I’m standing in the kitchen right now, with one eyelid twitching and a migraine starting somewhere in the middle of my brain.

A few feet away from me, my husband and son are wrestling the most ghastly page of math homework we’ve seen to date. Every problem is taking us, two college educated adults, at least five minutes to figure out so we can help him. There’s multiplying and dividing and evening up and possibly sacrificing a goat.

Thankfully I had to step away from the situation to make dinner. I don’t know what’s going on over there, but no one is having a good time.

We love this child. We don’t want him to grow up to be a dullard, but I think maybe it’s time to consider career paths that don’t include fractions.

For example, ballerina. OSHA inspector. Race car driver, banana harvester, cowboy.

Perhaps gym teacher, barber, or even mail man.

Caleb says the race car driver seems pretty cool to him, but the banana harvester thing might be okay, too. Well, hallelujah. We’ve narrowed down our options.

Romans 8:26Parenting is going to be the death of me, I swear. How on earth am I going to move these children through middle school to adulthood? Is this even a possible thing that might occur? I see friends with older kids and those children are actually growing up and moving out. It seems like magic. I certainly don’t know the secret of making it happen.

But then again, I see our young friends who have little children, and they’re still staring down potty training like it’s a magic occurrence. They have no idea how to get those kids out of diapers and into the next stage of life. And all I can tell them is that you try and fail and try and fail about three hundred times, and then eventually the kid gets it.

All the stress of life seems to be insurmountable in the middle of the challenge, doesn’t it? Whether it’s math homework or potty training or ministry or career problems, the stress we’re currently facing might need a big of magic to get us through.

But what if we had something more powerful than mere magic? What if the power of God rested on us and the Holy Spirit was able to help us beyond human capabilities? Wouldn’t that be better than relying on our own strength or ingenuity?

(Yes.) ((The only answer to that is yes.))

As I’ve been writing, things have calmed down on the homework front. We’ve thrown in the towel for the night and written a note to the teacher to help us all out. WE NEED THE TEACHER TO HELP US OUT, pretty please and thank you.

And in regular life, the part of life that doesn’t include stupid fractions, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to get us through. So today, if you’re facing a giant stressful page of math homework that’s about to kill you, I suggest you take a break and pray about it.

And if you’re facing anything else, I’m quite convinced God is good at many things, even when they don’t involve the black doom of math homework. Write your metaphorical note to the teacher and ask for his help!

***Are you interested in an eBook to help you with your stress? I’ve written a little devotional just for you! Click Here!
And thanks for reading. I appreciate it so much.***




12 Comments on When the dark, black doom of math homework falls over your Monday afternoon

  1. David
    March 7, 2016 at 5:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Sorry Jessie, but we were still getting involved with maths homework up until last year. When John was 15.

    We too consulted the teacher and pointed out that a little more direction in class and a little less use of online homework tools where he does not have to show workings out might help. Now we are stressing about the rather important GCSE exams he has to sit in May. Fortunately the penny has finally dropped for John and there is now evidence that revision is taking place! At least we are on the last child now!

  2. Jerry Dickson
    March 7, 2016 at 6:36 pm (2 years ago)

    An interesting letter, Jesse. Here I am 83 yrs old and have yet to use the algebra I struggled with as a high school freshman. As for the NEW MATH or whatever it’s called now, why is it a young person cannot figure out change for a sale unless they have a calculator in their hands? WHEW!

  3. memyselfandkids.com
    March 7, 2016 at 8:31 pm (2 years ago)

    The first half of this post was funny. I enjoy your sense of humor.
    Things always seem hard from a distance. As we move forward and the changes happen slowly gradually, they become less daunting and part of our everyday.

  4. Jessie Clemence
    March 7, 2016 at 9:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks, Larry! Now that the kids are older I look back and realize how far we’ve come, and I assume this will happen even more as the years pass. But today made me wonder if we’ll ever get past the math!

  5. Jessie Clemence
    March 7, 2016 at 9:44 pm (2 years ago)

    Because their parents gave up trying to teach them math on a Monday afternoon, probably. 🙂

  6. Jessie Clemence
    March 7, 2016 at 9:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Whew! The last child. What are you and Marilyn going to do when you don’t have homework/smelly shoes/soccer practice for the first time in three decades? Come to America for a vacation!

  7. David
    March 8, 2016 at 4:04 am (2 years ago)

    Two and a bit years and counting Jessie. Assuming he passes his GCSE exams he then has to do ‘A’ levels at Sixth Form College. Kids have to stay on in education by law in the UK now until they are 18 years old. It was 15 in my day!

    We are desperate to return to the US! Marilyn has a big birthday this year and she loves the Florida Keys. But … there is money to be spent on the house, we changed the car before Christmas so have the repayments on that, and somehow in two years time have to clear the last bit of the mortgage!

    I see another anomaly – you say legos we say lego, you say math while we say maths. Funny old world.

  8. Jessie Clemence
    March 8, 2016 at 8:15 pm (2 years ago)

    And let’s not forget the sports/sport issue. 🙂
    When you get that mortgage paid off, we should celebrate and meet somewhere fun. The Keys in February sounds about perfect!

  9. David
    March 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm (2 years ago)

    I don’t even want to talk about the shoes or the muddy rugby boots!

    The Keys meet up sounds like a good idea. We have been three times but not since 2009 (economic downturn and all that). We stayed at http://azulkeylargo.com (which is child free) and only has six apartments. It mostly gets good reviews. We have never had a bad visit and the owner grew up in the UK so understands that we need a kettle to make tea, as tea with a coffee machine is simply not British!

  10. Jessie Clemence
    March 9, 2016 at 4:08 pm (2 years ago)

    Well, if you’re going to fly all that way, it seems the least we could do is provide you a decent tea kettle. 🙂

  11. Kristen E
    March 17, 2016 at 5:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Sorry, I am little behind on my “Jessie’s blog” reading. . .
    Feel free to call on the former math teacher who lives down the road. I will bring my son, and you can encourage him to read for his full 20 minutes and I can play with math! I get sick of the question, “Is my 20 minutes done yet?”. Thankfully, we don’t have too much other homework drama.
    Thank you for all of your resources. I have the ebook about stress saved on my computer at work. Now that I have a less stressful job, I fear I won’t be cruising through that book as fast as I would have previously. 😜

  12. Jessie Clemence
    March 19, 2016 at 2:54 pm (2 years ago)

    That’s good, though. I’m glad the stress is off and you can relax like a normal person.

    I might have to take you up on the math offer one of these days. It’s pretty awful and I can’t help Audrey at all anymore. Luckily she’s still holding her own.