I always have grand plans. Plans of how our homeschool year will run. Plans of how our days will go. Unfortunately for me, many of these plans don’t work out. I’m always left feeling like we aren’t doing enough because we don’t do everything on my “list”. Well, the truth of the matter is this is a lie. A big, fat lie. Our kids are learning. They are progressing. They are processing everything and making connections. As parents, we worry about our kids. We want them to do well. We want them to be happy and to “succeed”. Success looks different to everyone. For some people, success may include college. For others, it’s trade school. For some, it’s becoming an author or a CEO. The point is, success depends on what is valued. For us, we want our kids to be independent. We want them to find some happiness in life. We want them to love God and follow His prompting towards whatever life He has set for them.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God has the big picture in mind. He knows where we are headed and how we can help others learn about Him. He has only our good in mind. Guess what? I can’t see the big picture. I don’t know where we are headed in life. I know our end goal, but the twists and turns in our life ahead are unknown to me. After all, I am not God. I am simply an imperfect human being doing her best to follow God’s will for my life. So I, naturally, focus on what I can control. I focus on what I do know. And I make lists. I make plans. I like to cross off items as I finish them. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. It makes me feel like I am moving forward. And while there is nothing wrong with this, it is not the be-all and end-all. Our journey towards God and living with Him forever in the afterlife are the end goal.
1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good, and pleases God our Savior,
who wants all people to be saved and
to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Sometimes in the midst of planning and dealing with everyday life, I lose sight of this fact. I lose sight of the end goal. I forget that just because we didn’t continue doing our science curriculum during the summer doesn’t mean that we aren’t moving towards our end goal. Just because we haven’t done a foreign language lesson every day, or even every week, doesn’t mean we aren’t learning. Just because our days don’t look like what I want them to, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t making progress. Our children are outside playing in the dirt. They are climbing, running, and jumping. They are moving their bodies. They are looking at the sky and taking in the songs of birds. They are examining plants and worms. They are cooking and baking and inventing new recipe ideas. They are sitting down and doing nothing. They are learning. They are loving, squabbling, and praying before every meal. They are loving on their three-month-old brother. They are helping with the chores and gathering wood for the winter. They are watching the seeds they planted in the garden grow.
Sure, I can’t document everything they are doing right now and consider it “school work” to prove that we are actually teaching our children. I can’t quantify it and put it all down on a worksheet or have them write an essay on their days. I mean, I could, but really, what would that be teaching them? That all life is supposed to be considered work? How about rest? After all, even God rested after He created the world. And if He considered it important, then I should as well. They are learning. They are probably learning more about what they are going to need to succeed during our time off than during the school year. Yes, I just said that. And it may just be a reflection of what we value in life, but we don’t care if our kids go on to college. We don’t care if they “just” want to stay home and be a housewife, or run a small farm, or write novels all day, even be an artist. We care about them following God’s calling in life. And right now, their calling is to take in the glory of God’s creation. It’s to go out, have some fun, do a little work, and rest. Now if I can only remember to do the same, then we might just be on the right track.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
How is your summer going?