All this month I am featuring authors from my ministry team to share heartwarming posts just for moms. Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there – spiritual moms, biological moms, adoptive moms, biological moms, step-moms. Your work is a blessing!
Focus Verse: Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5
“Ok, girls, time to start schoooolll!”
These words are met with a flurry of activity these days. I wish I could tell you that two cherubim-faced girls yell, “Hooray!” and rush to the table, ready to spend an hour or more doing worksheets that come home in stuffed manila envelopes every two weeks from school.
Nope! I barely look up after my daily utterance to see streaks of pajama’d little bodies running to hide.
To my credit, I’ve tried to make it fun. We fill out charts to earn prizes. I’ve offered music and exercise breaks. On the really tough days, which at this point seems to be most of them, I conveniently ‘remember’ stashes of hidden candy that I pop in their mouths as they slog out and finish up the work.
I am a speech-language pathologist by training, so I feel like I have some clue as to how this all should go down. But ladies, I am out of my element and this is EXHAUSTING. In the midst of the current worldwide crisis, this is not a normal homeschooling situation, and stress is through the roof. My kids are bemoaning the things they have lost… And so am I. As I process all that we are missing, I am learning a solid fact: I have to pass these experiences through the Word of God, or I will not make it with hope-filled peace to the other side. I, myself, need access to a teacher who will inspire me and help me get that last worksheet done and turned in without any more gray hairs sprouting from my head.
Are you realizing this too?
Here is some great news to write on the chalkboard of your heart: we have access to the Greatest Teacher who ever lived! Our key verse is a stellar example of how to communicate with God, the most amazing instructor of all time.
King David, the writer of this particular Psalm, begins this sentence by pleading. I can definitely relate to this and am giddy that begging is a Biblical example of prayer. The word ‘guide’ in Hebrew is ‘hadrike’, a verb in the imperative form. It means to tread or march forth. Yes, I need a firm, persistent hand to guide my way and continue forward motion because this task is HARD.
Let’s move to the next word, ‘teach’, which is ‘lamde’ in Hebrew. It means ‘exercise in’, which implies this is not a one-time ask. It is a continuous appeal which indicates a reciprocal relationship. Steadily requesting God to show us the direction to go and quieting ourselves to receive an answer is an important step in this process.
The phrase ‘ba’amitecha’ (the ‘ch’ is pronounced as if something were stuck in the back of your throat), means ‘in your truth’. This truth indicates firmness, faithfulness, reliability, sureness, and stability. These power words, more than candy, are tools we need in our bag of teacher tricks to battle lines of inadequacy and defeat that can seem relentless in the face of challenging children.
Then we see who we are asking in the first place, God my Savior, the only One who can truly rescue us from destruction. Asking for guidance from Him is what will bring an all-day-long hope to the discouraging aspects of life.
The greatest educator in the universe desires to instruct you, mommas, whether it’s through a reluctant homeschooling journey or something else altogether. Don’t forget that the wisest instruction available is one conversation away with your Savior.
Lord, I praise You for being our beloved teacher: firm, faithful, reliable, sure, stable, and full of truth! Please guide and march my reluctant self forward during this crazy time and help us to reach out to you, our richest source of wisdom. We need Your peace in the midst of parenting struggles. Help us to find joy in the children around us. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Jennifer Elwood is a Jesus lover, wife and mother of 3 who lives in Yakima, WA. She shares her blog Peacock Sojourning at www.jenniferelwood.com, where she writes about transformation experienced with the Lord.