Showing Up

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The other night I attended a Mom’s Night Out event sponsored by my local homeschool group. I went because having just moved to a new state and town I wanted to get to know some of the local homeschoolers (for one thing they understand the law here better than I do) but I came away with a new understanding of how important it is for the whole community that each of us attends these events.

What do I mean?

Well, including myself there were only four attendees: one veteran homeschooling mom, one mother of early teens and preschoolers, one mother of teens and myself. Here’s what I saw: the woman running the event had received help and encouragement from others throughout her time homeschooling and wanted to pass that on, the woman with the teens and preschoolers was experiencing a year of crises and wanted to receive encouragement and also bear testimony to the Lord’s provision, I was there to meet new people and learn about resources, and the fourth woman dealing with a combination of winter blahs and homeschooling her first year of high school and was feeling burnt out and ?overwhelmed.

There was some chit-chat-getting-to-know-you conversation and there was some advice giving and receiving but mostly there was simply the encouragement of knowing that we are all in this together. It doesn’t matter what curriculum we are using, or what our religious or philosophical background and purpose is: we are all human beings educating and raising other human beings and we need each other.

On the bad days we know this, but the truth is that we also need each other on the good days. In fact I think we need each other more then because those are the days when we are most able to actually receive what the community has to offer!

In order to receive those things though we have to show up! We can’t wait until we are desperate for some word of encouragement but we have to show up to be someone else’s encourager. We have to show up, so that others will show up, so there will be a regular monthly meeting that will enable us to say to ourselves “Next week is the monthly meeting and I can keep going until then…”

This isn’t just true for homeschoolers either. It’s true for parents and it’s true for Christians. We need to practice physically being present in order for there to be something for us to be present for. It isn’t always convenient, it isn’t always comfortable but in our hearts we know that it is necessary.

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