I said at the very beginning of this year that this was going to be the year of reading, and that is proving to be true. This has been a year of reading more than of writing, and that has been a good thing. A year of listening more than of speaking.
I have things stirring within that I want to talk about, and yet I feel the need to let them simmer. The need to keep them close and not to expose them yet. The need to allow them the space for pondering and being stored up rather than for for rapid exposure.
This is unlike me.
I like to get my thoughts out there quickly. I tend to jump around. A lot. I tend to not follow through on thoughts to their finality.
I am not very patient.
This is not the best trait in a home school parent.
We have begun our third year of homeschool and I find myself with those mornings of agitation; those mornings of not having all my ideas in order and all the plans completely in place. The agitation that the kids are two steps ahead of me and will be asking what is next before I can tell them.
The agitation of being unprepared.
I hate that. Kind of the opposite of patience.
Part of my lack of preparation is because I am trying to keep up with reading for my own sanity…reading to fulfill my own refreshment and deepening as well as for educating the chi’dren. I am still finding the balance.
This morning, our third Monday into our third year of home school, something truly wonderful happened. There was just that moment of “Ahhh…..yes.”
It was not a brilliant moment of insight or of imagination or of grasping a deep truth. It was not a moment of the boys hanging on truths of history. No, it was laughter during prayer and prayer that rambled and was sincere in its humor and transparency.
Prayer that ended with “I pray that Mom doesn’t ground me for this prayer.”
A morning of lingering breakfast, of reading a novel out loud over cereal and chocolate milks, leading into prayer and Bible reading without rush. An awareness that patience is growing in myself even when I am not completely prepared, and even more importantly, that friendship is growing among three young men. Awareness that home school is right for this moment, and that history is being learned, along with math and science and English…but that they are in this moment not the most important.
See…the thing is, I cannot force these three boys to enjoy each other and to grow in affection toward one another. I cannot force the atmosphere that happened this morning. When I rush the day and have all the plans worked out to the minute, often what I want the most is simply impossible.
Sometimes what I need is my lack.
This morning was that glimpse I needed. The awareness that my insufficiency will not overwhelm this endeavor. The awareness that I do not have to lay everything out all at once. I can hold back and ponder and be patient. I do not have to rush. There are moments which call for some lingering.
Did you hear that? Our insufficiency will not overwhelm the endeavor called life. In our weaknesses….God’s power is made perfect.
Everything moves so incredibly fast, it seems.
Lingering and pondering…these seem like old-fashioned ideas. And yet….they are so vital. It is hard to be agitated when you are lingering and pondering. Sometimes it is good to sit with our insufficiency a little, sometimes it gives us the space to ponder and to linger and to find that God has done something we could not do ourselves.
The rest of the day we turned our attention to our tasks with a diligence that was engaged with humor and friendship.
So, I tuck my thoughts back in close and let them simmer a little longer. I’m thankful for those of you who keep popping in to read. I’m thankful to have a place to write…and I know there are more things stirring….