How’s your attitude?
Do you struggle to show patience toward your children? Do you grumble about the inevitable mishaps, problems, and disruptions in your day? When your schedule falls to pieces, do you fall to pieces?
As the saying goes, attitude is everything.
Very few times in the Bible are we told exactly what God’s will is for us. So it’s pretty powerful when we stumble across 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
This is God’s will for you. This is God’s will for me. Plain and simple.
In EVERYTHING give thanks.
Of course, our loving Father desires to lead each of us into His specific will, His personal best for our lives. But we’ve got to get this one thing right before we can expect God’s guidance in other areas.
That’s pretty potent.
Charlotte Mason says,
An attitude of good humor is displayed in the mother who rejoices continually, prays without ceasing, and gives thanks for everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly. She knows that everything is an opportunity for growth and maturity, and she believes God will work on her and her children’s behalf.
James chapter 1 reminds us:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
To thank God in the middle of hard circumstances is not intuitive. Yet we can traverse the difficult paths with a thankful attitude because God is allowing this trial for our edification.
We will grow. We will be wiser. We will be able to comfort others experiencing the same issue we faced. We will be more like Christ.
So, yes! It’s easy to thank God when we are struggling, when our children are struggling, when things don’t turn out as planned. God has promised us a perfect end result—perfect and complete!
It’s not just for our children’s good—their character and education—that we homeschool. It’s also for our good. For our sanctification.
We often begin the journey with little patience and become easily discouraged. But as we seek to do His will and cultivate an attitude of good humor, we’ll find ourselves growing in patience, growing as a person. We’ll find that we are better for having homeshooled, just as our children are better for having been homeschooled.
What does an attitude of good humor look like for the homeshool mom? How does it play out in the day?
Perhaps it’s a beautiful sunny day. You’re a little behind in your lessons. But you have faith that God’s plan for your children’s life doesn’t require them to be caught up on every lesson. So you excitedly announce to your kids, “Today, we’re go to the park! We’ll take our nature journals and that will be our schooling for the day!”
Or perhaps your child is really struggling with a subject and asks to skip it for the day. With the authority vested in you as their teacher and master of their education, you allow it. You know that sometimes students need a little break from a challenging subject before returning to tackle it.
This doesn’t mean giving in and allowing our children to control us. But rather choosing not to be a slave to the schedule and having the wisdom and authority to say, “Let’s put it on the shelf for a while. Then we’ll return to it later.”
Homeschooling is not about finishing every assignment. It’s about creating a positive, peaceful environment—an atmosphere marked by good humor.
“The first duty is to provide for them a peaceful growing time for the most part in the fresh air.” Charlotte Mason
But how can we provide a peaceful growing time for our children if we allow an attitude of anger, frustration or stress to take root in our day?
As Charlotte Mason wisely says, ‘
“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”
And sometimes it’s Mom who needs to discipline herself to Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks amidst all the worries and wonders of the day.
After all, attitude is everything.