Opposition is uncomfortable, but in the end it makes you stronger and more determined.
Distractions however are deadly.
If you really want to destroy something, distract it.
Turn it from its original purpose.
Give it something else to be focused on and passionate about.
It’s especially insidious and effective if it’s a “good thing”.
Homeschooling’s greatest enemy is found in that very principle.
I won’t touch any of the current distractions I see dancing around on social media sites, at homeschool conventions, and in homeschool mom conversations. Instead I’ll travel back to the 90’s to something that’s no longer in vogue to make my point. If you weren’t homeschooling back then it’s probably hard to believe that this is true, or even imagine how strong the pressure was. I’m sure it will even seem silly, but to the homeschool community of the 90’s along came militant bread baking. I’m sure the idea that you could turn hard-working already stretched moms into militant anything is ludicrous to you, but I assure you it happened.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I love homemade bread. I have a daughter who enjoys making it, and I relish every loaf she shares. I’m not even slightly bashing bread or bakers. This is just an easy example because this particular cause doesn’t have the following or draw that it once did.
The 90’s bread baking revolution wasn’t just a gathering of souls who loved the smell of homemade loaves, and enjoyed the process. No, this was a movement that avidly researched the various grains of wheat, and the best ratios for the richest gluten flours. They gave classes on the timetables for grinding to baking and the benefits to your colon. Pre-ground wheat was useless. White flour was akin to poison. Every homeschool convention had classes on wheat grinding and bread making. Next to the newest reading program would be a vendor showing enlarged pictures of your family’s squeaky clean pink colons brought about by eating homemade home ground wheat bread using their superior grinding system.
Their booth was packed.
Their classes were full.
If you fed your kids Wonder Bread, you didn’t mention it.
The health benefits touted were huge. Grinding your own wheat and baking your own bread would cure everything from learning disabilities to deadly disease. It prevented every ill, and testimonials abounded to its curative powers. You were a substandard mom, if you didn’t get on the train with everyone else and at least lust after and save for the Lexus of wheat grinders. Not knowing what a wheat berry was made you unenlightened and in need of evangelizing.
Moms that before would have discussed how to raise their families, educate their children, and focus them more firmly on what mattered, were now clustered together discussing how to find time to grind and bake. Understand me. These moms were passionate and sincere about their family’s health. Their motives were the best. They only meant good. A tremendous amount of each finite mom’s energy went to the cause. Many could not keep up and had to choose. It’s a measure of how powerful these deceptions can be that the choice was a hard one, rather than an obvious one.
Recently a popular homeschool speaker shared his privileged visit at the deathbed of a dear saint. She was a beloved, well-known homeschool mom, and he asked her what she would have done differently if she had it to do over. She considered, and very wisely said,
“ I would have baked less bread“.
Amen sister. In the light of eternity… Well said.
Health and nutrition are good things, but homeschooling is a better thing, and raising godly children is the ultimate thing.
In the end the body is merely the bag you lived in. Your children are the eternal souls you are entrusted to raise.
That’s the focus.
That’s the call.
That’s the thing to never waver or be distracted from.
I could have chosen many “good things” to focus this post on. Homeschooling had only been known about for a few years, before the distractions starting hitting the movement, and hitting it hard. These distractions were always “good things” or at least appeared as “good things”.
If you want to destroy something, distract it from its purpose.
Nehemiah said it best when his enemies called him from his wall building for a meeting. He was not fooled and replied,
” I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?” (Neh.6:3) Four times his enemies came to him and four times they received the same reply. “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.”
Moms, don’t let the good things and the interesting things distract you from the one thing.
Homeschooling your children is a God-given privilege and purpose. I won’t list distractions for you. Everyone has their own, and the movement itself always has any number vying for your attention. They always look like “good things”, but they take your energy and focus from the “best things”.
Ignore the clamor.
Evaluate your focus.
Remember the goal.
You are raising mighty men and women for the Lord.