Am I Crazy? Musings from a Mom of Five!

by | Aug 10, 2020 | Family Life, Marriage, Parenting, Prayer, Society

Are you serious God?  Why?  Why now?  Why have you chosen me?  Have you ever had these conversations with God in prayer?  So many times, in my spiritual life I have had these conversations with God.  Often, I feel as though God asks way more of me than I think possible.  I know I am not alone, and God asks the unimaginable from all of His faithful followers.  Today, I thought I would muse on my last conversation that went something like this!

From the moment my first daughter entered school, my husband and I have prayed about if we were called to homeschool.  The answer had always been, “No, not this year!”  During this our second born child (now 11) has begged to be homeschooled since she was about four years old.  Fast forward, I have a current 8th grader, 5th grader, 4th grader, and two 1st graders. (One currently in China waiting for his adoption to be finalized!)  For 8 years I heard the same answer, “No, not this year!”  In prayer, I expected to hear that again this year.

I always start praying about the next school year in April.  This year we were amid distance learning because of the COVID quarantine.  When I brought this to the Lord this year, I did not hear a “No,” like I had in the past.  Instead I was left a bit uneasy.  I loved being home with my children during this quarantine. I began to pray even harder!  I prayed about all the beautiful graces my time home with them gave to us.  I prayed about the difficult moments and frustrations that my children encountered with computers not working, hard assignments, and no group of friends to play with each day.  I prayed about my inadequacy…I have never felt qualified to teach my children.

When quarantine started, I had to really take the primary educator of my children a bit more seriously. I realized that my oldest son worked really, really well next to me.  He has struggled in a traditional classroom.  He is an average student.  He is not the top of his class and he is not the bottom of his class, so it became easy for him to hide.  He could not do that when it was just, he and I.  In this time, I saw so many fruits…He grew in confidence, in his character, and in his sense of humor.  I loved every minute of working side by side with him.  My oldest two are girls and they were self-sufficient in distance learning, but it was beautiful having them sitting at the table with us and encouraging their little brothers.  Their relationships as siblings grew so much and I was able to see true friendship begin, not just siblingship.  (I don’t know if that’s a word, but I now deem it one because it’s a super cool word!)

I kept praying…God what are you asking me?  Why am I so uneasy??  Surely you cannot be asking me to homeschool can you be???

One by one these prayers were answered…and not in the way I expected.  The Lord promised more grace filled moments if I choose to accept them.  The Lord also promised me more frustrating moments, but He also promised to be with us in the midst of those frustrations.  Finally, the Lord promised me that I was not inadequate.  He assured me that He had gifted my babies to me and entrusted me as their primary educator.  He promised me that He would guide me and help me be successful if I get myself get out of the way and let HIM be the primary teacher of ALL of us this year.  I was humbled and I was encouraged.  God did not tell me “No, not this year!”  Instead He told me, “You can do this…Go for it!  You won’t regret it!”

Well in mid-June we, as a family, made the decision to homeschool.  Immediately our home was filled with peace.  I know this decision is not for everybody, but this is what we are called to do at this moment in time.  Our decision had nothing to do with COVID, but as a bonus we don’t have really deal with these dynamics of school buildings this year, with the exception of our youngest who receives special education services that I’m not yet feeling called to take on quite yet…maybe next year!

Today was our first day of school…there was many grace-filled moments, there were also tears of frustration shed, and yet God was in the midst of it all the entire day.  We all felt His amazing presence all day!  When He calls, He never abandons.  I continue to remember…God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the call!  I genuinely believe…He’s got this!  Here’s to the 2020-2021 school year!  Together, we can!

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Tara Brooke

Tara Brooke is a wife, mother, educator, and child of God.  Tara has worked in various aspects of ministry in the Catholic Church for over 20 years, her last years as a Director of Marriage and Family Life for her local diocese.  She now stays home and tends to the needs of her growing and beautiful family.  She has three biological children and two adopted children, both with Down Syndrome. She loves helping engaged couples grow in their understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage as well as helping enrich already married couples in growing in holiness together.  She resides in Bismarck, ND with her amazing husband, Deacon Dan! 

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