I’m the first one to tell you that I’m not, nor will I ever be a “homeschooling mama”. I don’t think I have the drive to spend hours studying to make a lesson plan or researching the “best” curriculum for my children.   I’m too insecure in my ability to prepare them for standardized tests, college admissions, or gainful employment.  I don’t love the idea of turning my house into a classroom and honestly, I really, really love missing my kids from 8am to 2pm Monday through Friday.  I told my girlfriend, Jenna, the most prolific, yet hip homeschooling mom I’ve ever met this over drinks one night and she slapped the coffee table and said, “Osheta, you plan you’re kids’ summer around themes and activities and games.  Then at Christmas you do the whole advent thing with letters to your kids, service projects, and all kinds of fun things to teach them about Jesus.  You’re a homeschooler. Own it.”

I sipped my white wine and pondered her encouragement.  Own it.  Own that I’m a homeschooler, even though I don’t look like my ideal picture of a homeschooling mom.  Maybe she’s right.  Maybe I do have the capacity to homeschool my children well.  Maybe the problem isn’t the prospect of homeschooling as much as maybe my picture of the ideal homeschooling mom needed to be challenged.

Like Mary, I treasured this truth in my heart.

We do this don’t we?  We create a picture of the “ideal” and that picture because the standard.  We’re rigid with out pictures, unforgiving with our judgement, and unrealistic with our expectations.  The fact of the matter is, I know deep down, I could be an AMAZING homeschooling mom, but I won’t be like any homeschooling mom I know. I’m not organized or well-read or itching to make charts.  I’m  slightly frantic, completely quirky, totally creative.  This would be my authentic self reflected in my mission to teach my children.

I think we do the same thing to God, too.  I think we have our ideal picture of a Savoir God.  Strong, powerful, kicking butts and taking names, to overcome the darkness in the world, but no, God comes in the form of a little baby, born surrounded by hay and animals.  God chooses to reveal his most authentic self when he took on pierce-able flesh and wound-able heart.  And Advent asks us to look deeply into this new picture of God.  So that we can help re-frame our picture and own the truth that we are people of the Vulnerable God.

Advent is a season of challenging our preconceived notions.

It is embracing stillness when the world tumbles fast and frantically to Dec. 25th and acknowledging darkness when the world is flashing bright lights of consumerism and material comfort right and left.  Advent asks us to consider quiet humility when everyone is glittering and gleaming with holiday sparkle and Advent is the time we devote leading up to Christmas to practice re-framing not only our picture of God, but our pictures of success, hope, joy, love, community, and shalom.

Advent prepares our hearts that have impressions of status seeking and power-over dominance to make room for the Humble King who was born to a young, poor unwed teenage girl and an equally flabbergasted, confused carpenter.  A King who would teach with his very own incarnation that we should always lead with vulnerability whether it’s your humble birth in a stable, your humble ministry as an itinerant teacher who no home to lay his head, or your humiliating death of crucifixion.

So, this Advent, I decided to own that fact that I’m a pretty good homeschooling mama (even though my kids are in public school) and write a twenty-five day family devotional to teach my kids about this humble King, whose radical example was a light in the darkness.

I want them to understand what Hebrews 1:3 means when it says of Jesus:

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

I’m going to own it, write it and teach it  because just like my  picture of the idea’ “homeschooling mama”  has changed,  my picture of the “ideal Savior”  has changed and Advent is the perfect time to celebrate these truths.