Wednesday, October 14, 2015

K.I.S.S. the Son

Sometimes I complicate things. Most times.

Adding, adding, adding when what I need to be doing is pausing, pausing, removing.

"Be STILL and know that I Am God."

My thoughts: relentless. My tasks: endless. My energy: boundless.  <<<That last one is sarcasm folks. To the contrary, I often feel sapped even before the day begins!

But then God.....

Maybe you've heard that before. XYZ was happening but then God stepped into the situation and changed it somehow. I feel tired and unprepared but then I spend my morning with God. Then I am ready to conquer the piles and the chores and the noise. Lysa Terkeurst says it, "Exchange whispers with God before exchanging shouts with the world." 

That is what I am learning through this journey I have been on. When I start to feel something isn't quite right, when I pause to look and listen, He moves me into a space with less and more. When He called me to homeschooling, I was called to more work and less rushing. More of my kiddos, less time for me.

I didn't want to give up my spot in the leader's circle at BSF. It was not only where I grew spiritually but where my friends were and my purpose. It is where I learned how to deal with little humans and, even more, to love them. There that I would find my passion for teaching and for children. I clung to Bible Study Fellowship with this tight fist when I saw that God was moving me away.... I knew His reason (at least what He had revealed to me) and I agreed with Him, but I just wanted to be a leader still.

BSF Retreat 2014

See, He was calling me to homeschool my children. To teach my own children and learn with my own children and love them through their learning like no one else ever could. I tearfully obeyed but I wrestled with Him for a year and struggled through a class that I did not really enjoy or much participate in. I was stubbornly holding on to this really good thing. BSF is still my spiritual inflection point. However, God had something else for us....

Today is usually our CC day. CC stands for Classical Conversations. This community and curriculum that is just a gift from God. I get to learn these facts all over again, some that I learned before and some that I honestly don't remember ever having heard of! I loved school and learning when I was growing up so I have been amazed at how much I just didn't get in my early years that this curriculum is giving. I get to go do life with other homeschooling mamas and God, in all His amazing grace, gave me a new purpose! I am a tutor for our community on Wednesdays and so my passion for teaching and for children, which are the main reasons I held so tightly to my children's leader position, is fulfilled there each week. I teach 10-12 year olds rather than babies and preschoolers. This is broadening my experience with and knowledge of children. Who knew??? (Don't answer that!)

The kids and I have this week off from Classical Conversations so we have been reviewing the last 6 weeks of memorization. I got an idea from another CC mama on FB to make invertebrates out of model clay and so I set the kids to work. They were going to make all 8 of the major ones out of the clay. Super simple.

It was then that I had an epiphany. Here are my kiddos, barefoot in their very own backyard, reinforcing their knowledge with a fun and simple activity. They stayed outside for an hour! They loved it and I got to watch them learn through play and creativity. I actually didn't expect their end results to be so detailed! My daughter even did her favorite YouTube video star: Stampy cat. So I asked myself, why do I complicate everything?

Why do I believe the lie that rushing around is somehow better than this slow life? Why do I doubt His plan and begin to get anxious that they are somehow missing something and that I can somehow offer it? My mind swirls and complicates things when I begin to look around me at the world rather than focus on my God.

"Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

I do this because sometimes I believe lies. I complicate things and try to add things when it is in the simple, the slow, the still that I begin to know God. He is not in the rushed pace or the stress or the extra worksheets. He is not in the noise and the hustle and the world. He is right here, in my backyard. With my barefoot kiddos and my doggy under the table. He is in the sky and the trees and the birds and all His creation. He is in me! In these small souls and in their clay arthropods. This day helped me to remember that as I make space for the real living and the real treasures, to just K.I.S.S. the Son. That is: Keeping It Simple, Sweetie! All to the glory of Christ!!

Nighty night! <3

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Today's Treasure

It's been a long day.

In the middle of a huge project at home, Sunday school, baseball game, and a meeting. I also slept through an appointment. Again.

I'm stretched thin and spread out and much is self-induced. Each day I thank God for my breath and these blessings and ask for the grace and energy to do it all again.

As I walk into our home after my meeting, my hubby is just putting the kids to bed. I haven't really hung out with him all weekend and I can't wait to get to our cozy spot on the couch and find our next Netflix treasure. I go in to kiss the littles goodnight.

My son has his normal question, "What are we doing tomorrow?" 

Being homeschoolers, the answer to that question is usually different but sometimes the same. I smile and inform him that tomorrow we have a field trip. These are much more prevalent for us now and we look forward to them. My answer is followed by his head popping off of his pillow and him asking loads more questions. I love these night talks. His personality shines and his baby ways reemerge. My big man child, now almost my height, changes somehow in that bed of his. I can lay down next to him and talk and talk and listen and listen. It's something that just doesn't happen the same way in the daytime. Tonight, however, I still have another little to kiss goodnight.....

She's already bouncing. She could hear brother laughing when I tickled him and she was waiting for her turn. How did I get so lucky? How can I deserve these four eyes and 20 fingers just waiting to curl around my neck? Such are the blessings of God, undeserved.

And she has a normal question too, "Can you lay with me?"

I remember my hubby, waiting for me in living room. I miss him. I want to be with him finally but here she is, smiling, hopeful, and then I remember how I answered last night's question, "I will lay with you tomorrow night." So I lay down. She can hardly contain herself and she cannot stop talking. I convince her to turn around and lay down by telling her I'll scratch her back. We lie there in the night and she compares my back scratching to daddy's back scratching. I pray over her and the tears of overwhelming joy and thankfulness flow.

This moment. This time. This is what I desire. To be in the moment. These passing twinklings that are so tiny and so seemingly insignificant but that are the life-blood of our love and our Jesus. The big showing up in the small. The getting to pray for her future and hear her thoughts. I am tired, yes. But choosing to spend these ten minutes, here with her, are worth the loss of anything else for this instant. I can't say that I always take these moments but I am grateful that tonight I did. And I am learning to make space and time for the treasure of today.

P.S. Happy birthday to my amazing sister, Lindsay. You are the best auntie that my kiddos could hope for. We love you!!