If you can’t go Big, please don’t go home.


I was scrolling through Facebook yesterday. A meme came up that I stopped to think about. ” Go Big or go home”.

I woke up today after a terrible night of nerve pain. I took a big sigh. Not again. I have to do this again. The dance between what I think I can do and what my pain allows me to do. I can’t go big. If I do. Tomorrow will suffer.

So what if you can’t go big? Should you really go home?

One of my daughters is very unsure in front of people. She hates attention, she relishes in anonymity, she shakes when all eyes are on her. I have another daughter who loves the lime light. She has her own YouTube channel. She wants to live large. My daughter who is unsure expressed an interest in the kickball league our Youth Pastor and some town folks started. I signed the forms. One of my sons reminded her that they wanted to win. She said, ” I know” but later came and told me she wasn’t going to join. We both talked her back into it. I said just try it once. “Mom I’m not good at sports, I don’t want to be the reason we lose”. I told her give it one time. If she hated it , then she didn’t have to try. She came home that night and said she didn’t do terrible but when she went to kick the ball she was shaking. She said,” I hate when the whole field is staring at you waiting for you to kick the ball, I don’t think I’m going to do it again”.  I know you think. oh see homeschool. Nope. That’s just her. It’s perfectly okay to be in the background and live a quiet small life. Wanna know how I know? I went to Public school and private school my whole life. I still hate when I walk in a room and everyone is looking at me. I immediately find an inconspicuous place to hide. I might do it with my back straight, a smile on my face and head up, but I do it.

So should my daughter never have tried kickball? I mean if you knew her, you’d know she suffers from some autoimmune that they think is lupus. She has had seizures and the heat makes her crumble. She probably isn’t going to be your star athlete. So what if my daughters big, is that she stood there at the home base, shaking, taking a deep breath ready to kick the ball? You might look in and think, “ugh who let her on this team”? But she was thinking, “Oh God I hate this, I’m so scared. “That was her big.

I’ve homeschooled now for 12 years. My oldest will be a senior and this homeschool journey has not been a picture for the latest homeschool magazine or cover of a curriculum. It probably would look more like 6 people on a rollercoaster, holding on for dear life. We’ve had snake issues( I killed 276 snakes when we first moved here. I thought my husband moved me to the Amazon) ,seizures,( one where my husband had to revive my daughter with CPR. I was so scared) My husbands plant closed down, he had to switch jobs , redo lineman training and the test while he had C-diff( I thought he was going to die) dyslexia( the shame and struggle are no jokes) Gastroparesis( that’s 2 years of vomiting) And I had 5 surgeries through all of that, the last one leaving my leg numb and in such nerve pain I LITERALLY( that word is for my husband) could amputate it if phantom pain didn’t exist.( yes I tried chiro, Physical therapy and any other natural remedy you could imagine and no your special drink isn’t going to rejuvenate my discs, so please stop telling me that). Let me tell you this. There were days I couldn’t get up and go big. All I had was the very little left in me. I’d get up and sit on the couch with my kids. We’d watch some PBS and school would look like me trying to teach my kids in such pain .I wanted to die. One time they switched my meds and I fell asleep at the kitchen table. I cried and cried when they woke me up. How could this be my life?

What you saw on social media was me taking my kids to soccer, The Cleveland Clinic,drama, horseback riding,track,Cross country,Wrestling,the beach, museums,hiking, planetariums,special science camps and every other thing you could envision. You saw my kids swimming at the lake, my pond that looks like a Hawaiian vacation, our 4 wheelers, dirt bikes and amazing garden, maple syrup and farming. You didn’t see me waking up in the morning and saying, “God I’m so scared. I can’t do this.” You didn’t see me call my husbands Grandma and say, “grandma I want to quit. This is so hard”. Because it was. Nothing I did was big.I do not like the lime light. I do not care if my blog has followers or not( I don’t think I have all the answers for everyone so I’m not sure I’d be the fountain of wisdom) I never really went big. I had a friend who wanted me to write a book. I was pushed to not be mediocre. But the truth is, I am mediocre. And I am really okay with that.

My big is me waking up with a sigh and saying” God not again”.

But one thing I learned from my mom is not to “Go Home’. Not to quit. She worked in horrible factories for us. My brother and sister and I would never be here if she hadn’t worked thankless hours where her dumb kids called her fighting everyday. I watched her pick up the dryer and move it to fix it. I watched her try to fix the furnace, her car and anything that broke in our house. I watched her fight and fail a lot. Our life was not always good. We lived in a tiny house in Sandy Hook but my mom never , ever went home. She never quit on us.

I know for a fact that if I had never watched her “Big” I certainly would have “gone home”. I would have quit on these amazing children that God gave me( even though I didn’t want kids) My mom doesn’t have a grand home, a million dollars in the bank or even a home. She has something worth more than all the luxuries in this world. Our eternal gratitude. She never went home.

So please listen to me. In a world of self made everything. Where being a genius or famous is everyone’s ultimate goal, if you can’t go big, if all you can give is a deep sigh and a scared try, please don’t “go home”. Please keep going. There are others watching you. Not everyone will be the star, the actor, the singer but we need to see that what you and I are, is enough. Being mediocre is enough. Especially if that’s all you have to give. And if that’s all you have to give, maybe just maybe, that’s all your supposed to give. That’s your Big.courage doesn't always roar



About Barb Barker

Homeschooling mom of 4 children( two with Dyslexia). Wife of Dan, my love for 118 years. Live on 60 acres in NW PA. I love Ron Paul and I'm a Christian! Never wanted kids and never wanted to homeschool!! So here I am, Four kids and a Farm!

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