Quitting at the Start

I quit today. 

Not sure what I quit but I quit.

I hit the wall even before the school year started and I can't tell you even what happened. I just found myself spiraling into despair quickly and it felt a little like drowning.

The battle in my mind is too complex to describe and you might say the same about yours. So many things run through my mind each day; from the moment I wake up to the moment I lay my head down, my mind is full. Some days are worse than others. I wake up feeling behind, which is really silly if you think about it. How can you be behind on something you haven't even started yet?

I woke up yesterday and had a sweet time with the Lord. Though it wasn't long enough. As I look back at the things I was praying over I now know the Lord was setting the stage. For me to realize again that I cannot control things or hearts (which I like to) and helping me see again just how much I need him.

The weather might have contributed to it. The recent rain after a glorious summer cast a gloom over our family. It didn't help that we were starting school and I was frantic mommy. I was going to be organized this year. Pencils - color coordinated for all 4 kids. Notebooks arranged, dividers marking the start and end of each subject. Cubbies/storage bins so we can aim for neatness. (always a nice goal) Lesson plans finished, schedules written, extra-curricular lessons scheduled, and food in the fridge. A good start to the Chen Academy homeschooling year. It's my 13th year of homeschooling and each year I'm eager to start, but with the eagerness comes the doubt.  (can I really homeschool my children through high school?)  That's 10 more years and it's not good to think about 10 more years when you're starting a new year.

A normal day, please? We started out well. Day one- we wrote out goals, reflected on the past year, prayed for the coming year, kids spent time talking about their interpersonal, spiritual, academic, and character goals. I was pleased. Day two- a few interruptions in the morning,
but being the control-mom I am, I reigned in the emotions, breathed in deeply and tackled the unexpected with what I thought was ease. A family of 10 for dinner, unexpected phone calls, and a meeting I was unprepared for, I made it through Day 2.

Day 3 rolled around and the family woke up on the wrong side of happiness. Negative ions were streaming through our home and it seems a complaining heart awoke in all of us. I often tell the kids I can smell a "-tude" from far away. This morning the home was filled with stink. We lost our thankful hearts and mom was not ready for that.

Attitudes of the heart are so much harder to deal with than behavior. My husband and I committed early on to not focus on behavioral management but to shepherd and nurture their hearts. Unfortunately or fortunately the lessons that our children are to learn are also for us, too. As adults negative heart-attitudes might be hidden beneath good behavior, and we learn to cover it up. Until it comes out.

An hour into our morning I stumbled upstairs in tears. I quit. I don't know how to do this anymore. I can't hold it altogether. Homeschool, parent, work, ....

Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for You are my God and my hope is in You all day long. Psalm 25-4-5

This is our verse for our school year. We memorized it on Day 1 and Day 3 I found myself in the dissonance between my ways and His ways.

Show me Your ways. His ways of doing things includes unexpecteds, disruptions, and extra people at the meal table. It includes heart-tune-ups and time -outs, correction and discipline. 

A normal day? Would I trade a day of controlled-schedules for a day walking with the Father through the bumps and troubles? Self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and self-preservation are subtle attitudes that make their way through my heart and mind and affect my ways. But I want for His ways. 

My husband called for a family conference and we gathered in our room. Many hugs later, my kids tearfully apologized for their negativity and complaining hearts. Grace for another moment in our home.

Show me Your ways...... Oh Lord. 
Sigh. Oh Lord, I'm in desperate need of You!  

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