Fresh off the lawn


I learn the hard way: Why do I need a forehead tattoo

The words constricted in my throat, stifled by a feeling of inadequacy.

You wouldn’t think five words would be so hard.

Honestly, the words aren’t difficult, but the feelings are. Just spit it out!

Wrapped in lies of my own creation, I feared the response to my words. For many years, I believed that I should be a better stay-at-home mom. Because my eldest daughter has VERY different learning styles than mine, this has been a HIGH, emotional learning curve for both of us.

I held my breath – and said in the darkness of the car ride, “Hey girls, we start school tomorrow.” I grimaced, expecting complaints like a hammer on my fingers.

The silence.

And then, a surprising return: “Yippee!! Can we have a prize pot like we did last year? »

Wait what? My brain was not calculating. Where is the struggle and the fight? Complaints and moans? It was not planned.

Was I exaggerating? I do not think so. Moms do this all the time.

We endlessly repeat past experiences over the present like a torturous “song that never ends”. My past experiences colored my future ones even though very few are the same as last year.

My kids and I have grown up, the curriculum is different, and our circumstances have changed, so why is my brain telling me things will be the same?

In the book “Winning the War in your Mind” (every mom should read!!), Pastor Groschel explains the mom brain perfectly. “Your brain is designed to look for patterns and create neurological pathways to help you keep thinking the things you keep thinking and doing the things you keep doing… Every thought you have produced a neurochemical change in your spirit. Your brain literally redesigns itself around that thought.

That’s why we struggle to get out of our mommy feelings! Our brains are literally wired to find past patterns and then repeat them!

I’m here to tell you though: we can change that!! Science shows that battles are won in the mind and have little to do with where we are.

This school year, what if we really focus on our mental warfare and let circumstances follow?

How? Charlotte Mason once asked, “Do my kids like to learn more today than yesterday?”

It’s difficult for me. Ticking boxes excites me. Slow, unfettered, exploratory learning does not.

My success-oriented eyes don’t see a moment of pleasure when I look at the weekly assignments. I see a hunt and kill. I get stressed when the boxes aren’t checked.

But here is my face-palm question… for what?

What difference will it make if the whole universe of boxes is ticked off but my kids hate to learn? Do I nurture a love of learning or checking boxes?

The boxes will fade, but the character that is built by those boxes remains. In just “a few” years, I will be releasing the product of my tickbox obsession to the world as an adult.

The question is: which box wins over everything?

The ultimate checkbox hit me between the eyes recently at the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter. As my children spun circles of awe being IN the Ark, I spun circles of awe at their foundational learning.

What is the ultimate checkbox? Knowing that you were created in the image of God and saved by his death on the cross.

You may not believe it, but The Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum give verifiable evidence of both. You can’t honestly walk through these exhibits without having to do some serious wrestling with a worldview.

Instead of ticking boxes obsessively, what if I obsess over the few boxes that matter most?

In the end, we would find ourselves more focused and less stressed by all of the individual boxes…perhaps our children would even like to learn more.

So what now, Mom? Is this just another “should” to add to the list? Or maybe it replaces the homework list and helps us focus on one thing.

I work with a coach who encourages us to ask ourselves: “What is the only thing I have to do today?”

Every time she asks, I fight back. ” A THING ?! – I have 1,000 things!!

She then calmly reminds us that feeling overwhelmed doesn’t help anyone.

What if we really focused on ONE most important thing? !

Without a doubt, we would be less frantic and more determined.

So today I’m going to focus on the most important checkbox, while helping my kids love learning.

Now all I need is a tattoo on my forehead, so I remember my ‘only’ thing. Who is with me? Maybe they would give us a group discount.

Meet your farmer – Liz Gerdes. She and her husband run a farm-to-table raw milk dairy. They allow moms to confidently feed their families nutrient-dense foods using farm-fresh milk! Visit or follow her on Facebook @gerdesfreshfarm or Instagram @gerdesliz for more information.


Comments are closed.