Vision check!

There are moments when I look over my life and see bills due, projects needing started (or finished) clothes that need bought, sewn or mended, appointments to be made or attended, school to be taught, tasks to accomplish, things to tick off.  The list is endless and terribly overwhelming.  I don’t see it letting up anytime soon (heck, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be going until the day I die, I just pray that I am very old and have many great great grandchildren by then!).  When I get caught up in the chaos and insanity, with no hope for a break or a vacation, I often want to sit down and cry.  Overwhelmed by the big picture, the everything, I forget about the little things that make up each day.  The little seconds here and there that, put together, bring the entire “big picture” into better focus. 

Instead of looking outside and seeing a house in need of repair, I need to look within the walls and see a home full of love, and strength, and joy, (and sometimes pain), sorrow and rejoicing, worry and stress, and prayer and thanksgiving.  I need to see beyond the baby who won’t sleep to the 7 year old who can’t bear to hear his brother fussing and goes in to him, patting him on the back and quietly singing a lullaby to soothe him to sleep.  I need to see the 13 year old who happily plays cars with the 3 year old so he can feel “big”.  I need to see the triumph of an alphabet remembered, or math facts mastered.   Children and parents celebrating each other in things little and big.  Loving and forgiving each and every day. 

While the yard is overwhelming and we need new tires or the carpet needs cleaning or the blinds dusted, the children are growing and memories are being made.  Dad wrestles on the floor with the boys, I fan girl with the girls about Iron Man (Seriously, Ummmm, yeah.  He was a hottie when I was 13!  Nothing has changed!).  We go about our days living in these walls, in this life.  The things, the overwhelming college tuition, senior year planning, activity list keeping will always, always continue.  I will be busy until the end of my days.  And, that busy-ness is not something I can take a vacation from, there are noses to wipe, heads to kiss and stresses to calm, always.  Every.  Single. Day.  The key is to remember that is the stuff of days.  That is what really living is all about.  The other?  The upkeep of a house, bills, cars, lives, all of that happens, always and no matter what.  It falls into place and it gets finished, but it is not what the “big picture” is really composed of.  If I were to look closely I would see those things, but they would be dotted about a page absolutely overwhelmed with the trappings of life.  The noise and mess that encompasses what being our family looks like.  The scrawled notes of love and encouragement from parent to child, the “atta boys” to siblings, the gratitude journal, spread out on the school room table, pages numbered and decorated with drawings of butterflies and bird, our home, skateboards and rain, pencils strewn around it because there was no time to put it away before being rushed through bath time and bed. 

I know that God wants us to see things through His eyes, not the world’s, and yet, every once in a while the world slips in and God has to send these precious saints in training to straighten out my vision again. 

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First post of the school year

We’re on week 4 (technically) of our 15th homeschool year.  I can’t believe we’ve been doing it this long and, true to form, we’re about a week behind.  Already.  If I were honest I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.  Life happens.  A lot.  We’re plugging along, things are going well and the kids are all learning (YAY!  That’s not a guarantee you know!) We’ve already had some huge learning breakthroughs and are still struggling with other areas.  It’s been a wonderful encouragement to see our decision to hold one child back a year affirmed by his overwhelming joy and enthusiasm for learning that is brand new this  year.  When you’re both the teacher and the parent it can be difficult to see exactly how things are going until you’re looking through the crystal clear glasses of hindsight.  I am beyond grateful that, in my experience, I was able to see where we were with honesty and assess what needed to be done and have the confidence to do it without fear. 

What’s turned out to be the biggest blessing has been my need to re-engineer his religion program (and that of his younger brothers, we’ve combined them all) because he did second grade last year, he got through the second grade Faith and Life curriculum (the religion program of choice in our home) and I felt, strongly, that a repeat of that particular subject, in that particular form, was just not necessary.  So I spent hours (not even kidding, good.night. it was forever!) pulling this book or that book off the shelf, pouring over this syllabus or that for ideas and crafts etc. to incorporate into the ebb and flow of it all.  Finally I settled on what looked appropriate for the wide range of boys I was teaching, challenging and encouraging each beautifully. 

This week (which was really last week, if you recall) we started (and will finish) reading God’s Love Story written by the Poor Clares.  We’ve gotten to Jesus’ miracles and how much He loves us and how He shows us His miracles to prove not only WHO He is, but that He does love us so much.  We finished, the boys seemed to enjoy the book and the discussion and as we were climbing down off the bed (what?  Is there any better place to talk about God’s love than on a pile of pillows on mom’s bed?  I think not!) the sweet boy looks me in the eye and says, “Before I become a saint, I am going to pray that God will let me preform some miracles, like St. Blaise or something.  It would be really awesome.  I bet He would!” 

What a blessing for this mother’s heart!  “Before I become a saint”!!  What an amazing joy to hear your son say that is, in fact, his goal.  My heart was so full, at that moment, so beautifully full!  Praise God that I listened to his nudging and followed what He put on my heart for my son’s education, or we would not have had that beautiful moment to share. 

God is GOOD!!!