I have had something on my mind for a week or so now, and it has to do with making beauty out of chaos. Really I think it has been much longer than a week or so, much longer. I feel like God has distilled it down to a pure form for me recently, though. I have always (always!) struggled with feeling that I am inadequate because of my seeming inability to organize, focus, complete a task, be consistent...(need I go on?) I shudder to think of all of the labels that would likely be placed on me if I were a child in a public school today. Or, maybe I wish they had had those labels when I was a kid and they could have helped me! At any rate, here I am today with these ongoing issues which makes it quite difficult to run a household and homeschool well. In the past I have made resolutions, cried, pled with God to change me, and done battle with my tendencies to the point where I have come close to giving up completely.
But the Lord has shown me a new thing.
He made me. He made me the way that I am. He chose to put these precious children that I love in my care during their stay on earth. He must have wanted to use us to shape one another. I promise I am coming to a point (I think). I have been so busy waging war against my weaknesses according to my own plans that I have forgotten to rely on God to use my strength to DO anything! I plan, plan plan everything and then don't do it. Because it's all my plan and I never asked God what should I be putting first? What is the most necessary? What is the MOST important in God's order of priorities?
Rather than make new commitment to overhaul my life and set an unattainable standard that I cannot reach, I am setting one goal for the next 100 days. ONE. To each and every day have breakfast with my children all around the table and not get up from the table until we have together read in God's Word and prayed together. It may sound like I am not asking a lot of myself, this is not a tall order. But my hope and prayer is that as I put God first in our day he will meet me in my need for Him to help me bring order to the rest, a glimmer of beauty to the mess and the chaos. Today for the first morning I blazed a trail that I pray will become a well worn path in our life, an act as familiar and comforting as bedtime stories. When that path is well worn, then I can move on to blazing a bit of a new trail, and wear that one down, too. Romans 8:37 tells me the truth : "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." I cannot, will not conquer my weaknesses on my own but I know that He can turn my mess into something beautiful!
On a purely practical note, a couple of resources we have been using that have been GREAT are:
This book has been such an awesome guide / devotional / Bible study (whatever you would like to call it!) We have been loosely following along as our pastor preaches and teaches through Genesis we follow up with this the next week at home. For the older kids it is a great review of the sermon and a way to dig out some more gems from a kids point of view. For the younger girls, they are usually hearing it for the first time because they were in kids' church during the sermon so it helps keep them up with what we are doing in "big church" too. The author definitely doesn't leave out any of the tough stuff, and I would say it is geared toward mid to older elementary kids but she handles it well and I am always surprised at how the little ones have been listening when I thought they were just playing with silly bandz.
We were able to get this book through the PINES library system. I always like to get my hands on a book and look through it before I lay out the money (or Swagbucks!) for a copy, but I am thinking these are worth the investment. It comes with a CD, the lyrics to each hymn and a story about its author or origins. I have to laugh at myself because way back in the early days when I first became a Christian I thought hymns were so "old", and I wasn't at all a hymn type of gal. Well, turns out I am SO MUCH a hymn type of gal. Love this book !!
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