We’ve hit the middle of our third homeschooling year, and I’ve discovered a pattern about myself….
Around December I start feeling overwhelmed and begin questioning the wisdom of ME teaching anyone anything of value, especially when I can’t find my car keys, the remote, the wrapping paper, the dog or my shoes. It was in December when I was trying to help my daughter complete a science experiment with circuits. The flashlight bulb just would not light up no matter what I tried. And then my then-eight-year-old sweetly informed me that I had forgotten to connect the wires to the lightbulb in the middle. Duh! Of course it wouldn’t work!
So December is my “can’t help it” month. My family and everyone who knows me can just expect that I WILL get words mixed up. I WILL drive all the way to the UPS Store with four nicely wrapped packages only to realize that I left the addresses at home. I WILL burn something in the kitchen at least once. Because of the aforementioned burning, I WILL order pizza for dinner even if my daughter had it for lunch at co-op. I WILL forget an orthodontic appointment and I WILL forget to take the dog in for her shots.
But that’s okay. I will persevere. I will press on towards the goal, and our family will survive. God gives us so much grace when we keep falling down flat on our faces! It helps to find some humor:
And it helps to know that people have been feeling overwhelmed ever since Adam and Eve stepped out of the garden and into sin. The key is to turn the focus away from those failures except as tools to learn how to do better and fodder for much-needed and appreciated Divine grace. And it helps to write words on my heart about what my goal really is, like these from Philippians 3:
But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
I don’t know about you, but there are times when my head is heavy with a bad cold (like now!) and exhaustion seeps through every pore that the thought of ever achieving that heavenly prize seems unattainable. Oh but it is attainable one day. And the Lord gives me just exactly what I need to survive this day. Just enough energy to get a pot of soup going that I (hopefully and prayerfully) won’t burn. Just enough gumption to fold one load of clothes.
I may feel like my head is nothing more than a ginormous nose, but I am more than just this body with the stuffed up nose.
And so are you. You are made of more than just your body.
Speaking of bodies, I have a funny story. This morning my daughter rushed around the house trying to find shoes and socks before our homeschool co-op. I looked at her feet and discovered that she was wearing this:
So as we rushed around gathering materials we needed to bring with us, we had this conversation:
ME: Your socks don’t match.
DD: I know.
ME: Go upstairs and change your socks.
DD: (as she stomps up the stairs) Why do I have to change them? No one will see them because they’ll be inside my shoes! Anyway, nobody looks at feet. Except maybe moms.
ME: Because your socks need to match. If we dress neatly, we’ll feel neat. God gave us our bodies and He tells us in the Bible that our bodies are our temples. It’s important that you take care of the body He gave you.
DD: (as she pulls on a different pair of MATCHING socks) Architects make asymmetrical temples, mom!
ME: But God made us symmetrical…two eyes, two matching ears, etc….
DD: Mom, most people aren’t symmetrical. Their eyes aren’t exactly the same size and shape and neither are their ears or their hands. Your heart and your lungs are on the opposite sides of your body and your fingerprints aren’t symmetrical….
…and so goes a typical mother-daughter homeschool conversation in our house! My daughter’s obedient actions are often accompanied by very intelligent arguments for why she should be allowed to take a different course of action!
Next time I’ll probably just let her wear them. Often the “must-dos” that we impose on our kids aren’t really as important as we think, are they?
The God who made us with one eye slightly larger than the other probably gets a kick out of our choice of miss-matched footwear!