When I had my first child, an elderly woman wrote this verse from Isaiah 40 in a card she gave me:
‘He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young.’
I took that verse to heart along with some others over the twenty-five years of mothering and twenty years of homeschooling that followed.
I’ve had to remind myself throughout those years that He is a Shepherd and He leads.
It hasn’t meant that I haven’t had to work at mothering and homeschooling, but it has meant that I didn’t need to be driven by unrealistic expectations or the influence of others.
I’ve been mulling on some thoughts related to this and found these dictionary definitions helpful.
To compel or urge forward by other means than absolute physical force, or by means that compel the will; as, to drive cattle to market.
To impel to greater speed; to hurry on inconsiderately; to distress; to impel by the influence of passion; to keep in motion.
Drive in all it’s senses, implies forcible or violent action. It is opposed to being led.
I’ve seen the pendulum swing all over the place during the years I’ve been homeschooling and many times I’ve swung along with it. I haven’t personally met any homeschooling mother who didn’t want the best for her children, but this very desire is often what causes us to be most vulnerable and to take on burdens we shouldn’t be carrying.
We home-schooled for many years with no Internet and only the odd catalogue that arrived from the USA once or twice a year so we just used what we had on hand. The flood of choices we have now has been a double-edged sword. Great on the one hand but overload on the other. I think I can honestly say that our older children didn’t suffer because of the lack of resources. It kept me from wasting too much time looking for stuff and I was able to invest it in my children instead.
‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’
Matthew 11: 28