Reflections: The Educational Pursuit

Reflect

The days of spring are beginning to fade away and we have wrapped up another successful year of school here at home. I have spent the last week organizing and rearranging various curriculum. I have loaded down my Amazon cart and library hold list with books I want to get my hands on, as I continue to hone in on those things that I hope to establish in my children by the end of their academic journey here at home.

Pursuit

I kind of happened into this new realm, haphazardly, in one sense. Education and academia was a familiar space I felt rather comfortable in, that is until I began to really sort through the many various aspects, avenues, approaches and philosophies. To take what I knew into a new realm of exploration was — frightening. Discomfort and uncertainty were not feelings I was altogether used to having when it came to understanding education. But, huddled in the midst of them, there I found myself. I had to step away from all that I knew, in the pursuit of establishing something else. I needed to find that which was worth pursuing. There in the reflecting, all which I have discovered since beginning this journey, leads me to the understanding that this was not a haphazard happening.

Truth, beauty and goodness

I guess, somewhere along the way, I had lost my own sense of wonder for learning. I was not in a state of arrival; I was in a state of “good enough”.  In the same way the Creator of All poured Himself into my life anew, He also has renewed my love and passion for learning. This redeemed mind of mine, is soaking information while being able to sort through and distinguish what I can hold on to and call my own. I have been able to reclaim some of my former underlying principles, ones that will compliment and edify those ideas and philosophies whose goal is to grow in all things truth, beauty and goodness. It is an outcome that no longer seeks to develop the mind for the sake of out-ranking and success. It is an outcome that seeks to develop the mind and heart for the goal of knowing and understanding the Creator of the world and all in it; it is seeking an outcome to use all that one knows and understands, to then make Him (Creator) known.

 In all things

To be able to seek His wisdom, discernment, love and grace in what we see, read, hear, and say – is something worth pursuing. It is something I find highly valuable for myself and for my children. We have been learning  to take the things, people and situations around us with wonder and thoughtfulness. Every day unfolds before us with something new in it to discover. We stand before a vast infinity swirling with concepts and ideas  – some discovered, many not. What joy we should take in being able to approach learning in a way that teaches us to know and understand more of who God is.

Discover the good

A recent practicum I attended, left me even more certain of where we are and where we are heading. This path, for us is good. My hope for all, is that there will be a willingness to plow through and sort out all that is being sent their way. Through the sifting, I hope that there is a discovery for each person. May it be the beginning of a road traveled in the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty – a road that ultimately leads to knowing Him and making Him known. For us, my family? This quote from the speaker at my practicum says it all, “the goodness is revealed in the utility of learning classically – it works to give our students an understanding of God’s universe”.

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The Parenthood Files: The Pause Button

Time, slow down. It is a common phrase whispered in the hearts of mothers as they look upon their children and see the many years quickly going by, as if being played on fast-forward. Little years of discovery, growth and love are somehow disappearing just as quickly as when they first arrived.

Sometimes, though, that phrase is not the one always being echoed in the heart of a mother. Rather, it is almost as if time could slow down no more, because you feel like it has been put on pause. The pause? It can feel long and tiring. You feel drained and you feel like you need a constant stream of caffeine being pumped into your system just to make it through the day.

There are many times when I feel like the pause button has been pressed and the machine has malfunctioned – and here in this moment life will forever remain. The cycle of dirty clothes in the washing machine from an unwilling potty-training participant is forever going, the one-year-old whose anger is in constant need of being prayed over and soothed is wearing, and the tending of the heart for the child struggling with obedience can seem almost useless. These moments are hard. These moments wear. These moments are when I find myself desperate to reach out for that play button, so as to get through these hard times.

Three children, each with their own beautiful and unique personalities; three children, each with their own personal struggles. Navigating their individual needs and their individual brokenness and pointing them to the only One who can change them and breathe redemption into them…can be so challenging. Where in every way I try, I often feel like I also fail. This work of parenting, of intentional parenting – it is hard.

“Parenting is holy work and holy work is hard.” – Ann Voskamp

Then yesterday I see a group of students. Students who have just finished their last year of high school, students who have now stepped into a new realm. They are stepping out of that which signifies youth and into a place which represents the beginning of adulthood. I think of their mothers. I think of the hard moments that were had in their own homes. I think of the times those mothers felt what I am feeling. I think about these mothers who sacrificially poured themselves into these once young children, now turned new adults. I think about the many prayers prayed from the souls of these mothers over their child. I think about how these mothers who have watched the beautiful gift of transformation occur in their child. Do they feel like the pause button was somehow released without them knowing? 

I sat in my seat and watched each graduate being presented. My eyes felt the sting of moisture as I thought of my own children. I looked upon these young men and young women and I saw the strength that is within them. I saw the result of a lifetime of love being poured into them; I saw the result of a lifetime of Jesus being poured into them. I looked over at the mothers and my heart felt encouraged. These days I am in are hard. The days to come, will be hard. I can only hope, pray and trust in He who is sovereign. I can only trust and pray that at the end of all these hard days, my children will rise up and be ready to step out into the world with the strength of their rescuer coursing through their veins. I pray every hard moment spent in the trenches will be redeemed for His glory and my children will be refined through all those moments. I pray that I not take my work lightly; This parenting thing, it is among the holiest work I can do for the kingdom.

In these long and weary days I am in – I pray that my strength will come from Him, I pray that my soul stays in constant connection to Him and I pray that my decisions come from the wisdom found in Him. In these days of raising children, may I rejoice in the holy work I get to be a part of in my children’s lives. For our good and His glory, may these days (even those difficult) produce arrows strong and arrows sharp.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Psalm 127:4

 

 

(Guest Post) A Mission-Minded Mom

The Mission-Minded Mom Graphic

I have had the opportunity to write a blog post for Classes by Beth Plus where there is a celebration of mothers going on over there this week. Here is an excerpt to the post, click on the link below to read the full post.

A Mission-Minded Mom: Turning Ordinary Moments Into Kingdom Moments

“Mamas out there, hear me when I say, Everything you are doing -right now- should be done as if you were in the throne room of heaven accomplishing it for the Most High God. Approach the mundane with an attitude of a servant, a servant of the King. Everything you do for Him can be used by Him for His kingdom. Little moments that go unnoticed, are seen by a loving Father. Tears of frustration and stress are seen and wiped away by the Joy-Giver. When the unlovely and predictable moments of motherhood are ever at your doorstep, greet them with the heart and mind of a woman on a mission for the kingdom. Give over all moments to Him and see what He can do in and through them. With every victory claimed while in the trenches of motherhood, honor and glorify God; With every failure felt while in the trenches of motherhood, shine the goodness and grace of the gospel message. We are not being called to showcase perfection, we are called to showcase His perfection.”