Identity

This morning was our last Morning Time.

Well, the last with my two oldest children; one is graduating, the other is dual enrolling starting in the fall. Which means I’ll get to find out about Morning Time with an “only.” That will be a fun adventure.

For two years, in the Lord’s Providence.

And, then, she, too, will graduate.

For about 15 years now, I’ve identified as a homeschooling mom. “What do you do?” “Oh, I homeschool my kids.” And I’ve loved it – perhaps not each individual minute, but in the overall scheme of things it has been a joy and I’m thankful. Not everyone gets to lead this life and I know it.

There’s a sense that the atmosphere, discipline, and life of the homeschool has molded me as much as it has been a tool for educating my kids. I have never been a morning person – thus ‘ladydusk’ in place of Dawn – but now I get up mostly happily at 6 in the morning. My reading life is one I never thought I could achieve. My habits … well, I have some which is kind of exciting. Maybe I should cultivate that “tidy” one. I enjoy hiking (WHAT?!?) and learning about creation. The Lord has used the “holy sandpaper” of homeschooling to get a start on my rough edges, and there were plenty – and, let’s be honest, many remain.

Alan Noble, in his book You are Not Your Own talks about sermons about “finding your identity in Christ” as less than helpful; that is one part of the book that I disagreed with (I thought the rest was very good and important). My pastor preached on that topic and it was absolutely formative for me. If the idea of sanctification is [conformity] to Christ, then we should be striving (while He’s working) to become more like Him.

I was on a podcast the other day – it will be released in the next few weeks – and one of the questions was how does your faith affect your homeschool. It is the whole thing – everything flows from and points to the Trinity. Creation and Providence. Atmosphere, Discipline, Life. I am, I can, I ought, I will. Without the rock my home, my life, my children are shifting sand and we will go SPLAT.

So I want to remember that my identity is in Christ. I am Dawn Garrett: Christian. And Homeschool Mom has been and continues to be a means by which the Lord works in my life. Perhaps also in yours.

17 Comments

  1. Beautifully said, Friend!

    I am a child of God. Loved & redeemed. My identity in my Savior is a dire foundation. And I am a wife and mama, grateful that home education is one means of His work in our lives.

  2. How beautiful it is that God works out His plan in the most unexpected ways. Rising at 6am, loving to hike, a bountiful reading life and in the midst of it all learning alongside your children. Stretching and growing and shifting in every way imaginable for many years and knowing your true rest will always be in Him and that Faith drives it all and lives in all. Love this Dawn!

    1. I was thinking that all moms probably go through this at some point or another – what does it mean to be a mom when you’re not the full-time provider, caregiver, drive & payer? When they move out? (haven’t faced that one yet!) My friend Jess called it a long letting go, indeed.

  3. ❤️ Long letting go indeed 😉 I’m left with one in my homeschool and she just turned 15. I also still have three adult children living at home (which is whole ‘nother ball game 😬) Where, oh where did the time go …

  4. It’s so important to understand this & that our identity isn’t based on what we do but on our relationship with HIM. 🙂

  5. Love that phrase, “a long letting go.”

    Our identity in Christ is important for our children, too. Yes, being mother & homeschooler is an important part of our lives, but when our children sense that is our identity, what a burden it puts on them. If we measure ourselves by who they are and their accomplishments, we are asking them to fill a role that isn’t theirs. They can’t do it and it isn’t right to expect them to…

    I try to keep that in mind, and yet… I am so proud of them and thankful for the people they are, who God has created them to be, and that I’ve been able to (imperfectly) nurture them.

    1. The “Long Letting Go” is not my phrase, I totally stole it but I think it’s true!

      That thought of it being a burden on our kids is one I want to think about – you’re right, of course, but I’d never considered it that ways before. Thank you!

  6. Such a lovely post, Dawn. I can’t read it without feeling a bit teary about how quickly the years go by, and feeling joyful that our identity IS in Him! I also appreciate the bountiful feast you have provided for your children as they have grown up day by day.

  7. The road goes ever on and on.

    As to Noble’s thoughts, that was my favorite thing he said but I absolutely agree that you are right to accept your identity in Christ. I think it is the word identity that is confusing not the concept of who we are in Christ.

    1. The long haul. Yes.

      I can see that word identity being a root of confusion, particularly in our culture – we don’t manufacture it, we are it.

  8. That was beautiful. I’m down to my last homeschooler, as my 2 oldest have graduated. I’m trying to nurture some beauty habits of my own. For my own soul’s care. And it’s still a struggle to find my identity in Christ and who He says I am …
    Measuring myself by my child’s success failure , or character( she’s 13)still gets the best of me sometimes. I’m steadily in prayer. I’ve also learned… am learning that parenting young adults is NOT for the faint of heart. I so enjoy your blog.

    1. Oh! I hadn’t even thought about the self-assessment piece! Such a weight to put on our children!

      Thanks for your kind words. I hope to be posting more regularly.

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