Monday, March 25, 2013

The Planting Before The Harvest

The morning was cold and I was well aware of the hollow chill in my bones; I filled it with warm clothes and steaming coffee. An impossible task ahead of me, my heart leapt in a dance of irony between dread and thrill.

Today I would begin teaching my children at home.

The first child had awakened and with tangled hair, bounced down the hallway. Breakfast was instant oatmeal and milk--a staple in our home because I'm not usually awake enough to create breakfast masterpieces. Soon the boys would wake and be ready for wild adventures, possible bloody lips, and anything else you can shake a stick at.

I sat my frame before the altar of education I've created at the foot of our hallway: a tall bookcase with cubby holes full of binders for each subject, crisp art paper, lesson plans that I must have rewritten eight times, washable markers, math equations, copy work, Bible stories, and more accessories than are probably needed. I stared at the labels and colors, waiting to be lifted off their perch and loved on (or cried over) by fresh minds.

What is the right way to begin this insane journey I've just declared that our family will traverse? Should we bake a cake, hold a moment of silence? I decided to pray.

Lord, I have no idea what I'm doing. I am here because I felt you lead me here, but all of this is just fancy stuff if You don't help me use it to teach them. Please help me, and give me strength and patience that I am sure I lack. What if they don't listen to me? What if they decide they're tired of math or books? What if I fail? 

I wish there were a remarkably clear answer that I received, but there wasn't. There was, however, an urge to smile and the ability to stand up and call everyone to the breakfast table for instant oatmeal, and there were cheers and bounces when I reminded them that today was the first day of homeschool. There were many moments of compliance and sparkly eyes at the mention of learning, and there were only a couple of sighs when math problems were brought out. We tired out around 2:00 and put our books away for snuggles and games. There was the chance to talk about Jesus as I had hoped, since He lives in every subject if you think about it. We created things like God did in the first chapter of Genesis (though of course our PlayDoh versions were much less impressive than His original)! I realized how very difficult math and phonics lessons are, but how good it feels to watch them "get" a new skill.

And so, we survived with no injuries or hefty meltdowns (besides the toddler, and that doesn't count really)!

I was text messaged Galatians 6:9 today, and I immediately smiled because of its ridiculous relevance on a day like today:

"So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up."



Yes, let's not.

Peace of Christ to you,