We all need beauty – so here’s some!
For someone who loves home and family as much as do I, I certainly can get bent out of shape when my runaway plans go awry. This morning, after six days of shopping dates thwarted and nixed by various and sundry entities and events, I finally let it go. I finally said, “Maybe it’s best I stay home. Maybe I’ll make like a big girl Jesus-truster, and be still. Rest. Stop chomping at the bit, whining, fretting.”
I have quite a list (been adding to it for six days) of things I “need.” Is it possible that all those things I think and hear myself say that I “need” are just me justifying spending money that will be needed later for a better cause? “Patience, my dear. We know from experience where pressure gets us.”
Could it be that all I’ve said and re-said about home is true? That it is the most excellent place, the place for a creative grace to be had only at the hands of a truly attenrive home artiste? Might it be so that time and attention at home are always rewarded, as I’ve so often maintained, even as time and attention to shopping is often more regretted than rewarded?
I sit now in peace–the taker of my own advice: when at all possible stay home, and when you least want to do so, there’s likely a prize hiding behind that desire to flee, a treasure to be found and had by simply being still.
It could be the treasure of a new book idea, or finding and using what I have to recover those filthy bar stools, or thrilling my heart by trashing all my makeup unless I bought it in the last six months (nothing left except my almost-gone mascara). I might even fertilize my plants! I can even iron my linen shirts while listening to a French lesson or calling my sweet friend Pam. Snow’s coming–I’ll build a fire, fill the wood box, make a pot of soup. And back to the makeup idea–I can feel the thrill of putting it all in the trash even as I am writing this post!
Who knows what I’ll get up today? The brain is stirring up possibility.
I’m doing a homeschooling article for American Essence magazine, and it’s developing into something about making homeschooling marvelous, enchanting, enthralling, exciting, even magical. Can you help? I have such great experiences and resources, but I’d like thoughts from currently homeschooling parents who realize that it’s really about so much more than academics, and that a facsimile of the traditional/public school classroom is not optimal, to put it mildly.
If you would like to add your thoughts, or know of someone who might, can you let me know?
Here’s my number, if you’d like to call: 970-556-2785.
It was a lovely morning yesterday. Seth and I tried a new LaVazza variety (falling off the wagon a bit on this aspect of Zero For Six-ing, but more on that later) on the balcony. We likened the rustling of the Aspen leaves to the feel of clean cotton sheets, the breezes in the pines and the birdsong to music.
The conversation went and wound its way here and there, and somewhere in there I had a fantastic idea–a doable, practical example of how to remind our government that indeed, they work for us. I won’t go into the particulars of the idea, because I want to talk about the power of conversation.
We’re meant to have it, and it’s meant to produce ideas, solutions, revelations. It’s meant to connect hearts and minds and put us in the creativity zone. So, if our conversations aren’t producing this magical marvel, especially when we’re talking with our adult children, we can examine ourselves.
Do we listen carefully and thoughtfully? Do we interrupt? Do we have to be right? Are we taking a parental role when our family members are not asking for that? Just as we’re extra polite and considerate in our conversations with non-family folks, are we also with our beloveds? Do we remember that sometimes hearts simply want to be heard–not to hear our opinion?
When we don’t know the answer do we simply say, “I don’t know, but I will pray for wisdom, and I will pray for you to have wisdom, and all will be well”?
It’s helpful to remember that those who talk the most and loudest are often drowning out the words of those with the deepest and best thoughts. Just in case you’re like me, and maybe are a bit chatty, it could be time to put some art into our conversation.
“You appear to have absconded with my keys, Mother,” my daughter said. “Oh, no! I’m so sorry.” And I was sorry about it, even as I was delighted in a child who says, “You appear to have absconded,” rather than, “Hey! You took my keys!”
It pays to homeschool, especially when you have a literary approach. That is, approach the teaching of spelling, speaking, writing, and thinking via literature. Put excellent books in every nook and cranny. Read to them and with them. Read books they recommend. Talk about it: What was your favorite part? Do you agree with the author’s worldview? Are there plot holes? If you re-wrote the story, what would you change? If this book were to be a movie, who would you cast as the villian?
DO NOT read below their level. One of the best parts of any book is a new word. Beatrix Potter’s use of “soporific” is a great example. Don’t go into Mr McGregor’s garden: your father had an accident there, he was put into a pie by Mrs McGregor. It is said that the effect of eating too much lettuce is ‘soporific‘.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have been absconding with other people’s property, eh?
Phyllis McGinley, in the treasure of a book, Sixpence in Her Shoe, wrote, “If I had time and courage enough, I’d write a children’s book stuck plum-pudding rich with great jawbreakers of words,” and, “I am certain that children, left to themselves, would prefer a rattling good story . . . to the handsomest volume in the world which brings no glory to their dreams or quickening to their pulses.” She continues, “They are a braver generation than we suppose. So they deserve brave books. They deserve the best that men and women of wit and talent can write for them.”
And they deserve parents who will read to and with them. Books with big stories, big wonders, big ideas, big words.
Today’s Henri Nouwen Society offering spoke to my heart and I want to share it, then offer my thoughts, so please read beautiful Henri thoughts, and consider mine.
|Hospitality means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. . . . The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations. Hospitality is not a subtle invitation to adore the lifestyle of the host, but the gift of a chance for the guest to find his own.|
I read these beautiful thoughts on hospitality, made a comment, and then considered the comments offered, where one wise man said in a nutshell, “One-on-one hospitality is the cure for the world’s ills.”
Let it begin at home. Let us be open to the wounds and ugliness of each others’ hearts and personalities. Let us seek reasons and ways to bless and pray for–not the world first–those with whom we share our dwellings. Let us, as Henri exhorts us to, ” . . . offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.”
Freedom. Let us emulate Christ by offering a “free indeed” hospitality. No, this doesn’t mean anything goes. Just Love.
Love doesn’t always keep still and quiet, any more than love mouths off in anger. Love abides in God, Who is Love, and seeks His ways, grace, understanding, wisdom, and even knowledge of what’s in the wounded and precious hearts with whom we live. Love is patient, kind, at peace, hospitable.
Hospitality is Love. Or is meant to be. Again, let it begin at home, where all good things begin and end, Amen.
My daughter’s meltdown was right smack dab in the middle of mine, and while my stalwart husband was quietly nursing his own wounds over a perplexing disappointment. But thank God for the woods.
It was there I received a phone call from my child saying she was ready to chuck it all and drive straight home to Colorado. We talked and prayed through some things and I told her to first of all not make any decisions until after Fall Break (during which she will spend a week camping with beloved family in Oklahoma) and secondly to call her best buddy and ask if she can come over. Most important of all, we got rid of the poisons due to taking offense, including being offended by a Christian “minister” who insulted homeschoolers (yes, Rebekah was homeschooled) in her presence. But back to someone much more important – a true friend, and the one I told Rebekah to call.
“I don’t want to bother her, she’s doing a report (or something like that)” was Rebekah’s reply. “Call her! She’s called you crying before and you came to her rescue. She’s also good at rescue.”
So, as Rebekah called her friend I called mine, who has known and loved my daughter all her life. “Could you just call and encourage her and pray with her?” I asked, knowing it was a done deal, and a good deal.
There’s lots more to this story, like how God showed off the very next day for Rebekah and with one blessing after another throughout the day. I’m talking BIG stuff and REAL breakthroughs, and beautiful blessings. Isn’t that so often the way when we think we can’t take any more – victory is around the very next corner!
I pondered how often we don’t ask for help when we really need it, when we really should ask for it, and how we do ask for help when we really don’t need it. And when I talked it over with my brother, Cal, he said this: “It’s an honor to be asked for help.”
So, let’s not be always pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, and let’s know that it’s OK to ask for help. Rebekah told me she didn’t like to call me when she was lonesome and upset, because she knew it would be hard for me to hear her cry. “I didn’t want to put that on you,” she told me. But she said that she’d learned her lesson, and wouldn’t be doing that any more.
Praise God! How I HATE the thought that she would cry alone, all alone, so far from home.
I know God must feel the same way when we don’t come to Him with our troubles, and unburden our hearts to Him.
Thanks for listening,
P.S. Speaking of asking for help, I haven’t posted recently because I have been trying and trying and really trying to figure out how to get back on this website – couldn’t sign in, and coudln’t figure out the problem. Finally, I got my husband involved, and I’m happy to say he couldn’t figure it out for a good while, either. But he did, and I’m posting again!
I have pictures to share very soon – some new decorating I’ve done. I’m inordinately pleased with the outcome, especially as it cost almost nothing – there was great use of what was right under my nose!
P.P.S. Catch John and me, along with Crystal Lyons (crystallyons.com) tomorrow, Wednesday the 9th of October, at 8:00 am Mountain Time.
We’ll be on https://1360khnc.com/
I have experienced and do believe in Miracles, and that’s one of the many things slated for today’s Home Front Show. Until . . . I talked to John and realized he has something that has to come first.
So, join us in just a few minutes for BLESSINGS!
Friday at 2:00 to 1360 am, Johnstown, Colorado, or go to the link below:
There are so many excellent resources for homeschooling parents, but how to choose? So many opportunities, but which ones to forgo? This is a big deal, and it must be done right! Right?
Know your child via time with your child’s Maker. You MUST pray for and receive the wisdom of God for each child. Individually. You have birthed an individual, unique in all the world, indeed, in all the history of the world. One of your many excellent reasons for homeschooling is to train this child up into the fullness and wonder of that uniqueness.
So, get to know your child. This, dear parent, is a lifelong process, and you are called to it. As a parent, we partner with God to create and give and nurture life. It is a lovely process of discovery, and today is the day to begin!
Seek God’s face and His grace. Ask Him and He will answer. My experience homeschooling taught me that He really likes to get involved in this marvelous escapade! He wants you to know Him, and He wants to reveal the heart of your child unto you. Blessed, so blessed are you.
What do we all need? To know and to be known. Give yourself and your child a gift so far beyond curriculum, field trips, and co-op activities. Give yourself up to the wonderful journey of getting to know God, who will reveal to you yourself, and the heart of your child as well.