Preparing for the School Year
As I am gearing up for the start of this school year, there are several things I need to prepare. Somehow, the materials seem the most imminent. I ordered the books I plan on using some time ago and waited anxiously as days turned into weeks before they finally arrived. How can I plan without our materials? I know we are learning about Columbus, but can't get much beyond that without knowing all that much about him. The Four Voyages, Taken From His Own Logbook and Letters, With Connecting Narrative and a biography written by his son should make for an interesting analysis of a rather enigmatic figure in history. We have a theme to start out the school year and will be learning about the sovereignty of God, using what we learn in the various subjects as examples of trusting in His sovereignty versus taking matters into our own hands.

From a lesson plan stand point, things were shaping up rather well and I think I have a good plan with some interesting resources. But something was missing.

We have been listening to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott in the car as we run errands. After Jo's tearful confession to her mother of her sinful thoughts when her sister fell into the ice, her mother confesses her own struggles with anger and how she has labored to become master of her own temper. Something in her speech convicted me. And pointed out what was missing in my current fervor of planning.

Mrs. March had tried for years to master her anger, but first found real motivation looking in the eyes of her daughters. I remember that feeling when I first held Little Mouse, a little over seven years ago. For her, I would do anything. For her, I would sacrifice everything I thought was important up to that moment. Education, career, travel. I had one very great purpose and that was to be a person worthy of raising this little miracle that God had entrusted me with. God had given me a task and I was determined to live up to it.

Somewhere over the years and even with the addition of two more children, that feeling has faded. I'm reminded of it here and there, but never quite so strong. I understand my role as mother and as teacher. I know that I will be held to greater account because I am the teacher. I know that, as a disciple of Christ, I am to walk as He walked. Even if that means stepping out of the boat to walk with him on rough seas. I know that my model will go further to teach my children about God than any lesson or discussion or rule.

But I don't always feel it. And I'm not always a very good model.

So, for now, I've set my plans aside. I'm still reading the Four Voyages (I'm really enjoying it and the short entries suit my concentration level at the moment). But I have a different focus. Right now, I'm focusing more on making God sovereign in my life and less on looking for where others have succeeded or failed at this mission. I want to be more like Him and more fully express His attributes:
  • To know His voice (John 10:4)
  • To be blameless and harmless (Phillipians 2:15)
  • To be bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1)
  • To be clothed with humility (!Peter 5:5)
  • To be ever merciful (Psalms 37:26)
  • To be stedfast in my faith (Colossians 2:5)
  • To be a minister of God (2 Corinthians 6:4)
  • To be found watching (Luke 12:37)
So that my children may be taught of the Lord. (Isaiah 54:13)

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