When Doubts Overwhelm

When Doubts Overwhelm

The other night I woke up suddenly at midnight with this thought running through my head;

“Am I permanently damaging my children by not giving them pocket money?”

Suddenly I was full of doubts about my parenting. Am I too controlling? Am I too stingy? I couldn’t get back to sleep.

Eventually I decided to Google “should I give my kids pocket money?” (Ahh Google, with its endless stream of wisdom and advice, how did anyone ever get by without it?)

After reading that there are a lot of different approaches to the matter, and it probably won’t ruin their future either way, I finally managed to get back to sleep.

We do intend to start pocket money when they’re a bit older, but now isn’t the right time for us.

It seems a bit bizarre when I look back on it – and pretty trivial given the concerns that now face us with Covid-19 – but it did feel very serious at the time.

Doubts can feel very real when they come upon us. They are invasive and can effect our physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Just one small doubt was enough to keep me awake.

Doubting ourselves is one thing, but do you ever doubt God and his calling on your life?

Sadly, I must confess, I have.

Sometimes, when I’m stumbling through parenting, constantly losing my patience and not doing particularly well, I wonder why I am even a mum at all. I start thinking I’d have made a far better [insert any job here] than I do housewife.

Homeschooling is another area that can cause me to doubt.

I often find myself doubting if I’m doing enough for our children, or giving them the best education. Though we made our decision after prayer and research, and I believe it is what God wants for us for now, I still occasionally find myself questioning, “Oh Lord, how can I know this is really for the best?”

Then I feel guilty for questioning God and not having more faith.

In my last blog, I referenced the account of when Abraham sawed a number of animals in half to formalise a covenant. After chasing away the birds of prey that tried to eat his hard work, God spoke to him with a promise, prophecy and vision.

The whole scenario actually began with Abraham having questions about his calling.

When Abraham was first called in Genesis 12, God promises to make him into a great nation. After some time has passed, at the start of Genesis 15, God again speaks to Abraham, saying “your reward will be very great.”

Abraham replies, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless?” God reassures him by pointing to the stars, saying Abraham’s descendants will be as uncountable in number.

Abraham believes God, then moves on to his next doubt, regarding the land he has been promised. He asks “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?”

This is where Abraham has to work a bit harder for an answer, sourcing, sacrificing and sawing animals in half.

But after all his hard work Abraham is given wonderful reassurance. God tells him in detail what his plans are for Abraham‘s descendants and the land that they will possess. God doesn’t seem to be angry with Abraham because of his questioning. Rather God takes the time to answer Abraham‘s doubts and to reveal the future to him.

Our God knows how difficult having doubts can be. He knows what it is to be human. He cares and he will take the time to reassure us and answer our questions – just perhaps not always exactly how we’d like.

How easy it is to forget to take our questions to God and take them to Google instead.

It is astounding that when we do take them to God, the great creator of the universe will come down from his throne to find us where we are – whether in the living room, or a dusty, blood soaked desert – and take the time to answer us.

We may have to work hard for the answers – Abraham‘s task, dealing with the animals, was not an easy one. But, if we keep knocking, the door will be opened. And if we keep asking, we will receive.


A day in our home school:

One way God deals with my doubts about home schooling is simply by hearing from other home ed mums what they do with their children, and how their days pan out. Somehow it is reassuring. So here is a little of what we do.

Perhaps it will also be reassuring for mother’s thinking about home educating their children for the first time in the light of Covid-19.

Please bear in mind, the beauty of home schooling is the flexibility, so some days school might start much later, or we forego any work for the sake of gardening or art!



Each morning Monday – Friday we start at 9am (ish) and go through work in this order;


  • ‘Family worship’. We read a bible story or age appropriate devotional book of some sort, pray and sing songs together.

 

  • Each child chooses a book to read to me for about 10 minutes. The younger children read from their ‘learn to read’ collection. The older two have more freedom, often choosing books about animals or ‘The Week Junior’.

 

  • Each school-age child (currently our eldest 3) then does Maths and English, while I offer help where needed. The younger 2 need a lot of help at the moment but the eldest child is mostly able to go through his work independently. The baby is usually napping at this point and the toddler uses ‘wipe clean’ books to copy letters and numbers or does reading eggs on the tablet.

 

  • Lunch time

 

  • After lunch we tend to go out, or have free time. On a Monday or Thursday, depending on other commitments, the oldest two do science and history.



Curriculums used:


Bible – we currently read one devotion a day from ‘Indescribable, 100 devotions about God & science’, and one chapter a week from ‘History Lives: Chronicles of the church Box Set’ (although my favourite resources are the free Kids of Integrity workbooks).


Math – Maths – no problem!


English – Cambridge Primary English


Science – Cambridge Primary Science


History and Geography – The Story of the world

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