Ahhh February… the month that always goes by the fastest but feels the longest. This month was a crazy one in our homeschooling family of seven. Commence photo journal!
On the upside, we’ve had many pleasant days: quiet afternoons reading books, random coffee times with our wonderful neighbors, family days building extravagant snow forts (wood stove included) and playing “to bean to bean” with the kiddos (our youngests made up version of Bonanza), brunch outings with great friends, skating with Emerson for the very first time, movie nights, and a last minute surprise date that brought joy to my heart!
Homeschool has relaxed quite a bit from our push in fall. We are on schedule and lazy about our days. My tight grip on what “needs” to get done has lightened. The complaints of the kids are met with grace and a lightened load. School often looks goofy and unprofessional, like this:
We have also spent many extra hours in front of screens, which I plan to put an end to by the end of the month! (But they are so cute, huddled together, wasting all sorts of precious time…hey at least there’s no fighting!!)
And another highlight, my BABY turned 4!!! Where has the time gone?!? I still remember having 2 in diapers while trying to homeschool and deal with a VERY demanding toddler! Now those sleepless nights and physically draining days are over!! But oh, I sometimes miss having a baby in the house!
On the difficult side, we dealt with sickness (one kid had the flu and another had a intense case of food poisoning, which thankfully, no one else was affected by) two terrible migraines which lasted for days, a lot of boredom and kids out of sorts, terribly cold days, struggles with a dear friend, and just all around sadness for disappointments that have happened in the last few years.
There has been ALOT of time spent this month figuring out how to navigate through this unfamiliar situation we are in. This, of course, brought about a lot of self reflection, a lot of prayer and flipping through old, long forgotten journals.
There is so much treasure there, in reading back about how God has worked in the past! There are so many trials that God brings about in our lives to shape us, so many people who come in and out of our lives at just the right time in different seasons, and looking back, EVERYTHING has God’s finger print all over it!
Its also quite humorous to me that I have a certain picture of who I am and who I used to be, and I often look back with fondness on those early years of motherhood and marriage, thinking that everything was easier, that I was probably a much better person back then.
And then I actually go and read in my journal about such times and the funny thing is I am shocked to read about the terrible mistakes I made…and, how yes, God is changing me after all! It’s just so slow a process, that I forget who I was a decade ago. A person who struggled intensely with anger and lying, with an unfaithful heart, with gossip, with self righteousness, with immaturity and outbursts. And I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief because God is in the business of shaping my heart. God is in fact, through the fights, the tears and the struggles, shaping all of us. Whether it’s letting go of my control, or whether it’s encouraging gentleness and patience with each other.
Examples of this? Emerson wanted to help make his cupcake toppers, and this year I actually let him!!! Previously, I would’ve absolutely not even thought of allowing such thing, because I am the cake decorator. Bella wanted to do something in Language Arts other than going over the difference between nouns, pronouns, verbs and proverbs… which by this point in the year is getting dreadfully boring, so we simply shut the books and allowed room for creativity. She decided to make a horse encyclopedia. Perfect. Art, ELA, copywork and handwriting practice all done in one project that she loves. Jonas followed suit and made a cheetah encyclopedia.
I’m learning what matters, and what doesn’t. It hasn’t been easy, but the kids can be kids, without needing to feel anxious when they are less than perfect. They are free to live KNOWING that they are loved, flaws and all.
This February I have also been a part of a parenting course which is another step in shaping the way I view children and respond to them. And oh, if I could start Motherhood all over, knowing what I know now! How I regret how harsh I was during my first three children’s early years! But even in this, there is grace…children are so forgiving.
So that was my past month.
It was stressful, it was joyful, it was hard, it was fulfilling, it is LIFE. And I’m praying every day, “Oh God, help me to slow down and enjoy it. Help me to not take this chaos for granted. Help me to remember to love deeply through it all.”