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Keep your Motivation Going - Issue 284
January 25, 2013
Hi there! ....

This week the kids have been busy catching up with friends – I think a highlight for them would be their friend’s party on a houseboat. Lots of fun – they came home very tired and a little sun-kissed! My highlight though was the night some of their friends came over for dinner and games. We sat around the table and talked for two hours. It was a delight to see the kids interact with each other (and me) about real issues, about heart issues, and interspersed with lots of laughter. It was a great dinner party (albeit very very casual!!)

I also had a low-light!! Early one morning Jess and I left the house to go to town leaving the other two asleep after a late night. About an hour later I receive a phone call from Daniel saying “Did you leave the doors open?” Since this isn't usually a problem I knew something had happened. Apparently the chickens had not been locked up the night before and with the quietness of the house made themselves at home – leaving a trail of chicken poop wherever they went!! Not nice. Not fun!!

Live life with your kids!

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Keep your Motivation Going

Day in and day out, seemingly doing the same thing, sometimes without obvious rewards – it is hard to keep the motivation high. We are in our 15th year of homeschooling. Things can get a little tiring, and can I say, even boring. Can you relate? Regardless of how we spend our days we can get a little jaded of the regularity of it all – be it homeschooling, housework, exercising, or any other long term commitment we have.

What are you doing to keep yourself inspired and motivated to keep on going with the things you know you need to do?

  • Read the Word of God. Knowing our purpose will help us through many a tough spot. Our purpose is to glorify God, to sit at his feet, as Jesus encouraged Martha to do. When we read God’s word and focus on God we take our eyes off ourselves and the mundane-ness of life and onto Him who made all things, and is worthy of our praise (regardless of our situation).

  • Spend time with your spouse and get relational priorities right. When motivation lacks we can micro-focus on one area. We put all our energies into that one area where we feel we aren’t doing so well, and ignore other priorities. When we spend time with our spouse we gain a bigger perspective. Suddenly it isn’t all about math, science and critical thinking – it is about life, relationships, Jesus. We may have to address math, science and critical thinking but when our relationships are in order and flourishing we will see our challenges differently.

  • Embrace change – though many people don’t like change sometimes that is exactly what is needed. We can hold onto things that we wish would work, things that have worked, things that I paid money for, things that worked for my friends…. We may just have to let that all go and change our direction. We tend to resist change, we resist making changes even though our kids are growing up, or showing different interests, and ironically even when things aren’t working for us we still resist change. We may need to shake things up a bit – do things differently, go outside to study, take the kids to the library to study, find a different course, a different teacher, a different routine. One thing I have learnt with parenting four very different children is that there is more than one way to do things.

  • Know yourself and what you need to function well. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of constantly giving up what you need for the needs of others. You will burn out and have nothing to give. We need to recognise that we are many faceted – we are a woman, a Christian, a wife, a mother, a friend, a homemaker, a homeschooler – each of these roles have their place but we cannot just live in one role. We cannot just be a homeschooler. We need to look after the other aspects of our life as well. For me to function well I need to spend time with God, to be creative, to connect with my husband and friends, to eat well and exercise regularly. Do you know what you need to function well? Sometimes it is hard to find the time to do these things, but if we know in our heart that it is okay, and even necessary, then we are able to start finding the time – little by little.

  • Continue my education – I want my kids to be life-long learners. This means I want them to recognise that their learning doesn’t finish at the end of highschool. Why should it be any different for me? We all need to be learning. When we learn new things we create interest in our life – in our thinking and in our doing. We may learn to drive a truck or a boat, we may learn to grow orchids or how to cook better, we may learn history or business. There is so much to learn – if you believe that, and live it out, not only will you be inspired in your own life, this will pass on to your children.

Other times when we find it hard to keep on going it is just about putting your head down and doing the hard yards. It isn’t easy, there isn’t always rewards or relief. And yet seasons come and go – and things will change. When my kids find things hard there are three character traits that I encourage them with – and sometimes we need to listen to these lessons that we teach, and apply them to our own lives:

  • Determination – Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.* If you know this is right – then get it done.
  • Enthusiasm – Expressing my joy in each task as I give it my best effort.* Enthusiasm is a choice – we can groan about what we have to do – or we can chose to smile. Besides it takes fewer muscles, less effort to smile than it does to frown. I think the same goes for our heart – less effort to find joy than to remain grumpy!
  • Self-control – Rejecting my own desires and doing what is right.* When we lack motivation it is easy to focus on self, and slip into a pit of self-indulgence. We need to pick ourselves up and focus on what is right.

My final thought though is probably the most important and that is to spend time in prayer. Not just asking God for answers but instead worshipping Him for who he is – He is God. If he had never done anything for us He is still God. Awesome – as in, inspiring awe. But we also know Him as our Father, our Provider, Wisdom, Peace, and Saviour. He has promised to never leave use, He has promised to send a Helper to teach and guide us. God wants to be involved in our lives – we cannot ignore this invitation and just connect with him at certain times in our week, but day in and day out – talk to Jesus about your lack of motivation and let Him encourage your heart.

*Character definitions taken from Character First

I blog throughout the week at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I wrote:

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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