"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Surrendering to the Year Ahead

Here I sit on holiday and I was struck with how difficult it was for me to relax this time around.  I am accustomed to this place, my old haunt, the place where I feel relaxed as soon as my foot hits that first patch of sand out the van door.  But this coming school year is weighing on me; I have felt it stretching out before me as the summer has waned.

As I add one more child to a more formal schedule; I have had to determine what I can do, what my children can do and what we can handle as a family: with our time, with our costs, with our resources and with our energy. I have done this, successfully, I might add. I know what we're doing and why we're doing it, yet the anticipation of starting it has my stomach in knots.  

Let me preface this with saying: I love this journey we are on of home education.  It has been full of joy, full of learning and full of challenges.  It's an ever evolving process of discovery.  I jokingly expressed to a friend the other day: "By the last child, I'll have this down!"    Amidst the jest there is a grain of truth but mostly there is US, all of us, learning what works and what doesn't - for each child, for our family for: ALL of us.  The challenges of learning styles, addressing those individual struggles of character building, the son who has eye tracking issues, the business of that 6 year old (who seriously makes me wonder if she has ADHD), keeping up with the 12 year old who is speeding ahead to high school quicker then I can plan, getting them off to piano, violin, teaching French, running book club, getting off to swimming, youth group, girls club, Bible Study, speech workshops, recitals: well, there is much to do!  In amongst these things I have adopted a style of education that is rich, rewarding and full.  Charlotte Mason's philosophies have opened the world of learning for us.  And even though I have done a number of her suggestions since the beginning we are still adding to our repertoire of CM approaches and fine tuning what we have been doing.  I am truly pleased with how we are doing things.  So what is it that has me feeling the angst?  
These last few days I have had long walks, sat on the beach gazing off into the lake.  I have taken it all in and quieted myself.  It occurred to me this morning that it's surrender I am missing.  Surrender to this year and all its activities, challenges, and to what it holds.  So I wrote down how I will surrender.  And when I feel the angst rising I will go over my list to make sure I am surrendering.

#1.  I will find strength in my personal relationship with Jesus.

#2.  I will NOT feel guilty about what we can not do.

#3.  I will take time to breath; to go for that run, read that book, crochet that item, go for that tea, sit in the quiet of the morning with that steaming hot cup of coffee, tweet that update, load that beautiful picture.

#4.  I will accept help - the encouraging word from a friend, that offer of help....

#5.   I will find joy in the moment, thanksgiving in the praise.

#6.  I will accept when I've failed, ask for forgiveness and forgive myself.

#7.  I will remind myself of this list when I feel like I am loosing my surrender.  

Self - remember. 😃

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