Monday, August 29, 2016

The First Few Weeks

{The kids are doing one day a week at a charter school. And we currently have some seriously lovely friends staying with us for awhile and their kids are going to the same class day as our kids.}

I would be lying through my teeth if I said the first few weeks of school were peachy-keen. 

The first few weeks of school have always been on the verge of awful. There's a whole lot of crying and I ain't lying. 

After six years of week one's, I still can't put my finger on it. 

I try to be so prepared and on top of it. I prep the kids ahead of time with what the plan is for the year. I meet with each one individually and go over all their subjects with them. We pray our hearts out, and then Monday comes with a flood of emotions and lost pencils (even though I just sharpened 100 brand-spankin new ones and carefully placed them in each child's pencil box), and "I'm hungry's" and "I can't's" and a dozen debacles that started with a "he did this" or "she did that." And at the end of the day there is a Mama who sits on the living room floor and just stares wide-eyed at all the hoopla going on under the farmhouse roof. 

{I think it's been nearly a decade since I had only two kids with me at the grocery store. Going around with Just Solomon and Shiloh reminds me of the days when Siah and Hal were small and we spent our days at the park, naps were at 11, baths at 6:30 and bed at 7. Every day was so predictable. Now we live in a continual state of controlled chaos, no two two days alike, and all days full to the brim with a half dozen big personalities trying to live like Jesus towards one another.}

Now, with all that said, amongst the chaos, there always comes that moment when I can take a deep breath and remind myself of the why's. Why's like, "why would anyone in their right mind would choose to homeschool?"

I get that homeschooling isn't everyone's thing. But it is our thing. And when I hide out in the bathroom long enough to remind myself of the why's, then the whole crazy endeavor seems once again doable and even somewhat thrilling.  

We choose homeschooling so that we can spend our days together with our kids. (My Siah is eleven.  Our time is short and we long to soak up every minute of it, even the minutes that make me question my sanity.) 

We do this so we can know their hearts intimately, so we can seek His face in all circumstances, so we can bake cookies and watch videos on how to make the perfect roast chicken. 

We do this so that we can learn together, live together, forgive together & serve together, 

We do this so we can practice continually trusting steadily in God, hoping unswervingly in Him & loving extravagantly like Him. 

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 
{1 Corinthians 13}

{We play this game where I pull him in close and tell him I love him and he bursts into laughter and says "me no love you" so that I'll tickle him and tell him some more how much I love him.}

{He said he wanted a "little" snack. The next thing I knew, he was walking around with a "little" bit of popcorn.}

We do this so that we can learn to love one another well. 
The chaos so often is simply opportunity in disguise__ a chance to lay ourselves down and become more like Christ.

{When the going gets rough and it's only 8am, I pour myself a bath, give her a bag of pads and travel size toiletries to chew on, turn on the fan as to block out all other voices under the farmhouse roof, and soak up thirty minutes of glorious peace.}

The first few weeks have felt loopy and lovely all in the same breath. 

I'm here with my one loaf of bread and two fish and I'm trusting Him to take it and multiply it for His glory. 

I keep preaching it to myself__

"He holds the sparrow,
and He holds tomorrow,
and nothing on this earth matters except keeping our eyes on Him."

mUSIC: Sparrows By Jason Gray
pASSWORD: school days

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Law Of The Lord IS Perfect, Refreshing The Soul

My desire for this one life I've been given is not comfort, but courage... Courage to trust that God's design for my life is truly good, courage to believe that my mistakes and my sin are not only not destroying my kids and my family, but quite the contrary. Rather believing with every ounce of my being that He is ALWAYS, all__day__long making all things new (Revelation 21), working all things together for my good and my joy (Romans 8)  and that my weaknesses indeed put His strength on display. (2 Corinthians 12). 

His Word is rich, and oh so good. 

"The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

"I have set the Lord continually before me; 
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. "
Psalm 16:8

"For Nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37

Believing wholeheartedly that He's in the midst of my stuff and that my ugly doesn't cause Him to turn His face from me, but rather, it caused Him to lay down His life for me. How does that work? How is that possible? 

"Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

That's how. He pursued us when we were unlovable and called us lovely. I__ Love__that.

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10) I don't know why, but every time I read this verse, it makes my heart smile. I read it everyday I homeschool. It can be challenging for me to remember that I have an audience of One. 

"I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will NOT forsake them." Isaiah 42:16 I hold on tight to this one as I raise these kids. 

"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." 2 Chronicles 20:12 Everyday presents new situations, new trials, new triumphs. Sometimes the current moment is a no-brainer, but often times I feel at a loss__ So I keep my eyes on Him__ Always on Him. 

"Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father." (Philippians 2)

How I long to serve with joy.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1


"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." Psalm 127:1

"Education is useless without the Bible." 
Noah Webster

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 1:7

"Could there be any more exciting turn in the road than the will of God?" 
Martha Moore

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." Mathew 6:33

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.

Psalm 19