Owl's Head Lighthouse, Owl's Head, ME

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My life revolves around four complicated and special children, a husband who is as much of a people person as I am not, and way too many pets.  Chronic illness, homeschooling, home management and just trying to figure out how to love each other well, keeps me occupied hour by hour.  I am burdened to share the truth of God's Word and show examples of His grace in my own daily life. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flexibility---a mother's perspective

Flexibility is not one of those character traits that I ever felt I really owned. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. That can sometimes be great, but most of the time it is just a great big road block in my life. In the realm of housework, it just DOES NOT WORK! If you don't believe me, just try it for a week. It usually ends up with me either spending an 8 hour day washing dishes, or my husband arriving home at the end of the week only to find he must go invest in large packages of disposible dinnerware. How bad is that? Not the way I want my kids growing up!

Into the homeschool realm, unfortunately, I carry this lack of character. Flexible? Yes, if you mean, "can I bend over to do the wash?" When it comes to things upsetting my well-laid (or not so well-laid; depends on who you ask) plans, I just don't adapt well. I have been a mother for almost 12 years. One would think, that by now I would be an expert at adapting. But for each time my plans have fallen through (in my terms, "failure"), I seem to have only become more determined to succeed at my next set of plans. I have heard that what we learn from history is that we never learn from history. Sad, but true.

Knowing that I would be babysitting alot over the next couple of weeks, I made a snap decision to try a new lesson schedule that would totally change the way our homeschool works---started yesterday. Hmmmmm. Today I have a toddler and a preschooler added to the mix. Maybe I would become more flexible if I developed a better method of planning. No doubt I will make a plan to work on that soon, too.

As my morning schedule deteriorated one minute at a time, I resorted to my default mode of general waspishness (not a character trait I am really looking to pass on). Coffee can only overcome so much, and it wasn't working here. OK. Scrap the schedule. There is no partial schedule with me. No siree... "Go play kids! This isn't going to work." I sit down to drown my sorrows in e-bay when I hear my daughter gently talking with the youngest visitor of the house. Thoughtfully, she plays and interacts with the younger children, in spite of the fact that her routine (she's a routine girl) has been tromped all over. I am humbled. Why is it that in 36 years of life I have not been able conquer this area? I should have been the one to adapt and pull everyone together for a time of stories and gentle group learning.

The Lord uses so many things to get our attention, not the least of which is our children. I frequently feel the Lord gave them to me for that purpose, and that I am getting the better end of the deal. Can I be the mother they need? What was I thinking? The truth is that very few people know what they are getting into when they have children. They bring out the best and the worst in us, and yet still love us, unconditionally. Wow.

This afternoon we are having a thunderstorm. The rumblings have been going on now for awhile. That same daughter says, "I hope it rains, we always have such a good time together when it rains." (Yes, she is my daughter; can you believe it?) So we will enjoy the time. Read a little. Hang out. Definitely learn a little. No, it might not have anything to do with spelling, but it will be beneficial.

I am marking it down. Tomorrow I am going to work on my plan to become flexible. We'll see how that goes.

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