Do It Afraid

Sometimes you just need to jump in.

At least I do. We could wait until our checklists are perfected and the pencils are sharpened and the books are stacked neatly on the shelves. But learning is the art of living well, and sometimes it’s better to jump in with both feet and shore up the details as you go.

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The first day of each new school year is always something of a chaotic wonder. Last year it was good and messy and crazy and pretty much perfect.

This year I’m layering things in at a much slower pace. Wiser women than I have long said that the first day never goes as planned, and I think that’s true.

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Getting started with a new level of AAR makes for a happy, happy day.

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Without a doubt, the greatest challenge to our year is going to be keeping up with little people.

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Those boys are getting pretty hard to tell apart these days. Sometimes I have to pause for a moment before calling out a name, and that never used to happen. I definitely can’t tell them apart from behind like I used to.

We’re seeing some distinctions in personality which are pretty cute, though, like Dewy’s tendency to bite when he means to kiss, and his whimpering pity face. Huck does this little shake-back-and-forth move while making a staccato noise that gives him away. And he wakes up a million times at night still. Okay, they both do that, actually.

[sigh]

Where was I going with this post? Oh, right. On jumping in. Last week, I watched a webinar on writing, and one of the things the webinar host said at the very end was something like, “I know you’re afraid, but do it anyway. Do it afraid. We all just need to do it afraid.

So here we are, staring Labor Day square in the face and running out of excuses to put off starting the new school year. I say just leap in. It isn’t going to be perfect- it won’t be even if you try to make it so, so just do your best and let God feed the 5,000 with your measly basket of loaves and fish.

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You’re terrified? Well, so am I. So are all the homeschooling moms who have been doing this hard thing of tending to little hearts and minds day in and out over the long haul. We’re all afraid that we’ll mess up,  we’ll lose our temper, or we’ll forget to teach them something big.

Forget February- I struggle most with homeschooling doubt every September. I watch Pinterest load up with back to school photos, see neighbor kids show off their new backpacks and lunchboxes, and I wonder if I’m making some grand mistake. I talk myself round and round and round every single year because I am overthrown by waves of doubt and worry and fear that I’m getting something wrong.

But every year, I do it afraid.

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And I want you to know- we’re all in this together. If you are doing it afraid too- well, you’re not alone. I’m right there with you.