School of Life

The school of life…..Where is it taking you? What have you learned? What are you going to learn? Who is your teacher? Who are your peers? Are you late? Are you always on time? Are you organized? Do you procrastinate? How did you do on that test? Are you failing? Are you an honor student? Do you have a diploma? Do you have a Bachelor’s degree? Or are you going for a Master’s or Doctorate? Are you popular? Are you a bully? Are you the head of the class? Are you forgotten?

The school of life….

Quite the complex schooling. You are always learning, always growing, failing and passing, you will always be known and not known, you will either make time or loss it, you will always aim for higher achievements, but what is the ending?

God orchestrated the school of life for His honor and glory. Am I in the classes I thought I would be in? Absolutely not…but my Principal knows best and has placed me where He wants me and where He knows I will succeed, even if it is through some failures. God is in control. So what do we do with our school record up until now? God has signed off on it with His son’s death on the cross. Christ’s blood has covered that which I have done and continues to cover each step from the time I met Him and allowed Him to be the Master of my school.

It never ceases to amaze me, His hand in everything, His perfect will in everything, His plan in everything. And though we don’t see all the answers or all He has protected us from, He chooses to reveal Himself in ways that are completely undeniable.

As I continue on this journey of schooling my children at home, I am given daily, an insight into how God must view us. Picture your life as a student under God’s guiding hand and direction. Are you willing to be corrected? Are you willing to try your hardest, even if it seems to hard? Are you will to push through the no so fun to get to the fun? Are you willing to listen? Are you willing to change? Are you willing to learn from your mistakes? I deal with this each day with my children. They want to quit when the work seems too hard. How often do I do that to God? They don’t always accept correction. Am I doing the same thing to my Teacher? The boring work is handled carelessly but the fun work is taken with diligence. Do I do that? Do I only want to do the glorious things God has for me or am I diligent in the monotony of life as well as the excitement of life? They quit when they are so close to finishing. Do I do the same?

Maybe it wasn’t my idea to homeschool. Maybe God saw I needed to learn just as much as my children did. Am I willing to learn what He has to teach me? Am I willing to be corrected and redirected? May my focus continue to be challenged, shaped and changed by my Teacher, as my children are by me. And ultimately may they find the peace, joy, and challenge of having Him as their Teacher as well.

I am not perfect but God continues to teach me that He is the ultimate authority in my school of life and with Him in control I have nothing to fear and I can rest in the fact the He knows what is best for me in the end.

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Anniversaries aren’t worth celebrating

Controversial title I know, but my blog, my thoughts! :p (I like a little attention grabbing.) 

Anyway, the next two days mark events that I would rather have not happened in my life. Followed by the most excruciating weeks I have ever known. As this year marks the ten years since the motorcycle accident, I am keenly aware of God’s hand through the entire trial.  I realize that had God’s hand not been on the entire event (link overload) (read posts https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/there-you-are/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/journal-entry-from-2003-6/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2008/09/05/journal-entry-from-2003-6/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2008/09/07/journal-entry-from-2003-7/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/filling-in-the-blanks/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2008/09/09/filling-in-the-blanks-part-2/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2008/09/11/pictures-and-thoughts/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/final-accident-entry/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/not-beyond-your-strength/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/and-yet-again/) things would be drastically different.

But regardless of all I have learned and gained through this experience, it is really one of those anniversaries that isn’t worthy of celebrating but definitely worth remembering.

The other is that of being flooded out by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

I haven’t blogged much about this one….I guess there is just so much wrapped up in it.

(https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2011/11/, https://godsducks.wordpress.com/2012/09/)

I have had every intention of playing with photoshop to put out combined photos so you can see the vastness, heaviness, amazingness, and horriblity of the whole situation. We are very aware of the fact that there were those who had it far worse then we did. And we are very aware of our many blessings through the whole situation. But it is still an open wound needing to be healed. Two years have past and it still feel like it happened just yesterday. The trauma a natural disaster releases on one’s life is very great. I am so glad we have a Christian community to surround and love us, but it is only within the last 6 months that people have really begun to grasp the emotional trauma we have endured since then. God is gracious and we are slow. He is continuing to heal us, help us, and strengthen us. And for this I am so glad we serve such an awesome God. So though two years are here, this is one anniversary I am not going to celebrate, I will remember but with fear and trembling.

Not all anniversaries are joyous. Some are painful! We need to be watchful to “weep with those who weep” when such anniversaries arise. God is an awesome God, loving God, healing God, and caring God. We all go through times of trial and struggle, the question is what will we do with those times? Will we allow God to grow us through it? Will we allow God to provide? Will we allow God to carry us? I have learned a lot from these events, and for that I am grateful. I would have never learned a lot if it had not been for these. But I would never wish these on an enemy. Without God I can’t imagine how anyone can get through the tough times. God gives us hope and assurance that things will work out for the better in the long run. So I leave you to ponder these thoughts and some songs that helped me through.

The Flood

http://youtu.be/ohLfJDKSv0U (Praise you in the storm)

http://youtu.be/1CSVqHcdhXQ (Blessings)

http://youtu.be/BeTu8twnGvU (Walk on Water)

http://youtu.be/pFqGSKcyvbc (What it Feels Like)

The Accident

http://youtu.be/8KF7033dm18 (All in All)

http://youtu.be/zB0Yh_HS19I (Heal the Wound)

First Day of First Grade

And just like that my 2 oldest have begun first grade. This year we were blessed to have daddy home to start the school year off. I was able to finish getting everything the way I want it for the coming year, and spend some “school” time with my third born who says she wants to do school but isn’t quite ready for it.

This year we opened with a fun letter for each child. Our boys got the same letter.Image

If it doesn’t make sense here is how it read:

“Dear T or J–

Welcome to your first day of first grade! We hope you will start this year off without being a (crybaby). May this year be a (ball) as you learn to be (painterz) and (smarties). Hopefully through the year you will go on a learning (spree) without any (warheads). You need to know that school (rocks) and you will become a (nerd) either (now or later). Love dad and mom.”

Our daughter’s read slightly different because she isn’t doing school quite yet. I will focus on helping her achieve a teachable spirit. Strongwilledness runs strong in this house and I want her to look forward to learning and starting kindergarten verses the battle that I know it can become with a strong-willed child.

First Day of School (5)a

Her’s read,

“Dear C—

We know you are not starting school this year but we are expecting you to grow and continue learning. We will need your help to keep T— from going on a destruction (spree). We also hope that you learn to like learning without being a (crybaby) or a (warhead). You need to learn that school (rocks) and that it will make you a (smartie) and a (nerd). love dad and mom.”

With all that-a new school year is a challenge. My baby no longer takes morning naps and loves to be around people and her sister really can only tolerate playing with her for so long. It also presents me with having to learn a new format of teaching and topics and styles. This is difficult for my type A, very structured, liking predictability, personality. To say we are off to a smooth start would be optimistic. I think the start off school and the end of school go fairly rough. We come off of being able to go outside and play all the time in the beginning and at the end we are antsy to spend more time doing the things we want to. I am also starting this school year off without my helper. This means I really need to regroup and find time managing skills. So with that this is the beginning of a new year and we are hoping that we can find our niche like last year and get to enjoying our new routine and schedule. Prayers for continuing on this journey are appreciated.