go and tell

“God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
~2 Corinthians 5:21~

I know it’s me who is supposed to be the grown-up here, so it’s becoming more apparent to me how much I struggle finding words to communicate my current thoughts and feelings. It’s not until I’ve reached the brink of thoughts and feelings you might call “strong” that I realize I have needs and limits, and yes, I’m fine with it. Go ahead and call them weaknesses.

It’s good to realize your faults as a person, but there’s something bad about focusing too much on that. I used to think my job as a grown-up was to set the example by apologizing whenever I’d done something wrong. Where this becomes a bigger problem is when I start to believe and act as if all my problems would go away if only I could properly own all my problems.

The other side to these personal problems is that other people also have problems. If you’ve been wronged by someone else’s problems, the focus then can easily shift to other people and all of their problems. Remaining logical and consistent in your beliefs, you think the bigger problems would go away if only they could properly realize and own their own problems.

I love when Jesus gives us words. “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between him and you alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother (Matthew 18:15).” In the intimate context of love and sonship, we share in the faultless mind of Christ. There is godly reason, whereby on the forgiving cross of Jesus, God reveals himself to us.

The reason is always to gain a brother back.

rain or shine

The kids and I went for a walk during school. I’ve tried this year to have a set PE time at 10AM. Obviously on piano days it doesn’t happen, and on Tuesday when I took a little one back to the dentist again it didn’t happen, and basically if there’s any reason for it not to happen it won’t happen. “This is why we set a time”, I said, trying to talk about habits, competing with a following cat for attention. We saw four cats along the way, three of the four coming out of the woods. I had to repeat myself several times.

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And it was lovely as always, as I’ve been trying to enjoy the outside time as I can. Starting on Monday, for the first time since we’ve lived here, there will be deer hunters on the property until the first week of January. To be honest I’ve not been happy about this. I don’t have a problem with people hunting, but I do have a problem with strangers paying money to hunt on this property, which gives them full rights to the land for their paid time.

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So for months now I’ve just been “giving it to the Lord”, when it starts to bother me. I had a good cry about it yesterday and that was it. We cast our burdens on the Lord because the Lord sustains us. I told the kids it’s like going to Aldi and putting all your food from your cart to the counter. You put your burdens up there and let the counter belt carry them away. Obviously the example breaks down at some point, because you still have to push your full cart out the door to the car, but I think they understood.

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My husband helped my daughter map out a running course away from the hunting, which is what we walked this morning during school. I’m proud of her for keeping up with the running, which is something I stopped doing regularly after finishing our couch to 5K this summer. My kids’ running has inspired me to run a mile again every so often, to keep trying in things that I do like doing, and to not give up just because you’ve been doing it awhile.

raised me right

We took 30-45 minutes this evening to clean the schoolroom for tomorrow. It’s one of those things that no one really feels like doing on a Sunday evening, but come Monday morning we’ll be so glad we did. At least I will.

Kids don’t find quite as much direct pleasure in such things, or if they do they don’t recognize it. Their enjoyment comes more indirectly, when they find a freshly vacuumed spot on the floor and with their kid instincts know this is the perfect place to play with Legos. I hope I can teach my kids not at all to be shocked by the connection and ongoing nature of work and play.

My mom used to say, “If we all take five minutes…”, and that was about as far as she’d get in her sentence before we started in with the groans. It’s honestly nothing but simple math. If there were five kids working (the sixth didn’t count because he was only a baby and the seventh wasn’t born yet), then in five minutes we could quickly get 25 minutes worth of work done.

She tried, that’s for sure. I sometimes wonder what the heck I was doing with my life with so much work at home to be done. From 7th-12th grade I was at basketball games, riding my bike, on walks with friends or at their houses. In high school there were times I didn’t want to go to school. I hadn’t finished a larger assignment, or NSYNC was going to be interviewed on the Disney channel during PE, or I truly don’t know why I didn’t. If I asked mom if I could stay home and clean the house instead, she’d let me.

This would often frustrate my friends. There was no way their moms would ever just let them stay home from school. My mom wasn’t like the other moms, as each of them were in their own way different, but I loved her more for letting me stay home. The office needed a parent’s note in order to excuse a student’s absence. Mom wrote the same note every time. It was as if mom had somehow understood, without me ever having to explain it.

that one time

The kids and I started our Native People’s Study this morning. This 4-week study is a download I purchased from Jodi Mockabee’s blog. She is another homeschool mom whose Instagram account is one that I check in on every once in a while. I appreciated how she had all the study resources listed in one place, so I was able to order the books I needed to be ready to go.

Two of the kids came down with fevers during the night, so I didn’t know if I should start or not. It wouldn’t look like I’d imagined–all kids feeling bright and energetic. You might scoff to hear me say that so much, to reference how something didn’t go how I’d imagined. I only bring it up, if only for my own reminder, that it doesn’t always matter what we think, imagine, or dream. Reality comes with its own surprises, ones that don’t need the say or spark of imagination. One child slept on the school room guest bed, while the others worked on math and reading. I lit a fire.

We began reading The Birchbark House, which is the first read aloud we’ve started this year, and have done in a while. Read alouds are a big deal in the homeschool world, and I can understand why. Who doesn’t love the thought of school being wrapped up in stories on cozy afternoons? I agree that reading aloud with your kids is simultaneously a bonding and educational experience, but for me it often takes an unavailable mental energy. Boo hoo, I know. We read a lot more in our earliest years, though for reasons I cannot exactly put my finger on, the read alouds have fizzled out over the past year or two. Why won’t some desires, some dreams, leave us alone?

I’m busy, I’m tired, I’m uninspired, you name it. All three of those things would exactly be it, and all that to say, it’s been what it’s been, and what it’s been has been something I’m still thankful for. I’m not going to kick myself over all the books we never read, but neither am I going to give up on the books that we have left to read. So much of homeschooling is simply living out your days. I wanted them to be part of a family, to be intimately acquainted with what it meant to take out the garbage and rake the leaves.

When Friday comes, I’m glad it’s Friday. Not because the week was bad, but because we’ve got other things to do, like clean our rooms and catch up on laundry. The washing machine hums and the dryer works. When it’s my turn to host, I buy the food for Sunday dinner, sigh at another meal needing cooked, and then look forward to the fellowship, which is always good.

When Monday comes I’m always so glad it’s Monday, because I love every day I get to spend with these children. I’m sorry I don’t have a secret homeschool mom confession to offer here. It’s just the worn out, honest to goodness, truth that I can’t always explain. It’s a happy worn, like the one rabbit story. I couldn’t tell of a better way to be young and grow old.

the perfect comes

I just about fell out of my chair one time when I read the words from 1 Corinthians 13. Normally you think of that as the love chapter. Love is patient, love is kind. I was so completely happy that I had to tell my husband about it, after all these years of tripping over non-perfect.

perfect:

  1. having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.
  2. absolute; complete

People use the word “perfect” a lot, particularly when talking about all we’re not. “He’s definitely not perfect, but”…”Our marriage isn’t perfect”…”I’m not perfect either” …”Nobody’s perfect”…I say it too, but sometimes I get so annoyed with that word. Like, duh, this is a sinful world.

As in, why are we even comparing anything to perfect, as if perfect were a standard we could actually reach or even come remotely close to reaching? Even with Jesus we still aren’t perfect, having to live in mortal bodies in a fallen world as sinful people. Perfect is gone, and it ain’t coming back.

Or is it?

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be restrained; where there is knowledge, it will be dismissed. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial passes away (1 Corinthians 13:8-10).”

I don’t completely get or understand what that means, but it says right there, “when the perfect comes”, as if “perfect” coming is a sure and certain thing. What a difference this makes, that perfect is not some vain and throw-away vocabulary word. Hope is not lost. Perfect is something we’re waiting for.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment (1 John 4:18). It (love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7). In perfect love it’s not about me anymore!

~~~

“In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him.”
~1 John 4:17~