There's nothing wrong with a little stress

I just dropped my children off for homeschool testing. For the next 3 hours they'll be filling in bubbles hopefully and chewing their number twos, and I'm nowhere to be seen. It's the time of year when we tally up our progress, or lack thereof, and I feel like I'm the one being tested - this mom with little education and even less patience and I wonder if my kids are nervous. I wonder if I'm nervous for them, or for me.

It will be a month or more before the results come back.

Honestly, I don't usually fret much about testing because I know what my kids know, what their strengths and weaknesses are. I know what we've covered this year and that the test may be over stuff we did last year, or not at all, and that's fine.

I know that my youngest will tend to read words wrong and skip important ones and he could probably do really well if I were there to help him along, but I'm not.

I know that my kids are smart in their own way and some of them are really good test takers, some of them have smarts that don't show on a multiple choice exam, and some are just really great artists right now.

But still, it's a test. And we need to do well on tests, right? Surely that would prove we're meeting certain guidelines and doing what we're supposed to. It might even prove something to me.

I am always wondering and praying and hoping that we are doing the right thing.


I've been struggling with deadlines lately. I write once a week for our local paper's online mom's section, and every Tuesday my phone pops up this reminder: NR article due today. Some weeks I have two articles due - one for print, one for online.

It stresses me out.

I rarely meet the deadline and get the words and the pictures in by 4 p.m. Most weeks I'm taking advantage of grace and stretching the limits, because if my article doesn't post till Saturday...does it really have to be in by Tuesday? 

I procrastinate a little. I google and research and make coffee. I fold oodles of laundry. I pray and I finally write and I hope that something comes together, and by the skin of my teeth (what? is that?) and the grace of God, I make it each week. 

I'm a free-wheeler and freedom-lover who needs boundaries, deadlines, and tests. If I didn't have those parameters to work in, I'd be even more of a mess.

As much as I chafe at having to test my kids for the state's satisfaction and having to get words written on someone else's timeline, there is nothing really wrong with the accountability and the stress of it. 

That's right. There is nothing wrong with a little stress. Sometimes we work too hard to make life stress-free, for us and our kids.


Our older kids did track this year and my mommy-motto was: Embrace the butterflies - they make you run faster.

When it was 55 degrees for weeks and then all of a sudden the Oregon sun came down in 90 degree rays, I tried to convince them that the heat also made them faster. 

Maybe Jedi mind tricks don't work, but my desire is that none of us would be afraid of those hard things.There is a lot to be learned from pain, mistakes, and the stress of being tested - by the state or your peers or God. 

We have to decide inside. And then we have to allow certain boundaries and deadlines to give us the freedom to do what God inspires us to do. Freedom that sometimes pushes heavy on our backs and forces us to get the work done.

My three hours is up. 

Tell me how you do with deadlines and limitations and stress.

linking up with Jennifer at #TellHisStory