Encouragement When Life Threw a Curve Ball

Encouragement Comes Just at the Right Moment

written by Jessica Shackelford

Have you ever “met” someone, a virtual influencer, that you instantly felt a connection to? I was first introduced to Amy Roberts while enjoying the Hip Homeschool Moms conference calls on Google Hangouts. This year, I was excited to see that Amy has a podcast called Raising Arrows. Since I have children that are close to her kids’ ages, as well as our commonality of homeschooling and managing a household, I instantly binge listened to the all of her podcasts.


A month or so ago, we received some news that threw me onto my knees in prayer. I was an emotional wreck, but God knew what I needed, and some of that came in the form of the words that Amy wrote – words that I felt that she was speaking just for me!

Isn’t it amazing how God works? How He could use a book about homeschooling to speak to words of encouragement to a trial that has nothing to do with homeschooling? I think that is pretty awesome!

Flexible Homeschool Planning helped me realize that I am not failing as a homeschool mom because I struggle to keep up with all of my well-intended planning. I realized after reading Amy’s book that I still need to plan, but allowing for “life” by instilling flexible routines in our day makes for a more effective homeschool day. I will cling to her wise words as life becomes more hectic and uncertain and know that I have a cheerleader in my corner – even if we may never meet in real life.


As I read Amy’s book, Home Management, the routines that are vital to the running of an effective household were laid out in a kind, easily explained way. I am reminded, as Amy reminded her readers, that, “Your schedule or routine serves as a bookmark for your day – holding your place until you can get back to it.” What an excellent reminder that even when our day doesn’t go as we planned, or life gets busy, we always have something steady and familiar to get back to when life quiets down.


Oh, how I needed the message that Amy brought to me (and I am sure many others) in Homeschool with Purpose. Too often I allow the line to blur between being a mom and a teacher to my children. I get overwhelmed and lose focus. Amy reminded me that, “Purposeful children are those who bask in the light that radiates from a mother {and a father} whose face is turned toward the Light.” How beautiful to be reminded that no matter what life throws at us or how overwhelming our day (or days) may seem we have one ultimate purpose in life – to focus on God so that our children can better see (and know) Him?


As a homeschool mom of three (of my four) children life gets full very quickly. I struggle some days to get it all done and need guidance from outside sources on how best to manage my home, educate my children, and take care of myself. Amy says it beautifully when she says, in her book, Large Family Homeschool, “God is merciful to meet me at the edge and remind me that what he has called me to, He will equip me for.” I am learning that I am enough and that God has placed me in this role, as their mom, to be a step in fulfilling His purpose for their lives.


I encourage you to read Amy’s books, listen to her podcast, and read her blogs. My life is better for having her in it – even though we may never meet she has blessed me in so many ways – she is a constant reminder to me that I must focus my eyes and heart on God first and foremost. Thank you, Amy, for speaking your heart to so many women! 

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