Getting schooled

14 May

Every year, I have a set of goals that I hope to achieve over the course of the year.  This ranges from books that I want to read with the kids, to curriculum programs that we will use, to the extra curriculars in which we will be involved.  My list always revolves around my kids and somewhere in the thought process, I pray, “And God, please help me to keep this all balanced, peaceful, and joy-filled.”

AH-hem. 

Apparently God had a whole lot that he wanted me to work on this year, very little of which included the kids’ academics or extra curriculars.  This year has been one of those mid-life growing years.  By no means was it a mid-life crisis, but instead, a mid-life spiritual growth spurt that shook up my soul in a really, really profound way.

Through spiritual direction, receiving the sacraments from solid priests, reading and many hours spent before the Blessed Sacrament, I’m finally grasping a clearer understanding of who God wants me to be. 

I’ve been quiet on the old-blog this year about most of this stuff because sometimes spiritual growth is so personal and profound that it can be difficult to articulate what God has been doing.  But in a not so eloquent nutshell, it involves doing all that I do for His glory, not mine.

I’ve learned to let go of a lot of my expectations and (work to) shed a painfully perfectionistic attitude that I inherited.

I’m relying on God’s love and mercy to help me to love my children and all their quirks in the ways that they deserve, unconditionally. 

I’m working on renouncing the lies from the devil when he whispers in my ear, “You are not enough.  You should have done it better.  Planned it more thoroughly.  Said it more kindly.” 

I’ve come to be ok with the hot mess that I really am.

I’ve learned to say, “no” to others and have stepped down from responsibilities outside of the home that are unnecessary for our family at this time. 

I’ve accepted a bathroom that has a “prison toilet” as my husband calls it because I just couldn’t find the time to clean it, or the rest of the house, again. 

I’ve embraced (trying to) focus my attention on right here and right now, instead of worrying about tomorrow or wishing I had done it differently in the past. 

I’ve learned to not ask as much of others because, really, we are all stretched, we all fall short, and we all are just trying to do our best.  If God’s mercy is unending for me, why shouldn’t mine be for others?

And most importantly, I’ve come to embrace that through a very long and grace-filled spiritual discernment, God has called me to homeschool. 

This realization probably seems odd to the outsider, but is surprising to me because there were many, many, many days this year in which I questioned our decision.  Most days I simply did not want to homeschool.  In my world, it was not all sunshine and lollipops. 

But what I have come to understand through this long spiritual discernment is that homeschooling is not what needed to change in my life. 

Instead, it was me.

It was my attitude.  It was all of those insights I just listed.  God has given me an opportunity to center all of my disorder around Him, so that in the end, I can live a life of freedom and of peace. 

And so, the whisperings from the devil that “I’ve failed here, here, and here today” are slowly being replaced, “Praise God for his mercy and love and that tomorrow is another day to begin anew serving Him through this homeschooling vocation.” 

Yes.  My house is going to be dirty.  Some days, I will be grumpy and short on patience.   Other days, I will get tied up on the computer and school work might suffer.  In other people’s eyes, I will have failed.

But, in my Heavenly Father’s, I have tried and that is enough. 

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3: 22-23

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