On School, Grace and Tears

My blog has been quiet the last two weeks.  In that time we’ve gotten three children who’ve been homeschooled for five years or more off to school and the other child, who did go to school last year, enrolled and started at a separate school.  Life for me, as I have known it, has changed.  A few of my BFFs from VFA (very far away) have texted or emailed to ask, “Did they start school yet?  You haven’t blogged about it.”

So here is the blog saying, “Yes, the kids have started school.”

It’s a huge adjustment year for us all.  Each one of the six of us are being remolded, shaped, squeezed and loved upon by our Father.  I have to say that although God has prepared me for these changes, taking upon the role of mom, prayer warrior and guide is hard.  No longer are my children fully dependent upon me for all they do in a day.  I sit in the afternoon and try to figure out their homework right alongside of them.  I’m back in school, no longer the teacher, but the student.

I drop them off curbside and instead of four getting out five hop out.  The extra traveler is my heart.  It marches into the school right behind my kids.  Then for 6 hours without them I’m on my knees.  Not always physically there, but in my heart and in my soul I’m there.  I’m raw.  I’m happy.  It’s not that it doesn’t feel right, it’s just hard.  I scramble to try my best to cook, clean, rest, iron, be happy, patient and loving.  Somedays I’m that mom.  Somedays I’m not.

Yesterday I snapped at my husband.  I spoke angrily to my oldest.  I picked them up from school with a few goodies I never buy for them to let them know I missed them yesterday.  I was glad to see them and wanted to give them an extra treat.  Then one of them says the grape juice tastes like medicine.  And I slightly begin to unravel.  Do I get an “A” for effort, at least?

How long did it take me to learn to live life with a grateful heart, with an attitude of thankfulness, realizing I have to CHOOSE gratitude?  I think I was in my 30’s.   I actually feel my brain stop, switch gears and tell my heart to be thankful….to concentrate on all around me that is good and to let the little things slide.  I wish and pray for this in my kids of 13,12,10 and 8.

“Thanks for cleaning my room or making my lunch or getting up 15 minutes early to make breakfast or putting a note in my lunchbox.” This fantasy world I sometimes long for isn’t necessarily realistic.  I was a selfish stinker as a kid.

Sometimes, tho, the little things feel like big things.  A tired mom maketh an overwhelmed mom.  A mom who has homeschooled doesn’t understand why they (school) can’t get done in 7 hours what I can do in 4 hours.  And why send home homework?  Who invented homework?  You (the school) has them for so many hours.  Can’t they be mine after 3pm?  Can’t families enjoy one another for a few hours between dinner, football practice, baths, packing lunches and getting to bed early enough to do it all over again at 6:30am the next morning?  Where do they learn balance in all that?

Frustrated, yes.

Having to live with it anyway, yes.

Glad they are at school, yes.

Trusting in God’s plan for our family this year is what gets me through each day.  Today is rest for me.  I sit on my bed covered in a blanket and preparing for a nap.  My good friend, Scooper, told me yesterday that one or two days of work equal just as many of rest for her right now.  She so eloquently writes:

God uses a day gone awry and a life run amuck to show me that plans, the little ones and the big ones, are to be held loosely. Control is an illusion. Middle School brings anxiety. Life defies expectation. Beauty blooms out of brokenness.

God has been so faithful to encourage me and my children through this transition.

One of these days I’ll sip coffee on the back porch with my husband and the illusion of control will be there, if only for a moment.  We’ll look at one another and smile.  We’ve walked through yet another patch of raising kids His way and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Scooper is right.


Every single bit of every single day is nothing more than abundantly lavished grace on thirsty children in need of The Father’s love.  Whether we realize it or not.