Today I yelled at my children. I mean YELLED. Like at the top of my lungs with a really ugly face. Suddenly, their bickering had reached a limit with me and I simply couldn’t hear another whine or argument. So to set them straight, I screamed out my frustration, threw a book on the ground and stomped my foot really hard.
Wondering how effective this method was? Well, one child stormed off into the woods, one started crying and another reprimanded me. (I’ll let you guess which child did what).
Oh I really hate these moments. The ones where I imitate my children’s behavior instead of show them how to respond differently. It’s humbling. And my apology becomes just as important as, if not more, than any reprimanding for their behavior.
The rest of the day we were all a little quiet. We finished school without a single complaint. I even made chocolate chip cookies. Probably as a peace offering, but mostly because my flesh was wanting chocolate.
‘Cause after you’ve given reign to the flesh in one incident, it’s like it becomes stronger and more energized and ready to rule again.
These are the rare moments that I question homeschooling. That I wonder if maybe we’re spending too much time together. In all these twelve years, the hours and days spent away from my babies are few.
But then I remember how it’s all this time together that exposes our individual and relational behaviors. And it’s all this time together that allows us to really understand and work through them.
An argument becomes our classroom when we’ve offended or hurt. And forgiveness and reconciliation become our teachers. We wrestle in these moments and learn together.
An insecurity takes precedent over math any day. And we talk about weaknesses and strengths, and how to find our value rooted in the One who created us. And we make time to affirm each other.
A victory on a skateboard or with a crossbow is almost always a reason to close the books for a demonstration. ‘Cause celebrating in one another reinforces the way love delights for the other.
A question about life or death, God or humanity, faith or church or how chickens happen into eggs is ALWAYS better than an answer to something proposed in our books.
Every day we wake up, eat breakfast, open our books, read a story, diagram a sentence, do a little writing, spell words correctly, add and subtract, make lunch, learn about history, feed our animals, and explore the outdoors. But what we’re really doing is living life together. Learning each other. Sharpening one another. Working out our salvation together. Sure, we’re doing school at home, but really we’re doing so much more.
And so today when I question the amount of time we’re together, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that I have it. That I have them. With me. All day. For we are learning each other deep. Inside and out. We have lots of time witnessing our ugly parts, lots of time for our dysfunctions to surface, lots of time for apologizing, and lots of time embracing each other.
And in all this time, we’re being made new. And through all our togetherness, God is refining our spirits.
So I choose to be thankful.
Now excuse me while I sneak out my back door and to the path that leads to my mom’s. Because this mama could use a little separation so I can embrace the togetherness again tomorrow…