Thursday, January 3, 2008

Keeping it Real: Confessions of a Homeschooling Mom

Okay for whatever reason I have had this thought all day that I need to "come clean" here. It's so easy to always put your best foot forward and make everything look shiny and pretty in the cyberworld. I guess it's actually easy to do that in the real world too but even easier (in my opinion) in cyberspace. So here it is...the real me in eight confessions for '08.

Confession #1
: I am an organization FREAK. That can be such a good thing, unless it's taken to the extreme. That's me...the extreme! I would often rather be cleaning out a closet than on the floor playing with my kids. Sad but true. People are draining on me (even family and friends I adore) and tasks energize me. I constantly work to maintain a balance but too often don't do a good job.

Confession #2: Homeschooling is the second hardest thing I have ever done. Some days I dream of being able to put my kids on that yellow school bus that drives by my house. Then I would come inside and scrapbook, keep my house spotlessly clean and cook amazing meals. I would have lunches with girlfriends, take naps everyday and work out all the time. In reality I know I am blessed to have the privilege of educating my children; it's just sometimes it doesn't feel much like a privilege.

Confession #3: The hardest thing I have ever done is work at my marriage. I adore my husband and he me. But we are two very strong-willed people and can definitely clash. I had no idea whatsoever how to communicate when we got married almost 12 years ago and often still stink at it. My marriage is the one single hardest instrument of discipleship in my life and yet one of my greatest sources of joy as well. Someone told me before I got married that looking at your spouse is sometimes like looking into a mirror which reflects your biggest flaws. I have definitely seen this to be true. I see my selfishness and sinfulness constantly.

Confession #4: My kids don't eat healthy all the time. I met up with a precious college friend over the holidays whom I haven't seen in seven years. She mentioned how she had been keeping up with my life through this blog and that she was amazed at how healthy we are. Yikes! I guess I need to come clean with the whole story. I try to live by the 80-20 rule. 80% of the time we do attempt to eat really healthy but the other 20% of the time I don't worry so much. We grab fast food, eat chocolate chip cookies and indulge in all sorts of junk-food. We do try to stay away from artificial dyes and things with tons of chemicals but that still leaves room for lots of unhealthy stuff for sure!

Confession #5: I take myself and life in general waaaaay too seriously. I need to laugh a lot more and chill out. Dh used to tell me that on a scale of one to ten everything for me was a 12 - from the tupperware drawer to something that really matters. I have come a long way but still have much room for growth.

Confession #6: I cannot shop for my own clothes. I take friends or my dh with me. I have often joked that when God knit me together he gave me a double dose of the organizing gene but left off the decorating gene - picking paint colors, buying clothes, accessorizing (myself or my house) are all beyond my comfort zone!

Confession #7: I am a people-pleaser...big-time. I worry too much about what others think - a bad trait for a pastor's wife! If you read my New Year's resolution post you may have noticed the book titled Pleasing People: How Not to be an "Approval Junkie" and now you know why!

Confession #8: I have a temper. Really I do. Just ask my husband. I've struggled with this demon as long as I can remember. I am nice and sweet the huge majority of the time (and hopefully genuinely so) but that last 5% beware. Not a pretty thing to admit but it's the truth. The Apostle Paul talks about a thorn in his flesh and this is mine. My one biggest character flaw - among many unfortunately. God has done great works in my life in this area but the thorn is still there and it continues to be something I fight more than I would like.

Well now you may know more about me than you wanted, but it feels very good getting it all out! :)

19 comments:

Rachel said...

Oh I am so right there with you on almost all of these!!! I am always saying how to be an effective witness and encouragement to others, we need to be transparent... I try to be that way, but it is funny how people so often get the wrong idea! I have so many flaws (a HUGE one being a people pleaser and worrying about other people's opinions) so it can sometimes be tempting for me to allow others to keep their positive WRONG impressions of me lol!

But it is such a relief to know that we are not alone in our flaws and mistakes, thank you for stepping out there so publicly and sharing with us! I try to be so transparent in real life, now I need to work on taking that to my blog, like you have... thanks for the inspiration!

Jennefer said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Rachel. That was my goal -to be transparent and real. :) It is tempting to hide behind a veil of "I'm great and everything's great" for someone with my perfectionistic personality. I am glad this post encouraged even one person...then it was worth putting myself out there like that!

Blessings to you,
Jennefer

LisaWA said...

Oh girl! This is so true.... it’s very easy to put the best foot forward... when in reality its not always pretty....

I think I can relate to every single one of your confessions... well, not the clothes shopping one *Ü* but...life isn’t perfect... yet we try so hard to make it so.

What a breath of fresh air Jennifer... you are....Thanks for stepping out... your are a great encouragement!

Much love... Lisa

Mom2legomaniacs said...

By your being real and transparent, you help me to see myself in a more clear fashion. I know I have many many faults. Many times I am just too overwhelmed or scared to face them.
All I can say is that I am very glad to "know" you! You are a blessing
melissa

mom24 said...

Oh my goodness!!! It's like you opened my head, took my personality and put it into your list!! I am so glad that you are courageous enough to put them out for all to see! I'm even reading "Approval Addiction" (joyce Myers) right now. Usually with me, these things are related to either 'pleasing others' (organizing freak, taking things too seriously) or trying to keep control (as if anyone w/ 4 kiddos could!). My temper is a huge flaw in my life and the one thing that I wish could be conquered as it is so damaging to those I love.
BUT remember that those of us with this personality tend to be very, very hard on ourselves also. God made us this way for His GOOD purpose! He is growing us AS He grows our children and has given up Perfection in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. By examining yourself, you are able to work at improving and also at encouraging others.
I have been encouraged and will pass this post along to encourage others also! Thanks so much!
Andrea

Carole said...

#'s 1, 5, 7 & 8 are exact descriptions of me. Thanks for putting into words your own struggles - they serve as a reminder to me that I need to lighten up and focus more on people. :)

Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

Guess what, girl - I still love ya'! In fact, even more than I did 3.5 min ago.

I've blogged before about not being "super mom".

Thanks for keepin' it real! *hugs*

Sharon said...

Confession #8 rang true for me also. I appreciate your honesty, because I know how hard it is to step out from the perfect facade of wife to a minister (well, my dh is still in traning) - but it is also very important to do it. We're all sinners and a little bit of public humility goes a long way for the gospel.
~ Sharon
PS Thanks for your comment on my blog the other day!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Hi, I found your blog through my sister's (La Donna Mobile). Can I just say how much I appreciated this post? I don't blog about my homeschooling because, compared to others, I just feel like I'm not doing a good enough job. I'm glad to see there are homeschooling moms out there who are human =). I especially apprecieate the 80-20 healthy eating because that's how we are too.

LaDonnaMobile said...

I wholeheartedly agree--men are much more difficult to understand/work with than children. The fact that our success as disciples depends on how well we love our spouses is something I don't consider as often as I should--thank you for helping me realign my priorities! :)

Sheryl said...

Nice post Jennefer,

We were talking in SS school a week or so ago..about how believers aren't real even with each other...

our ss class has tried really hard to be transparent within our class. We had one man come forward in tears over his habitual sin struggle with lust...another couple came forward about how the wife was moving out and to please be praying for their marriage..Its not always gloomy but its nice to see people for who they really are. Sinners that are saved by grace but still struggling here in this world. Happy to say that the couple that had separated (they kept coming to church) have now rejoined each other in their home and God is making big strides in their marriage.
Anyways,
Like all the other comments, thank you for being honest about your home, your struggles, and your marriage. My struggles are very different from yours but there all the same. Maybe one day the entire church body will come to see that its the letting people in that brings healing instead of the shutting people out. Have a wonderful week.
Sheryl at hazelnutacademy

my5wolfcubs said...

I too appreciate your being real. I'm not the "teacher" I sometimes come across as...
Lee :)

The Nester said...

hello, nice to meet you. i love you already. cant' wait to read more about you and your homeschool journey!

Anonymous said...

Jennefer,

You inspired me to write my confessions on my blog. Your confessions were so real and straight from the heart.
May the Lord Almighty richly bless you this 2008

Much Love,
Karen
www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

Rachel said...

Jennefer,

I, too, felt inspired to write my own confessions. Thanks for the inspiration :-)

Kerri said...

Jennefer,

What a great post. It is so easy to only talk about the good stuff and not the days that school barley gets done only then it's the basics.

Your post got me to thinking about what I am portraying on my own blog. Sometimes we need to blog about the tought stuff too.

I am #8,7,6 (my husband picks out my clothes :) I check with him before he leaves for work!)5,4 and I NEED to be MORE of #1.

Amy said...

Jennefer,

I just wanted to say that I've been reading your blog for several months now and I've enjoyed seeing a "real life" picture of homeschooling. I have two girls, ages 3 1/2 and 2, and homeschooling is something I'm thinking seriously about. Keep up the good work!

Trivium Academy said...

Be good to yourself Jennefer. You are an amazing wife and mother.
:) Jessica

Desiree said...

Thanks for the encouragement. The Lord sent me here at just the right moment! :)