Lost and Found

Sometimes I just have to get these thoughts out of my head and put them on paper.  I wrote these down awhile ago but reading them again, in this moment, brings me a reality check and encouragement all in one.  The reality that I can be lost and found at the same time.  Perhaps it will do the same for you.

dscn1986

Sometimes I get lost inside ME.

This overwhelming, burdensome, agitating shell makes me feel restless and trapped. Then a metamorphosis happens, I catch a glimpse of the real me.  It’s beautiful, alive, free, uninterested with expectations nor burdened by cares.  I imagine it’s somewhat like a caterpillar as it’s wriggling free of it’s cocoon and emerges with wings.  Wings.  They offer shelter in embrace and escape in their flight.  And they offer freedom in soaring.

Freedom.

Sometimes fear can be a constant companion for so long that you no longer recognize it as such…and it brings comfort because it bears the face of care and concern, of holding on and not letting go.  But some things aren’t meant to be held. Some things do not need your care.  They need you to let go.  Letting go.  That can be terrifying.  But that can also be the very thing that sets you free.

Sometimes my mind is like an endless ocean of thoughts…so many of them meaningless that I feel lost in the vastness.  But YOU…YOU ARE the ocean.  You created it’s tide, the storm, the calm.  And YOU created ME.   “Why are you cast down, oh my soul, why are you disquieted within me?”  You know the maker.  If there’s wonder in a tiny grain of sand, what do you see when you look at me?  What were your thoughts of me, as you formed me?

This brings me to this moment.  Feeling lost in my thoughts and cares, worries and expectations, and Love.  Always love.  But sometimes the other things skew it’s beauty, it’s truth, it’s reality.  God is Love.  Here I pause to close my eyes and think on that a moment.

I know you are real. I know you love me. I know you are here.

Why do I continue to try to place value on myself by things I do.  I am valuable because I was created.  Why do I try to earn love when love is why I exist.  Do I even know the answer?  I know the shell of me is subject to the opposite of Love. Selfishness and pride, the very things that keep us from fully knowing that love exists within us.  But inside, in our hearts, in the very essence of our being, we can know freedom.  We can know love.  We can live there.  And although it seems as though we are on an endless sea with a changing tide, we can find a constant, consistent contentment in YOUR LOVE.

That’s where I want to be lost.

That’s where I am found.

Advertisements

Lifeschooling-Encouragement for the overwhelmed and underwhelmed

Homeschooling, or more appropriately named, Lifeschooling, happens all the time, all day long.

image

Whether you are doing bookwork or bills or baking. We are schooling our children in life. Real, normal, not always ideal and definitely not always easy, life.

It doesn’t always look like the picture.  Don’t fall for the facade of a single moment captured as perfection.  Because minutes later the same child is whining or throwing a fit and the camera doesn’t capture that reality.

No, it doesn’t always look ideal…because it is real.  Real life.  We are teaching an older child patience when a younger child interrupts by throwing a tantrum or needing your attention as well. We are teaching conflict resolution and the power of kindness, when anger takes over. We are teaching the strength of putting another’s need before our own. We are teaching confidence and value in ones individuality and who they were uniquely created to be. We are building bonds that cannot be broken.

You see, life is more than academics.  W.B. Yeats said that “education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”  We are raising our children to be lifelong learners, their own best advocate, diligent and hardworking, adaptable to life’s circumstances, to offer empathy before criticism, to be good human beings.

We are natural learners, us humans.

image

When we need to know something, we find it out.  If we are interested in something we will pursue it passionately.  Are there things we must know to be successful…reading, writing, arithmetic…absolutely, but we mustn’t let it become the sole pursuit.  Every human being is so uniquely different.  That is why we have artists and engineers who function on completely different playing fields.  Why would we think our children would all learn the same way or should be strong in every subject.  A creative person may find math daunting.  Does it mean they shouldn’t learn it? Of course not.  But they may not need higher math as someone who is pursuing engineering or to which mathematics comes easy.  We will absorb what is needed when it becomes necessary for us to know.

Necessity.  It is the inventor of creativity.  Did you know that most of our countries greatest advancements came in war time?  Interesting to think about.

For the child who struggles in math but wants to buy that special toy, well, then they must learn the value of money.  How to add up all those coins and bills to equal the amount they need.  They are learning math but it is relevant.  Now it applies to their life.  Not just equations on a paper.

So be diligent.  When you see the spark, fan the flame.  They will learn.  And they will not stop.

Celebrate those moments.  We are making progress each day.  And we are making memories.

image

Good and bad.  They will make us laugh and cry. But they will be ours.  Our joy, our pain, our successes and our failures. These moments will make us stronger.  And these moments will make us who we become. So learn from the hard days and cherish the easy ones. And listen. For while we are teaching them, they are most certainly teaching us.

Togetherness

Sometimes I fail to see the progress happening around me.  Sometimes the normalcy of being together, of working and playing together, of learning together becomes nothing more than another day, another struggle, another challenge.

Over a week ago, my middle son made a poor choice and because of that choice lost any privilege of playing on or watching the television.  Well,  in his little world it was big, because that little guy has taken a real liking to the “telly”.  We have done this in the past but this time was different.  Our hearts about it were different.  His heart about it was different.  And instead of complaining, there was peace.  Peace.  For over a week, there was no distraction and my babies woke up everyday to each other.  No tv.  Just each other.  And each morning I would find all three of them sitting at the table, lego’s in tow, playing.  And playing, and playing.  No fighting or arguing.  Just contentment.  We did lessons but mostly just spent time together.  Taking walks, photographing nature, and encouraging each other.

Encouragement.  It’s huge.  Especially amongst siblings.  We live in a culture where there seems to be all this sibling angst but do you know what I see as one of the biggest rewards in homeschooling our children?  They love to be together.  They are encouraging of each other.  Not always, they are not perfect, but they are learning and they are gracious.  I am so thankful for the countless, sometimes seemingly endless hours in a day, of togetherness.  And when I pause to take inventory, I realize that togetherness is the greatest teacher, the greatest strength, the greatest encouragement and the greatest gift we have.  It is how love is seen and felt and shown.  And it continues to teach me and I am grateful for it.

Homeschool

Homeschooling is wonderful. And hard. And amazing. And frustrating. Yep. It looks a lot like life.  Up, down, up, down.  Be gracious.  With yourself and your kiddos. And your family situations.  Because no matter your homeschooling style or philosophy, it still happens at home.  Where days seem long and years fly by.  Where the mundane hides the miraculous. Where real life happens no matter how organized or scattered you are.  And real life, well, its a rollercoaster ride but its a ride just the same. And one worth finding the joy in.

Transitions

What can I say about transitions?  They are inevitable and constant and we can move with them or fight against them.  I have done a bit of both these days.

My husband and I have led music at a church for 5 years, our longest stay in any one place to date, since we have moved 14 times in our 13 years of marriage.  We have recently chosen to embark on a new journey as Dustin has taken the lead singer role in a band called Sanctus Real.  We never imagined it but somewhere along the way, music became our career and livelihood.  Not only because we worked for a church but Dustin and I found a style we loved together and started a little folk acoustic thing we called James and June.

Needless to say, this new endeavor has brought expected and unexpected changes.  Some difficult and disheartening and some exciting and exhilarating.  We are pretty flexible but sometimes letting go is hard.   It is even harder when you are forced to let go more quickly than you think.  And even harder when someone else’s fear is the reason why.

Grace.  We have been given it freely and freely we must extend it.  But this too is hard.

Hope.  The very thing that causes us to see through the circumstance and know that it is not the final scenario.

Love.  The very essence of our Creator.  It frees us from feeling bound by expectations and fears and allows us to see others with empathy and compassion.  It gives life greater purpose and that is what this journey is.  Purposeful.