Sunday, October 14, 2012

Update on life and fall decor

“We catch a glimpse of each other, we sense the smell of God, and although we rush away from the holiest of moments, we are utterly changed.  Life slams us into God…..and we realize that behind all the ordinary stuff there is something more dazzling and real than we can understand.  Life is holy ground.”  quotes from Radical Hospitality.

Life has truly changed in so many ways this year.  With me working outside the home for the first time since my oldest was born, and my children being in school for the first time, our world has been completely altered!  This past week marked the end of our first quarter of the school year, so I believe this is a good time to reflect on all the changes.

There have been a few days here lately that I wonder what in the world we are doing!?!  I mean, how many people take their three children, one only 6 years old, and drive an hour each way to their school?  It is a little different, and so far as I can find, the answer would leave us in a category by ourselves.  Well, that is okay, because we are often creating new categories for ourselves.  I guess this started when Andy and I got married at the beginning of our senior year in college!  It was something that we both felt an overwhelming sense of peace about doing and we were just so anxious to begin our lives together as husband and wife.  I have no regrets!  Moving from Atlanta and leaving a corporate job to start an organic farm in rural Alabama was not exactly conventional.  But prayer lead Andy to feel strongly that it was what God wanted for our family, and God wouldn't give me a peace in getting out of it!
Love candlelight on a fall night

So here we are, the unconventional family.  And now, we carry on the tradition and commute to school.  Oh well, such is life.  I discovered a long time ago that I could walk around feeling sorry for myself and comparing my life to others, or I could fix my eyes on Christ and enjoy His presence and all the love that He showers me with every day.  Life will often leave me wanting and discontent, until I remember that it really is not about my circumstances, what I have or lack, but about enjoying living for Christ and looking forward to being with Him for eternity!  It's a sweet, good life with that perspective.

Every year I pull out this watercolor painting from my friend Bonnie.
In regards to the advantages of school, oh, there are so many!  These precious children of mine are making new friends, learning how to manage their time, and learning how to work hard.  Their work is a little more intense and time consuming than their home school load.  But they are all putting forth great effort and are very self-motivated.  They learned at home how to study and were often self-taught.  Those skills are coming in handy at school with homework and school work.  They have excellent grades.  I think Jack might make a B in Latin, but otherwise they have all As across the board.  Although grades do not reflect the most important things in life like godliness, kindness, humility, etc., it is nice to see them excel and use their bright minds to learn and succeed.
Love the warm colors around the house

Their teachers are more than I could have hoped for.  They are each so well chosen for my children.  God is so good.  The tender boy has the insightful, tender teacher.  He is thriving.  The sweet, but strong willed daughter, has the more firm, but very wise teacher.  She knows when to give and when to stand her ground.  And Jack has a variety of teachers, all experts in their subjects.  He is moving at a fast pace that is often extremely challenging for him.  He has shed a few tears a couple of days on the way home because of the homework, long day, and long drive.  But he is learning how to be a man and keep pushing forward when times are tough.  Perhaps this lesson will save his life, his marriage, the church he attends, or who knows what when he is a man, this learning to find His strength in Christ and not give in easily to his feelings?  It is such an imperative life lesson and I am glad he is being challenged.
It isn't fall until we bake pumpkin muffins!

We have not quite gotten the hang of the commute.  I have yet to purchase books on cd or a dvd player for the car!  These things are on my birthday list for November!  I think having the Bible on cd in the morning, along with other books, would be great for us while we are waking up and eating breakfast.  My girl is the only morning person and her loud, incessant questions and comments in the morning challenge the rest of us...a.lot.  I need to invest in some I-tunes cards and download some fresh music, too.  And on the way home, most days the younger two have done homework by the time their brother is out of school.  (We get out at 1, he gets out at 3.)  So Jack often wants to work on homework and the other two want to talk.  We should utilize our new headphones more often.  I guess I hadn't thought out a plan for making the commute a good one.  I'll have to get on that!

I love teaching in the classroom so much.  I forgot how fulfilling and wonderful it can be.  I love the curricula that has been chosen for me.  I adore my students and the staff at the school.  I just really feel perfectly suited and so happy,  I have found that teaching as a 36 year old mother of 3 has been a completely different experience.  For one thing, there is much more of a ministry with parents.  I am asked parenting advice very often by my students' parents.  I count this as a great privilege, especially since I have always been involved in women's ministry.  I guess this is women's ministry just in a different arena.  Having the opportunity to speak truth to 15 children is just pure joy.  We have the sweetest discussions and the teachable moments are always happening.  It's incredible and I love it.  I love that my own children are being discipled so intimately by other adults who are passionate about Christ.  I am seeing the fruit in all of our spiritual lives.

A little fall decor on the kitchen island
My precious husband has been so supportive.  He has become our primary chef, making dinner most school nights and often making the children's lunches.  In fact, now that the farm isn't full force, he often does the grocery shopping, too.  It's pretty incredible.  I enjoy doing the kids' homework with them and helping them prepare for tests in the evenings while he finishes dinner.  After four years of homeschooling, I would not be able to stand not knowing what they are learning!  We have this crazy excel spreadsheet of what needs to be sent each day to school (Jack has chapel clothes, pe clothes, and drama practice on various days.  Josh takes piano and art after school on special days, and takes play clothes for after school care on the other days that I work until 3.  And Lydie has to take ballet, tumbling, or art clothes on certain days, along with play clothes.  It's  a little crazy to try and remember it all!)  And then we have another crazy little schedule for cooking, cleaning the kitchen, lunch making, etc.  We have it all planned down to every detail because otherwise we would be lost.  It feels a little like we run a marathon from Monday morning until Friday afternoon!  We do spend the night close to school with my Mom and Dad on Tuesdays in order to get a break from the commute, which is a blessing for all of us!  And then there are projects, and special days at school, and field trips.  It makes for full, busy weeks!  The weekend time to be together and rest is much more valuable and appreciated now!

We are richly blessed!  We are part of an amazing community of like-minded people, we are making precious friends, and we are all learning so much!  When the commute gets to me I just remind myself that my husband is living out his dream, we have no mortgage, and the car that we put an insane amount of miles on each week is paid for!  There's always a silver lining!  Every day I look forward to what the day will hold for all the members of our little family.  I am so thankful!

1 comment:

Carrie Thompson said...

do you know about librivox? there are TONS of audiobooks to download for free.. also you can download through your local library system mostly likely.. just add it to your Iphone and tada! Plug your Iphone into your car speaker and free read alouds! :0)