Thursday, September 13, 2012

He's How We Do It

We've been doing school around here.

The thing with doing school at home is that life just weaves it's way through the school day.

Yesterday it rained all day here on the farm. I love the rain.

And in the middle of a lesson on how to spell two-syllable words, the Spunky girl walks into the bathroom and comes running out,

"FLOOD!!! Mama!!! FLOOD!!"

I go into the bathroom and sure enough the ground is soaked and the rain is dripping down, in from the sky light into our 100 year old bathroom.

So, in typical "wanna-be-a-farm-girl-but-I'm-so-not" fashion, I shut the door and call the Cowboy and pretend that the flood in the bathroom simply isn't happening, cuz I can't do anything about it in that moment. But what I can do in that moment is teach a fabulous lesson on how English words do not end in "i". :) And so I go for the latter. :)

That's our life here on the farm.

We jump from figuring out what on earth an inequality is, to watering the chickens... from reading books on the couch, to loading the dishwasher for the third time in a day.

I love how it's all seemingly one piece; how we do it all, all together.

This is only our third year of home schooling so I am well aware of the fact that I am far from being an expert. But there are a few things this that have come to pass over the past few years that have become an encouragement to my heart.

It's year three, and if I'm being completely honest with myself, it's the first year that doesn't feel completely awful and overwhelming. I think we've finally picked the right curriculum that works for us. I think I've figured out a few areas that I can let things go a little bit and not feel guilty. I think I'm finally starting to get a grip on what's important, on why we're doing this, on the logistics of doing the day-to-day.

And truthfully, so much of it is simply acceptance. Accepting what ever the day holds and not trying so hard to fight against it.

I have good expectations for our days here together. I have a list of subjects to work through, a list of chores to accomplish, a list of personal things that I'd love to partake in when the first two lists are complete. But some days just seem to take turns that I simply wasn't planning on taking.

The first two years of home schooling, I'd feel devastated on those days. I'd find myself in a funk. My tone would get sharp, the treasure's eyes would flood with tears and there were so many days that felt like a painful waste.

I know now that those days were anything but wasteful, because I'm finally catching a glimpse of what's really important.

It happened again just this morning and oddly, I found myself feeling grateful for the moment.

It was My Siah and I. We had just finished loading the dishwasher with the morning's dishes and I had said something to him about a writing assignment that we were going to work on today. He's in an attitude phase and has absolutely no hesitation in revealing his true thoughts to me about anything (which I love and hate all in the same breath). So I ask him to go to his room, and I tell him I'll be there in a minute to chat with him about his not so lovely tone.

When I get up there, he's wailing on his bed and he throws out a comment about how I don't understand him. I stand there quiet for a moment and before I  know it, I find myself confessing, "I'm so sorry that you feel that way. I WANT to understand. Could you please try and explain to me in a kind word?"

And then I listened.

I listened to him tell me his heart.

And to tell you the truth, I'm not sure if it's what he was saying or if it was the Holy Spirit translating his words for me in my own mind, or maybe even a combination of both, but by the end of the conversation, his shoulders and mine had softened and the two of us, we had an understanding of one another. He told me how he wished that I would respond to him when he talks with me. I heard him and affirmed him. Then I told him how I hoped that he would respond to me when I talk with him. He heard me and affirmed me.

(It's a seriously cool season to walk through with my kids. They mimick the way that I behave. They forgive the way that they see me forgiving. They encourage others with words that they hear out of my mouth towards them. They offer grace, and work hard, and problem solve, all in the ways that they see the Cowboy and I doing those things in our own lives. It's not really the things that we say that seem to sink in. Rather it's the ways that we live out all these details that I can see them picking up on.)

We left his room and joined the other kids in the living room, the place where we start all our days here on the farm the same...

always beginning with the only thing in life truly worthy of time...

we worship.

We sing and we dance and we acknowledge our constant need for the work of the One True God in our lives.

Then we pray. We ask God to not just join us in our day, but to COMPLETELY TAKE OVER.

And once that prayer has been prayed I've found that I have this tremendous peace about our days here. Because once that prayer is prayed, I have no doubt that He carefully holds each of my moments, hand-picking His absolute best for me all-day-long, because worship is something that can always be happening. It's not just a song or a prayer; it's a constant resting assurance that all is well because He is alive and well.

Some days very little gets crossed off the lists.

Some days the treasures and I have a lot of hard conversations (often times seemingly very repetitive conversations) about life and God and the way we long to treat each other under this farm house roof.

Some days there's a lot of laughter.

Some days there's a lot of tears.

Some days I simply cannot see the point in what He's chosen for me.

Some days I feel like He's opening my eyes to the things that matter to Him.

And no matter the day, I know I can count on one thing.

He is trustworthy.

His choices for me are trustworthy. And He knows my heart. He made my heart. He knows the desires of my heart. And the more I sink into Him, the more I can see Him molding my desires to be more in line with His. And when that happens, I begin to see. He opens my eyes to the one most important thing... Jesus in our hearts.

Living life together.


Moment by moment.

That we might see Him and know Him better.

That's the gift of now.

It's not the house without a leaky roof. It's not a set of four perfect children. It's not  a life that appears flawless to the world.

It's Jesus.

Just Him.

The Cowboy is home now. There's a gigantic hole in my roof that he cut out to find the leak.

My Siah, just finished up his last subject of the day and kissed this Mama on his way out the door in search of an afternoon adventure with his sisters and the neighbors.

Crazy-beautiful magnificent life is happening here.

And Jesus...

He's how we do it.

He's how home school. He's how we solve problems.
He's how we learn to love. He's how we learn to really live