My voice was sounding harsher than it needed to.
The dishwasher was leaking for the fourth time in the day. Dirty laundry was used to sop up the puddles on the floor, because we’ve run out of clean towels.
Breakfast’s dishes still sat on the table.
One boy sat downstairs, “thinking about it”, the other boy doing a chore outdoors.
The baby will not nap
Peace, peace. Where is peace?
It’s in days like these when I am so grateful that I am where I am.
I realize how fatally flawed I am. But I realize that there is redemption.
As I gather my kids to me, still disgruntled in my heart, I coach them to sing a folk song that we’ve been studying.
And the eyebrows start smoothing, and a smile begins to slip.
Then we move on to the next song, our hymn that we’re studying.
I must tell Jesus all of my trials. I cannot bear these burdens alone.
Where would my day finally begin, if not for song?
My day has no purpose until I’ve reframed my complaining thoughts and focused my attention to the very One I ought to be living for.
And I cozy the children up and read an Aesop’s fable and find myself painted in between the lines.
And then we read a story of a brave man in history, filled with valor and honor.
Thanksgiving. My heart renewed.
I share this brief moment not to idealize our homeschool or our family.
In fact, I share it so that you all know that we are so flawed. The kids don’t always obey. The two oldest have learned to provoke each other. The boys drive me crazy with their constant retrieval of insects dead and alive. There is only one person with a soft voice in our family, and that is only when he is in the back seat of the car being overpowered by his siblings’ cacophony. There is more “that is not okay” and “try that again with respect” than I ever anticipated. Our lives our messy. I sweep up piles of dirt and crumbs after every meal, and each time I clean the counter, dirty dishes end up there. I struggle to lose weight, despite consistent exercise and a nutritious diet. Health concerns plague our family. Consistent training, consistent discipline, consistent cleaning and washing and everyday run-of-the-mill faithfulness.
God has given me the challenge of reframing my thoughts on a daily basis.
Instead of wishing for perpetual sweetness and serenity, I have to choose to focus on the minutiae of the day. The way the baby’s lips form an “o” at the end of every line when we six the doxology together. The musical lilt to my second child’s speaking voice. The sparkling eyes and expressive vocabulary of my oldest. The way they all sit and drink tea and listen to poetry.
How poetry is a balm and nature soothes.
And at the end of each day, I realize that I’ve failed.
Because I’ve been hearing the refrain of thanksgiving in my heart over and over again, I’m going to re-read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, a book I read before children were present in our home. I think that it will encourage and refresh me. What have you been reading lately?