I am not a "brainiac homeschool mama"—sorry, just can't do it. First of all, I'm not a brain like my cow eyeball-wielding friend. I have another friend who is a homeschool mom who also happens to be our lawyer. Her child probably could have graduated when he was 13. She's a constant stream of brainpower, and she imparts it all to her lucky boy, who is almost as smart as she is by now. Crazy. I can't do it. I am simply not equipped. But we did the basics and had loads of conversations and put the time into a bazillion documentaries and traveled around on business, plus read books aloud when we could. We also did loads of reading comprehension. Epic success!

My Hair Is Whacked and I Can't Match My Clothes to Save My Life

I am not a "fashion-ado homeschool mama." I'm chubby! My hair gets brushed (and I am serious) two to three times a week at best. It's frizzy—why would I want to comb it out? Then it would be an afro that would touch the ceiling and put people in danger of being static-shocked. My babies would get lost in it. So keep it tight, leave it alone, slather it with gel if someone is coming over—good enough. I'm like a female version of Ronald McDonald and I am NOT the only person who's told myself that. So, fashion is not really me. I'm not beautiful like some of my homeschool friends who look so well put together. They have gorgeous manes that they probably comb out every day. Their shoes match. And their teeth are straight and white. Makeup? Can you believe some people wear it daily (more maniacal laughter—sorry)? Fashion Gena is just not in existence. Never has been. This homeschool mama cannot even match her necklace to her shoes (although I did try once). My hair is kinda clean and I wear deodorant. Epic success!

Field Trip? You Wanna Go WHERE?

I am not a "field trip homeschool mama." Okay, these mamas are great, but I cannot keep up with them! They have a field trip experience for every other day of the week. Their kids have been to the Grand Canyon (mine have not). Their kids have visited flight museums and experienced Jamestown and all the reenactment festivals for both sides of the Civil War (mine haven't). They can recite the Gettysburg Address and know all the historical/educational landmarks of Philadelphia (mine don't). Busy, busy learning by experiencing. They'd fly to every planet for a field trip if they could. And my hat is off to them! Look at the investment they are pouring into their children! Hands-on learning—can't beat it. Just wish I had time for such a thing (I think). Sounds exhausting and I'm tired even thinking about it. I am not a "field trip homeschool mama" like several of my better friends. But we travel when we can, visit faraway places in books, and get out here and there. Epic success!

What kind of mama am I? I don't have the corner on a clean and lovely home. I am not a brain who can pontificate over my children, pouring set-to-memory knowledge in their craniums (I don't have that much stuff memorized!). I am not that well put together—Mrs. Ronald, remember? (I stopped dyeing my hair red because the resemblance is then even more uncanny and it's disturbing.) And I am not constantly whisking my kids away to the Alps for P.E. or to the Golden Gate Bridge or Crater Lake for geography. I am a "heart and soul mama." I'm here for them when they need me; relationships are first and foremost, and I want them to know the Lord their God with all their heart and soul. I want to get to their hearts and have an impact on what happens with their souls. I want to bare my own heart, and I want us to build on that as our family continuously draws closer to each other and to the Lord.

It's the Lord who reaches the heart and soul, and He uses us moms in many ways to do it. By REGULARLY speaking to their hearts and guarding their souls, we are creating an atmosphere for flourishing growth. Is that a perfect picture? If comparing it to fine art, it may look very abstract or even Impressionistic in style (crazy swirls and wide brushstrokes) and sometimes quite messy, but keep walking (even if you're not as organized as you'd like to be), because it IS a form of fine art, divinely inspired and very much a part of His sovereign plan for our lives. He directs our steps if we follow Him. And He values your children even more than you do. He loves them. He loves you. Keep walking.