December 6, 2011

Hope

When it sticks in your throat, squeezes your heart and brings tears to your eyes, hope is painful.

When it rouses a smile, paints a dream and makes you believe, hope is beautiful.

When all is lost, life is black and breathing a waste, hope is hidden.

When you finally know it will all be worth it, hope is the voice of God.

 

I didn’t intend to wax poetic, but that’s just what is was today. When I can see this day in hindsight, I will have brilliantly positive things to say about it.

December 1, 2011

A Day in the Life

Thursday. I take a deep breath, ready for the end of the week. It has been pretty typical, with moments of pleasure pierced through with shots of teenage rebellion, housework and bills.
I tend to grade my weekly performance on Thursday. Have we stayed caught up on school work? A+ this week. Did the housework get done. B. Did we fight? Big fat F. Did we solve it? I’ll give us an A because we didn’t stay mad.

I used to say the biggest challenge to homeschooling was feeding them three times a day. That’s not so true anymore, because they are old enough to take care of themselves, so I only cook dinners for them now. I used to struggle with finding time for myself in all the chaos. Not so much anymore, I’d rather spend some quality one-on-one time with my Hubby. The biggest challenge right now is focus. It’s so easy to sit in front of my computer and loose the day to a little of this and a little of that. Forget to call the kids back to class. Forget to get something out for dinner. Forget that I’m supposed to be writing a novel.

By Thursday, I count up the lost moments, the lessons we’re behind on, the housework that will have to be caught up, and I grade myself. Then I call on Grace. How I wish Grace was a warm, grandmotherly figure who would come wrap her arms around me and whisper that it’s okay. Grace is not something I can see, but it is something I can feel. It is something that I can give, and hold on to at the same time.

Grace says every day is a new day. Grace says forward progress, in the smallest way, is worth celebrating. Grace says it’s okay that I fought with my teenager, because the day ended with a hug, and an ‘I love you,’ and the knowledge that we get another chance to work on our relationship tomorrow. Grace is the reason I don’t run screaming into the street, “I give up!”

The grace I showed on Monday, was given to me on Tuesday. The grace I needed on Wednesday is renewed today. It is the only reason I can face my weekly report card and know that everything is going to be alright.

So, today, we are on schedule with schoolwork, the meatballs are in the crockpot and the fingers are flying over the keyboard. Grace is all over me and my family. It’s a good day, every day.

November 22, 2011

On the desk…

Occasionally I have to clear my desk. Today was that day. It seems that what my desk looks like is the picture of my brain. Clean and clear – good to go. Cluttered – oh, what, oh, what am I doing? I’ve had such a serious loss of focus going on lately, it was time to clear the desk. Funny, I couldn’t even think about what to blog about, until I cleared my desk. Now look at me go!

Life is like that. Clutter happens. It happens in our homes, in our minds, in our hearts and in our relationships. Too much stuff. I like stuff – I like looking at stuff, I like having stuff to play with, stuff to wear, stuff to watch and read. I definitely like having something nice to drive. At some point, though, that stuff gets in the way. We can’t see what’s important, can’t focus on priorities. Coming up on Thanksgiving, I think it’s the perfect time to declutter our hearts and minds, and see what’s important. Life is about the people around us, and how we interact with them. When our lives are cluttered, we let ourselves be the worst version of ourselves with the people who mean the most to us. I find myself short-tempered with my sons, and lacking affection for my husband, all because I’m worrying about things – books, clothes, gadgets. The list of distractions is endless.

This Thanksgiving, I’m including the whole family in preparation – well, my hubby and the boys,anyway. The dog needs to stay in the other room when I cook. It will be a simple meal, with foods I know we’ll all enjoy. Most of all, it will be time to spend with the three most important guys in my life. Just the thought of it makes me feel more calm, more focused.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!