I know it sounds crazy but there are some things that I need to make peace with neglecting.
Days go by so quickly – Perfection is impossible. Not only will there never be enough time for all the things I feel need to be done but if there were, more precious moment would be lost. Things need to change. I realize more and more how much time I spend on things that simply do not matter. I become cranky, stressed out, irritable – bad company – over things that are just not that important.
I admit it, I am somewhat of a neat freak. I admit it. Unfortunately I am the only one in our family. It drives me nuts and yet the more I think of this the more I see that these things (cleaning, clutter, clean kitchens and a pretty yard) these are things that matter. But they are daily events – They are time spent daily that could be better managed. Does all of the time and energy I spend keeping the home really matter as much as I make it matter to myself? I look around and moments after I have made the house nice and neat – its a disaster – again. And I stress out. Again. Its a vicious, and terrible cycle. It steals my peace.
Focus. I need to focus on details. I need to realize what matters most. We homeschool – we have children (3 under 10 and one on the way) – I admit my priorities are not where they should be. Not as healthy as they could be. I need to take it down a notch. Look at the bigger picture.
What really matters? What do I need to focus on most in this season of life? Do I have a goal for my home and family? Do I have one for myself ? I cannot tell you how many things have come my way recently telling me to list those things that really matter – to relax and ponder and pray more – to seek after joy and peace no matter the mess. And who doesn’t have a mess when you are a homeschoolers with a bunch of eager and creative children?
If I want home to be peaceful, joyous and relaxing, I just need to admit and accept, that there are some things that cannot be. As I see our home, all clean and set smelling, organized and quiet – its something that cannot be. And should not be. What fun would it be and where would there be learning if it was always quiet and looked so perfect?
Now I love to read. I love to study. I love to write. Call me a nerd….geek … whatever you will 😛 I have always had such a great rush when I am learning something new. Exploring a new area or project. I do not make time for this now as I once did. I have longed to learn Greek, Hebrew, Latin…. I have a sewing machine, knitting and crocheting materials ~ They are collecting dust. This cannot be.
How about home education? I believe strongly in learning by living – experience, literature that brings times and places to life ~ I do not want my children to just have information in their mind but I want them to learn how to learn. I want them to love learning and exploring ~ It’s so important for them in my mind, to be critical thinkers, to be problem solvers. I want them to search not just scriptures but all things to find solutions, to be willing to take the lead. I want them to be challenged; I want them to be strong and sure of themselves no matter how different they are from those around them. This is how it ought to be – natural, gentle, relaxed, purposeful.
That means, first and foremost prayer, study of the scriptures, sitting at the feet of Jesus more. No excuses. It means being more contemplative of what books we read, what games we play, what things we bring into our home. I think of (for the kids) K’Nex, legos, blocks and arts and crafts. I need to embrace how different my children are too: I have one hard worker, one who needs more encouragement and just does not like to do studies at all (time to find what helps inspire him to learn) and my daughter who just loves to be a part of it all. For me, I need to determine the hobbies and studies I will undertake and make my own time to study those things.
Today is the day of salvation. It’s also the day to make the change; to create the schedule. To begin anew. No excuses. My children need to make their own connections and relations as they learn; we need good habits as a part of our life and school as well. Full attention. Best effort. A lot can be done in such a short amount of time when we have those two ingredients. And what a love of learning we can foster at the same time. I do not want my children to “get it done” but rather to enjoy, and to marvel at all that God has created; I want them to seek out and see the layers that are in everything we see and experience each day. Life and learning together ~ in a joyful and loving way. And at the same time, recapturing my love for learning too.
John Taylor Gatto said: “We don’t have to worry so much about educating children; a normal child would have to be locked up and away from life itself to keep from learning.”