“The harder something is, the more it requires my softness.”

This is a saying that is rocking my world right now.

I first heard it from a wonderfully nourishing site of Jen Hoffman at http://healthymoving.com.

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It seems the end of this school year has brought out my insecurities in abandon. Floudering about and grasping for the next thing that promises success, I have been demanding my children to hop to and get in line. I look at our seemingly small progress and project visions of  failure. Instead of seeing the victories and successes I see only “small” and “insignificant”.

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As I was putting to bed one of my very deep thinking and intuitive children, she told me, “Mommy, you trust God for everything but not with school.” Ouch! I think she is right. Another morning, when I was feeling significantly tender and unsure of my ability to lead my children (which ended up taking me down the path of ranting and raving about our need to DO MORE! and TRY HARDER!) my youngest girl came up to me showing me what she had copied into her notebook that morning. I was expecting to see the usual display of cute little backward letters all strung together without regard to spacing or alignment. But the words floored me. “RESTFUL“. Nowhere in the book from which she was copying could I find that word. It is as though The Spirit had her speak words of truth into that moment. And she brought it to me in a sweet offering of a way. I was undone.

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Trying to lead by inspiring and not driving has been difficult for me. The way we as a family climbed to the peak of Mt. Baldy in Eagle River is how I’d love to experience our homeschool days. I was fully confident in our ability to scale our first mountain of the season. I was enthusiastic, fully loving being out and stretching our muscles, pushing ourselves until we were breathless. I willingly accepted and enjoyed the sweaty work. I didn’t bark orders. I didn’t pronounce doom and gloom. I didn’t think anyone was lazy. We simply kept taking one step after another while calling out words of encouragement while stopping to soak in the awe of the vistas we were attaining. We knew we could make it to the summit. And we thoroughly enjoyed the reward of reaching the peak.

So as we continue to plod along this summer in our educational and recreational activities, I’m going to remember the words of our Deliverer:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.  Matthew 11:28-30

I don’t expect life or homeschooling to be “easy” by my definition of “easy”. It is hard work. It is trust work. There is a yoke. There is a load.

Diving deeper and studying the meaning of “REST” reveals: 3) to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation.

MY YOKE IS EASY TO BEAR” includes: 1) fit, fit for use, useful 1a) virtuous, good 2) manageable 2a) mild, pleasant (as opp. to harsh, hard sharp, bitter) 2b) of things: more pleasant, of people, kind, benevolent.

MY LOAD IS NOT HARD TO CARRY” also means: 1) light in weight, quick, agile.

So when I place my trust in the Savior of my children to lead them individually, to bend their dispositions and hearts toward the things He has planned for them, being willing to allow personal styles and unique callings in Christ to govern our choices, I can feel the weight of performance drop off my shoulders. We can be fully confident that the work He begins in us will be completed by The Author of our salvation. With this full assurance and expectancy, I can enjoy the hard work knowing that we are gaining strength and  the magnificent gift of perspective.

I will continue to repeat the mantra that “The harder something is, the more it requires my softness.” And my softness is my cheerful expectancy that the God of Good, Beauty and Truth is at work in my babies’ hearts, and praise YHWH, in my wavering heart as well.

 “The harder something is, the more it requires my softness.”