#243 Dear Mom, Don't Give Up Sean Allen
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You can't quit mom. You're simply too important. To others your work doesn't look like much and I know it often doesn't feel like much but if you left off sweeping your kitchen and nursing bruises and staging impromptu tea parties and the thousand other things you do to enrich the lives of your children, the world would fall apart.
Hello and welcome back to another installment of the Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Wendy Speake, and I am one of the many hosts we have here on the podcast. Each week, you'll hear from one of us, inviting one of our friends to join for a conversation about this busy, blessed season as we educate our children at home.
Now, the title of this show is Homeschool Solutions. While we don't have the answer to every question, we know that all the solutions to every stress and every struggle can be found in the Person and Presence of Jesus Christ and His Living and active and applicable Word.
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Hello, my name is Sean Allen and I am the founder of The Well-Ordered Parent. My wife and I started this company in the hopes of strengthening and encouraging parents in the amazingly hard work of raising children. Really super hard, but also incredibly beautiful. And so, sometimes we know, being the parents of seven, going on eight, now, children, that it's easy to lose sight of how...just how beautiful raising children is. We've been there. We know most parents are in that space, so The Well Ordered Parent is dedicated to helping to encourage parents, inspire parents, strengthen parents, and also pass on a little wisdom that we've acquired over the years.
And what I'm about to read to you is a letter that I wrote to Moms in general, because, seeing as how I work from home, I get to see it every day. I see the dedication, the sacrifice, and the intense love that my wife has for her children. And knowing also that that same love was in my mother and just witnessing these acts of self-sacrifice on a daily basis that mothers commit on behalf of their children, I wrote this to them in the hopes of bringing a word of cheer.
So, we'll start out with, Dear Moms. Maybe you think that others don't see or understand the work that you do every day. But there are those of us who do see, and what we see when we allow ourselves to, is frankly astonishing at times. It doesn't make sense. Certainly not in the survival of the fittest world that we live in today.
You're human, and as such, one would expect you to be inherently selfish. But so often, you are found battling back the baser tendencies of your flesh and pouring yourself into other people. Only, these are not simply people. They're little, very vulnerable people, and save that we're for the compassion that you and others like you have on them, they wouldn't have hope in the world.
I'm speaking, of course, about your children. In a very strict business sense, you have nothing to gain by helping your children in the immediate future. Maybe not ever. They come to this earth fully equipped with an array of needs and wants. They couldn't care less about your plans or expectations.
This is why, during the time that you've set aside for sleeping, they wake you four or five or six times, by their crying, because they're simply hungry. Or, after you've cooked your meal and readied your table, they dump their plate, spill their drink, or simply just pull the tablecloth and everything on top of it plum to the ground.
That's why they mark your walls, they break your dishes, stain your carpets, and get sick at the most inconvenient times. It's why they weary you with questions, scream to get their way and treat things as if they don't cost money, and seem diametrically opposed to tidiness.
Again, strictly from the standpoint of personal gain, who really needs children? The case could easily be made that governments need children; else nations would fall. Businesses need children to grow and come of age to supply the workforce necessary to produce their wares. Neither of these could long exist if everyone stopped having children, but did you ever hear of a family having children simply to keep their country afloat? Or to revitalize the workforce? I haven't.
No one has children for these reasons, yet, we still have them. Maybe one could suggest that it was, you know, simply a miscalculation, these children that you have. I mean, after all, who isn't positively enchanted by the little cherub face of a newborn baby? The perspective parents think, oh what it would be to have one of those.
And then after the sleepless nights, the emotional duress, and the loss of personal property, these same parents are ready to declare the whole thing a huge mistake. Maybe some, but not you.
The moms I'm writing to are just as human as other moms. They get tired, i.e., completely exhausted. They get flustered, i.e., utterly overwhelmed. And they have their quote-unquote mom moments, or in other words, they yell sometimes.
They have hopes and dreams, just like other moms, and oftentimes all they can do is look on as their children crush and then dance upon the wreckage of what was supposed to be their Martha Stewart home or their alone time in the evenings.
Don't give up. Surely, you've been tempted to. The world you live and the channels through which it speaks, the movies, the television shows, the books, the blogs, the magazines, so much of it seems to conspire against you as a mother. Hard as you try to wrap your life and your mission up in the lives of your children, it seems that everyone else is trying to drive you to separation.
It's you, they say. It has always been and always will be, you. You're the center of importance. Why will you lose so much of yourself to the needs of others? Why will you give to something that offers so little in return? Life is business, they seem to suggest, pure and simple. You should quit anything that you can't profit from.
You know these people know next to nothing about the love of a mother for her children. I'm reminded of a story of a man told from his boyhood, how that after a prairie fire, he ventured out into the field to go exploring. It wasn't long that he came across a little brown prairie bird sitting still on her nest. She'd perished in the fire, attempting to shield her fledglings from the flames. This mother, with her two strong wings, could have easily ascended above the reach of danger, but there was a law much higher than the law of self-preservation that caused her to remain with her little ones. The law of love.
Don't give up. You see this love that you give to your children doesn't make sense. Why would a bird choose to stay and die with her fledglings in a prairie fire? What a waste, the world would say. But shouldn't we also ask why a woman would subject herself to a nine-month pregnancy that will require significant portions of her body's resources just to sustain the new life within her?
Expectant mothers, whether they planned it or not, whether they want the child or not, are literally giving their lives so that another may live. And their sacrifices are only beginning once the child has been born. There is no explanation for this, and none is needed. Jesus's words, greater love hath no man than this, that he should give his life for another, is the closest approximation of what's going on here.
This giving of yourself, this feeding and teaching and guiding and doctoring and counseling and yes, this setting aside of your own wants and desires in order that all this might be done for your children is not earthly. It comes from above.
You won't quit, will you? I know you moms. I'm married to one. The love of a mother is a complete paradox and one of the most singularly beautiful things that you'll ever encounter. She lays her life down in a hundred little ways, dies a hundred little deaths every day. Even for one who would repeatedly poke a fork through her leather couch or write on her new white comforter with a permanent marker. Ask me how I know.
All these things frustrate her terribly. But give her some time and before long, she'll gather her brood together in the living room and read them a gripping story. Or she'll simply cup the face of her little one in her hands, stare deep into the face of innocence, and draw all the reason she needs for getting up tomorrow and doing it all over again.
You can't quit, mom. You're simply too important. To others, your work doesn't look like much, and I know it often doesn't feel like much. But if you left off sweeping your kitchen and nursing bruises and staging impromptu tea parties, and a thousand other things that you do enrich the lives of your children, the world would fall apart.
So, carry on dear mother. Let those who have eyes to see look on in marvel. For in you, we see the love of God.
So, I wanted to offer that as a word of encouragement to you mothers out there. Thank you so very much for everything that you do. Thank you for laying your lives down on a daily basis on behalf of your children and your families. These things that you do are not often seen, but that's really not the point is it? There is a God in heaven who does see, and your sacrifices are of great worth to Him. And there is a reward in store for you on account of those sacrifices.
So, keep doing what you're doing. Your children are greatly benefited by it in ways that we cannot even, perhaps, understand. I'm so thankful for what you do and hope that this is offered a word of encouragement for you.
Thank you for joining us this week on the Homeschool Solutions Show. As always, you can find show notes and links to all the resources mentioned at Homeschooling.mom. I hope you'll take a moment to subscribe to the podcast and, if it was especially meaningful to you, share it with your friends via email or social media. This is just another way we can all encourage and love and support one another.
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