Friday, August 31, 2012

So Long, Summer...and Thoughts for a New School Year







Even though fall is still a few weeks away, we'll be saying farewell to summer this weekend!
Life shifts gears sooner than the weather. :)
I think I'm beginning to feel at peace with the closing of another season....and for the new chapter ahead.

***

I mentioned in the comments section of my last post how I'm feeling a little jittery these days, with the school year approaching!  It's true. :)  I think most homeschooling Mama's feel this way to some extent, especially during these final weeks of August, and in the beginning weeks of lessons.

In years past, my worries always had a lot to do with curriculum choices, or about whether I'd be able to teach my kiddos well enough.  Thankfully, most of those concerns have healed over time.






But there are still some things that make a Mama look into the coming year with some uncertainty.

Like whether she'll be able to make everything happen as it needs to.
Will she stay focused?
Will she get distracted...discouraged...de-motivated?
Will she maintain the discipline she needs?
Will she persevere in January, February, March, when it's so hard to keep going?


I recently had a wonderful morning of coffee & conversation with a dear friend, who has made the decision to homeschool her boys this year.  She asked me about schedules and routines, and getting it all done - and I really wanted to tell her that it all would be easy & fine, that everything would just fall into place as she figured out what worked for her family.....

But I stopped short of painting a totally rosy picture.  Because the truth is, it doesn't always happen that way.  At least, it hasn't for me....or for the homeschooling Mama's that I've known, for that matter.

Homeschooling isn't always easy.

Here on my blog, I choose to post about the things in our life that are beautiful and joyful and good....because that is what I want to focus on every day, and what I want to remember.  But for as many days of peace and joy and contentment that we have (and don't misunderstand me, there are plenty!)....there are also days of frustration and discouragement.

But....that's okay.




Because it seems that anything in this world that is truly worthwhile, comes at something of a cost.  And truly....if you are a Christian Mama, then you will probably agree that homeschooling is more than just a method of education, it is in fact a special ministry to your children.  Like Motherhood, it is a vocation.  A mission.

And by that definition, you can bet it won't always be easy.

~~~~~***~~~~~

I've been pondering this quote over the past week, as I look ahead to our next school year....and it brings me great peace.  So I will share it with you, too :)

"We must grow in love and to do this we must go on loving and loving and giving and giving until it hurts - the way Jesus did.  Do ordinary things with extraordinary love: little things like caring for the sick and homeless, the lonely and the unwanted, washing and cleaning for them. 
You must give what will cost you something.  This, then, is giving not just what you can live without but what you can't live without or don't want to live without, something you really like.  Then your gift becomes a sacrifice, which will have value before God.  Any sacrifice is useful if it is done out of love. 
This (is) giving until it hurts..." 
~ Bl. Mother Teresa, from A Simple Path

It comforts me to realize that on the frustrating days...the discouraging days...or the days that don't go according to plan.  Or that follow a sleepless night...or that bring the flu....or tears....or whatever life happens to throw our way.

I can go right on teaching and caring, washing and feeding, however imperfectly ~ and my labor is still valuable to the One who has called me to do it.  Maybe even more valuable, if I do it in a spirit of love, in spite of the difficulty, out of love for Him.



That certainly isn't easy, at all.  Sometimes it can be exhausting.

But maybe.

Those might just be the days when He is most able to work through me toward my family.  Beyond just the education of their minds...for the cultivation of their souls.

~~~~~***~~~~~

Wishing you a beautiful and lovely Labor Day Weekend!
I'll be back on Tuesday with some 1st day pics. :)
In the meantime, I'll be saying a little prayer for your homeschool....I hope you'll do the same for mine. :)
Blessings,
Collette

12 comments:

  1. yes, I am praying for you and your beautiful family. Each year is a new season. of school, motherhood, and life.

    God bless.

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  2. Welcome to a new school year! And God's mercies are new every morning! yay!
    I think you're doing a terrific job already; your love and abilities shine through to your munchkins. And since God loves them even more (!! crazy, isn't it!!), He has His lesson plans ready to go for them this year, too :>) And our awesome God knows what's ahead, and wonderfully prepares them. And you, too ♥
    Here's to the Great Adventure ahead! (The good, the hard, the accomplishments, and failures that will all make us cling closer to our Lord)
    p.s. The nighttime s'more photo is terrific! And what a neat juxtaposition - the day closing on the last flower photo with the fire in the background. Perfect closing of summer capture!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Karen! It definitely is reassuring to know my kiddos ~ and our homeschooling! ~ are ultimately in His hands!
      LOL...these photos were from throughout the summer, & I was holding onto them for a few post ideas that I just didn't have time to write up. Completely accidental...but I thought it made a neat end of summer theme, too :-)

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  3. Such lovely words and thoughts : D Choosing to homeschool is not an easy path, but we're blessed that we can and we have. Praying you have a fruitful and fulfilling year with your family.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny! We are very blessed Mama's, indeed. :) Praying for your school year, too!

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  4. Thinking of you so much today... I was dumping out smaller flower pots and cutting back in the yard, things I do not usually do this soon, but in order to keep from falling behind and keep things moving I decided to go ahead with it. Which made me think about what you said: "Life shifts gears sooner than the weather." so true. :-)

    Have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Hi, Carissa!! Thanks so much for stopping by & for your kind words! It does seem like each year is a new season in itself, & I'm starting to think that Life moves a little faster than these seasons, too! :) But, whether we feel "ready" for it or not...we take the step of faith and go for it, right?? Love your gardening story!

      Thinking & praying for you and your family, too! And wishing you a beautiful week.
      Popping over to visit & catch up w/you soon. :)

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  5. G'morning again! I was just showing Justin your photos (ah! those kids are so adorable!) - and noticed how cool that Peanut was holding the bug against the backdrop of a bug applique on his shirt :>) Have a fun day!

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    1. Lol, also unplanned, but pretty neat!
      Some backstory for his Aunty, Uncle & Cousins :-)
      That was his very first lightning bug - and he was quite pleased to finally hold one! BUT.....his pudgy fingers squished it (lol). And he *really couldn't* understand why it wouldn't fly or move, lol! More than a few lightning bugs were squished that night....
      Say hello to all The Boys for us!

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  6. A beautiful post, Collette! I love the quote that you shared too...it's very inspiring. Thank you for sharing:)

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  7. Shifting gears...
    We are somewhere in the middle of gears.
    This is all so true.
    Happy off and running, home learning year to you.
    XO

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  8. Thanks for the encouraging words I so needed this week. I just copied the exerpt from Mother Teresa's book and a couple of your thoughts to post on my bathroom mirror to encourage me each morning. This is our first year homeschooling having pulled our children out of public school and I want so bad for it to be the rosy picture I see when I look at some of my homeschooling friends' families but so far it is not. But, one day at a time, I continue to hope that it will be.

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Things are pretty busy around our house, so I can't always leave as many replies as I would like to. But please know that I look forward to reading every note you send my way - they brighten my day! Blessings,Collette

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