The last month has been a difficult one. Not because of any tragedy, nor was it because of any specific 'fault' or "person". It's just been difficult. After acknowledging this, I started wondering about how things used to be. When time was abundant. When worries were small. When I could put on a pair of heels, a little red lipstick, and take on the world.
But this past month, try as I might, I couldn't seem to find my "Get up and Go" that I was used to. No, I'm not ill. And I don't think the allergies made me lose that extra pep in my step. It could be age, but I'm still pretty young, seeing as how I've not reached the 40-year mark and I know 50-year-old's that are still going at top speed.
No, it was something else. It had to be. And that made me think more about who I had become. To do that, I had to remember who I used to be.
A season was changing for me and I was not ready!
The laundry that piles up each day because we are a large family - is still piling up, laughing at me. And I don't care.
The phone call from the one credit company who continues to call after I've explained to them that I simply can't afford to pay anything right now. I do care, but I can't do anything about it at the moment. And for that, I don't care.
These things would have irritated me beyond belief four years ago. And that's not all.
Rearranging the furniture monthly and deep cleaning weekly were high on my priorities list - at the top to be honest. Hours and hours spent lining the furniture up so that it was symmetrical with the windows, the pictures hung on the wall at just the right height, and distance from one another was also a big thing for me. In fact, my OCD was so strong, when we were first married, my husband and I would have towel wars - so much so - that when he would fold them to help me out, I'd complain because he wasn't folding them the right way.
The kids have always been my number one concern. Their health and safety was first and foremost the reason I did and continue to wake up each day. But it was a different care and concern four years ago. I would prepare their meals, wash their laundry, help them with their homework, clean the house, run the errands, buy the groceries, scrub the bathrooms, mow the lawn, plus all the other things I could find to keep myself busy. But I was doing more harm than good.
How? That's normal housewife stuff, right?
It wasn't until we began homeschooling that I discovered I had been preventing my kids from learning "life". And then it hit me. Even after homeschooling for four years, I was still setting them up to believe that everything would always be neatly put away, and that everything would always fit the place it belongs, that plans would always work out and in the long run, what you want will happen if you work hard enough to get it.
That's when God sat me down and said, "LaVonda. I didn't raise you this way, and neither did your grandmother. Things are not always going to shine and sparkle. Things are going to be tough. Don't make them think this is the way it will always be. They won't have access to a brand new car when they first start out driving. They won't have all the furnishings they need for their own place right when they leave home. You need to get real child, about how things really are. There will be upsets. There will be times when they try as hard as they can and it still won't happen. You are not spoiling them, but you are setting them up for disappointment. Teach them to rise up to the challenge, but also to be brave enough to accept defeat."
And that's when I said Amen! You see folks, it isn't about having all that glitters. It isn't about even having all you desire. It's about doing right by each other. By loving each other and looking out for one another. It's about learning in life, from life, from those around you who appreciate what life means. And I believe life is more than just routine. It's about Feelings. Experiences. Heartache. Love. Trials. Acceptance. Apologies. Forgiveness. Laughter. Tears. And all points in between. Not the fancy, or the rich. Not the promises and the goals. It's the steps that you take on your journey.
I look at my children and I see that I have only a handful of years left with each of them before they venture out into the world, looking for themselves and making memories and mistakes in the process. And I ask myself, "how can it be that I've squandered so much time pettily worrying about things that simply do not matter, in the great scheme of things? How could I have sacrificed moments and feelings for superficial nonsense? Just how?"
And that changes starting NOW!
Tonight, tomorrow, or whenever you happen to read this, think about all the time that you spend on things that simply steal your time. Are you using your time to better yourself? Are you using your time to better the lives of your spouse and your children? Are you frivolously hoping that everything will be perfect? If you are, you are setting yourself up for failure. Because things are going to happen that will stand in the way of what you want... what your kids want. It doesn't mean that you or your children aren't trying the absolute best that you all can... It simply means it isn't meant to be, right now. It doesn't mean give up. It means chill out for a little bit. Be still. See if it's what you really want before you continue giving away your time.
No, this isn't a preaching session, but maybe it is for me. Maybe I need to preach at myself for a minute. Perhaps I need to get real with myself and stop expecting so much from myself and others. Maybe I need to step back and let others do their thing and just admire the beauty of the chaos. Maybe there is someone out there reading this thinking, "you know what... I am not going to waste anymore of my time" and start focusing on the here and now. My mom used to have a saying, and I'm sure you've heard it, too. "Sometimes, you can't see the forest for the trees". In this instance, the forest is all the things I think of when I think of life... And I can't see it because I'm too worried about things being perfect.
I'm going to step back and let my children grow into who they are, not who I want them to be. I want them to experience everything that life has to offer, and when the time is right, they will come to me with questions, and I will be there to help them.
For now, I'm going to appreciate how homeschooling has made me a better person. If it wasn't for creating this blog to help other homeschool families, I wouldn't have had the chance to reflect on this topic, and for that - I care deeply.
Thanks for stopping by,