Homeschool mama self-care begins with self-evaluation and a solid sense of purpose.
It’s been six years since our family trekked to West Africa, but I keep notes on significant moments and things I’ve learned, and travelling is the quickest way to learn pretty much anything.
As we drove twelve hours from the dusty town in northeast Ghana toward the capital city of Accra, I jotted my notes in my orange iPod.
Enjoy and appreciate each comfort but don’t make comforts the goal.
Comfort seems to be the baseline focus of our North American culture. Certainly something we strive for and assume is our right. Not so in the developing world. The basics here are the luxuries there: like clean tap water, flushing toilets, food (organic, gluten and dairy free). Though we know comfort isn’t our primary goal in life, we can be thankful that our every day is filled with these comforts nonetheless.
Our daily existence is ours to create.
In the developing world, there is the threat of disability, disease, or poverty making it a lot more challenging to provide for one’s family. Economic or educational opportunities radically shift one’s lot in life. In North America, potential is available to most people in some form. In the developing world, this keeps many locked into focusing on the basics of life. We don’t live in a culture with this magnitude of sweeping disease, poverty, lack of education, or economic impossibility. So paint each day’s pallet into something meaningful, not just fostering comfort.
Purpose is created by you; purpose is not created by other people’s approval of you.
You can take up stone masonry, accounting, musical pursuits, or teaching physiology. No matter what the pursuit, you were meant to do something. Certain people may not understand the value of your pursuit, but you were meant to eek out a purpose in this life, to create. So do the thing, and don’t ask if other people approve of it.
Don’t take your kids’ education too seriously.
They’ll figure out what they need. They see us actively learning and creating, so they’ll follow suit. Since I watch and listen and pay attention to their interests, I am always encouraging them in developing themselves. I cannot script their young lives or their older lives (though I have tried;) They have me as guide, not as conductor. What is an education anyway?
Too many activities does not make life more meaningful.
Never was this more of a reminder than when life slowed dramatically in Ghana. We avoided nighttime outdoor activities due to increased mosquito presence and malaria potential (yet, I still contracted malaria). We avoided mid-day outdoor activities because the humidity and heat were suffocating. We played games with local children and joined dad on pediatric rounds. Our conversations were meaningful. But many activities does not make a meaningful life.
Share yourself with those in your world.
Sharing this life with those who are in and around our community, from an authentic heart, is the most profound and meaningful thing I can do in life.
So, live life on purpose.
Get at it. Be intentional about your work and your play. Be intentional in your community of relationships. Live life on purpose.