The virtue between negligence and anxiety

Rest is the virtue between negligence and anxiety, but many of the homeschooling moms I have met, myself included, find themselves more likely to fall prey to one camp or the other. When we are weak in virtue, we inch toward vice. A curriculum that leaves no room for the soul to breathe will suffocate, but so will the absence of purposeful and intentional teaching. If we are doing our children a great disservice by shuttling them through a set of books and plans without consideration for their souls, we are doing them an equal disservice by ignoring their formation and leaving our children to form themselves.

— from Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie (2015), pg 7

I like the image of a pendulum, moving from the vice of negligence to the vice of anxiety. The virtue we need to create balance in our lives, rest, is found right in the middle.

Rest, in this sense, is not relaxing on the couch. And anxiety, in this sense, is not collapsing on the couch because everything is too much for you. Negligence, however, might be one of those. Rest is looking to God for direction, and then knowing that you’re going to fail, and then also knowing that it’s okay because God has everything under control. (See the pendulum in that sentence?) I’m full of pendulum movements. It’s called mood swings! But God remains at the center, fully in control of my life, my kids’ lives, my family, my homeschool, my everything. He is there making sure I don’t go flying off the end into utter ruin.


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