Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hope That Does Not Disappoint

I love this mug.
I bought it for my mother on Mother's Day.
It would be impossible to be a mother without "hope".
But there are lots of different kinds of hope.
I'm pondering the kind that "does not disappoint" as is talked about in Romans 5:5.

It was exposed in me this past week,
that I've been hoping in something that DOES disappoint.
I've been hoping in my kids.
I've been hoping in myself.
I've been hoping in my plans and my ability to make them happen.
I've been hoping in lots of things other than in God and the fact that He controls all things . . .
for my good.
For. My. Good.

Can I share a little here?
I love teaching.
I love my kids.
I love the learning that takes place.
But this year has been full of changes and it has been downright hard.
I need a break.
I am looking forward to summer.
(Yep . . . I'm hoping in summer.)
I'm looking forward to putting this year behind us.
I'm looking forward to working on some new and fresh ideas to make next year more manageable.
I'm looking forward to a break from what has been for me . . .
(Homeschooling has rarely been drudgery for me over the past 14 years,
but this year it has been.)
I want to do some home improvement projects.
I want to spend time doing something creative with my photography.
I want to spend more time blogging.
I want,
I want,
I want.

This past week . . .
it began to look like all of my plans and "hopes" were going to have to be postponed as some of my kids were going to have to do some
summer school.

Now, when I was teaching in the classroom,
if a student didn't finish the assigned work,
he just got a "zero" for that assignment and his graded reflected that.
But in our homeschool,
the goal is for the student to actually LEARN the material,
and we have the luxury of taking as much time as we need on it.

So, I have a dilemma.
Do I take back the assignments?
Do I give them a break and have them finish it next year, hoping they'll catch up?
Or, do we spend a little bit more extra time this summer finishing it up?
But if my kids are in school,
then I'M in school,
and "my projects" have to wait.
I only have 6 weeks of break. That's not very long.

My flesh is waging war inside me.
Serve my kids joyfully?
Or throw a tantrum and make these next few weeks miserable for all of us?

Jan, what in the world does this ranting have to do with hope, you may ask?
Don't you see?
My hope is in the fact that I need 6 weeks to recover and refresh myself.
And it is threatening to be taken away from me.
My idol has been exposed.
If my hope is in God,
Who created the world by just a word,
and in the fact that He can command my refreshment with just a word,
then I would find the grace to serve my children joyfully no matter what their needs.

Do you find yourself frustrated in your parenting?
Do you think your children should be "farther along" by now?
Are you tired of having to serve them in certain ways . . . supervising chores, supervising homework, training in various duties and tasks, etc. etc?
Do you think you would be happier and more content if things weren't the way they are?
May you, along with me, fight to trust in a God
Who commands our joy.
His counsel stands.
He has proven Himself faithful time and time again.
He has never failed to provide for me.

"May you know the hope to which God has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance.
Ephesians 1:18

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Lament

Just feeling a little silly today,

as we think about our end-of-the-year presentation:

An End-of-the-Year Lament

By Jan Miles

May 2010

What can we show you

That would be really cool

And prove to ya’ll that we did go to school?

In stature we’ve grown

And our notebooks are filled

Our brains have been fried and our knowledge been grilled.

We’ve written and read and done tons of math,

We’ve walked obediently ‘long this year’s academic path.

But now our dilemma is finding a way

To prove to the world that this knowledge will stay.

What have we learned? What’s been our gain?

O please don’t let our labor be all in vain!

Give us wisdom, dear Lord,

And lead through the pen,

Or our mother will make us . . . do it all over again!

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