Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Herding Cats While Lifting Weights

Ever tried? Well, that's very much what yesterday (our first full day of real/logged) homeschooling felt like. Trying to herd strong minded cats who can scamper & scurry, while simultaneously lifting weights that are far to heavy to lift unless prepared & girded to do so. Its dangerously distracting & breathtakingly uncertain.

Surely, we had several weeks over the summer so it wasn't as if this was our first attempt, but since our summer school, we've had some developments. Samuel is older, smarter and more curious therefore less content to simply come along for the ride. And Gracia, has learned and is trying out new 'neighborhood' acquired attitudes as well as proudly announcing her newfound desire to go to regular school (because she thinks it would be easier).

I struggle the most, to be honest, with her statements of not wanting to be homeschooled because there is, of course, a part of me that doesn't want her to be homeschooled- LOL. I do wish she had the group opprotunities and 'fun atmosphere' that try as I might, I will not be able to reproduce. And of course, at risk of alienating those who have chosen to send their children to traditional schools, I so wish I could wave goodbye as she gets on the bus for a 7 hour day-and not be the adult responsible for training & educating her. It would be much, much easier for me. But of course, there are 1001 reasons that I do want her to be homeschooled, and so we proceed.

It was a long day, and today was as well. I always laugh & inwardly roll my eyes when non-homeschooling moms tell me 'I don't have the patience to homeschool'. I want to snort- "And you think I do?" Clearly, these people don't know me. No, this is faith journey in the rawest form. I don't possess the traits or abilities to make this happen. There is no plan B, no one else who has to bear this awesome responsiblity for modelling a Christ-like attitude, teaching values & forming character, while imparting knowlege & a love of learning (and do all the housework, and be mom to a toddler, and wife to an amazing husband and still find time to be healthy)

So yes, I admit I am purposely trying to herd cats while lifting weights- not out of stupidity, but because I trust that there are ARMS who are helping, watching & loving the entire time. I don't have the capacity for this. I trust that He does.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can I pick up where I left off?

I was just cooking and thinking about how much I like to cook. Its more than just a one-dimensional activity for me, rather its creating something. Even when following a recipe there is technique, quality of ingredients, attention to detail and many more components of creating a great dish or an unforgettable disaster. I love to have involved recipes that require my concentration & multitasking, but also very much appreciate the meals you know by heart and simply cook. A 5 course experience is not practical 3 meals a day, 7 days a week.

I also really love healthy food. Some of the best meals I've eaten, I have been able to wholeheartedly enjoy because there wasn't any guilt of 'oh, I shouldn't be eating this'. I love a well balanced meal because it always settles so perfectly with your body- unlike eating just pasta, or just a salad, or just a steak. Don't get me wrong...I love food, but have realized its not just about my tastebuds.

I was then thinking that this is a lot like life. Its multi-dimensional in that you don't simply live, but rather there is a combining of elements. You can have a high carbohydrate life full of fun, activity and always after that great taste. It trends towards the stop-start extremes of overindulging and then sharply cutting back. You can also have an all protein life which might tend towards regimented intentionality, boundaries and structure. Never vary from the script-a life full of responsibility and limitations with little enjoyment. Or bland, low quality ingredients that have little nutrative value nor tastebud appreciation- same old, same old. Or a vegan (don't slap me) diet that can create deficiences and frankly, be high maintenance for others.

There are extremes in food & living. I'm reminded today that a balanced life, just a like a balanced meal, needs attention & intention- you have to put the right things in place. I want a life composed of quality ingredients that with an appropriately applied technique, can yield a deliciously satisfying experience while simultaneously being beneficial & powerpacked with health. That just doesn't happen. Life and food can be serious fun, but there is effort involved...and it is worth it.

Psalm 39:4 "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Throw it up

I recently commented to Nathan that this move & life transition feel very much like someone taking a puzzle and throwing the pieces way, way, way in the air. Where & how they land will barely resemble what they are or how they used to fit. I suppose some sections will remain joined and intact, but its also likely that some pieces will be scattered and never recovered.

As we continue to organize and fit together elements of this new life (school, church, friends) I realize I am less and less aware of how it used to be, and more interested to see what will be. New pieces will be added, and old pieces a memory.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What you've got

As I've been teaching my daughter, God is teaching me, about contentment. We, like many, are on a budget- one that always seems slightly less than what I think it should be to be 'comfortable'. :) I've found that its difficult to buy only what you need. Really. There are always good deals, great sales and of course my never ending tendency to stock up for a rainy day. The ONLY way that I've found to be successful at this, is too see what I already have, instead of seeing what I don't have.

I've talked at length with my daughter about this. With her birthday & Christmas fast approaching, she is keenly aware that she is going to get 'stuff' and just kind of goes nuts wanting everything from Incredible Hulk gloves to a 3rd doll house. In my minds eye, I think of the basement full of toys & stuffed animals that seemed so important at one time, but that become overlooked & neglected.

I think the parellel is clear. Its not wrong to want something- its wrong to not see what you already have.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Questions

7. Do I listen to others?
I think so. It depends on who it is and how much caffiene I've had. That's embarassingly true. If I've had a ton of caffiene and am hyper, run. I really don't like that, but it's true. Since we've moved, my outlets are fewer and fewer so when I do find someone to chat with, I know I'm not nearly as interested in them, as I am in talking. I hate that I'm like that.

8. Do I work hard?
When I need to. I'm trying to work less simply for the sake of working...putting aside what doesn't need to be done, and living more in the moment.

9. Do I help others?
Hmmm. I suppose so. I feel like I"m really in a self-centered stage right now. Part of me feels entitled to a little bit of that after so much outward focus for so many years....to the detriment of my family. So I'm challenged to work on this...stop making excuse and start giving what costs me.

10. What do I need to change about myself?
I think that is a ridiculous question to have to answer. Perhaps I should reflect on that, but still- no, I think it's a poor question. How about...what area(s) do I feel God is challenging me in right now?
1. Dealing w/ anger/frustration w/ the children in an appropriate way
2. Financially, being intentional about every decision- big and small

My Friend Jadie

I met her 10+ years ago when she was 8 months pregnant and standing at my door. Our husbands were in class together at Regent. She is now one of my dearest friends, even though we haven't lived near each other for 6 years and we sometimes go a few months without talking to each other. We have shared openly, honestly about our triumphs & failures, given life & encouragement to those dry, barren places- and both love to eat and shop. I'm meeting her in Indianapolis this weekend (a halfway point for both of us)- just for 24 hours, but I'm already happy.

It makes me think about friendship. I've just relocated and don't have many friends yet. I'm part of a moms group (carbon copy of MOPS) and slowly, slowly, slowly am feeling more comfortable. God has brought dear friends into my life at every stage, and He'll do it again.

She can read!

Last night I was just hanging out with Gracia- enjoying just being with her. I needed to send an email so quickly got out my laptop and typed it out.....as I was typing, Gracia came over and began finding the letters of the alphabet on the keyboard. I stopped typed and just watched, then after she was done decided to take her to a website that a homeschooler friend recommended as being helpful for reading. Long story short, we discovered that she can read. LOL Her longest sentence: "The ants ran to the jam" after which she screamed "I can read Momma, I can READ" and danced around the room.

It was a beautiful moment. I've been working with her on for some time and finally all the pieces came together. What a moment.

I can't help but spiritualize the concept. How our Father works with us- moving only as quickly as we're willing to go, as long as we can stand it, session after session- and then one day, we put it all together and wow. I can read.

Now, to get Samuel to walk.