As I look around the world in which we live, I see lives that are completely out of balance. There is a particular tendency toward striving and busy-ness here because we live near a major city. Everyone here wants to pad their resume. There is this intensity that makes you feel you will never succeed unless you are running in the same rat race as everyone else, even amongst homeschoolers. This year I decided not to participate in the race at all.
Despite all the plans, all the philosophies, all the methods I have contrived for my kids, they don't address the heart of what I really want to do, and that is to raise healthy, whole individuals who love the Lord, each other, and His people. It really doesn't matter if for some reason they don't finish every week of their TOG curriculum or complete their grammar on the same schedule as the experts say it needs to be done. And yet, it seems that the more I let go the more we get accomplished.
One of my favorite verses says this:
What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil--this is God's gift to man.In my children I want to establish a heart of rest and joy and goodness--that they can enjoy this gift God has given to man. I want them to be participants in the "whatever God does," not the rat race to D.C. power and politics.
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it so that people fear before him. (Ecclesiastes 3:9-14)
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.So, we accomplished a fair amount in lessons this week--science and writing and geography and grammar, etc, but what stands out to me more this week is that we made it to the pet store for some new fish. We also enjoyed a wonderful dinner with friends and a hilarious time on the new patio, enjoying a fire and roasting marshmallows. We did not strive. We worked, but we played, too. We ate all our meals at home in fellowship with each other. We prayed. We marveled at God's ways in the life of Amy Carmichael and those she touched. We pondered the uselessness of war. We butted heads, overcame challenges, tried again. It was a good week. A very good week.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.