I'm enjoying a breather of a few days to catch up after a busy, busy May...and before a busy, busy June. Next week is our church's Vacation Bible School, then a homeschool conference, and a couple of weeks with our families. It's been wonderful to get my house clean, take time to cook appealing meals, have more time in the Word, and watch the grass grow.
As a homeschool mom, though, it's hard to put aside thoughts and plans for the coming year. I no sooner finish one year than I'm prayerfully planning studies and schedules for the next. And while I would truly love a mental break from it all, I'm grabbing the chance to analyze what worked and what didn't for us.
I ended this year feeling particularly drained and overdone, out of touch with myself and our home life. Some of the outside commitments I made took more planning and execution than I anticipated. We had to adjust our curriculum and scheduling a number of times. Various deadlines kept me forging ahead, and I never seemed to have my week planned well for anything. This was a year that SweetPea and I needed to do a lot of talking and processing to help her work through life. Family health issues took their toll on our daily life, and I just lost my motivation to "get out there and get 'er done." To say it simply, I ran out of gas.
So in looking ahead, I'm making some decisions. I've only got a couple of years left in our homeschool journey and I want them to be good ones. I realize that I can't control what life brings, but with the choices I do have, I want to make sure that they're well thought-out. I've been guilty of taking on too many outside activities, some in the name of giving my daughter a well-rounded education or neat opportunities, or pitching in to run programs and events. Both SweetPea and I have felt the inner exhaustion of not enough break time to synthesize, savor, and appreciate the full value of our experiences. More isn't always better.
Gratefully, she and I are of the same mind. We're going to have more of a 'home' focus (you know, the first part of the word 'homeschool'!) and leave room for the relationships and activities the Lord would have for us. We're already feeling a gleeful sense of relief at the prospect. I'm going to work on four things...
Peacefulness. (Focus on following the Lord's lead and be guided by His peace.)
Intentionality. (Think it through before I do--whatever!)
Ownership. (Keep the control I properly should have for our time, activities, energy, and goals.)
Margin. (Keep some space for fun and rest and spontaneity!)
And to start our summer off on the right foot, tomorrow we're intentionally and peacefully going to enjoy some margin at a lake with some dear friends!
This was one of those fill-your-well days, the kind you need after a long haul of concentrated effort. I wrapped up our VBS curriculum last night (with no small sigh of relief!), and SweetPea and I decided we'd done enough school this year and needed a break for a bit, so...
...We went to Vienna this morning, courtesy of Rick Steves and PBS--in our robes and sipping a hot mug of jasmine green tea. Oh, my goodness, such fun. I love travel shows, practically as good as being there without all the fuss.
...Cleaned out some daunting piles of paperwork and reduced them to a couple of civilized, ready-to-be-filed stacks. Happy sigh.
...Swept the patio, washed down the furniture, cleaned out a storage table, sorted and cleaned piles of junk, and got thoroughly distracted by all the lovely green lushness and growing things, the birdsong in the trees. My yellow irises in the photo above haven't bloomed like this since the summer SweetPea was born. And just take a look at the delicate sweetness of this Lily-of-the-Valley. Aren't they exquisite? Their scent truly is perfume.
...Found a delightful recipe website, MyRecipes.com and solved my angst over what to cook for dinner (I'm so bored with my cooking)--made Greek-style Shrimp Scampi. Absolutely delicious! I added yellow squash and zucchini in case you decide to try it.
...Enjoyed my precious daughter and was thankful all over again for the wonderful friend she is.
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of today.
"All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all."
~ Cecil Frances Alexander ~
We think that our raccoon problem resolved itself--we haven't heard them in the fireplace for a few days and can't see them down the chimney, either. Yay! I suspect that the Eau de Ammonia might have convinced Mama that this was not a lovely place to raise her babies. One evening at my desk upstairs, I heard a loud thump on the roof over me and quite a commotion, so that might have been her departure. We've got a chimney cap on now and haven't seen any frantic little masked faces trying to stage a jail-break out the mesh enclosure.
|I love the contrast of old and new growth|
|Spring green pond life|
|We couldn't believe it when the camera revealed what |
the bumps-on-the-log were in the distance!
|The ubiquitous Golden Pea|
|A sweet couple enjoying the afternoon sunshine|
Truly God "has given us all things to enjoy richly"!