"Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it" (Proverbs 3:27).

I'm sure that if others had peeked through my windows during my first years of homeschooling, they would have laughed at my antics. Many days, I felt like the circus performer who balances the spinning plates on top of a pole as I attempted to balance the needs of each person in my family. On any given day, I tried to spin my husband's plate with affection and undivided attention as he came through the doorway after work. I also worked hard to spin my creative son's plate with assistance in science experiments and projects that held his interest. I knew I needed to stop the wobbling of my oldest daughter's plate and run to the kitchen to help her as she learned how to cook. Finally, to top it all off, there were always toddlers fussing and needing their plates spun with a clean diaper and companionship for playtime. I knew that at some point I was going to run out of energy trying to keep each of their plates turning and wondered, "Who's going to spin my plate to keep this whole homeschool act going?"

Praise God, the plates never did crash, but I did learn how to keep them spinning with someone else's energy other than my own. That someone was Jesus, and it was to Him that I ran each morning for the power to keep my own plate spinning. Knowing I only had so much strength, He showed me when and how to spin the plates of the family members who needed it most. I realized, too, that as much as I loved and wanted to help each member of my family, I was not responsible for making everyone happy or fulfilling each need. The power was simply not in my hands! Just as I had gone to the Lord for strength, they also needed to learn to cast their cares on Him. "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee" (Psalm 55:22a).

Do you feel like you're teetering on the edge of disaster in homeschooling your children? If so, you may need to hand off those spinning plates into the hands of the One who can balance them much better than you. "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 1:24).

Jesus, I'm so tired from trying to make our homeschooling successful in my own strength. Help me to find the balance I need this new year to meet the unique needs of each family member with Your wisdom and strength. In Your name, Amen.