Lessons learned as a homeschool mom…



We’re into our third week of the new school year, and when people ask me how the year is going so far, I literally laugh. Seriously.  It’s either that or cry, and I don’t really want to freak anyone out, so I laugh.

no joke, friends, we’ve seriously gotten off to a very rocky start this school year.  But it’s ok, because I’m handling it very, very well.  I’m smiling through every obstacle that comes along, and I’m looking forward to what each new day is going to bring.  When I chucked our spelling curriculum last week, it didn’t bother me AT ALL, and when I chucked our grammar program yesterday, no sweat.  Oh, oh, and the tears and whining that I’ve endured from certain unnamed children in my home, LOVE. IT.  And I can’t forget some of the behaviors that I’ve had to address….makes.my.day.  Never mind the fact that we’re never starting at the time I have planned for us to start, nor are we accomplishing subjects within the neat and tidy time blocks that I’d imagined we would (I knew there was a reason why I hesitated to print out a copy of that beautiful schedule).  It was a beautiful thought, really it was.  And it looked so nice written down on paper.  Oh, and math class, TOTALLY AWESOME.  I mean, who would’ve thought that my two youngest would sit so still and quiet as they’re squeezed next to each other,  listening  quietly (quietly is the main word here) to their math lecture on the computer.  It’s amazing, folks, it really is.  I mean, I am stunned.  And I totally love all of the exercise I’ve been getting as I dart from one kid to another, helping one while another one repeatedly calls out, “I NEED HELP”.  Did I mention that they CALL OUT LOUDLY rather than calmly and quietly letting me know and then waiting patiently for me to get to them?   Yeah, it’s lovely, just lovely.

Did I mention that sarcasm is my second language?

In all honesty, it has been a rough few weeks, and I did in fact chuck two curriculums already.  Seriously, I did.  But I’m okay with that.

on the flip side, God has been showing me a lot of things through this bumpy start, and I’m learning a lot.

I’ve learned that it’s very easy for me to buy certain curriculums just because I heard it worked well for some other family.  But you know what else I learned?  We’re NOT that other family.  And just because a certain curriculum sounds awesome, that doesn’t mean that it’ll be awesome for us.  I’ve realized now, that before I purchase a new curriculum that I’m not familiar with, I need to pray about it and give it a lot of thought.

I don’t know why I get these crazy notions to change everything up and try doing things completely different than what we’re used to, when what we were doing was working just fine.  Ever heard the phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?  Yeah, well I need to adopt that motto.  No joke.

you see, fellow mommies,  God made us for the exact babies that he gives us.  He made each family a certain way, and what works for one family doesn’t necessarily work for another family.  And that includes school curriculum; take it from me!


depression demands to be heard.



Depression.  it is an ongoing struggle.  there are days, even weeks where I feel great, laugh a lot, and all seems right in my world.  but then it hits me.  sometimes it’s subtle, other times not.  either way, it’s there and it demands to be heard.

I feel as though I did really well over the summer; though again, the depression was there, lurking in the dark corners of my mind, reminding me of it’s presence, of it’s constant hold in my life.  and yet, I was able to laugh a lot, enjoyed my kids and hubby, and overall, had a refreshing and relaxing summer.

but as I said before, the depression is always lurking there, just waiting to make it’s appearance.  for the past few weeks, I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety.  just this overall feeling of being a failure, not having enough time, feeling as though doing one  more thing would just be to much, and so on.  not to mention the tears that threaten to fall at every turn, and the stress that felt as though a bomb were waiting to go off inside my chest.

at first, I didn’t realize what was happening.  I just sort-of went along with it, and not liking myself AT ALL.

my mind was filled with constant dread, and I felt like such a failure as a wife, mom, and friend.

I felt fat, ugly, undesirable, and an overall mess.

about two-weeks into feeling this way, I finally realized what was happening.  I was able to recognize the familiar behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that have plagued my heart and mind so many times in the past few years.  and by identifying the root (depression) of these things, I was able to be more proactive and not allow these things to rule my heart and mind.

fortunately, I just happened to have my bi-annual medication follow-up appointment with my doctor last week, and he and I were able to talk about these things.  he’s a godly man who’s known my family for about 15-years, so I’m very comfortable sharing these struggles with him.  he suggested that the thing that was probably triggering the anxiety was the upcoming school year.

all the prep and planning that goes into the new school year can weigh heavy on me, and with the underlying depression, can affect me more so than I realize.  there’s also the upcoming birthday of my oldest that always weighs heavy on me this time of year as well.  I’m once again faced with the reality of our severed relationship, and my broken heart that never seems to heal.

talking to my doctor was helpful, as well as being open with a couple of friends, just so they know where I’m at and can be checking in with me.  I’m also being purposeful to fill my mind with lots of good worship music and Biblical truths.  the struggle is still there, but thankfully, hasn’t progressed to anything more.

depression is a very real thing.  not something to be ashamed of and certainly not something to hide.  even though, our mind will tell us that we have to keep quiet because no one else cares or will understand where we’re coming from.

depression will say that we’re not worth it and that we’ll never be anything better than how we feel right now.

and depression will say that you should be able to just snap out of it and stop feeling this way. to  just suck it up and move on.

well, you know what?  that’s a big bunch of crap.

clinical depression doesn’t just go away when I tell it to.  it doesn’t go away the minute I read a Scripture verse or listen to a good Sunday message.  it doesn’t go away with more sleep (sometimes it doesn’t even let you sleep) and it certainly doesn’t go away just because you tell a friend.

depression sucks and it will do everything it can to suck the life right out of you.  trust me, I know.

I’m thankful that I noticed these signs and symptoms this time, before I ended up back in  the dark pit that I’ve been in before.  and I’m thankful that I didn’t listen to the lies of depression when it told me that there’s nothing that can help me find my way out.

I fought the idea of medication for months before finally giving in.  I didn’t  want to appear weak.  and I certainly didn’t want to be judged for taking a medication that so many other Christians look down on.

but you know what?  once I found myself just watching life go on around me, while I stood by, unable to participate, I decided it was time to consider meds.  that’s where it’s really important that you have a good doctor who really cares, and doesn’t just want to drug you up.  my doctor is awesome and put me on a medication that has been perfect for me.  it was trial and error for the first month while we tried to find the right dosage for me, but it was well worth it.

the medication doesn’t make the depression go completely away, but it does take the edge off, allowing me to participate in my family and the life I’ve been given.

I hope this didn’t sound like a rant, because it wasn’t meant to be.

I just know how isolated depression can make you feel, and I wanted to make sure anyone reading this knows that YOU’RE NOT ALONE!  you are worth it, and you deserve to feel better.  if you or someone you know is struggling with deep depression, please don’t hesitate to call your doctor and get the help that you need.

Coke has lost it’s hold on me!

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Alzheimer’s: the long good-bye

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