SummaryJennifer Nelson said, “I surrender” to Jesus and gave it all up to the One who is the source of all strength and loves our families more than we do!
I don’t often talk to myself, but there is always the exception. I remember one day early on in our homeschooling journey when my oldest two were in second grade, their sister in Pre-K, and the rambunctious toddler had just covered herself in a sharpie marker. While I tried to teach, the toddler made herself a literal piece of work.
I put her in her crib and told the other three I had to walk outside. As tears came, I talked loudly to God. “Why did you call me to this? It is too hard. I can’t do this. I’m failing them.”
If I had a towel to throw in or a flag to wave, it would have been on that day. Because I did give up that day. I gave up the white knuckle hold I had on my life, my kids, our homeschool, and my plans, and I surrendered them to Him.
“I can’t do it but YOU can, God. Please give me the grace to teach them.” I felt God speak to my heart. When I came inside, I announced we had a new motto for our homeschool: “Do your best. Let God do the rest.”
Since that was our motto, I painted it on the wall of our schoolroom. It was a reminder to us to show up each day and give it all we could. If it wasn’t perfect, if we didn’t finish everything we set out to do, it would be ok. God would help us do what had to be done.
We gave our school to Jesus, and, at the start of each year, asked a priest to come in for a back-to-school blessing. I decided to give our best to Jesus by going to daily Mass with my kids each day.
Beginning the day in prayer and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist helped me surrender all of the expectations of the day and know that if all else went to literal poop (thanks, septic backup) we did the most important thing for the day, receiving Christ. It would all work out.
In these past nine years, we have been through a septic backup, a flood that destroyed our homeschooling room (we are now schooling wherever we can find space), three miscarriages, a high-risk pregnancy, caring for my mom through various medical issues, surgeries, 4 newborns, and a COVID illness that took me out of commission for two weeks.
If you would have told me the day I walked outside to talk to God (ok, more like cry out to God), that we’d be able to continue loving, laughing, and educating through these storms, I probably would have laughed.
If you would have told me that in these nine years in addition to homeschooling, I would be the founder of an international ministry that spreads devotion to St. Gianna or author a children’s book, Super J and the Power of Love to help children see that all life is a precious gift from God
I would have told you that was impossible.
But here’s the thing: nothing is impossible for God. When you say, “I surrender,” to Jesus, you’re giving up to the One who is the source of all strength and the One who loves your family more than you do! The One who has the easy yoke and the light burden. The One who wants to take on your burden.
We surrendered our children to Him at birth and our homeschool to Him in 2014 and every day since. Surrender to Jesus is not “throwing in the towel” and it’s not “giving up.” It’s giving yourself, your family, and your homeschool over to the One who has great plans for you. He will give you everything necessary to love, educate, and care for your family.
All we have to do is wave our white flag, receive the Precious White Host, and let God do the rest.
About the Nelsons
The Nelsons enjoy time spent together as a family, wherever that may be. Their favorite places are the beach and the National Shrine of Divine Mercy. Their favorite Catholic devotions are the Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy. Derek has been a High School Music Teacher for 17 years and a Church organist and cantor. Jennifer just ventured into sourdough bread making but is scared she won’t be able to rise to the challenge.