Measuring by Messes

Somewhere in the middle of my homeschooling experience, I made the mistake of measuring what activities we would or wouldn't do by the mess involved. I had lost the spontaneous joy of having fun on a child's level and saw those messy learning times as one big chore. Perhaps I lost the joy because I was so tired physically or maybe because I was lazy. Either case, I deprived my children of many enjoyable experiences simply because I didn't want to make a mess.

Keeping our lives neat and orderly is a good thing, but we must also be willing to get our hands dirty. Jesus was willing to grab the towel that washed the feet of His disciples. He also touched and healed the sick and the diseased in body, as well as the sinful, dirty hearts of lost people. He was never afraid to get involved or be in the middle of a mess. Zaccheus, the Samaritan woman at the well, and the thankful leper must have been so grateful for the cleansing joy of His love. "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him" (John 13:14-16).

Father, forgive me for only wanting to serve You in the comfortable tasks that are nice and neat. Help me to remember You're strong enough to clean up any mess from life's dirty problems. Use me today to be a blessing to the hurting and helpless. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(11 comments)

LEAH P 07/25/2009 09:18:00

Many of us have been in the same boat. The line between home and school is thin. We see our home getting dirty not our classroom getting used. I had a hard time with that my first year.

Cynthia M 07/25/2010 11:30:55

I think we quite often put too much on our plates we want so much to do

the right things yet we forget we\'re not able to complete 2000 tasks in one day. If we simply slow down pray first and allow the Lord to guide us in those times you\'ll find you can complete what you set out to do. I am so guilty of feeling like I want to do the house work, teach the kids, clen our classsroom and vaccum but then remember I\'m a mommy not an octopus.

I have to pray and set goals with God then for sure they\'ll be reached.


KEISHA M 07/25/2010 12:30:11

WE really struggled this was our first year homeschooling we chose sos our son has a few attention problems and was not very happy with being home schooled so he took the bulk o the year trying to frustrate us to the point of returning him to regular school, we stood our ground hes not the A plus student but he got a hang of it at the end of year. I personally felt like I needed to take a class grading some of the work and thats what frustrated me the most...overall I am very satified hes going to 9th grade

PAULA K 07/25/2011 06:25:48

I think we moms pressure ourselves to do everything better and often perfectly - thinking we have to outshine the public schools or even each other. After having homeschooled for several years, returned my kids to public school for 3 years, and now returning to homeschooling, I can tell you this - ANYTHING THEY GET AT HOME IS MORE THAN THEY WILL GET AT SCHOOL. If you can\'t get to that science project, it\'s okay. If you are tired, that\'s okay. My children didn\'t get that at school either (or social studies!). I\'ve found that Dad loves to do these projects when he can and he doesn\'t mind making a mess with the kids. It is a chance for him to get involved. I don\'t mind cleaning up then :) Remember, even if you skip that messy project this time, they are being blessed by your presence and getting the best education possible!

SUZIE W 07/25/2011 06:26:54

The youngest of my three homeschooled children will be starting college this fall. I want so desperately to yell from the mountain tops, \"Don\'t sweat the small stuff, slow down, enjoy this time, it goes by so quickly.\" Even before I had heard of homeschooling, my children and I enjoyed learning through messes...mixing flour and water, pouring rice and salt, mixing food coloring into shaving cream etc. I had two children who loved to experiment, making volcanoes, slime, mixing whatever was on hand just to see what would happen. Messes and children just go together. It is how they discover, it gives them independence as they create, it fosters an interest in science, it quenches their curiosity, it engages all of their senses, and its just plain fun for them. Messes are also a great opportunity for teaching children the responsibility of preparing a work space or cleaning up after themselves. Messy endeavors do take time, however, if you consider the mess making and the cleaning up as part of the learning experience not an intrusion in your orderly life, you\'ll soon be able to relax and enjoy the messy times as a natural part of homeschool life.

I now teach preschool and I can often be heard saying, \"messes happen\" or \"we love to get messy in Ms. Suzie\'s class.\"

Enjoy your children...they grow up so fast! Blessings!

DEIDRA R 07/25/2011 07:07:29

This is me! I keep denying my kids arts and crafts and such because I get twitchy over messies! I allow stuff outside but have always felt guilty. It\'s very hard to deal with paintings and such when there is no good place to let them dry! The dining table is buried, we eat at the coffee table (after digging it out daily), and we learned not to dry projects on top the Degu\'s cage! LOL! (They eat anything.) I will rethink my priorities! Thank you so much for showing us it\'s ok to be human!

KATHY L 07/26/2011 07:38:43

Ladies - you are doing a good job - don\'t be too hard on yourselves because you are not reaching some idealistic picture that you have fabricated in your minds of what a homeschool day should look like. You have to live in your house too - you are the proverbs 31 women in charge of a lot. So stop with feeling guilty. Don\'t worry that because you didn\'t let your kids get the feeling of being covered in slime that they will be lacking in some way for the rest of their lives.

DIANE G 07/26/2011 09:46:23

I made the mistake of letting my two middle children \"bully\" me to putting them back in public school. I will regret this for the rest of my life. The influences in school had such a horrible effect on their choices. I keep praying the Lord will be able to help undue this damage. The last two children are going to be homeschool graduates, with no regrets on their parts or mine. I have learned to please the Lord, not the world. It feels wonderful.

ESTHER F 07/25/2012 04:48:57

Thank you for today\'s devotional. I was in your shoes so many times and than I feel guilty about it. Like you said, many times I\'m just to tired for those messy projects, but I NEVER ONCE felt like Jesus was too tired for me. My 13year daughter had cancer last year, she was advanced 3rd stage. Against all adds Jesus did not mind healing her and making sure that she has absolutely no sides affects. We persisted that she has a PAT scan and finally after 3 months of therapy the doctors decided to go ahead and do one, the results shocked them....she was cancer free....Jesus was not too scared of our messy situation, for that I love and praise Him even more.

KATHY S 07/25/2012 05:41:57

WOW !!!

Esther F. When I hear a miracle like yours, it truly reminds me that Only God can show us HE is God. Praise Jesus! I am so happy that your daughter is cancer free!

Diane G.

Public School also traumitized my son, between church and therapy, I continue to pray for his emotional healing.

My son did not bully me into putting him into school, he was bullied at Public School, Begging me to take him out. Sadly the scarring from there is still apparent in both of our cases.

Getting messy. When my son was about 1 yrs old, 2 different therapists that used to come to the house brought along things like shaving cream, peanut butter, ECT, (My son had sensory issues, delays of all kinds).

I of course cringed. The therapists assuring me that they would clean up their messes. Some things my son easily particpated in, somethings it was a long hard road. But, it helped him. So, now, I guess I should coinsider some messy & fun projects for this years school sessions. We\'ll see where it takes us!

Thanks for the idea\'s and encouragement!

GINA L 07/25/2012 05:43:57

Dear Ester F,

Praise God and thank you Jesus! Thank you for your beautiful and uplifting post! It truly makes my day and touches my heart. You gave me a smile.

Gina L

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