Friday, December 28, 2012

New for New Years

I'm not a fan of resolutions. I don't keep them. When I've tried, I've failed miserably. So I decided to ditch them a few years ago. There are things I'd LIKE to begin doing, things I WANT to do differently this coming year....but nothing is set in stone. Nothing is staring me in the face, waiting for me to fail. Thats more motivating for me than setting myself up for pressure and expectations. It creates less stress. And if theres one thing I love, its less stress.

I've been worried as of late. I've been second-guessing myself in so many areas of life. I've been stressing out that I am just not doing this "life" thing the "proper" way. I've been certain my kids aren't learning all they should be in school.....that my efforts to help my son navigate life through the challenge of autism are for naught.....that I am not guiding my daughter on the path of womanhood in the way that will benefit her best....that I am not trying hard enough in my marriage.... I've just been sure that I'm "failing" at life.

I know where those ideas came from. I know who is putting them in my head. And I know at the heart of the matter that none of them are based on fact. Its one big ball of feeling inside of my gut. Gut feelings can suck. They make you feel all queasy and sick-ish inside. I don't like gut feelings. I've got to stop putting so much stock in them.....

I've been worried about my life. And my God has been putting little whispers of love and reassurance into each day. The kind words and actions of my daughter, the spontaneously awesome conversational skills my son will display, the quick kisses and wonderful compliments from my amazing husband....these are the things that are beginning to fill my heart. The words of encouragement that dear friends feel lead to tell me or write to me, not knowing why. These are the reminders of love that are replacing the fearful feelings.

Jesus loves me. He communicates love to me through my family's love toward me, and He loves me deeply in spite of my fears. He loves me in spite of my perceptions of failure. He lifts me up and holds me close, telling me that I am His, and that's enough. I must tune my heart to hear His voice, let Him drown out the lies from the enemy, and let His truth resonate in my heart. In Him, I cannot fail.

Seasons change, calendars flip, and the year passes by. The new year is ahead of us. I make no grandiose promises that I will be different. I make no "plan" of how to change. I simply sit at His feet and soak in the truth that though all the world around me is changing, though the days are passing by faster and faster each year, though there are things I simply won't ever understand having to be a part of my life and past, still there is HIM. Still, unwavering, unchanging, unshakable. There is a newness to each day when given the hope that there really are things that are predictable. There really is One who will never leave us, nor forsake us. As New Years approaches, I choose to dwell on that comforting truth- some things never change.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Passage of Time and a Change In Perspective

Today I looked down at my kitchen floor and saw a dust bunny. And in that glimpse, I was taken back over a year ago to the fall of 2011. I was a brand-new to homeschooling Mama. Still hurt by people's rebuffs and snarky comments about our homeschooling choice. Still very much insecure in my ability as a mother to also be a teacher.

I was visiting with another homeschooling mother, one who was a veteran in her field. She'd been at this gig for years. She'd found her groove, and her confidence in her educational choices wasn't shaken by mere passing remarks. I needed her imput, and I thrived on her support. It was a visit that would benefit only me, of that I was sure we were both aware.

What she was not aware of was my judgemental spirit that day. Being in her house, I saw unkept corners, a few cobwebs, and some dust bunnies under the couch.( Now, as I was so early in my homeschool experience, I was still trying to do it ALL. Clean, cook, laundry, child maintenance, education, marital attention, zero me-time. I was headed pell-mell for burn out; if I would have only acknowledged it!) I was glad this mother did NOT have it all together; she couldn't even keep her house pristine. 'I wouldn't be this messy; at least my house is cleaner, even if I am afraid of homeschooling!' I thought to myself rather pridefully. I judged her based on DUST, which has no lasting affect on a child's education, anyway! What a foolish woman I was in that moment. Foolish for letting pride grab me, foolish for not letting grace dismiss something so trivial.

I went on in my homeschooling career... growing, changing, finding my way and gaining crumbs of confidence as I went. I gradually blossomed from "this is too big for me" into " we can and ARE doing this, and it is amazing". Its been over a year and a grade and a half later.... along the way I have learned to let go the trivial and embrace the important. To sieze the moments of learning opportunity. To be there in comfort for tears of frustration and glory in "lightbulb moments" where learning really clicks. We are finding our way; we are growing, changing, learning- all of us together.

When I looked down today and saw that dust bunny, I smiled to myself. Silly, foolish girl who knew so little of where this journey would lead. My house is dusty, but my kids are learning. My dishes are rarely all the way done, and we sometimes live the whole week from the laundry basket of clean clothes, but my preschooler is beginning to read- of her own desire. This Mama has learned in the last 15 months; dust can be a sign of concentrated effort, and a focus on the things in life that really matter. I'm learning to be proud of my dust, not ashamed by it!