Category Archives: Homeschool

Cold Noodles

“I hate homeschooling.”  I told my husband in a text in mid-May.

I was very serious.

I had just shooed the toddler off the dining room table where he was dancing on the English papers.  The curtain was smeared with scrambled eggs.  Every. Single. Book. from the lowest bookshelf had been macerated into a pile on the floor.  We’d collectively agonized nearly three hours over math so all the other subjects backed up behind us.  I hadn’t managed to eat breakfast yet, but leftover eggs congealing in the pan didn’t look very appetizing.  I wished the maid hadn’t taken the day off (like she does every day).  The baby was hungry, the kids needed separating, the clean tissues needed restuffing back into the box.  It was raining outside and we still had errands to run.  It was a typical day, and no one was very happy about it.

You might think I’d have this down after having six children.  You might.  But this past year, I felt as lost as a toddler under a Wal Mart clothing rack, pressed in by so many little-sized t-shirts that it felt almost suffocating. There was so much to react to every day that being proactive about things like schoolwork often seemed like a pipe dream.  People commented, “How do you do it?” I simply shrugged.  I didn’t have a good answer.  I wished I knew how to do it too.

I had an infant, a crazy busy toddler, a preschooler in a wheelchair, and three elementary boys with fidgety ants in their pants when they sat still too long.  And we were all crammed in a small house where quiet study seemed an oxymoron.  I staggered out of bed many mornings, bleary eyed from lack of sleep with a nursing infant.  Sometimes I managed to get up for a few minutes of quiet to read and pray and simply think a complete thought before the morning madness pattered down the stairs.  Many other days I was shaken awake by the four year old’s ritual patting of my eyelids and singing the song of his people, “Mo-om, I neeed chocolate milk!”  Some days I wanted to agree with the condescending naysayers who looked at me and clucked their tongues.  “You must be busy!” they’d say as if they knew better than to tread in my shuffling footsteps.  I myself didn’t question if I had enough love for my kids.  But I did question if I had enough time to enact that love through an elementary education.

helping
helping

Granted, there are many great things about homeschooling.   I get lots of together time with my kids.  We can incorporate chores and life skills.  We catch teachable moments.  Younger ones benefit from trickle-down learning as the older ones do their lessons.  We can work around illnesses and vacations and doctor appointments.  I can cater to my kids’ individual learning styles – honing their strengths and gently stretching the muscles of their weaknesses.  I don’t have to pack lunches every night or scramble everyone out the door on bitter early mornings all winter.  We can foster healthy socialization in multiple peer groups beyond just physical age or ability.  I can protect them from bullying and peer pressure while they are still young and in need of a champion.  I get the singular joy of being the one to see the lightbulb turn on when they realize they’re able to read.  And of course, I obey the command of God who led me and my husband to train up our children in this way in the first place.

But.

But there’s a lot that the curriculum writers and Pinterest sites and positive statistics don’t reveal about homeschooling.  There are a lot of dark days in November and February when no one, least of all the teacher, want to do school, and the house is buried under months of snow and clutter and unfinished projects.  The toddler occasionally really does get neglected and does lots of pen and ink art on your white sheets.  The four year old hides pepperoni in the hole of the guitar.  Long division blurs the lines between logic and inhumane punishment.  The baby is colicky or teething and practices pterodactyl screeching though the morning lessons.  Everyone has a different learning style.  Mom has a headache for a straight month (that was the dreary month of April).  She gives up on science completely and also vows never to allow play dough or glitter to enter the house ever ever again.  She yells and feels guilty and lets them eat sugar when they really need a simple consequence and a carrot for a snack.  She cannot seem to teach spelling.  She feels like a complete and utter and lonely failure at this simple job of motherhood-marriage-homemaking-teacher-cook-chauffeur-planner-nurse-friend-plumber-seamstress-ultra marathoner-counselor-mortician-beautician-podiatrist-bug-killer which she is sure everyone else just does naturally.  She feeds her family cold leftover lasagna for supper because she’s in such a hurry for bedtime.  And she prays Dear God give me a bigger house because I will explode if we’re all on top of each other 24-7 for another year.  And she really thinks she might.

cold noodles
cold noodles

So it was with much prayer and a deep breath that I rolled out of bed on the first day of school this Fall.  I sat up – and killed a spider before my feet even hit the floor.  Great.  I hadn’t even said a word to the kids and already guts were everywhere.

“You’re sure you want me to do this?” I asked God for the thousand and eleventh time as I wiped spider legs off the baseboard.  “You remember me, the girl who hated math, who is anything but a leader, who has a baby and a crazy toddler, and who, I might add, knows some really great teachers – You’re positive that I’m the one most qualified for the job educating my precious offspring this year?”

And as He does, God gently pushed a verse into the fuzz of my morning brain.  “Follow Me, and I will make you…”

I know the context.  Jesus was talking to Peter in a heart-to-heart on the beach.  He had died and come to life again, but He wanted to hang out with His friends before He headed home for a while.  Peter had been shaken by his Friend’s death.  Peter had been so brave and strong, so outspoken, so sure of himself all his life. But he had crumbled like an October leaf when following Jesus turned out not to mean a valiant revolution ending in glory, but an unjust slide into humiliating  torture and shameful death.  When push came to shoving, Peter’s ego had fallen in the mud.  It was in this humble place, hearing Jesus’ invitation, that Peter had accepted the greatest job of his life.  It was the job he finally realized he was unqualified to do.  It was only Jesus’ call that qualified him to do it.

So I got up.  I fed my kids.  I read to them.  I cleaned chex mix off the floor and taught the four year old to hold his crayon right.  I practiced multiplication tables and phonics.  I showed them how to clean toilets and empty the dishwasher and pretend to let the 2 year old help.  I nursed the baby and studied earthworms with the four year old in the garden. And you know what?  I still yelled some.  I still felt frustrated and overwhelmed.  I still have trouble teaching spelling.  But maybe not so much.  Because He’s making me.  And that’s a process.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Neither are children.

Neither are teachers.

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Sisterhood of Yesterday’s Pants

I woke up on Saturday.  Yesterday’s jeans lay on the floor where I’d left them.  There was a dried spot of regurgitated milk on the left thigh, and a streak of garden dirt across the shins.  They were stretched out in all the places that you want jeans to stretch in.  But it was Saturday.  Of course, this doesn’t make much difference to a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom of sleep-defying toddlers, whose husband generally works weekends.  So to celebrate in the only way possible, I spit on the laws of the cultural laundry gurus.  And wore yesterday’s pants.
It is true that as a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom of sleep-defying toddlers, whose husband works weekends, I have the right to wear yoga pants pretty much 24-7.  If I want.  But I realized somewhere in the past decade that yoga pants are good for yoga.  And lounging.  And sleep.  And any time you’re not on the clock.  But they are not good for homeschooling, stay-at-home moms of sleep-defying toddlers, whose husbands work weekends.  Because those moms are not doing yoga.  Or lounging.  They are definitely not sleeping.  And they are, almost constantly, on the clock.   They – I – wear a lot of hats.  But more importantly, as chief cook and bottle washer in this joint – I have to wear the pants.

So I make it a point to get dressed every morning, even if I’m not stepping a foot beyond the front porch all day.  The most rebellious I get is wearing yesterday’s pants.  Don’t they say to dress for the job you want, not necessarily the job you have?  I want the job of a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom – who has it all together.
Which I don’t.
I came downstairs on Saturday morning and put some eggs in a pot to hard boil.  My husband left, coffee in hand, for a long day at the store.  He’d come home after the kids were in bed the night before, and wouldn’t be home during the children’s waking hours until the middle of the next day.  So it was my job to hold down the fort.

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The kids pattered down the stairs at exactly 7:02 a.m. (They have to stay in their beds quietly until 7 for the sanity of all humanity.)  Chocolate milk spilled at exactly 7:05.  Yet another of our old Berenstain Bears book covers was ripped off at 7:08.  The first fight of the day was broken up at 7:11 (they were late for the day.)  I nursed the baby for approximately 7 minutes until I remembered the eggs.  All the water was gone and the bottom of the pot was red hot.  So I threw away half a dozen slightly charred eggs around 7:19.  (We eventually got around to eating bananas and cold cereal an hour later.)  We dug through the laundry piles to find clothes for everyone.  I put the toddler’s pants on the 4 month old. I didn’t notice.  The toddler himself never got around to having pants until nearly lunch time.  He uses them as a napkin anyway, so it was probably for the best.

Wearing the pants doesn’t mean I do everything right.  I am tired.  I am frazzled.  Maybe it’s spring where you are, but I have been in the same season for a decade.  It’s the end of a hard school year in a really small house with a crazy toddler and a new baby and oh my the clutter.  My house was built before Americans were hoarders and there isn’t a single closet on the 1st floor and only a couple curtained off storage corners upstairs.  Stuff. Is. Everywhere.  Stuff can own you, not because it’s worth much, but because it requires so much.  Take the dishwasher, for instance.  Please.  It currently stinks because of old food buildup in its drain.  On Saturday, I had to pull on my big girl pants and clean it.  It is slimy down there.  Dark.  Mysterious.  And my almost two year old desperately wanted to join me because clearly it must be fun.  Why else would the lower half of Mommy’s five foot frame keep flailing to keep him from jumping on the dishwasher door and shaking the countertop loose?  It seemed like something out of a bad sci-fi movie where the evil alien slime robot sneaks into the house through the dishwasher drain and sucks unsuspecting homemakers out with yesterday’s congealed oatmeal.  (Which I’m not worried about here, because the drain is so full of yesterday’s oatmeal that he’d have to give up and try the neighbors instead.  We’re safe.)  It was not glamourous.  It did not seem glorious.

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But it was glorious.  It truly was.  I’m learning this.  God is most glorified when I am elbow deep in ancient bacon grease, because I am there doing the work He has given me.  The work of God is generally the dirtiest, most repugnant, least obvious.  It is the most needful.  If Jesus were walking the earth today, He would not be found in a sharp suit next to the proud CEO of a new non profit hospital on the front page.  You would be better off looking for Him holding back the ponytail of the tired single mom cleaning toilets on the old geriatric wing.

And He was there Saturday morning. With me.  Hallowing my dishwasher as I knelt before Him in yesterday’s pants.  One thing I’ve learned – you don’t need to dress up to meet your Maker.  In fact, many a conversation we’ve had as I stood too long in the shower, wishing I didn’t have to get out and face another snotty faced toddler or explain fractions or pay bills or wipe hot foreheads or stinky bottoms or watch my husband stagger as he brings home the hard-won bacon.

He is not God just at weddings and funerals and Sundays.

He is God at 2 a.m. when the whole world minus the baby wants to be sleeping.

He was God on Monday afternoon when the toddler dunked the iPhone in the muffin batter as my husband called to say he’d be working late.

He is God on the 12th round of chemo.

He is still God when good people die and bad men walk free on earth, when white is called black, when wrong is called right.

He is God who makes the sun rise again after a night when the world seems to have spun out of control.

He is God and I am not ashamed for Him to see me in yesterday’s pants because the uniform of the holy is made beautiful by stains of faithfulness.

He is God and He is good.  Even at dawn on Saturday mornings when your phone sounds muffin-y and your house smells like burned eggs and nobody else is wearing pants.  This is holy business, mamas.  This is worship.

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Between the Lines

Maybe I sighed as I threw the sixth load of laundry in the wash that afternoon.  After a hardy round of stomach flu circulating through the young male population of my house, I was in sanitizing mode.  And maybe I was tired.  Maybe I was just a little bit done.  Except, I wasn’t done, of course.  Motherhood starts with the marathon of childbirth and doesn’t really let up.  At least, it hasn’t for me in the last nine years.  Oh, I have wonderful, memorable, spectacular days as a mother and I absolutely love this life I’m called to.  But that doesn’t negate the fact that strings of sleepless nights catching puke falling from various bunk beds can make basic daily functions close to impossible.  Like explaining algebra.  And describing cancer.  And remembering to eat.

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hide me

So where was I?  Oh, at that place called done.  The dishes were marinading in a sink soup full of swollen cheerios, hard boiled eggs, and orange juice from breakfast and pickles and ketchupy-chunks of leftover chicken nuggets from lunch.  The aroma was starting to pervade the kitchen and blend with the overflowing trash.  The dining room table was piled with the half-finished remnants of math and the toddler’s attempt to doodle on every page of my planner, then rip out said page and stuff it in his mouth until soggy.  Someone had spent an inordinate amount of effort to painstakingly cut the corners off of several sheets of construction paper.  They kept cutting corners until there was no paper left.  Just snipped-off corners.  Hundreds.  Under the table.

The living room was paved with library books.  Most still appeared intact.  I only saw a few loose pages.  It was hard to tell, though, since half of them were buried under the other five loads of laundry that were waiting to be folded when I got around to it.

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It was getting close to supper time, but I didn’t have any idea what to make.  Half the clan probably wouldn’t eat much anyway, since it wasn’t staying down.  The other half was fragile, just recovering appetites and digestive function.  Chicken soup would have been nice.  If someone else could have made it.  Personally, I was starving.  But I didn’t have the time or ingredients for a decent supper now, nor could I find the counter space or a chance to run to the store.  Daddy wouldn’t be home from work for hours still.  He would sleep all-too-briefly and return to work while it was still dark.  It wasn’t the time to dump the dirty laundry in his corner.  Not today.

That’s when I noticed.  It was quiet.  True, the toddler had just climbed up on the little table behind me while I was staring dejectedly at the counter, and was now munching happily on several apples. (He alternated bites between the three that had been left there.)  So he was accounted for.  But I had four other boys.  Why was it quiet?  Had I missed the rapture and everyone left without me?

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Heart rate rising, I peeked around the corner and almost missed the bodies.  They weren’t moving.  The oldest was on the sofa amidst a pile of blankets and sheets which awaited a semblance of folding.  His face was hidden behind a chapter book on the pilgrims.  Only the toe sticking out from his old sock twitched languidly.  The second and fourth lay sprawled together over a big book with about a viking village, picking out the scruffiest looking caricatures on each page to claim as their own character.  The third was engrossed in a kids’ book about the body that we had pulled out earlier when talking about how germs make us sick.  He was propped up in one of the laundry baskets, unconsciously twirling a lock of hair into a tight knot on the back of his head.  I stared from the doorway.  What manner of witchery was this?

But as I gazed over the quiet chaos, I smiled.  This wasn’t really an unusual scene.  True, it was odd for everyone to choose the same activity at the same time, but the mess was certainly normal.  The haphazard bodies were normal.  But even the little minds soaking in books were normal.  And that was the beautiful thing.  It was the end of a school day, nearly the end of a sick day, the end of a messy, tiring, overwhelming day.   I couldn’t wait for it to end.  But in my Martha-like busy-ness, I was about to miss the delicate sweetness of this moment.  The overwhelming chaos so bulky in my view almost barred me from missing the whole point.

My kids were together, safe, warm, resting, healing.  And learning at the same time.  Yes, the house was messy and smelled like old diapers and used chicken.  Yes, we were officially behind on spelling practice and science experiments.  Yes, my husband would have to come home to eat cold cereal (again.)  Yes, I would probably be woken several times in the night to catch more puke.  But this simple moment – finding my children together, choosing to read – vindicated so much of the craziness of my daily life.

It’s a little thing.  But it made a world of difference to me that afternoon.  There is actually young fruit showing on the vines.  The scene reminded me why I stay at home as a mom, even though money can be tight on one paycheck.  It reminded me why I homeschool, even though it’s so difficult to get everything done for every grade every day.  This is why I plod through days when my back is sore and my eyelids are propped open with caffeine and all I really want is to cry or take a looong nap.  There are days when I see no proof in the pudding because the pudding is all over the baby and the floor and probably my cell phone.  But those days, I still have to keep mothering – and teaching – and housemaking – and chauffeuring – and cooking – and hugging – and trusting that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be.  And every once in a great while, I’ll see evidence to support it.

So I took a deep breath and went back to the kitchen.  Because I guess I’m not quite done yet.

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Mediocre

Sometimes I wish I were illiterate.  Honest.  I realize the irony as I write the words across the page on my blog.  But, sometimes, just for a moment, I wish that the burden of responsibility did not lie on my shoulders. I know too much.

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I’m knee-deep in curriculum for the coming homeschool year.  Bright sticky notes hang garishly all over the desk – to-do lists, grocery lists, books that have been purchased, books still to buy, blog ideas, Bible verses, funny quotes from my kids, chore lists, schedules, fall clothing needs, birthday lists, meal plans… Don’t tell me I need a planner.  (They are too compartmentalized, never handy when I need them, and can’t seem to last me more than a week.  And then I revert to sticky notes.)

It’s the homeschooling, homemaking, home-er-welming mother’s new school year resolution time.  I will lose the weight of last year’s teaching failures.  I will exercise my children’s minds every day.  I will be organized this year.  I will keep my house clean and hospitable.  I will make my children brilliant.  I mean, brilliant-er.

But of course, that will last all of a week.  And that next Monday I will wake up, roll my growing frame out of bed too late, and patter into the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, to sit forlornly with a cup of coffee staring at last week’s unfinished school and house lists.  And I will sigh.  And probably go buy a planner.

But of course, that’s not what I really need (though maybe this year it will help…)  And it’s not what my kids really need (though it’s not an excuse for them to skip math, or reading, or writing, or spelling, or science, or history, or art, or typing, or logic, or piano, or etiquette, or any of the bazillion other things they simply have to know before I can untie my apron strings- aurgh.  But I digress.)

Knowledge is power.  Of course I want my kids to be powerful.  But what if my quest for power is overshadowing a greater goal for them?

There will come a day when I will stand before the Judge of all the earth.  He will look at me with piercing eyes, and He will ask me one question.

It will not be, “What did you do with your sons?”

It will be, “What did you do with My Son?”

What good will it be to my own children if they can grow up to write computer code, give persuasive speeches, name every country and capital, philosophize, harmonize, digitalize, make lots of money, cure cancer, or even do the dishes without being asked – but they have not learned from me that the paramount object is to know Jesus?  Might they save the whole world, but lose their own soul?  If they did not learn this one thing from me, what a tragedy would be on my head.

This is not an excuse to be lackadaisical in my approach to teaching my children all they need to know.  I want desperately for them to learn, to know, to soak in and apply.  That is why we homeschool, that is why I pour my mind and energy into making their waking moments meaningful, and that is why I plan to continue.

But I would rather fail – utterly – teaching them even basic knowledge, but know they gained true wisdom.  If I had to choose.  Because I’m willing to bet even Jesus couldn’t find China on a map (based on what he learned during His school days anyway.)  I suppose He could cure cancer though.  Maybe it was because His mom had a really good planner.

Or maybe not.

Afoot and Underfoot

Call me crazy (maybe).  I’m starting our homeschool year this week.

I’m aware it is still technically summer, but if you can have Christmas in July, could there be a rule that says you can’t start school then?  (That’s rhetorical.  No.  There’s no rule.  Welcome to homeschooling.)

The baby is coming in several weeks.  The house is for sale, which means we could possibly have to pack and move in the months ahead.  The mother is realizing the impossible amount of one-on-one time that each child will require during the school session alone.  Nursing newborn.  Handicapped, curious toddler.  Energetic young kindergartener.  Kinesthetic, hands-on first grader.  Loquacious, social second grader.  I need to get a leg up on this year so it doesn’t overtake us before we even get to October.

There is a lot on my plate.  Mostly, I put it there consciously, heaping spoonful at a time.  I have heard of birth control, thanks for asking.  I’m aware of the public school system and daycare.  There are people who can help clean house and pack it up.  I’d like to think, however, that it is both my right and privilege to care for house and home and the children whom God has given me as a blessing.

But sometimes, I forget.

Just getting your attention, Mom
Just getting your attention, Mom

I was only mildly panicking as I collated lesson plan pages this week.  It seemed reassuring to see simple teaching assignments mapped out in black and white.  The stark lesson blocks boldly reassured, “You got this. “

But I’ve done this homeschool thing before.  I know.  The black and white code doesn’t leave an empty box for diaper changing or potty training.  It doesn’t factor in laundry mountains or post-childbirth hormonal valleys.  It really doesn’t factor in having a baby.  I don’t see the spaces that allow for co-op days, appointment days, field trip days, atypically cranky days, shopping days, catch up days, PMS days, visiting company days, I-can’t-find-the-floor-under-this-mess days, baking days, Daddy’s Day Off days, birthdays, or furnace-broke/car died/dishwasher exploded days.  I don’t know quite how, but we’ll find the space for daily life in between the three “R’s”, magnet experiments, Queen Elizabeth and the geography of China.  It’ll work out.  Somehow.

Then the phone rang.  I grabbed it from the two year old who was innocently trying to record a video of himself licking the touch screen, and answered breathlessly.  A realtor asked if I could show the house to prospective buyers the next morning.  “Sure, no problem.”  I answered, glancing through the kitchen where apple juice had just spilled across the counter.  It was dripping into the silverware drawer.  A wheelchair rammed into my ankles.  The two year old wanted my phone back.  A couple other kids squabbled over Transformer toys under the table I had strewn with papers.  I felt my pulse quicken a bit more.

“Mom, I’m bored.”  The seven year old was at my elbow.  “Can I help?”

“No.” I answered quickly.

“Then can we watch a movie?”  He wasn’t put off.

“No.” I didn’t want them stuck in front of the screen when they could find something else to do.  They had so many toys…

But the question sparked a reminder.  “Oh, but those movies from the library are due today!”

The sound of rain pummeling the windows grew stronger.  Maybe the library trip should wait a little longer…  The phone rang again.  The voice on the other end was growing more familiar.  “Could we also schedule a showing at lunchtime?” I affirmed them, trying to sound cheerful.  Behind me, the four year old drove a Transformer truck over my piles of papers, quickly re-collating the painstaking work into a disheveled heap.

An unintelligible groan escaped my pursed lips.  “Ok.  Get out of the dining room.  A movie would be ok.  Just go!”

He obeyed with impressive compliance.  A few moments later, the sound of the Curious George theme jingled amiably from the computer.  Boys jockeyed for couch positions for a moment before settling.  The seven year old lifted the two year old into the center seat, and their voices quieted.  I sighed.  Why did they always have to be within hearing distance of Mommy’s heartbeat?  A little space and independence would be healthy.  I felt so short on time.

Were there extra minutes out there in the universe that I could somehow transport into my little world?  Was there a vitamin I could take to help grow an extra set of arms?  Could I get a prescription for bifocals for the eyes in the back of my head?

Where did the hours go???

“When Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”  – John 13:1

Talk about a deadline.  Literally.

He had created time.  But Jesus, “knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3), chose to submit to time.

He could have rewound time.  Back to careless childhood… Back to Eden… Back to before there was time, and a sinful world needing saving…  But He didn’t.

He could have fastforwarded time.  He’d done it before, prolonging hours for Joshua and Hezekiah in years long past.  He could have skipped past the excruciating injustice and hours of pain.  But He didn’t.

He could simply have stopped time.  All things were in His hands; the balance of life, light, time and space.  He could just freeze it, forever and for never.  But He didn’t.

Jesus came to His final hours.  And He chose to use them to hang out.  He sat down to a hearty, leisurely meal.  He savored bites of warm roasted meat.  He took turns waiting for the grapes.  He inhaled the aroma of fresh bread, tearing off and sharing generous hunks purposefully.  He relaxed and drank wine.  He laughed along with the others as a couple brothers squabbled over a good place to sit.  He gently reprimanded Peter for overconfidence.  He stretched His feet behind Him and felt the mud on His heels crack.

So Jesus stood among His reclining friends and pulled off His good robe.  Grabbing a scratchy towel, he bent behind one of the men.  Balancing a bowl of water on His knees, Jesus picked up the rough man’s callused foot and washed off dried mud and tiredness.  Other fellas shifted uncomfortably, but there was no awkwardness from Jesus as He knelt near each of His friends, chatting about their journeys of the day.  He looked each man in the eyes and smiled as the men relaxed.  Finally He stood.  He laid aside the grimy towel and pulled His dry clothes back on.    “I have given you an example, Jesus looked at His friends as He sat down.  “You should do as I have done to you.”  (John 13:15).

His own feet were still dirty.

In His final hours, with everything in His hands, Jesus chose to fill His final minutes with dirty water and feet.  Soon, He would give His friends the ultimate gift of His own death.  But first, He gave them of His life.  He gave them His time.  Jesus gave them Himself.

I peeked into the boys’ room before I went to my own for the night.  I’d spent several hours thinking and writing this post after they went to bed, then more in the morning before they woke.  As I went to save the final draft, it erased instead.  Ack.  How timely to lose a blog post about time; funny, huh?  (That’s rhetorical too.  Don’t answer that.)

I spent the day with my kids.  Then I fed them, bathed them, cuddled with them on the sofa and read a book, and tucked them into their blankets.  Now I stood between bunk beds and cribs, repentant in the stillness.  I don’t know how this homeschool year will go, but then I’m not in charge of time.  Everything has not been given into my hands.  It’s all still in Jesus’.

I can’t give them more than I have.  But I can give them what they really want.  They want to spend time – with me.

How humbling.  How consuming.  How necessary.

You think that’s a good present for a Christmas in July celebration?  (Go ahead.  You can answer that question.  It’s ok now.)