I don’t know where the time has gone, First Grade completely came out of nowhere. It seems like it was just yesterday when he was captivated by a little train named Thomas and all his friends. He was toddling about barely forming words, much less a full sentence. Yet, here I look at him, toddler turned boy. It seems just like that, too. I look at him now. He speaks with more knowledge than I sometimes give him credit for and he is a little sponge that soaks in as much information as possible – anxious to process and apply all that he has learned. Yet, here we are stepping into the first day of First Grade and I know for all that I have planned and prepared – it still is not enough unless offered up to the Life-Giver.
I awoke early this morning, though due to a restless night not as early as I wanted to, and I spent some time just thinking and praying. I have been preparing for this school year for months now…and now suddenly it was here. Part of me was questioning if I really had prepared everything I could have (or should have) for the new year. I was wrestling with the idea of perfection. I had a mindset that was intent on having everything “just right”. From all manner of curricula to hours spent researching the perfect books for our school year, it was all seeming to wane and that feeling of not enough was beginning to set in my mind and spirit.
Identify your goal.
It was the end product I was overlooking. The result, the effect, the outcome…I was missing a clear and distinct goal for my school year. While, the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty is what I want to pour into the lives of my children, I felt the distinct gap of the goal for pursuing such worthy things. I had to ask the question, why. In this beautiful time of quiet, with just me and my God aware of the questions and struggles going through the maze of my mind – clarity began to form.
It was during my search for our school year’s verse that it was brought to me, so perfectly clear. I had been searching and searching for the right verse, the one that would perfectly shine everything I was wanting to obtain and reflect during this school year. That is when He lead me to the book of Genesis…the second chapter…the seventh verse. Where I had been searching for the perfect verse, the perfect verse found me.
So the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground, breathed life into his lungs, and the man became a living being.
So many things about this verse spoke to me. However, I will spare you the lengthy post. I will give you my 3 main takeaways from this morning.
- It stands as a reminder for me to do nothing apart from Him. He breathed life into dust, and man became a living being. I can have all the best resources, plans, activities and curriculum…but apart from Him, without his breath of life, it is but dust. I want Him to exhale his breath fully into the life of our school year, so that what results are young minds and hearts who pursue truth, beauty and goodness through the One who is Truth, Beauty and Goodness.
- It stands as a reminder for me to offer up all my great plans (which is mere dust) for His breath of life to produce living. I want the hearts and minds of my children to be living – truly living – as seen through the eyes of God. I want them to grow in Him so they can live for Him. Every moment I spend teaching and planning, may it be as an offering. “Thus grace in the soil grows not of itself in nature’s soil, but it is the work of God.” – Matthew Henry
- It stands as a reminder for me to cling to His grace and mercy. My soul to be opened to Him, so His breath of life be in me. May His grace cover my shortcomings and faults. His waves of mercy are new every morning – a hope to cling to during the days where I mess up. Grace and mercy; Mercy and grace, life-giving and life-sustaining.
I am thankful for the reminders I received today. I am thankful for this first day of school. I am thankful for One who walks with me on this journey of educating my children. I am thankful for sweet moments spent with Him. I am thankful for the opportunity to offer up this gift of homeschooling as an offering to Him. I am thankful for grace. I am thankful for mercy. I am thankful that this first day of school is but a small part of a continuing journey that He is breathing life into – for His glory.