30 Things I’d Say to My 30-Year-Old Self

Well, since I wrote last about the power and place of grace, I should show myself some in neglecting my blog for the last couple of weeks. The good news is that I did exactly what I described in the last post: I spent time and gave attention to each of my family members according to their specific needs, and a fun, loving time was had by all.



So, now with everyone once again settled in their respective homes-away-from-home, we get back to our grind.

It’s an odd place on the homeschool journey, to be closer to the end. I love reading—and sharing—posts that list the how-tos: how to help a child struggling with reading or math, how to decide upon a given curriculum, and of course, how to get started homeschooling, which is where so many people are right now. Personally, however, I find myself in more of a reflective mood, often writing about the places where I would focus at this point—character development, preparation for college/ life post-homeschooling, and self-care. I think a lot about what I would do differently, i.e., what I might say to my younger homeschooling self, as I often see it phrased elsewhere. I thought (once I completed the list) to consider it my “30 before 30” list because 30 is the age at which I became a mom. Homeschooling came about eight years later. My list would include the following:

  1. Remember that Christ loves the children more than you do; He died for them. You are a steward of His gifts.
  2. (realizing the truth of #1), seek His will constantly for your children according to Proverbs 3:3-6.
  3. Recognize that everything cannot and will not be fun, but be willing to be a kid with them when you can.
  4. Learn and incorporate different learning styles and multiple angles in teaching any given concept.
  5. Get up before the kids.
  6. Organize yourself to stay a few steps ahead of the kids (lesson planning, reviewing ahead, clean, uncluttered spaces).
  7. You cannot give from an empty cup. Rest well, eat right, and exercise regularly (you are also modeling these things for your children).
  8. Realize that they watch you. Be mindful as to how you handle stress and frustration.
  9. Pray without ceasing.
  10. Give lots of examples, written and verbal. Role play the behaviors you desire for your family.
  11. Realize the power—and the pit—of social media. Read for edification rather than condemnation of self.
  12. Don’t be intimidated by the need for them to always enjoy each moment.
  13. Similarly, don’t be afraid to set high expectations.
  14. Move past your personal comfort zone (In my case that means to engage more with the external world). Again, you are modeling this for your children.
  15. Write your schedules in pencil, both physically and mentally. Life will disrupt your plans.
  16. Get outside when the weather is pleasant.
  17. Grow a garden. There are many lessons to be learned from nature, and it teaches all of you to value healthy eating.
  18. Date your children individually.
  19. Pay close attention to your children’s interests and passions. You, too, can learn from what they do.
  20. Look for low-cost or no-cost means to take field trips. Don’t let costs overtake you.
  21. Be obedient to what you believe God is telling you to do, even when it gets hard.
  22. Teach your children to give, to serve, and to handle conflicts with the goal of building relationships.
  23. Always be thankful. Regardless of what it looks like, you live a blessed life.
  24. Remember that you are in each other’s faces all day. Show each other the grace that you all (including you as a parent) will sometimes need. Give LOTS of hugs and kisses, especially when you don’t feel like it.
  25. Give your children a foundation in the Word of God, even though some consider it “non-academic.” It will sustain them in difficult and uncertain times.
  26. Discipline in love.
  27. Include in your routine wiping used surfaces, stacking away books, and decluttering. It will help you all stay both well and sane.
  28. Include your husband in some way. Let your children see that homeschooling is an integral part of who you are as a family.
  29. Be discerning about who you invite into your space.
  30. Understand season. There is a time to be a parent, a time to transition toward wise council, and a time to be a friend.


For sure, not all of these items are things that I failed to do; some are simply places where I would place even more emphasis. But if you asked me today what was most important while I built their educational foundation, my answer would be totally different than it might be 15 years ago. I would say something along the lines of ‘Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now.’ (Psalm 138:8, The Message)



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4 thoughts on “30 Things I’d Say to My 30-Year-Old Self

  1. “Teach your children to give, to serve, and to handle conflicts with the goal of building relationships.”

    Thank you for putting this concept (the why of it all) into words for me.

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