I’m writing to you in the evening which generally is not when I write, but tonight IT IS when I’m writing. Normally at this time of day I have very little comprehendible thoughts. Let’s see what I’m able to put together…
The day is coming to an end for our four young children. They’re being tucked into bed as I type to you, stories read aloud as the cooler air blows in the windows. Today was a very warm April day for Michigan: nearly 90 degrees. We felt the sunshine on our faces and arms all day. Now, as the light fades away to visit countries on the other side of the world, the pinch of tightness on our skin is what remains.
We enjoyed today deeply because today, each day, is a gift.
Our yard is showing its happiness with bursts of bright green buds and grass fibers. These natural elements are coming into their beauty, and I enjoy noticing that it’s happening. Being able to slow down enough to notice the birds — in the trees, inhabiting our bird houses, pecking at the grass, and flying in a flurry to hide in bushes, is really a deep delight.
The sun rises earlier than it used to, and it confidently shares its warmth with us; unapologetically it shines. And we receive it, also unapologetically. There is nothing like the warmth of the sun after a dormant winter.
When a portion of our morning homeschool lesson felt harried and spiral-y, I gathered my children and we went on a walk. It took us moments to get outside, and for that I am grateful. A couple months ago, that would not have been part of the story. During our walk, one child wanted to be picked up; I offered my hand to help him expel his wild energy. My two daughters chased each other on the sidewalk, one pushing a baby stroller and the other reading a book. They are such a delight to watch.
My oldest flew past on his skateboard and I thought to myself: we are all out here, walking together, with no one buckled in a stroller or held by a baby carrier. No one is sleeping or needing to sleep, no one is nursing or needing to nurse. They are all with me, using their strength to carry themselves.
This is childhood “growing up”; moment by moment it is happening, and I am here for it. Again, this is a deep delight.
We are preparing to wind down for the school year with just a few more weeks of intentional table lessons. We will then transition to a lighter learning schedule during the summer months. Today I am grateful for the books and resources I’ve read that have helped keep me in my own lane. (This book is a personal favorite.)
Even now, three years in, I appreciate the reminder to stay on the path that was designed with intentional thought just for me.
I’m witnessing my children grow in their imaginative play, their love of reading, their fascination with chalk and driveway designs (current scene: a huge dinosaur, with ever huger teeth, walking through grass). I’m learning alongside my children as I re-train myself to think positively, to control my negative thoughts, to seek wisdom and think “big picture” with my dreams and interests. Homeschooling has truly been a “full circle” experience for us. It’s not just my children who are learning, and it’s not just me who is teaching. More on this soon :)
Most recently today, while my children were outside playing, I walked inside our home as the day was transitioning from afternoon to evening. The house was unnaturally quiet. The floorboards were clean on my bare feet, and the rooms were glowing with the happiness of childhood. The smell of a new season felt overpowering, and as I breathed it in I filed it under a memory folder named “joy”.
As the day comes to a close I am reminding myself of the comforts of Scripture: in all things God works together for the good of those who love him1; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me2; I am upheld by His righteous right hand3; I will find rest in the shadow of His wing4; the joy of the Lord is my strength5.
The next time my mind wants to trick me into feelings of overwhelm, I know my mind will float back to the joyful memories of this day. This is intentional work, but this is an achievable mindset.
With all the hardships of my calling having fallen to the wayside, the joy is certainly what remains.
1. Romans 8:28
2. Philippians 4:13
3. Isaiah 41:10
4. Psalm 91:1
5. Nehemiah 8:10
You make me feel so happy about today. I’m sitting here mulling over the fears and stresses and impending deadlines and the not impending checks, and then… I read this. And I’m reminded of what my mind would have remembered of this day if I had been 2, 4, 6, or 8. Reminded of what I would have taken stock of if I had been focusing on God’s blessings throughout the day instead of my burdens.
Thank you Queen.
I’m your other half— we have to do this for each other from time to time. XO
This was so lovely, Maggie. Writing in the evening suits you :)
I’m right there with you with the homeschooling… On Monday, my oldest was totally not into it. So I said to him that this was supposed to be fun and if he wasn’t having fun, then we were going to take the day off. And he was over the moon about it! And by Tuesday morning, he was as focused as he’s ever been, ready to get started on his list of tasks. Like you – even a couple of months ago I would have done my best to force the situation and think that it was my job to ensure discipline around schooling. Something has shifted — I’m slowly learning to focus on our relationships rather than our to-do lists and it feels really good.
And your words around the achievable mindset – YES! My word of the year is Stillness and this is exactly what I’m aiming for. Remembering that my emotions and thoughts come and go like clouds in the sky. But I’m still in the background and can dictate how I respond outwardly.
I’m so glad you found the opportunity to write this – it makes me feel so much less alone on this journey :)
Hello, dear friend Katie. I have to ask… what enneagram number are you? PS. very much appreciated and enjoyed reading your comment! xxoo
I’m a 4 and it’s a perfect fit, lol. How about you??
Same! 4w3 :) I had a hunch about you…