Homeschooling and God's Mercy--when you feel like a failure

I call it my Mercy Plant. 

It has bloomed in my side yard for the last three years. Its formal name is Mexican Petunia, but from the very first morning, I have called it the Mercy Plant. 

Long, slender fronds of dark green leaves sprout deep purple flowers every morning. Sometimes I pass the plant at four-thirty or five a.m. when I let the dog out. No matter how early I emerge, the flowers are there, open, awaiting the morning. By three-thirty or four in the afternoon, each flower will have launched itself off its stem in a parachute flight to the ground. By the next morning, new flowers appear, and the cycle begins again. Every morning they burst into bloom; every afternoon they lay spent on the ground. 

I call it the Mercy Plant because it reminds me of Lamentations 3:22-23, “His mercies fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.”

 Perhaps you had a terrific year of homeschooling last year. The children were eager learners. You were patient and organized. Your scheduled appropriate field trips and took time out for service projects and visits to elderly. You are eagerly anticipating the new school year and can’t wait to get started. God bless you! You need to read on. 

Perhaps your school year wasn’t perfect. Maybe it didn’t even come close. You started out organized, but it went downhill fast. The children were behind in their lessons, your only field trip was an occasional stop at the grocery store, and elderly people ran the other way when they saw your kids coming. You know that the Lord wants you to homeschool, but you haven’t been able to muster up much enthusiasm or creativity for the new year. 

The message of the Mercy Plant is for you. “His mercies fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.” Today is a new day, filled with God’s grace and mercy toward you. This school year is a new school year, filled with fresh opportunities, second chances, and new beginnings. It stands on its own, but you don’t have to. 

I encourage you to ponder the lessons you learned from last year, and then put that year behind you. Turn your face toward the new year, and ask God to inspire, encourage, and equip you. Thank God for the privilege of homeschooling. Rest in God’s mercy day by day, knowing that like the Mercy flowers, what He gives you will be spent by the end of the day, but each morning He will send you new mercies…and you can’t wake up earlier than God! Remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “Forgetting those things which are behind, I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:16).

 My prayers are with you as you begin your new school year in light of God’s mercy! 

 Application Questions: 

1. When you think back to last school year, what aspect of it most needs the hope of God’s mercy? 

2. How should God’s merciful nature affect how you homeschool this year? 

3. What is the balance in accepting God’s mercy when your efforts fall short and using God’s mercy as an excuse not to be diligent and responsible with your homeschooling? 

Action Step for This Week: 

Commit, by God’s mercy to put the past behind you and embrace the new school year as a brand new chance to honor and glorify Him. 

Prayer of Commitment:

“Lord, whether last year was a good one or not, You have granted me a fresh start this school year. Enable and equip me to be the best homeschooling mother I can be. Help me to give You the glory when things go well, and rest in Your mercy when they don’t. Remind me to extend the same mercy and grace that You show toward me to those around me. Use each experience of this year to draw us all into a closer walk with You as we trust You day by day for new mercies.” 

 “His mercies fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations: 3:22-23)

  Homeschooling is HARD!

This post is a sample from Lori's new devotional book, Joy in the Journey - Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms. 

With a devotion for every week of the school year, Joy in the Journey helps remind you that God wants to be a vital, active part of your homeschool. Each chapter contains devotions specific to what a homeschooling mom encounters each month, application questions, an action step, and a prayer. It's suitable for personal devotions or for use by your support group for meeting topic ideas.

You've invested in wonderful curriculum for your children's  school year, why not invest in something for yourself?

To read more about Joy in the Journey and what other homeschooling moms are saying about it, click here.

Click here to order a paperback or Kindle copy Joy In the Journey ~ Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms

To read the post "Homeschooling--The hardest thing I've ever done" Click here.
To read the post "Homeschooling--When you've lost your joy," Click Here.
To read the post "Homeschooling and God's mercy--When you feel like a failure," Click Here.
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  1. I love that passage from Lamentations. I have it written in my prayer journal. I home schooled my son for five years before he returned to the school system. He's a senior this year! I wouldn't have traded anything for that time together, but many days it was God's grace that got us through.

  2. Laura, you do understand the joys and challenges of educating a child in whatever place the Lord calls us to. To parent a child to their senior year is an act of faith and grace. God bless you!

  3. I need one of those plants to remind me daily in our homeschool:) thanks for posting on the NOBH

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