Friday, September 9, 2011

Do Not Worry, Oh Do Not Worry!

In my life this week . . . All week long, the lilting melody of a  particular Seeds Family Worship scripture song has been running through my head . . . It's simply Matthew 6:31-34.

"Do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?'  or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own." 

I've read this passage countless times and finally finally finally get it.  Oh sure, I understood it before, but now I finally get it.    As in, I see how it completely applies to my life right now and how I can apply it so my family will thrive more.  And it has nothing to do with actual food, beverages or clothes for me.  It has to do with trusting God to meet my needs, whether they be the most basic ones listed, or more complicated ones.  As for the word trouble, you can read that in an Eeyore voice and start feeling pretty sorry for yourself.  But I tend to think of it more like this.  Each day is a gift, with lots of moments that you can pay attention to or choose to ignore.  Some of them are pleasant, some not so much, but we need to be present in all of them.  I can't check out of right now because I am too busy worrying about tomorrow.  What good will that do?  Tomorrow can just, well, worry about itself!   It's kind of like holding a grudge . . . the only one it's really hurting is you.

Our school schedule has been done and redone and done some more and I often feel that when I veer from my original, new, revised plan that I have somehow failed.   So I make another new plan to which I promise myself I will strictly adhere.  But then my kids' skills-interest-needs-whathaveyous change and I'm all aflutter again. 

This week I have taken a lot of time to pause. To be thankful.  To remember why we're homeschooling and why we're here.  I've taken time to squeeze my kids and enjoy their laughter (and a few tears - we had one long, difficult day).  When I've wanted to linger over my schedule, I have simply just not.   I've chosen not to worry about it.  We are going to learn, have fun and love each other . . . and that's it.  It doesn't have to be as complicated as I like to make things.

It's been a lovely, peaceful week that started sweetly, got a little lumpy a couple of times in the middle and then ended sweetly.  Like a neat little sandwich.

In our homeschool this week . . . My favorite day was Tuesday. One child up was early, one up quite late, but what a blessing to spend sweet time with my son alone.  We had an argument at bedtime, something about blankets not being straight enough and I did not have the patience he needed from me, so snuggle time, coloring together and listening to quiet music softened the morning.  My daughter woke up at 10am, so very late, but she was exhausted and needed the rest.  She got dressed, fixed her own breakfast and sunk into the couch with us to enjoy our first devotional from Our 24 Family Ways.  The challenge today is to find a practical way to love God with all of our hearts, souls and minds . . . we decided to withhold anger and retaliation from each other when we feel hurt.  In other words, if one child snatches a toy, the other child will not smack her in revenge, not because we know better, but because we want to show love and grace to one another in order to glorify our heavenly Father. 

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share . . . I realized that I need to remember my little son is male . . . that he needs his body to be busy but also needs space, downtime and an opportunity to decompress . . . much like a grown man.  Oh, woe is me, should I try to baby my little man in training. 

Also, write out the schedule in pencil. It will change.  And that's okay.

Questions I have . . . How much longer will it take me to fully loose myself from the school equals buns in seats mentality?  It is a constant struggle and I don't understand why!  Or maybe I do.  It might be surely is fear of failure, concern over other people's impressions of my family and my lack of confidence.

I am inspired by . . . Seeds Family Worship.  I love their music.  I love what they do.  I love that when you buy a CD, you get two -- one to keep and one to give a friend.

Places we're going and people we're seeing . . . My cousins-in-law and their dog visited last weekend and so did my husband's best friend.  It was a huge blessing for the guys to hang out. 

Today we got to meet a new little girl at our co-op and my daughter is having an after lunch girls-only playdate.  We also stopped at the post office and decorated three packages with at least fifty 17 cent stamps.  The recipients will get a laugh when the packages are delivered, but seriously! They keep changing the postage rates and I need the old stamps out of my piles.  Finally, we treated ourselves to a lunch of soft pretzels and lemonade at a local farmer's market. 

My favorite thing this week . . . Nine years ago, we bought an old house, fixed it up a little, moved in, fixed it up a lot more, moved (almost two years ago), finished fixing up the house and now it is finally on the market.  After being officially listed for just over a day, we have already had several people view the house!  I know it looks good . . . my husband has amazing vision . . . and I think it is priced right.  We will see!

What's working for us . . .  Number 7 on Ann Voskamp's list of 10 Grace Prayers for Joyful Parenting.   "Just for today, I will ask for His grace, the moment when I am most repelled by a child's behavior, that is my sign to draw the very closest to that child." 

Things I'm working on . . . Not getting caught up in bedtime, being more purposeful in sitting and reading chapter books and history books aloud to my children while they play on the floor, letting the mess stay where it is in exchange for moments with my children.

Things I'm reading . . . One night this week I went to the library by myself for the first time in at least 10 years.  Don't tell anyone, but I spent at least ten minutes just wandering around smelling the books.  I checked out three titles: The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers, Julie and Julia by Julie Powell and Coming Attractions by Fannie Flagg.  I was so excited about Coming Attractions because I had never heard of it and thought I was going to get to read another great novel by one of my favorite southern authors until my husband pointed out that Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man is the exact same book.  I felt a little sheepish about that one.   I think I can read the two books in two weeks if I turn off the television, but it's more likely I will be renewing them twice so I can have them for six weeks!

I'm cooking . . . with my children. 

I'm grateful for . . . slightly improved vision, spiritually speaking . . . the ability and opportunity to homeschool . . . friends who call me just to talk through things.

I'm praying for . . . for my husband to do well at work in the next few crucial weeks.  What happens this month and next will set the tone for the next six months.

A photo to share . . .

I caught everyone having a little reading time on Monday after our guests left. They must have been craving quiet.



  1. Great idea, Laurie. I am going to steal it (kind of) - I'll link back to you and Weekly Updates. I always enjoy reading your musings :)

  2. You are a blessing and an inspiration, Laurie! <3


  3. Thanks, girls! I got an update on our house and realtors have been showing it nonstop all day. Wowsa! God is good!

  4. We love SEEDS Family Worship, too!

  5. I loved reading your post and look forward to seeing what else you are doing this schoolyear!

  6. Sounds like a wonderfully "cozy" week. Love the snuggling, and the together time, and the ability to get rest when needed. What a blessing to be able to homeschool.

  7. Love what you have to say here. Love the snuggly time. Love that I'm not the only one struggling with overcoming the "school equals buns in seats" mentality. We can do it! :)

  8. We love Seeds Family Worship! And, it's okay, my schedule keeps adjusting, too! Sometimes it's hard for the planner to let go of the schedule - that's EXACTLY why I stopped typing up my schedule in a daily planner for weeks at a time. :) If I missed one math lesson, it was the most TEDIOUS thing to fix. Glad to know that someone else started using a pencil - erasers are our friends!

    Very inspiring post! Thank you!
    Brandy at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

  9. I can so relate to your post! Our schedule keeps going out the window, too. I just need to let it go!

  10. I"m soo relating to numerous items on your post... the inspiration of SEEDS to really let Scripture SOAK in and bring understanding/application! And then Ann Voskamp's friends and I chatted about #7 recently... so needed! And then having a schedule in pencil....a plan but in pencil so it fits us, our kids and our day:)

    So glad that your house is getting some traffic!

  11. "...write out the schedule in pencil. It will change. And that's okay." -- That is SOOOOO true!!! :)

  12. I love quiet reading time! I crave that quiet as well :) great post!