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