Tag Archives: homeschooling

Back to School


September ushers in change in routine, in seasons, in the order and rhythm of our days, and it marks our 18th year of homeschooling.

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Two sons and a daughter have already graduated from high school leaving me with just two for the first time in many years — a freshman and a senior. Our senior is home for just this final semester before graduating early to pursue her dreams. New rhythms.

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September inaugurates our most recent high school graduate into college. Our first to commute. Rhythms of change.

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September also finds our firstborn, a recent college graduate, home simultaneously looking for employment, leading worship, and building his own photography and graphic design business, the tools of his trade sprawled throughout the family room. New rhythms.

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This September whispers fresh creative wind to our second son as well via 3-D design, life-size costume armor and weaponry, game development and design, and brand-new built-ins he designed and created with his Dad. Rhythms of hope.

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September brings with it a return to Children’s Hospital and familiar routines. This week our daughter had surgery to place a permanent port. What grace that her best friend, who’s been with her through every hospital stay over the past three years could be with her this week too, one last time before he flies across the ocean to experience brand new rhythms of his own. Rhythms of grace.

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September sunshine beckons us outside for as long as possible. Winter is coming. We’ll relish the days and welcome the familiar rhythms of time to steep in great literature and feast on fine poetry.

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September in our house means flu shots for everyone, and the chance to bless another too, and offers opportunities to learn something new, like volleyball. A brand new rhythm and pace for our days.

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September — days of order and grace, routine and change, Back to School in myriad, diverse and creative ways. Rhythms of faith and grace.

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*Joining a wonderful group of photographers and writers this month in the Circle of Faith in Words and Image blog circle as we explore the topic,
Back to School. Find all the links here:
Pollywog Creek
Captured Bits of Beauty
What Marty Sees
Spy Journal
Live, Love, Laugh, Hope

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Filed under Circle of Faith in Word and Image

The Currency of Zero


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“Did anything surprise you?” my husband asked.

“Not really,” I answered a little too quickly. “I know myself pretty well. I could have told you where I’d end up without answering all those questions.”

Pause. My husband wisely waits me out sometimes.

“Well, I guess one thing surprised me. For the past 21 years, I’ve been immersed in the area of my absolute weakness. Do you know I scored a zero – A ZERO! – in the Motivator category?”

“It’s what I do every day. Every single day. Motivate. Encourage. Find hope. Seek good.

“A zero. Not one single point. And this, this is where God chose to place me for the past 21 years? No wonder I’m exhausted!

For the past two decades, God has been chiseling away at my stubborn independence, sanding off my “I don’t really like other people” edges, teaching me to make eye contact when I’d rather just walk on by, encouraging me to step outside myself where I can be very content, and placing me in a household of ever increasing population.

And I’m not a people person. At all. I struggle with small talk. It actually makes me sweat. I can carry on a four-hour conversation about something that touches me deeply, but put me in a room where I need to converse casually and there is suddenly not a thought in my head. Not one. It’s embarrassing, my inability to chitchat, something I’ve struggled with all my life.

Enter five kids. And homeschooling. Add one mom who adores the quiet, the still, time alone to read, write and think in full sentences, and you get a glimpse of my life for the past two decades.

Deep and rich and good. Full and busy and peopled, spilling over with jackets and shoes and phones, laughter and tears and a crescendo of words, sometimes late, always worth it.

Yet for one who relishes time and space, solitude and quiet, who longs to retreat inside her own head, who all too often still has to remind herself to make eye contact with passers-by, to engage with the world at her doorstep, I’ve been stretched and chiseled and pruned by the Hand of God every single day of these past twenty-one years.

And isn’t that just like God?

To gather up the shards of our selfishness and pride and inconvenience? To choose, even when it stings, to winnow and sift?

To wrap His hands around our brokenness, our willfulness, our stubbornness and apply just the right amount of pressure to soften and mold?

To allow us the proper time to cure before sanding and glazing and firing?

To redeem the days, the shards, the years? Weaving the threads of His love into our hearts that we may one day be vessels fit for the King?

Brimful, spilling over, pouring out? To no credit of our own? But all to the glory of God?

Yup. That’s His Kingdom. Upside down and inside out.

Where the currency of zero is always precious tender.

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Filed under Devotionals