Long Days, Short Years

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Many years ago, Donna Ellenburg, veteran homeschooling mama and member of the Notgrass History team, heard a profound statement that is one of the best nuggets of mothering wisdom—and homeschooling wisdom—I have ever heard:

The days are long, but the years are short.

The statement nourished Donna’s heart as she homeschooled her children through graduation. She lived and survived those long days and looks back with joy on those short years. She encourages mothers who are currently living those long days and short years through her work in customer service, and now she relishes being the grandmother of her first grandchild, an adorable baby girl.

I also lived and survived those long days from morning . . .

. . . to evening.

Now I  look back with joy on those short years, while I relish being the grandmother of nine adorable grandchildren. This calendar hangs in our pantry, which I have decorated to commemorate my grandfather’s grocery store. The calendar has two special meanings. It was a promotional calendar from the family store. It is also the calendar for the year our elder daughter was born. It is a good reminder of the truth that the years are short.

The reason I write to you each weekday is that I know exactly how those long days feel. I want you to know that:

Being tired and confused and down some days is normal.

The challenges you face on those long days are worth it.

Though the days feel long sometimes, you will look back someday and wonder how those short years flew by so very fast. Meanwhile, remember:

Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58

I shared the following passage once in June and once in July. It is a great motivator for long days, so here it is again in August:

Whatever you do, do your work heartily,
as for the Lord rather than for men,
knowing that from the Lord
you will receive the reward of the inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Colossians 3:23-24

You are a homeschooling mother. It is easy to get bogged down in that first word “homeschooling” and not concentrate enough on the second one: being a “mother.” Every child needs a mother–a sweet, soft, cushy, loving, kind, gentle, devoted, caring mother.

What a blessed and wonderful way to spend those long days and short years.

But we proved to be gentle among you,
as a nursing mother tenderly cares
for her own children.
1 Thessalonians 2:7


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One comment

  1. Goodness, Charlene, this post certainly resonated with me! How well I remember reciting that saying to myself and others, and remembering those very Bible verses during those long days of homeschooling! And how true it is that the years turned out to be too short! Now that I am a retired home educator, I look back with so much gratitude for staying the course. I would homeschool my children all over again in a heartbeat…and the fruit of that decision has indeed been sweet!

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