Ever had that dream? You know…you’re walking alone down the hall in high school (or some other horrifying venue) and everyone is staring at you? They start laughing at you…and you realize you’re naked? And no matter how fabulous you may look in the skin you’re in, it’s mortifying.
That’s where I’ve found myself lately, as I’ve wrestled with so many things after a fast paced season of life that left little time for me to ponder deeper things. All of the sudden the paced slowed down and I realize I’m naked…and totally not comfortable with the skin I’m in. Now, I’m not talking a spiritual skin (of course, spiritually, I should never be comfortable with my sinfulness in the presence of a Holy God). But I’m talking about my persona, if you will. Suddenly, I’m looking around and realizing I’ve let the approval of others, even fellow believers, dictate who I am or how I should live.
I’ve let it slowly erode my beliefs of simple, classical homeschooling. I’m constantly bombarded with uber-creative, time-consuming, but so educational activities that could be added to what we do. Ashamed, I frantically think I need to do it. But I have to shed that skin, like a lizard rubbing the old husk away with a rock. It’s not about what others do in their schooling. It’s not about their schedule, curriculum or activities. It’s about mine. It’s about what works for us as we navigate this path. And if it means that it’s boring, or simple or just not enough to others in comparing…I need to be confident in the skin the Lord has put me in and glorify Him.
It means looking at our family’s schedule, which is a complex and twisted thing, and learning how to minister to others rightly for where God has placed us. It’s peeling off that shell of guilt that we can’t conform to a 9-5, Monday through Friday world. That there are good works that He has prepared beforehand for us that utilize the very schedule that so often I’m ashamed of.
It means I can change what I did last year to this year. My kids are a year older. Society is a year older. My faith, my life, is a year older. What worked as a mother of toddlers and babies may no longer work for a mother of three kids. Hard and fast rules of well, we always homeschool in the summer can change when mommy’s burnt out and needs a break. Reading for 3 hours is an acceptable form of learning. That we can learn more in a single conversation than an entire class of lecture. That having days of pajamas and Wii games and cereal is an okay thing sometimes. That life is liquid thing. While there is absolute Truth, application and implementation of it will vary from person to person, family to family, country to country. And that is okay. This is the skin I’m in. Right now. Not last year’s, not next year’s, not 10 years from now. And even if others are laughing at it…I know I’m not walking that hallway naked and alone.
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13 ESV)