Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane
I‘ve been there more times than I care to admit — looking ahead at the new school year and searching for just the right change: a new book, a new method, a new schedule. If I just change up this or that, maybe it’ll be that magic bullet?
Certainly, sometimes a tweak here and there truly helps. But more often than not, you know the one thing that most needs to change?
Nine times out of ten, the issue isn’t the workbook, it’s my mindset.
It isn’t the program, it’s the problems that lurk in my own heart: the impatience, anger, perfectionism, discouragement, lack of discipline. More often than not, it’s me stuck in the same cycle of negativity, it’s me forgetting my purpose, it’s me losing sight of the goal, it’s me letting life overwhelm, it’s me losing my joy.
More than anything else, what I really need is to better homeschool my own heart.
I need truth, daily, that sets me free.
I need to see things for what they really are, not warped by my own skewed perspective.
I need to be set free from listening to lies, to the comparisons and accusations and onslaught of shoulds that settle heavy on my shoulders.
I need to enter in to what’s right in front of me today, instead of escaping into the easy-out.
I need to make contact, get close, and engage the gears of each day so we can move forward and not just spin our wheels in the air.
I need to embrace the real, actual, human children God has given me instead of holding them to some impossible ideal and letting the cloud of disappointment darken our days.
I need to trust that these messy, imperfect days will string together into something beautiful, in the end.
I need to trust that wisdom will come when I lack it, strength will come when I need it, and that tomorrow will worry about itself so I don’t need to go there quite yet.
And, above all, I need to thank God. I need to fill our home and hearts with gratefulness, giving thanks for each day and life and breath, modeling humble gratitude for my kids and teaching them to do the same.
If I could live that, it wouldn’t matter much what workbooks we had.
I think just about any homeschool method would work, if this homeschool mama cared and tended her own soul with the same fervor and zeal with which I pore over curriculum catalogs.
The truth is: Our mundane is sacred.
The truth is, every ordinary day, with all its regular routines and tedious tasks, is teeming with opportunity to turn us into women of freedom, purpose, and joy.
Especially as homeschool parents, we spend the vast majority of our day devoted to mundane tasks, and it’s all too easy to lose sight of our holy calling, of our purpose. We get bound in unhelpful habits, we lose focus, we lack joy.
I hope you will do this one simple thing this year: Take seriously the task of homeschooling your own heart.
Feed your soul. Challenge your mindsets. Cultivate your inner person. Pay attention to your emotional health.
Tend your heart.
For 17 years, I have been pursuing the Sacred Mundane. I have been learning, living, loving the life-changing truth that it is in the everyday, commonplace stuff of life where we are transformed from the inside out. Where we find freedom, purpose, and joy.
Our ordinary days transform our lives.
And after all these years, I finally get to share this message with you! In the pages of my new book Sacred Mundane, we learn how to let our days transform our lives.
We learn to look, listen, engage, embrace, trust, and thank. We learn how to see the extraordinary in the midst of our ordinary. We learn to be changed from the inside out.
A note from Jamie: If you’ve enjoyed Kari’s writing here on Simple Homeschool and on her blog, I know you’ll love her book Sacred Mundane. As I wrote in my endorsement,
“Kari’s words, full of grace, humor, and practical application, invite us to transform the lens through which we see the world, through which we see God–through which we see everything!”
If your heart needs a little transformation at the start of this homeschool year, I encourage you to pick up your copy right here–enjoy!
What character quality would you most like to grow in this year? Patience? Joy? Freedom? Discipline? Gratitude? Something else?
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