Hi, I'm Dara!

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Here on LMS, I share my Whole30 tips, hiking and travel adventures with my family, motivation + life  lessons, and a few blogging biz tips.

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The Joylessness of Comparison

It’s back-to-school season and with that comes the pics of toothy grins, handwritten signs denoting new grades being entered, and numerous blogs reflecting on the passage of time and the bittersweet farewell to lazy summer mornings. I love this season, always have. This particular year, though, I felt a heaviness that I couldn’t’ seem to shake.

Hi, my name is Dara, and I don’t homeschool my kids.

And I feel guilty about that.

I have a handful of amazing mommy friends who are teaching their sweet babies from home and killing it. Killing. It. And I started to think I should do that, too, because if I didn’t, it meant I didn’t love my kids. Never mind the fact that I know homeschooling would not be a good idea for our family. To put it rather bluntly, I am confident that I would suck at it royally. I have no patience or self-control, and I don’t deal with pressure very well. Also, I’m pretty sure my sons, both outgoing extroverts who adore being around other kids whenever possible, would hate it. I mean, seriously? The idea of spending all day with my kids AND being responsible for their entire academic careers?! I shudder to think of it. It would be a lose-lose for all involved. Despite all that, I still felt the need to torture myself with thoughts of inadequacy and failure because I actually looked forward to entrusting my kids’ education to a trained professional or two.

This went on for a few weeks or so. After about a month of school, Asher’s teacher sent this progress report with a special note at the bottom:

Asher’s verbal skills are truly amazing for 4 years old. He said all of his days of the week in Italian


I already knew my baby was amazing, I think every parent feels that way about his/her children, but I had no idea he was learning to speak Italian! I thought my heart would swell up and lift me off the ground like a hot air balloon. Later that same week, one of his teachers told me his nickname is The Gentleman because he’s so polite and encouraging to his classmates, especially the girls (no surprise there!).

And yesterday, Asher presented us with this worksheet:

It may not look like much, but it brought tears to my eyes. Last year, my little munchkin struggled so much with his handwriting. His teacher—God bless her—worked with him earnestly just about every day. To strengthen his little fingers, we bought him rubber balls to squeeze and encouraged any sort of play that emphasized digital dexterity. By the end of the school year, he’d greatly improved, but still had a ways to go. I gave it to God and figured Asher would conquer it in his own time.

I didn’t expect to see this level of legibility for another year or more!

I didn’t know I was looking for confirmation, but I certainly found it, and thus I regained my peace. My child is learning and


in the best environment for



That’s how God works. He specializes in the win-win situation! He knows I don’t have a gift for teaching—He didn’t give it to me because I don’t need it for my path in this life. You know what I do well? Research. I can research and retain information like nobody’s business if it’s topic I feel strongly about. Next year, Asher will be entering kindergarten and you can bet I’ll have all kinds of charts and data regarding the schools in the area, public and private, as well as the pros and cons of both, and we’ll once again have the tools we need to do what’s best for our family.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  

Psalm 139:14 NIV

The Throne of Grace

Dear Dara.

Dear Dara.