I am sharing some thoughts from my heart as I begin to gear up and plan for next school year. I have been blessed and benefited so much over the years from other homeschooling writers who have “let me in” through the window of their words. It can be a lonely road. I give a little peek of what it is like for us, a large family homeschooling with high schoolers heading toward higher education- so, in that spirit, I share here. And the truth is, writing it out helps me lay the burden down. And in that laying down, there is peace and rest. God be praised and I bless His Name.
The good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth what is good;…
My heart is all in a flutter. It is. I would not be writing in truth if I pretended it wasn’t. I am school planning for next year.
How did these babies get so big to start Kindergarten!
Kindergarten. I am having trouble wrapping my mind around it. Now and again, the realization pops like a balloon in my mind. They are starting K in the fall.
As we stretch into high school, deeper and deeper, and our life shifts and changes to meet the special needs of this important season of life… I find myself- sometimes panicking. (truth here) There is so very much to care and attend for. So very much. And, O, how I sometimes want relief. Relief from planning, attending, teaching, financial burdens, and I grasp at straws. I do. Straws that look like this: what if I just put them all (all 8) students in such and such cooperative? What if I just kept them all at home? What if I just put them all in everything? What if I just quit everything? Or, if only I could afford x,y,z. Sigh. Struggling with all the feelings that the this choice or that choice is “better”…
I think it is the heavy weight of responsibility and just of life. It is just like a rock on my chest. How does this align with what I know to be true in Matthew? Where is the easy yoke? I am missing something.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)
Ah, blessed words. Rest for my soul.
And here is a truth I have learned in the Rough. In the Grit. In the Dark Days. In the Light.
The miracle of the loaves and fishes. Jesus multiplies what the disciples have as they offer it in obedience and it is more than enough. Matthew 14:16-21
My loaves and fishes. They are enough. They are more than enough. And I am stretching out in faith to believe it- because this journey is no where near complete. It is no where near finished. Several months ago, cradled ( for a moment) in sense of relief, I almost posted a happy facebook status. My oldest son has done so so well in all his classes this year and in his writing! O, I was feeling relief and assurance. And then I realized, I have eight more students…. when all those students have performed as well as he- well, then I might have something to say. Not before. And I humbled myself and closed my proverbial mouth. Truth.
As I look in and as I look ahead. I want to choose the Good. And for me, choosing the Good has never been about panic, ease, or escape. It is not about running away. Or not shouldering the calling the Lord has given me. I need to come under that gentle, easy yoke and walk in unity with my Lord. The Good is about walking in the will of God as personally revealed to me.
The Lord always seems to hem me in and guide my choices, my commitments by my sheer inability. Then He SO graciously confirms it in so many settings. Thank You, Lord. Please help me.
I seek the Good.
So- what is the Good? And what is The Lord’s Best for me, in this season, in this life, in these days?
I always circle round to this: The Good is found in me. In me. There is no escaping this reality. And what do I have to give? and how can I give with more excellence, diligence, grace, beauty, and love? Perseverance. O, it is hard. And investment. I think I am finally in the season of life where I can not only recognize but act. Invest in my own heart, soul, mind so that I have something to pour out and give.
When I feel overwhelmed at how vast the ocean of need and how small my little drop of ability, I remember the meager offerings. I am the dirty declared beautiful, forgiven much. I am the poor, unreserved giver.
I am the miracle made enough.
I love Jesus for sanctifying meager offerings as holy, beautiful, beyond price. Again and again and again. I am the woman breaking the ointment jar, offering my fish and loves, putting my mite in the offering. My broken jar, a sweet, rising fragrance.
Next year, my high school students are going to stretch wings and fly. They are going to be busy in academics, in music, in sports, in life. There will be outside classes for both. Essays. Sciences with Labs. Languages. I will have the PSAT times two, and the SAT. I might have Drivers Ed? I will have Service Learning Requirements and Credit Hours and Transcripts.They will stretch out on their path toward Eagle and make some important advancements. They will be challenged and I will be busy. Busy caring for their souls. Busy driving them to their places. Busy carrying a lot of life and burdens as I seek to raise them well and struggle with the realities and practicalities and deep heart connections of life.
I have to keep my younger students dialed back and I desire to keep them rich in books. Once, a long while ago, I wrote, “Childhood should be rich in books.” Yes. I still, wholeheartedly agree with this. Now, I just need to order my days, our days, so we are living it. Living rich in books, in love, in relationships, in diligence, in work ethic. And trust, that all the rest will follow as it has in the past. And I need to choose each subject ( and there are eight! required for each student). Right now, I am consciously seeking to pursue that which will lead to peace and bear peace and what will work in the realness of my days.
Our year has been upended by so much. 4 bouts of pneumonia alone… enough said. I am learning from this year and making conscious choices for the Good. The Good fleshed out in the reality of my everyday and what life looks like with two in high school. Two in middle school. Two in elementary. And two babies starting K. And trying to preserve myself so I can run this race with endurance.
It has been a messy run. But, O! It is so good.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (ESV)
I will be taking a deep breath as I plan for each precious student and investing in my own spiritual practices so that I have something Good to give.
Homeschooling Mama, how will you offer your loaves and fishes this day, this season, this upcoming year?