Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Essence of a Homeschool Mom

Recently I’ve been studying characterization for writing novels. One of the things we’re taught to do is to give our character and “identity” which she wears as a mask. It’s the outward front she wears to protect herself from wounds of the past.

The author’s job is to peel back the character’s layers until she’s forced to rip off the mask and discover her essence, the part that is left when all the outward facades are stripped away.

This set me to thinking about our real lives, and homeschool moms in particular, since I spent so many years as one. It was my “identity”. Nothing wrong with it either: someone who sets aside her dreams to help her children reach theirs. Noble and God-honoring self-sacrifice.

Until it gets ripped away. In my case the graduation of my youngest children, twins, ripped it away. I was no longer a homeschool mom, the thing that identified me for so many years.

It wasn’t until I began studying this inner journey of characterization that I could see that I too needed to reach beyond the identity of homeschool mom to the essence of who I really am.

That certainly sent me running to my Bible! I think I found my essence in Ephesians 2:10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

I decided to dig deeper into the word “workmanship”. After all, I was discovering my essence! The word in Greek is POIEMA.  With more digging, I found we get our English word poem from that Greek word.

Eureka! I found my essence! I am God’s poem, written to this world, to my family, to my friends. It’s something that’s still there when everything else is stripped away because nothing can change it.

As you noble, self-sacrificing moms continue this journey, I encourage you to reach beyond whatever mask you might wear. Discover with God your true essence.

I suspect it just might make your homeschool journey easier.


  1. Teri, this is so true! I thought about this very topic the whole trip home from visiting my daughter in Dallas. Without my kids to take up all my time, who am I? I am the person I was before the beginning of time. God's perfect idea of me. I absolutely love the idea of being His poem. Thanks for the encouragement to a former homeschool mom!

  2. It really frees us up to be the person God made us to be!