I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

The Easier Way is Not Always the Better Way, Mama

The Easier Way is Not Always the Better Way, Mama #homeschool #homeschoolencouragement

Written by Talvi McCuskey.

What a mixed-up world we live in at the moment. For many people life is not held to be particularly sacred--people are cavalier with their own lives and with those of others. While the value of life is diminished, at the same time the value of one’s image and own desires is being magnified at an alarming rate.

We live in such relative prosperity and peace that people have come to expect that they are entitled to whatever they want when they want it. The problem is that, even if one gets all of her desires, she is left empty. In fact, I believe that it is a constant struggle—a fight against this inclination to expect life to bring ease and fulfillment without sacrifice and submission to God.

The Easier Way is Not Always the Better Way, Mama #homeschool #homeschoolencouragement

When I was growing up, at a young age I decided to become an attorney. I was an avid John Grisham reader, my uncle was a lawyer, and I desperately wanted to craft a life for myself that would be stable and secure. Children were not in my future that I could see, and all I wanted was to pursue my career. I achieved what I wanted to achieve--I got into the law school I wanted to get into, got married, received my Juris Doctor, passed the bar exam, and proceeded to have a successful career.

Eventually, however, I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked. I was also elated. This was not part of my plan, but I embraced it. Looking back, I simply cannot imagine where my life would be if it had gone completely the way I had envisioned. I would not have had children, I would probably be living abroad, and… I cannot fathom the emptiness. God, mercifully, had other plans for me. This pivot has been a constant reminder in my life that God’s plans for me are good. The problem is that I have to fight against all those feelings that tell me my way is better, easier, and faster.

My way might feel easier in the moment, but it is never better. Not ever.

The Easier Way is Not Always the Better Way, Mama #homeschool #homeschoolencouragement

Just like when I planned my life to go a certain way with my career, I often have my own plans for my parenting. My plan basically goes like this: I instruct my children what they should do, they do it, and then we repeat this process. Simple, easy, and effective.

The reality, however, is that we live in a fallen world--a world where I sin and they sin and we often have messes in our hearts to contend with. Things get messy, difficult, and exhausting. The reality is that, while we are infinitely blessed with our families and the life God has given us, we are also in the midst of nothing short of a battle. One we must fight.

Every day, each of us will encounter struggles and trials, and while it may be easier to lay down and succumb to culture, or our feelings, or the path of least resistance, our resolution should be to pick up our sword--to fight.

I will fight. I will fight against my feelings, my entitlement, my selfish desires, and continue to rely on the grace of God to help me do what is right, not what is easy.

The Easier Way is Not Always the Better Way, Mama #homeschool #homeschoolencouragement

The temptations to take an easy way out can come at us in many different ways. Sometimes we can be tempted to yell at our children when they misbehave when the situation really warrants calm instruction. Other times we can be tempted to look at our phones instead of doing the dishes. We can be tempted to fret over the state of our children instead of spending that time praying over them and trusting God.

We can be tempted to start the day out with a whoa-as-me attitude--“I’m tired, I’m alone, I have all of this responsibility…”. Instead, we need to resist that attitude and think...

“God has entrusted me with this awesome task of raising and nurturing and educating these precious souls… He will equip me to do it today!”

The easier way is always to pity ourselves. But Jesus did not pity himself in the worst of circumstances. He, instead, relied on His knowledge that God loved Him. Each one of us must determine to do the same—we must sacrifice our own emotions and feelings of despair or fatigue or anger or whatever it may be, and trust that God loves us and our children and we can do this through His strength.

The lovely news is that I am convinced that laying down our lives in this manner, by sacrifice and submitting to God’s will above our own, offers great rewards. Yes, it is difficult— to homeschool and to discipline and to clean and cook and cultivate good relationships with our family—is difficult. But I’ve found over and over again that if I sow these good seeds, I will reap a good harvest! God is so faithful and so good, that I am determined to press on and fight. Will you?

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