As I go through my days, homeschooling six children and serving the Lord in a variety of ways at home, at church, and in the community, I am regularly blessed by a handful of one-liners that invigorate me and help me to do the right thing with the right attitude. These five phrases come to my mind, and shape my life, on an almost daily basis. I’m thrilled to share them with you, hoping that one or two might be helpful to you.
1. “Just Do It”
Whenever I long to connect with my children, to read more books, to play more games, and to be more affectionate, I remember the phrase made famous by Nike, “Just do it”. Instead of grabbing the calendar to schedule a time or revamping our homeschool day or, worse, despairing over my failure to do these things, I just do the thing I’m longing to do.
Cindy Rollins writes about this in her lovely memoir Mere Motherhood: Morning Times, Nursery Rhymes, & My Journey Toward Sanctification:
“So often mothers worry about what they are not doing. I hear these things all the time… To these moms, I say, “get up right now and do THAT thing.” Today, now, put down this book and have your child immediately write a narration or have your devotions or take a walk.”
This tidbit of advice transforms my ideals, theories, hopes, and dreams into realities. Grab this little phrase for yourself. I can’t recommend it enough.
2. “I’ve Changed My Mind”
Years ago, I was feeling stuck by one of my decisions for our homeschool.
Things weren’t working for my child, but I didn’t want to second-guess myself, cave to my child’s complaints, or appear uncommitted. My friend, Renee, comforted me with the truth that I could change my mind. She reminded me that only God is perfect and unchanging; humans have limited understanding and are learning new insights all of the time.
Parenting became less burdensome when I realized that it’s okay to reassess and modify my decisions. On a regular basis, I need to tell my children that I’ve changed my mind. It is humbling, but it also demonstrates that I am learning and adapting as I go.
When you need to adjust a rule, a schedule, or a decision because circumstances have changed or you have learned a new insight, go ahead and change. Your child will respect your honesty, humanity, and flexibility.