Chronic exhaustion plagued my life from 1998 – 2008. Days and nights blurred together. Sleep was sporadic. Vivid dreams made matters worse. Images of dirty diapers filling every room in my farmhouse startled me awake. I staggered through my house more often than not in those days.
Mothering lots of little ones
You guessed it, I am talking about motherhood, a special kind that involved five children six and under. Just ask me why I endured this? Well, I love children. And, I believe they are true blessings. Still, there were challenges.
Countless times, sweet elderly women saw me with my six pack and would caution me.
“Don’t blink. Before you know it, they will be all grown up.” they said time after time.
Blink? How could I? I had my eyes propped open with toothpicks. The only thing growing in my house was the endless pile of laundry.
Homeschooling while homesteading
To make matters more entertaining, I decided to homeschool my children on a homestead for a large portion of their childhood. We did, however, take a four year break from farming to do mission work in Central America.
You’re right! I met myself coming and going. This busy active lifestyle gave me a false impression. Raising children would be a permanent proposition.
Yet, one by one, my children graduated and began their adult lives. Most of them live close by so the transition did not jar me. That is, until recently.
Somehow this adorable little girl grew up.
Charity is my youngest. She is the baby of the family, and my final homeschool graduate. My 24 year career as a home educator has now come to an end.
Why I changed careers
Twenty-four years ago, I left my career as a social worker. My new career involved homeschooling my little family of two and half. My supervisor took my resignation and shook her head.
“I can’t believe you’re throwing it all away. You have worked so hard for this,” She said.
I smiled knowing she would never understand my rationale. Little did I know that three more children would arrive on the scene extending this career move.
As I closed my office doors in 1999, I knew that social problems would still be there 18 years later. However, I would only have 18 years to spend training and educating my children. I would not get a second chance.
My goals as a home educator
As I look back, I have no regrets. This was the best career move ever! My single greatest accomplishment is displayed in the character of my children. Notice, I am not giving you a list of their academic achievements. My educational goal was to disciple them to love the Lord and be a blessing in our community. Their work ethic, willingness to serve others, and Christ-centered lives speak to the completion of this goal. My educational focus was not focused on their academic prowess at the age of 18. Instead, my aim was on what kind of men and women I would want them to be at the age of 40. Sure, academics played a role in our home school. Character training and discipleship, however, was the main priority.
In 2017, anticipating my career as a home educator would end in 2022, I reinstated my social work licenses both in Kansas and Missouri. This would give me the option to return to the field. However, my life as a home educator expanded my horizons.
When I left the field, I lacked many skills as a domestic homemaker. For example, I thought all pumpkins came in a can. Later, I learned how to process pumpkins with the children.
I was as citified as they come. Over the years, I have learned how to milk cows, goats, make cheese, soap, grow a garden,preserve food, and so much more! We operate two businesses, Morerod Heritage Farms and Bright Hope Soap Works, based on the skill sets we developed over the last 24 years.
Working with the next generation
As a result, these businesses involve me working with some of my adult children and even my grandchildren. Together we serve others with wholesome products we grow and make right here on the farm. Imagine the joy of living life and working with the next generation on a daily basis.
Together we live, love, laugh and serve. And just to keep it real, we even cry and vent our frustrations together. Exchanging this life for an office job has no appeal.
What started out as raising and educating my own children morphed. I am now watching my children’s children grow and learn right before my eyes. Together we want to bless others with the best small family farms have to offer.
Today my youngest daughter graduates. In a few short months, she will begin her own home with the love of her life. Indeed, I am thankful for the opportunity to raise her on a little farm in the middle of nowhere. It is there that she learned all she needs to know to keep her home, bless others and serve the Lord with all her heart.
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