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Question: I need a little guidance. I am feeling burnt out being around my kids everyday. One child, in particular! I am starting to feel inadequate in my ability to educate them. I have been praying for guidance as to whether I should send them to Catholic school (which my oldest daughter just graduated from the 8th grade, she is not homeschooled) or continue on with homeschooling and the wonderful faithful connections I have through homeschooling. I am doing that impatient praying where I would like an answer today and I am trying to filter every whim and feeling that comes across my heart! I feel so worked over that I am really having trouble discerning God's will over my own. How have you been sure that homeschooling is God's will for your family? I am afraid that what if it's not His will for mine and I want it to be. And I am afraid that what if it is and I feeling this used up! I know my answer is to pray and trust and be patient but I guess I'm just looking for some encouraging words. Thanks!

Dear Mom,

Your letter brings to light the very real struggle that we face at times in our life when we find ourselves at a crossroads with regards to the path we feel that we are supposed to take. It is obvious that you are a woman of prayer and as such desire to do the Lord's will first and foremost. This is a wonderful blessing and your spirit of quiet docility will be the greatest asset that you have with regard to the present situation in which you find yourself.

Jesus does not want any of us to walk in confusion. His love for us knows no boundaries. Most certainly the boundaries that affect our human nature are not part of the Lord's nature. Therefore the Lord is able to instruct those who are not in positions of learned affluence. Jesus can empower those of us who feel weak and ineffectual. Jesus can bring peace into situations where peace seems so unlikely.

It may be that the Lord is calling away from homeschooling and into another vocation. Remember that it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that homeschooling is somehow the watermark for worthy parenting. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Lord gifts us with children and in His great love and mercy He sends children to the best parents for that child.

Examine your feelings about homeschooling while you are sitting quietly before the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle. Ask that the Lord first, quiet your anxious spirit. Ask that the Lord shower you with His peace. Breathe slowly and allow the full strength of the Lord's awesome presence to cover you. Rest quietly in the embrace of the Lord. After you have allowed yourself time to rest and let go of all your concerns, take an equal amount of time to talk with the Lord about those issues that are at the heart of your struggle. Perhaps it is not homeschooling that is affecting your emotions but normal health issues you may be facing, or issues with teens, or perhaps financial concerns. All of these and many more can cloud our desire to homeschool and can in effect distort our work while on the journey. Listen to the Lord's instructions.

For example if one is feeling depressed or anxious about something totally unrelated to homeschooling it only stands to reason that that concern is going to interfere with one's desire to homeschool or their perception of their success. All of our experiences and emotions come into play when we live and work within a family.

The Lord does not desire that we wander in our direction towards Him. Jesus will open the path and will give you signs about the journey to take.

I go through different seasons with regard to homeschooling. There have been times when I thought it to be very difficult to times when I couldn't imagine any lifestyle that was easier (and everything in between). Yet at the heart of all the issues there is a sense of peace that this is what we are supposed to be doing for our family. Jesus' love moves Him in such a way that He calls us individually into His will for each.

I suspect that you find great comfort among the homeschooling community for many reasons least of which is educational. I would imagine that you experience the same feelings that I experience when I am with women who share my love of the Lord and are eager to uplift and encourage one another. We enjoy the company of women who are faithful persons and to whom we can look for guidance and prayer. These relationships are holy and a great blessing. They need not end just because you may chose not to continue to homeschool. Home education is just one small part of the homeschooling lifestyle. Keep praying for inspiration and for purpose. I suspect that you will find great comfort in front of the Lord. Pray for the gift of discernment. Speak with persons who can pray with you. This is always a powerful prayer when we ask others to combine their efforts in prayer with ours. Talk with moms who may have traveled this journey. Jesus is going to help you.

Lord, we ask that in Your great mercy You empower and inspire this dear mother to discern the path You would have her take. Give her the strength that is of the Holy Spirit as she works through the discernment process. Please send persons into her life that will guide her in a kind and gentle way. Open doors and clear pathways so that her ability to change directions is not impaired. We love You, Lord, and long to see Your face.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

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