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Posts Tagged ‘Homeschooling’

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I wasn’t ready for it. A restless night of twisted sheets, being forced from bed to soothe a crying baby, and strange dreams of being a gymnast, practicing my skills on the bars, had left my body feeling tired, my mind distracted and dazed. But it came anyway. The start of the day. Breakfast, and packing lunches, and making beds. Changing nappies, and dressing wee ones, and preparing for the school day ahead.

Before my boys came along I worked as a teacher, but this is my first year of official home education. My first year of adding tutor to my already full job description of chef, maid, nurse, chauffeur, activity director, police officer, and kangaroo (for the Admiral, who, at a whopping 24 pounds, still wants to be carried the day long).

And so an hour later I found myself, still dazed and unprepared for a day of living (let alone living well), trying to have a discussion about odds and evens with the Captain, all the while jiggling the Admiral on my knee and trying to ignore the General, who had squeezed onto the dining room chair behind me and in his very high-pitched three-year-old voice was speaking non-stop about wanting some cake (although I’d told him several times over that he had to wait for elevenses).

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I tried giving snacks, introducing different toys, and even (though I try to avoid it in the mornings) putting on the television so I could get on with the lessons.  But still, each soldier in my little army remained intent on being inches from me, if not in direct contact, each asking for something more or different or better from what he already had.

My head seemed to spin faster than I’d spun round those bars in my dream. I longed to crawl back into bed and find the unconsciousness of deep sleep. Or even the still, quiet surroundings of an empty house, where I could potter about, making sense of my jumbled thoughts.

To my right, the living room was strewn with giant colored cardboard bricks and scattered sofa cushions, the abandoned remnants of my attempt to entertain the younger ones. My mind seemed just as disorderly as the house, and as I attempted to turn my focus back to the math lesson, the thought crossed my mind that it would be awfully nice to have a real nanny and maid, so that I could be left to teach the Captain, and do only nice things with the boys (and perhaps sleep in a little on rare occasion). But of course that seemed as likely as my getting around to organizing some kitchen cupboards and planting the bell pepper seeds as I’d hoped to do that day (not to mention the school subjects we had yet to get through). 

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But unrestricted sleeping hours and empty houses are not some of the frequent luxuries of mummies of armies of wee boys, and in the chaos I longed for some little escape, some little treat to bring me comfort, and temporary escape from the swirl of color and noise that surrounded me. 

A square of dark chocolate, perhaps? 

A cup of espresso, topped up with raw sugar and heated milk?

A few minutes to skim the news feed on my Facebook account? 

These are the things I often turn to bring drops of sanity to my busy, noisy day, but yesterday as I contemplated what method of escape I would employ, I thought of a different way. Down the hallway on my bedside table sat my black leather Bible, which I hadn’t yet touched that day. 

And I didn’t have time,  not just then, to pour over it as I would have liked to do. But I did have the time–as long as it would have taken me to slip into the kitchen to devour a square of chocolate–to flip to the Psalms, and the sweet morsels of goodness found there. 

O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

– Psalm 34:8

And I wondered as closed my Bible,  felt peace wash over me like a cup a chamomile tea, what I’d been missing.

Although there isn’t anything wrong with coffee, and chocolate, and Facebook news, what had I been missing by reaching for them instead of the Living Water found there in the Psalms, so accessible, so available to me? 

For while our SIN can be easy enough to spot (though at times it’s not), there are deeper, sweeter paths of closeness to the Lord which we can go a lifetime and not discover. And what if those paths, those changes I so long to see in myself, can be reached not only through long segments of time spent in the Word, but through little moments of calling out to God for strength, and reaching for little pieces of His word? 

What change could even one pure morsel of eternal truth make to my day?

After taking the time to read from the Psalms, I went on to finish the school day, plant those pepper seeds, and even clean out my kitchen junk drawer! 

What a difference the reminder of Jesus’ love and presence had made. 

In Him is strength, beauty, refuge, truth, and the nourishment I need to help me view my boys, my home, my life in the light of eternity.

The eternity that continues in the next life,

the eternity in which we live today. 

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I had nothing to show for the day.

Nothing but a pail of wet nappies and some autumnal paintings drying on the porch.

Oh, and the fridge was emptier, and that basket of clothes that needed folding,

well, it sort of overflowed.

Outside the rain fell warm,

but we hadn’t seen a drop of sun all day,

and even the yellow trees, and the red, and the orange,

they all looked

just grey.

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And it felt a cold place, a lonely place, to be doing battle.

And I’ve told myself a thousand times that it shouldn’t be so hard.

It should be nothing at all to

wash sticky hands and faces,

change nappies,

sweep floors.

Couldn’t anyone do it? Anyone at all?

But there’s a little more to it, always a little more.

Because they howl when you do it. When you wipe their hands and face.

And they howl when you change them, and they try to crawl away.

And the crumbs are never nice, dry crumbs that skid across the floor.

No, no.

They stick. Mashed peas and bread crusts. Cereal welded to the wood.

And you’d have to use a crowbar, or at least your nail, to pry them free.

And it wouldn’t be so bad if it were only once.

Not three times.

Every day.

Or if your baby had actually taken his nap,

or your toddler hadn’t been ill and bit hysterical at every little thing you asked him to do.

And there isn’t a room in the house (not one room) where they don’t come after you

with their quarrels and their tears and their demands for more food.

And so yes, it is a battle. And it’s hard.

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And sometimes, it can leave you wondering what you’re worth.

Because you can’t help but feel that there are grander things you should be accomplishing.

And your husband, yes, he has to hear about it all, and you can’t help but feel that this is all

just a little bit his fault.

And part of the battle is taking it all—all the busyness, and the fights, and the tears

and turning it into something good.

Finding reason for us all to give thanks.

And there’s always a reason.

Or instead of shouting,

kneeling down to look your child in the eye

to find the cause for his tears.

Or forgetting about all the good things your spouse should be doing for you,

and finding something good to do for them.

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Because souls, they live in people.

In your children. In your spouse.

And people are more important than things,

and being kind is more important than being right.

And when it all seems a bit of a mess, that’s what you’ve got to remember.

And as many times as you can remember in a day, you’ve got to tell it to your children

Tell them how very much they’re loved.

By God.

By you.

And when there’s no one there to tell it to you, you need to read it.

Read it till it sinks in deep.

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“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:17b-19

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Avonlea x

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Happy Little Sigh

Finding beauty in the everyday 

You might also be inspired by A Walk with C.S. Lewis — https://happylittlesigh.com/2013/10/18/a-walk-with-c-s-lewis/

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