“Honey, I realized today that it has been 12 days in a row we have had to get in the car and go somewhere. I’m so glad today we don’t have to go anywhere.”
“Sarah, we leave for Biblestudy in an hour.”
Okay. I love Biblestudy, love our home group, and was very happy to be there last night. I was actually in the midst of cooking enchiladas and cupcakes to take to the home group with us, I just had not connected the concept that I had to leave the house.
Not so happy that the string of days is continuing. I looked at the calendar…the string will go to 18 days before we have a day without the requirement of loading up and heading out the door. I know for most of you that seems rather obvious; everyone goes somewhere pretty much every day, right? Well, with home school my goal is to stay put as much as we can, and this year it just seems that we cannot achieve that simple goal.
Dentist appointments, car registration renewal with the mandatory emissions test, tutorials, practices, church, doctors appointments, etc, etc….ugh.
Simple things add up to what feels like a fractured and distracted life. Mostly because I have never been the best at organization. I have always been the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type, always been the procrastinator, and now that I am mom and homeschool teacher I am realizing more and more how much I need to change. I have matured and become better at not trying to become Suzy Homemaker (which I will never be), but at trying to create an environment where family and faith can happen…or at least where there is the opportunity. A place where there is the space to understand each other and to be heard; a place where life can happen in all its messiness, but where there is a sense of calm and sanctuary.
That’s why the last 12 days, and the next 6, frustrate me. I don’t like feeling scattered and I want to have days at home to linger over the school work and to get the house in order. To cook good meals and to enjoy the process of being together and learning. Rather than rushing and marking off the to-do-list.
I do not respond well to the scattered feeling. I become agitated and frustrated and the spiral goes downward. The kids respond in kind.
Then I read this simple line in an article (the whole article is good, but this line caught me)
Staking Out & Creating Quiet Zones
Yes. It was one of those moments where everything just eased and I was able to focus. I have said before how there is this ache for silence and for quiet, especially in the midst of a household that is increasingly attracted to technology. We gave in whole hog to Twitter and Instagram and FaceBook leading up to Nate’s birthday in the hopes of catching Taylor Swift’s attention…and really just for the fun of the experience. It was fun, for a very short season.
Now, I want to stake out and create a quiet zone.
More than that, I want to teach my kids to do the same. I am continually convinced that this next generation is not going to understand how to handle distractions and noise. They are not going to know how to turn it off. That is one of my goals, and I think this may become one of my mantras.
“With the people I love most I can sit in silence indefinitely. We need both for our full development; the joy of the sense of sound; and the equally great joy of its absence.”
Stake it out. Protect that quiet zone and that space of silence. The author of the above article was addressing professional writing, but when we think of this in view of our walk in faith, it takes on even richer application.
Stake it out and protect that quiet zone and that space of silence that allows us the opportunity and the framework where we turn our attention toward God.
I’m hanging on for another six days and cannot wait for those three days in a row when we will not have to leave the house!!! Woohoo!! Today, however, I am eyeing the zones. I think this is one of the most difficult things about home school for me…finding the space to handle the usual household duties, the space to deal with personal things, and the space for educating, the space for parenting. Those things can be juggled and they happen somewhat organically…but the space and the zone for quiet is something different. We have to stake it out and protect it, or it simply gets run over.
Off to set some stakes…
Sarah, I just visited a family in NY who lives without computers in thier schools or homes and they have no TV’s either. They live in a bruderhof community. It was awesome. I was only there 4 days but it was such a peaceful time for me and I came back so rested. At night we actually talked and the kids either joined us or read books. I will have to tell you more in person but it was an amazing experience. I saw kids outside playing games and being active, planting flowers and harvesting veggies, etc. This was a totally different experience for me even though I don’t have small children it was good for me to have that “down time” without electronics. Yes I had my I-pod but I only used it a couple of itmes at night when I went to bed and used the phone to keep in touch with home but I didn’t have the distraction of the computer and TV. Someone even mentioned when I came back to work that I looked so rested. We do need that quiet time to gather ourselves together and just take time to be alone with God and our thoughts. I think everyone should have a quiet place even if they are not home schooling children or even have children. We should all make a time and place to be alone and quiet for a spell. Hope you get to stay home more as you really want to.
Wow, Carol…that sounds like a fantastic visit.
Steve and I have both tried to make it up to the monastery in KY every year, just for even a weekend of silence. It is amazing how even a couple days can restore you. Right now I am sitting in the room with three boys all playing on electronics…silence is sounding pretty golden!
I know it is balance…the boys love their electronics, and there are some valuable aspects. There are some vital aspects to developing a discipline of silence, though. I have to think it through more and find this rhythm for us. Looking forward to a calmer week this week!