{… written last Friday …}

We are about to start our homeschooling journey. Homeschool-lite I am calling it.

I would be lying if I said that I was confident or even really excited about starting.

LAST YEAR, I was pumped about getting started soon … to be able to learn with my boys, to be able to discover a new way of life with them, to look at our everyday as something to be savoured, to be explored, to be discovered and delighted in.

Yesterday … yesterday, I threatened to send my second man cub to school.

In my frustration with his unwillingness to nap … with the way he smiles at me when he is getting in trouble, with so much and nothing in general. It was that feeling that he doesn’t “obey me”, he won’t listen, how am I supposed to be patient and kind with him when he smiles at me KNOWING that he’s done something wrong, I threatened to put him on a bus Tuesday morning and send him off to kindergarten.


I wish that I could say that it was the first time I said I would send him away, that I would let someone else teach him, deal with his mischief, to take away my stress for 8 hours a day so that I could focus on the boys who would actually listen to me. But it isn’t. I’ve been to wits end a few times in the last couple of months, compounded by the constant prying eyes of family, the doubt and the quizzing, the feeling that no one besides my husband truly believes that we can do this … and I’ve wanted to throw in the towel.

Quit before the game even started.

Send him off to school. Like everybody else. Away from me. Somebody else’s problem. To be groomed. To be chiseled down into a robotic, obedient boy, who listens when he is spoken to, who follows instructions, and who – for goodness sake – doesn’t smile when I’m upset.

“Fine, you’re going to school!”

And then, as I listened to him bawl, as I listened to him plead with me not to send him away, as I closed the door and demanded that he go to sleep … I wept.

I ugly cried as I started to admit that maybe I wouldn’t be cut out for this journey. That I didn’t have the patience, the mom grace, the capacity to multi-task enough to train up my children. I cried at how angry and frustrated I was with my four year old son, at the standard I was expecting him to live at, that his strong will would push me into a place where I would yell so loudly, threaten to send him away, wish – if even for a second – that I could just NOT do this whole mom thing.

And it was not pretty, it was not the picture of the perfect Christian, homeschooling, stay at home mom who is raising strong, courteous, inquisitive boys into men … it was not even a glimmer of that woman.

When my husband got home that evening, our boys were still in bed … having finally stopped crying, having settled into a nap – which they desperately NEEDED – I unloaded on him.

I’d like to say that I laid all my concerns out on the table, that I was able to articulate what it is I was struggling with and the fears that I had over starting a journey we only just have to scratch the surface on this year, but all I could muster was “I don’t think I want to homeschool … not Caleb at least.”

And I cried.

I cried the tears of failure, the tears of judgement, the tears of admitting that I was not yet living the “no doubt, I love you and I will cherish you and raise you and help you be God-honouring little men” motherhood that I so desperately desire.

I cried tears of frustration, of exhaustion, of feeling like there was absolutely no way that this would work and the next best solution, the easiest one, the one that everyone around us seems to be encouraging, was to call up the school and get the boys enrolled, even if I was doing it all at the eleventh hour.

And then, as only He can, I picked up my bible and I read just the verse of the day … just the taste of what God wanted me to hear in that moment, the moment when I was so sure of my failures and inequities … so ready to surrender this dream of homeschooling for fear that I would not be cut out to grow in grace enough to traverse the waters of a strong willed child … and I read the verse of the day. I read it, I cried, I read it again and I cried again … this time in prayer.

The same desperate prayers I sent up as I rounded out the 17th km of my first half marathon … the prayers to keep me putting one foot in front of another, to keep me going … to give me endurance.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” – Hebrews 12:1 ESV

You see, the problem isn’t my son’s strong will, with his unwillingness to nap at the age of four, with his desire to play and explore, or his desire to get into things no matter how frustrating.

The problem is me. Surrendering to the wrong things, surrendering to fear of things yet to even be attempted, fear of not living up to someone else’s standard of what our education should look like, how many toys we should have, how obedient our boys should be … fear that I wouldn’t be able to abound in grace sufficient enough to make this experience mildly pleasurable enough.

And everything I am afraid of, everything that is driving me batty about the child who exhibits so many of the character traits that my parents wished upon ME for my own children, who is as stubborn and driven, passionate and inquisitive as I was growing up, everything that is bringing me to my knees in a muddled, mascara smeared mess, lacked the grace and the wisdom afforded to me by the one who’s race I am meant to be running.

Now, I would love to tell you that I am perfectly positioned to start our homeschool-lite on Tuesday, to kick off with the rest of the back to school photos and the moms who “have it all together.” But that would be a big ole lie. I am, however, reframed, ready to start slow with myself as we begin building a routine, laying down the foundation of habit training, alphabets and songs, keeping in mind that there is no pressure to nail it, that the person who has the most to learn is this woman right here, and that the grace I so desperately need is not something I will muster up, not something I will master or derive from my own party bag of mom tricks.

This journey is a marathon and the strength to put one foot in front of the other will come from the one who asks me to run.

And, while I have about one million parenting books on their way to my house compliments of my Amazon prime subscription, and at the recommendation of some of my trusted friends, the first book I need to start with daily is my Bible, my life source and my growth in grace, because – ultimately – every other How To will only complement MY OWN understanding of the tremendous amount of grace extended to me.

Spring Ready Body

Spring has sprung and it is time to put away the winter coats and boots (almost, I meant it is still a risk that you might get caught in 6 inches of snow).

It’s that crazy transition time when the weather is slightly above freezing and every Canadian is out in shorts, a t-shirt and their cracking Birkenstocks from three years past. Everyone and their brother is soaking in the “heat” as our bodies accustom to the changes in season.

As more skin shows, more self doubt sets in (am I right mommies). Here is my simple tip for ROCKING your mom bod this spring!

The Lived In Home

The lived in home is about more than pinperfection. It’s about more than the magazine spread and the coordinated cushions. The lived in home is disappearing.

If I told you that people used to enjoy living in their homes, decorating their homes and just appreciating the simple fact that they HAD a home. That people didn’t agonize over whether their home looked like it was ready for it’s IG photo shoot, never worried if there was enough light or colour to warrant a possible viral post.

There was a time when women were blissfully unaware that they were not meeting the Joanne Gains standard of housekeeping that every other mother seemed to be mastering.

Home was truly where the heart was, not where the idols and keeping up with the Jones’ went on.

What happened to the lived in home?

Just 5 More Minutes

Jumping out of bed with joy and pep seems impossible as a mom who is knee deep in the trenches of sleep feedings and nightmares.

Starting your day with intention and a plan, heck, setting an alarm, seems like a practice in futility when your children will – GUARANTEED – wake up before anything and throw your good intentions out the window faster than that last precious moment of peaceful slumber.

Why though?

What’s stopping us from starting right as mothers?

Stop Judging the Girl in the Mirror

Stop judging the woman in the mirror, or in my case the window. The woman who stretched those spandex over a body that feels foreign to even herself, who showed up despite feeling like packing it in. Stop judging the journey when it’s just the beginning.

10 Memes Moms Get

It's the first of April and I firmly believe that we all need something that is #relatable to kick off our morning.  Even if our morning started about 4 hours ago and with children screaming and the stark realization that there its no cream the house aside from what...

There Ain’t No Flies on Us

Did you ever go to camp and sing that diddie There Ain’t No Flies on Us. You know the one, you repeat that very line over, and over, and OVER again in an escalating volume until the point where the kids are screaming in almost inaudible tones and then you bring it...

Chore Charts – Your Husband NEEDS one

Chores are exactly that, a CHORE.

It doesn’t help when your husband is forever asking, “what needs to be done?”

Because SCREAMING, “Can’t you SEE what needs to be done?” isn’t recommended, here is a tip that is simple, effective, and – well – a NO BRAINER … if we are willing to rethink it.

Chore Charts!

Coconut Oil – “I Put that $#!+ on Everything”

I always knew you could use coconut oil in cooking as a healthy alternative, I even found a number of modern applications for it in our home health care routine but when my midwife suggested it could help spice up our sex life I … cringed.

First of all, I had dropped a clue I hadn’t expected … our sex life felt like it was on life support with a DNR more than it did a couple in love. Second, admitting that we might need a boost felt like admitting my lady bits didn’t operate as well as they used to.

Admitting I am getting older and that there are fault lines appearing in our marriage.

Mother Idols

Suppressing our feelings is like shaking a bottle of pop. For as long as those feelings remain behind tightly closed lips, the bottle shakes and quivers, building up the pressure and awaiting release.

Start opening that bottle cap the tiniest little bit and you bet that baby is going to blow!

Girl – It’s OK

Being a mom in todays world is HARD! Everywhere you look people are screaming that you need to do more, be more, expect more. What about being content?

How do you find peace when the world tells you to KEEP RUNNING? Keep going. MORE, MORE, MORE!!!