehow our kids will see Jesus in us and not just plain old us. Because “us” and our standards and expectations are nothing without Jesus. All of our efforts will amount to nothing without Jesus.
And then Jesus meets us there in the dark.
He leads us to the peaceful and never unwelcome realization that us and our kids and our efforts all rest in Him and that we are not failing if all that we do points our kids to Him. It is in the doing and the trying and imperfections and discussions and heart-to-heart talks and the being available when you are needed and the never ending teaching and overall effort that our kids see that we love them.
It is in us picking up this cross to follow Jesus that we are in turn raising disciples who take up their cross and follow Jesus no matter the cost. In a world where Christian persecution is rapidly growing, our children need us to lead them by example.

So, I encourage you Homeschool Mama, to continue putting forth the effort. Be intentional with your time with your children, for it is fleeting. It is in the small moments and humble confessions and hugs and tears and whispers of “will you forgive me?” that our children see what living for Jesus is all about.

Living out our faith in the everyday will prepare us and them to live it out in the someday. Because someday is coming sooner than later.
It is in how we respond to the world and the news and the enemy and that person who criticizes us or doesn’t understand us, that our kids see how they should live. It is in the devotion we have for the condition of their souls that they may not see now but will remember later.
It is in our prayers and the Joy of the Lord and the strength of God in us and the daily mundane tasks and never ending to-do list.

I know it is a heavy cross to bear, the raising up and discipling of your children, but Homeschool Mama, you have God on your side! Now, more than ever, it is important to take your calling seriously and believe in the importance of that calling.

A Christian Mother has more influence on her children than she may realize. Just think about your own Mother and how she influenced you, whether for good or for bad. Her life breathed life into you and then helped mold you into who you are.

Some day, it will be your children who have grown up and what is the most important thing you would want them to remember about you? For me, I pray that they could say what I can say about my Mother: “Jesus lived in her, and through her life, I saw Him”.

When they are grown up and look back at their childhood, they will not see many individual moments. Instead, they will see an accumulated lifetime of a mother always there, always listening, always striving to do what was best, and most importantly a mother being honest of her shortcomings and always pointing them back to Jesus… no matter the cost.

And that is what homeschooling is all about, isn’t it?

“Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children.”
Billy Graham


Surround yourself, as much as is possible for a stay-at-home-homeschooling mama, with other like minded, godly, freedom-loving families. If you are not able to spend much time with others who share your beliefs and convictions on a regular basis or if you just need the extra support, then attending a conference is another great way to find encouragement and tools to continue on with what the Lord has called you to! I experienced this firsthand when we attended a homeschool conference earlier this year. We were so blessed!
I was sponsored by the National Religious Liberties Conference to write about why we homeschool and the importance of raising disciples who take up their cross and follow Jesus no matter the cost and offer encouragement and tools for the Christian homeschool family. However, all opinions are mine alone.


11 thoughts on “Dear Homeschool Mama: Picking Up The Cross

  1. What a good and wise word, Clarissa!

    I came over on Modest Mom, and I'm glad to find your site.

    And, I think your words are right on today. My kids are both in college now, and I see and hear the challenges that they face.

    This is such a great reminder, "Now, more than ever, it is important to take your calling seriously and believe in the importance of that calling. A Christian Mother has more influence on her children then she may realize."

    Hope you have a blessed day~

  2. I find it so easy to find where I am failing rather than rejoicing in everyone being one step closer to an eternal life with our heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing from your own struggles on the journey.

  3. Clarissa….beautifully expressed. Thank you so much for these reminders. I needed them! Sometimes the focus on academics can exalt itself above discipleship ,can't it? Bless you for sharing the true and beautiful bottom line of sharing Christ and His love and grace. Hugs!

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