I ask him to write humorous posts but it's usually 11 p.m. and he looks at me with eyes that squint and say, "Girl. I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning so I can go pull tartar out of people's teeth."
We're coming off a weekend of hosting my brother's family from Texas. They're all athletes and thinkers; ripped and brainy. My brother has two master's degrees and is about to finish his doctorate. I asked him what he's going to do with it and he said he just likes to study. He's trying to decide what to get his next doctorate in. Yeah.
Their firstborn is at Princeton on a full-ride scholarship. Their second son just got a $200,000 ROTC scholarship to the University of Richmond.
My sister-in-law (his wife) says, "Everyone in my house likes to study. They're all quiet and reading and taking notes and I'm all like, 'I'll just go walk the dog.'"
Me too. I'm just over here trying to get the pizza not to burn and really hoping I didn't kill the tomato plants on the back porch. And my two college kids going to average schools but without debt suddenly look a little shabby. I mean, we were thrilled when they decided to keep going to school and didn't have to take any student loans, but in light of the Princeton nephew and the $200,000 nephew, we look pretty lame.
I left my brother and his family with Fletch on Saturday so I could go speak at the CHEA/SCOPE convention (all those letters - California Home Educators . . . Sacramento . . . something). I gave three workshops, 2 of which were nicely attended/packed and one that had one attendee. ONE. It was the workshop in between the nicely attended/packed workshops, and it was a big-time ego deflater.
Here's where the homeschool speaker forgets Jesus:
I had a great day with my family on Friday eating, chatting, going to see a big parade of classic cars, dishing up ice cream. I got up on Saturday and had a delightful 90 minute drive with a friend and no kid interruptions. I spoke about grace and crisis and the gospel. It was terrific! And then, the ONE person shows up. Suddenly I'm the biggest loser the homeschool convention circuit has ever seen.
I had to give that whole workshop to ONE person because they record them and all the people who chose to go hear all the other speakers in that time slot can buy the workshop recordings from the loser speakers like me. I'm like the workshop consolation prize.
Then I walked into my next workshop and it was packed. PACKED. The door wouldn't shut. The strollers didn't fit. People kept coming in. Dang! Now I'm like the Oprah Winfrey of the homeschool convention! People like me! I bet I could get Starbucks to name a drink after me.
Do you know what I told those people in that PACKED workshop? I told them that homeschooling won't save their kids. I told them that Jesus paid it all. I told them that their identity isn't in how well they parent, what curriculum they choose, if they homeschool, or how their kids turn out. I told them that Jesus is our identity. That what He did on Calvary is what gives us our worth, our value, and our significance.
But I didn't tell that to the ONE. I didn't say it until after I sat down and she and I talked face to face and I told her what a loser I am. I said it then because it took me that whole embarrassing workshop to remember it myself. Kendra, your identity isn't in a packed workshop. It isn't in how well you speak, what you impart, or how shining an example you might be.
You, too, reader.
In the pitiful middle sandwiched between the good times, don't forget: you are loved, worthy, significant, and valuable because your identity is in Jesus, and He is perfect.
Click the image below to order Kendra's book, Lost & Found: Losing Religion, Finding Grace.