Monthly Archives: September 2014

The plan of God

I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I think this might be the plan of God.

I have a reset button.

chub-chubWhen one of my teens (I have three, now!) is causing me grief — it does happen, to tears…

When my eight year old is crying that she didn’t get enough chocolate chips, and I’m thinking, “You have WAY more chocolate chips than you had a few minutes ago when you had NONE.  Get a grip!”…

When the the five year old is crying that she didn’t get all her spelling words right, and is inconsolable, even when I tell her that she spells amazingly and is doing better at spelling than any five year old I know…

When the tasks before me for the week seem impossible, and stress is at my doorstep, even on a Monday morning…

When I just can’t seem to learn the things that God has for me to learn, even when the things He wants me to learn are “simple” things like how to be at peace and trust Him…

I go upstairs for a few minutes before Jean’s nap time.  I nurse her and snuggle her chubby self;  she is a very satisfying baby.  I dig my face gently into her chest and belly and she howls with delighted giggles.  Her face lights up and she loves me completely.  The oxytocin is flowing, and peace returns to my heart, however briefly.

I am certain that this is God’s plan.  He has provided a bit of calm in my everyday thunderstorm.  He who created the ends of the universe even provided for a mama’s endocrine system.  Perhaps that sounds weird, but knowing how intricately I’m created, and how even “just” hormones work for my benefit is a balm to my battered emotions and sleep-deprived strength.  I feel cared-for by my almighty God, that He would create such a plan to reset my soul.

And, I’m just happy to be the mother to a chubby 15-month-old named Jean Marjorie Joy.

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On a semi-related, please do read this wonderfully-written piece on extended breastfeeding by a mom I knew when she was just a girl.  It is honest and lovely and real.  Even if you think you have zero interest in the topic, you’d be blessed, I think, to read it.

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Why I’m still homeschooling.

“Are we going to do school today?”

This question, combined with me not knowing the answer, was one of the things that very nearly led to the end of my homeschooling career after my oldest’s Kindergarten year.  I just couldn’t seem to pull it together well enough to get a full day of school done each day. 

I had registered my son for a traditional charter school for his first grade year, but a few things happened that summer that caused me to reconsider:

  1. In spite of my many flaws and inconsistencies in our school year, not only did my five-year-old learn to read more than adequately, my three-year-old did, too. 
  2. I felt like the Holy Spirit told me that, instead of running from my flaws — lack of organization near the top of the list — I needed to find a way through them.
  3. A friend introduced me to Sonlight. 

Addressing each item above, I determined that….

  1. I didn’t need to be perfect to be a successful homeschooling teacher.
  2. I needed new organizational tools to help me, as my floundering around, unscheduled, wasn’t cutting it.  And, I had a revelation in that moment:  GOD CAN USE ANYTHING to grow me, to shape me, to mature me, to teach me, to refine my mothering.  I thought I was the teacher, but it dawned on me, that post-K summer, that I was going to learn as much — or more — than my kids would. 
  3. I had never previously heard of Sonlight, but it was exactly what I was looking for:  literature-based, Christian without being dogmatic, NOT “Amerocentric”, and, best of all, it was all scheduled out for me, in the instructor’s guides.

(I’m not saying that Sonlight is the answer to all your homeschooling prayers.  It’s just what worked FOR ME.  For our family.  Their 27 Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight absolutely spoke to me, though…  It’s still appropriate for my goals, lo these many years later.)  

I have learned, though, that I needed more than just an instructor’s guide with check-boxes for that day’s assignments.  I needed order in our day.  

Normally, I resist the mold.  ANY mold.  I don’t want to be predictable.  One of my greatest fears when I was younger was that I would get stuck in a rut.  That seemed like the death to end all deaths, the worst possible fate.  

I still slightly rebel at schedules…  But, I have slowly learned to embrace them.

Below is a video I posted in a homeschooling group;  we were sharing about our days in short video clips.  It was a lot of fun, watching and hearing everyone talk.  I don’t recall myself EVER being videoed, that I have watched*.  To this day, I’ve never even watched my wedding video!  However, I thought it might be fun to post it here, too.

So…. my NEXT post will be on the specifics of our family’s schedule.

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*Wait.  That’s not quite true.  I was in about a three second clip that featured various high school seniors around my city, you know, when I was a senior in high school.  And, some clips of me grocery shopping with my then-one-year-old was featured in a grocery store’s commercials for about five years. 

 

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