Back To School

Sunday, August 12, 2018

I knew it would happen. The back to school photos, all the reminders that this is not what most people choose for their family. When school started back, I made a deliberate effort to take the kids out for a field trip that day as if to remind myself of why I'm doing this. We went to Ijams Nature Center and then perused a bookstore. Later that week, I let them walk around outside and hit up playgrounds at lunch time. We enjoyed the quietness of these public spaces and being together, but I know that will not be enough. The start of this new adventure for us is the perfect storm, really. Let me let you in on it...
If you know what's going on in my life right now, you know that I am training for the NYC Marathon. It's my first. Go big or go home, right? Anyway, I recently backed way off my mileage because of some pain I was experiencing in my back and right leg. With my training schedule staring me down, I had to stop my daily routine of releasing endorphins and managing stress appropriately. I hoped to rest and then start back fresh in a few days, but every time I run, the same pain returns the next day. It's difficult to be a runner and not run. I know some of you know exactly what I mean. I need it. To make matters worse, I had a medical professional tell me that I needed to stop running altogether and that really got me down because that's not an option for me right now. When I have such an obvious failure in my life to complete a task, it really makes me blue. Feeling as if I can't do the things I want to do with the body that I have is not a feeling I handle well. Sure, I can finish this marathon, but I wanted to pour myself into and do it well. I wanted to train and have a finishing time that I'm proud of so I never have to do it again.
The same is true for the education of my children. I really, really want to do well as their teacher. I'm preparing in ways that I haven't before. I'm thoughtfully choosing materials to work with and arranging my house in a way that makes sitting down to learn more comfortable for them. The ugly truth is that I don't feel equipped, though. I'm not ready. But God told me to do this and so I'm diving in in obedience and faith. Of course, I'm nervous but it's happening. A quick trip through the book of Ephesians is my pep talk.
"He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine..."
"Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
"But to each one of us grace has been given..."
"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up..."
"Predestined according to the plan"
Just go read all of it. If God is in this homeschooling plan this year and I know that He is, I can't fail. His will over my pride all day long. That's what the root issue is, isn't it? Pride. It often is with me. The last two weeks at church the pastor has spoken about the dark sides that we all have and I've been pondering on the worst part of me. At my core, I struggle most with pride. I want to have it all together. I want to keep a clean home, have perfect children, a chiseled body, and a great marriage. I don't want you all to know that I'm not even close to perfect, that I sometimes contemplate lighting all our laundry on fire because it's that backed up. I don't want you to see me losing my temper with my kids. I don't even want you to know that my husband is truly the one who cooks dinner most nights. My house is sometimes tidy, but never super clean. My children give me hourly opportunities to correct them. My midsection will likely never see the light of day again. The truth is, I've got stuff. Ugly, scarred baggage not worthy of being modeled by you or my children. But the good news I know to be true is that God doesn't leave us in our brokenness. He gives us hope and a future. Perhaps the most striking lesson learned this year will be my own. Perhaps by teaching them, I can lower myself even further to that of a true servant...bearing with my children in love, being patient, humble and gentle as Paul urges to the church in Ephesus. Lord willing.

Our homeschool starts this week! We'll take all the prayers you can muster up. 

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