I'm here

{Written on March 13, 2018}

Lately I've been writing in my head again. I do this from time to time, usually when life gets busy and I start feeling flustered and I realize that I haven't taken any time to get my thoughts out of my head. I write whole blog posts or chapters or captions for my photos. I write letters to my kids or thoughts about one subject or another. Yet, because i have not taken the time to get them out in some written form, they stay swirling around in the great abyss and plague me at the most inconvenient times, say, 2am. 

So here I am. Sitting on my couch. It's late. My babies are all sleeping, have been for hours. My husband is heating up water for my tea and I need to write. I need to write. I just finished listening to 'Teaching from Rest' by Sarah Mackenzie on Audible (for the second time), and was challenged to take time for my creative heart. Do something. Paint. Draw. Read. Write. Pick up a new hobby. Perfect a growing one. Do something for me that will fill me while being a good use of my time. Because an exhausted mama who doesn't even remember who she is anymore isn't really any good to anyone, is she? So writing it is. And maybe taking up watercolours next month, because, why not? There's always photography, of course, but that's a constant and never really goes away. I need to do something more. 



I have been thinking a lot about my personality these last few months. Homeschooling brought it on, actually. The funny thing about homeschooling is that it's unearthed a lot of things in me and my family that I didn't even know before. Good and bad. I had a lot of anxiety about starting this massive task of teaching my children. I felt convicted to it, almost like I had no choice. It was such a strong urge from the Lord that this was the path He had set before me, and to walk in it. But, I'm telling you, I was so scared. Because here's a little about me: I am not focused. I am not good at multi-tasking. I have an artistic heart that wants to create and run with the wind. I hate math. Really truly and forever hate it. I am an introvert and truly do enjoy my home and have no need to leave the house every day. (please no). Prior to starting our homeschooling life, I had this idea in my head that as a homeschooling mom, I needed to be super scheduled. I needed to be more organized. I needed to have set "school time" and treat it like regular school, just at home.

Well all those things could not be farther from the truth, and it's been such an incredibly freeing year for me. Truth be told, i have struggled a lot during these last almost seven years of being a mother. I have had a hard time figuring out where and how I fit. Trying to find my place in a world that often has felt stifling. I parented more out of what I wanted to be like, rather than it just coming from my heart. I longed for the joy I used to feel as a camp cabin leader in my teenage years. How I put all my effort and energy and excitement into those summers and cried tears of joy and sadness over all the kids I grew to love so dearly. Those were very formative years in my life and now, as an exhausted mother of four kids, I had become someone I hardly recognized and didn't want to see when i looked in the mirror. And to add homeschooling on top of that? Oh Lord, how can You ask that of me? I'm too tired. I don't have that kind of energy. I'm not organized enough. I don't get a lot done in a day. How am I supposed to add this to my list?



Somehow, this thing called homeschooling has set me free. I have rediscovered my passion. My purpose. It has set a fire in my soul for the hearts and minds of my children. I will set out on this new course, this less-traveled path. I will not settle for less, but I will fight for the time to spend with my kids. This visionary heart that I used to have is back and I am focused. I have discovered that all the things that I thought were cons about my personality have actually become things that I am so thankful for. We can start our mornings slow and steady while we eat breakfast and I feed the little one. We can memorize scripture while we drink tea, and have fascinating conversations about what God is teaching us. We can study famous artists and their work and be inspired to create our own art. We can read our latest novel and get swept up in finding Ginger Pye and learning about New York City with Chester Cricket and hoping against all hope with Laura and Mary that Pa will make it home in the blizzard. Slow and steady. Not rushed. Not on a time crunch. Just slow and steady. Interruptions don't drive me crazy (well, they aren't always welcome, but since I am not so task-oriented, they don't drive me crazy). We can figure out math together, and take dance breaks when it gets to be too much. We snuggle on the couch. A lot. We work together and the kids are all learning to make meals and do chores. I diffuse oils (yep I'm that person now) and we listen to classical music while we learn. The realization that I can create an environment of learning and growth, of family and togetherness, of peace and calm, was so freeing for me. The fact that God didn't require me to be someone else, or forget to give me all the good traits (haha) to be able to effectively teach my children was awe-inducing. Truly. God made me as I am, and gave me the children that I have, for a distinct purpose. 

As He did for you too. Isn't that incredible? The fact that God has set out a course for each of us and has made us WHO WE ARE FOR A REASON. And in our weaknesses and faults, we can grow and learn, and in our strengths (because every personality type has them!) we can thrive and live out our days with purpose. 

And the best part? I have enjoyed my kids more this year than any other time. Truly enjoyed them. Delighted in them. Gotten to know them. Cried deeply with them and laughed hysterically with them. One of my prayers has been that my kids would be close to each other. That they would be each others' best friends. That they would stick together and find security in our family identity. And I am seeing a shift in the way they interact with each other and it makes me so hopeful. I love that I get to have all four of them under one roof with me every single day. 



Yes, and if you're wondering, OF COURSE we have days that it's just not going well. Days where it feels like the kids may end up killing each other if i don't intervene. Days where it is a fight to get the kids to the table for reading time. Days where the tea spills and Zeke has to poop before I have even finished the first page in our novel. Days where I am feeling too exhausted to care about math and want to throw it all away. Days where I send them outside and call it an outdoor exploring day instead. Yes. But that's ok. That's just life and I am figuring it out and learning as I go.

So thanks for listening. Or reading, I guess. Sometimes it's good to just let some of the thoughts out to make room for new ones. Or something like that. :)