"I Just Want Somebody Else to do it!"

Somehow, yesterday afternoon I started feeling a bit tired. Probably not too physically tired, but–you know–just “tired.” Tired of going from one mess to another, keeping constant tabs on the little trouble-maker(s), bouncing from activity A to child B to child C and back to activity A. Have you ever had one of those days? Yeah, leaves you feeling “tired.” And in spite of getting one of the better night’s sleep I’ve had in recent memory, I still felt that lagging feeling when I got up and got going this morning.

The feeling was exacerbated by my oldest, who felt it unfair that he had to lug a heavy jug of WARM water out to the chicken coop, because the animals’ water had frozen overnight. And clean the leaves out of the outdoor water container. And, to top it all off…IT WAS COLD OUT!

So we made it through breakfast with a few complaints but for the most part OK. After breakfast I asked my 3 year-0ld to bring me her toothbrush so that I could help her brush her teeth. She said, “No.” So I asked, “Why?” (which I usually don’t bother asking, since “no” is just, for the most part, not an acceptable answer.) But I did ask, “Why?,” this time, to which she responded, “I just want somebody else to do it!”

Well, my thoughts exactly! I just hadn’t articulated them quite as well as my three year-old. I think my oldest son would have seconded the notion as well.

When the fussy toddler is stuck in her high chair waiting to be cleaned up after a meal and the baby starts crying because he is hungry and the table still has food on it that needs to be put in the fridge and there is a big mess on the floor to be swept but all of the floor-sweepers are suddenly nowhere to be found and the kids forgot to feed the dog and then the phone rings...I just want somebody else to do it!

And all you fellow homeschooling moms out there…let’s face it, we’ve ALL had thoughts about sending our kids to public school. Why? Because we just want somebody else to do it! Let them deal with the bad attitude, the laziness, the complaining, the distractability, the look that says, “I just don’t get it!,” the explaining and re-explaining and drawing a picture, and all the while the baby is crying or the meal is burning and of course the other children need things, too…yeah, sometimes I just want somebody else to do it.

And we take very seriously our job as parents in discipling our children in the Lord. So we teach, we train, we discipline, and we encourage…all the time, every day. We model Godly living, to the best of our ability. And when we fall short, we share that with our kids, too. It’s not like they don’t know it, anyway. But, you know, on days like today I just want somebody else to do that, too. It’s a lot of work!

Sometimes, frankly, it’s easier to just “not” make the effort. But if I don’t nurture my children in the Lord, there’s no one to fill that gap. Nobody else can do it like we parents can. That’s why God gave us that responsibility (see Deuteronomy 6:6-7)! Oh, but I just want somebody else to do it, Lord! I’m tired today…

Funny how at times like this the Scriptures we read each morning just scream with relevance. I recall yesterday my husband sharing from Hebrews, and we talked specifically about verse 14 (NIV): “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” We discussed the importance of holiness, and being set apart for the Lord–which means that often we will do things that aren’t considered “normal.” And doing things differently–and diligently, at that–takes effort. It’s not easy!

So whether you’re a stay-at-home mom when our culture says two incomes are necessary, or whether you make all the sacrifices associated with homeschooling, or whether you simply recognize that your children’s discipleship is your responsibility–and you take it seriously–likely you will look at how others are doing it and you’ll want to go the “easier” route, from time to time. You’ll be tempted to say, I just want somebody else to do it! But, let’s face it, our children deserve our best effort. The pay off is well worth the investment, if we can just stay the course. So as I write, I’m trying to encourage myself–and I hope you will, too!

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:3-8)