Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What Will You Do All Day?!

I have a friend I love very much ask me this many weeks ago when this all started. I felt so nervous at the time about that question because I didn't want to be teased about it. This is one of those friends who is like a sister to me and though we are very different in personality, through Christ, we have become as solid as can be. So, I was not worried what she meant by it. I knew she saw the humor in the profound change of my day! It's true... what in the world would I do? I was just nervous thinking about it at all. What Lord, do you want me to do? Rick, what do you want me to do? Where is my place in this change? Now, I've had another friend, Karen, ask me a similar question so I thought...okay I'll tell ya.

".......encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

Titus 2:4

I'll be doing what my "own" husband wants me to do.. focus on being a housewife and mommy. No, I won't be "working" (meaning getting a job)! My heart is at home. My gifts are with the home. The whole point is to lighten the load to make me a BETTER mommy and a BETTER housewife. I think working would just keep me overloaded and not functioning well. That's just me.

Many mom's are very gifted with kids. Gifted to teach them their lessons, to be creative when they don't understand. They have a real passion for schooling. I've discovered once I let go to God's leading, that that is not my main gift. If God still wanted me, and my husband still wanted me to try it anyway... I would, but it is a minefield of frustrations for me. Housekeeping is a sheer delight for me when I can do it (when homeschooling, there has really been no time for it beyond survival mode). In the past year I have gotten so mundane in my meals and organization of that, I look forward to putting on my apron more! That is another area I delight in.
Please don't misunderstand, I delight in my children, but not easily in the area of academics. I start to get to works oriented in that area that I pressure them more than help them. I feel pressure myself too which makes me struggle just to love them. I'm not saying this is a cure for that and the delighting comes purely through prayer and from the Lord because life itself with kids is a growing experience. However, taking off some of my load so I can focus on delighting and cheering is the idea and what Rick really sees I will shine at.
If I could trade a moment of seeing my kid multiply a four digit number for the first time, for a moment of discussion about life issues and turning our hearts to God, I'll trade it. I delight in discussing life, I delight in caring for my family's needs (food, clothes, making a warm haven, etc) more than I delight in their schooling. I delight in sitting with them and talking about God, and how huge he is, and how much he loves them and wants to be involved in every area of their lives. I love talking about how he is conforming us all to his image through trails, how he wants us to find our joy in him as we were created to do.
I have not been able to pursue these gifts with homeschooling.
My husband knows I delight in these areas of life and he is encouraging me now to make them my focus. I think, the more we see how mommy has been off track, the more we look forward to the joyful journey God is putting us on.
I will also be up at the school a lot, in the classrooms a lot. I plan to make that a priority. It has been advised to us that this is an important thing for a mom to do so she can really know not just the teachers, but the kids as well. Hearing what is going on and knowing who everyone is.
I will be praying more during the day. I will be taking time to bring my children before the Lord while they are gone. Rick would like me to pray about the times we take in the evening with the kids and take notes on what to discuss. Pay attention to what is coming home in conversation, pray over it, and formulate biblical discussion ready to go when we sit and share with the kids.
Our plan is to take a little time each evening to "meet" with each kid, and then on other nights just spend that family time we would have anyway. Princess would have one on one more times in the week than the other two since we are sure she will need more discipling. It will be my role while Rick is working and the kids are at school, to pray over these times, and record what in general is going on or asked. These are the channels I was seeking of that we need to open, but not in a overbearing way, we want them to be natural and comfortable, yet God focused.

The main goal will be for me to be diligent with the time in the day, so that any time away from school is relationship/fellowship time. Some chores, yes, but mainly time as a family. Times of delighting and supporting them. These hours will be guarded and honored highly. There will be no cleaning (beyond dinner clean up), no projects (unless they involve the kids), no organizing (menus, schedules, coupons etc), no laundry, no errands or shopping. This will be sacred time. Time to hear where they are, support them.
When they are down .... there will be sacred time for Rick and I. For in the midst of all this, God has been showing me something else I've been slipping at....loving my husband. When we homeschool it is so easy to put the kids above our relationship (for us, again, many couples are good at this balance). Even in the evening there is prep needed for the next day's schooling, maybe even studying of the material etc. So, another surprise God had for me was to show me I was putting things out of order.
More on that later...


Zimms Zoo said...

Yeah for you! I can see you are really seeking. I think I would be so lost if my kids went to school, but on the other hand I might start catching up on reading and movies and forget what i was suppose to be doing. ;0)
On the other hand I am lazy and have never wanted to get all of them up and dressed and to school at 8.
We live in the worst school district in the local area and the elemntary school in our neighborhood is rated the worst in our city. It has the highest rate of foster kids and kids with at least one parent in jail. It would be so hard for me to turn them over to that school, even though we have 2 good friends that teach there. I can see your struggle from all perspectives.
Anyway make sure you hit Starbuck's at least once a week. I know this is a novel but I want to share a quick little story. I had a good friend (who was a lawyer) decide to put her friends in a local private school. She still had a little girl at home with her in the mornings. So twice a week she would take her to starbuck's for hot chocolate and a latte. They had a surprise baby 3 years later. Then when the baby was 3 months old she contracted strep from her son, which turned into the flesh eating stuff and she was dead within 4 hours of finding out she had it. (her son was fine by the way). Her little girl said that going to starbuck's was what she would always remember about her mommy. She was 4 when her mommy died. Anyway that is a little reminder to just make time for our kids.
So I will stop for now.

Zimms Zoo said...

I meant decide to put her kids in a local private school. not her friends. i wish i read my comments better. sorry

Alicia said...

thanks ...
what a sad story...the mom dying i mean, not the sweet memories part. i never knew there was a flesh eating strep!

Alicia said...

oh, and just another thought for you. i had a very relaxed homeschool shedule when i was homeschooled to (i think many of us tend to do that...i do) in my college years, and even into adult life, this has made it hard for me to be up and at things on time. i think as they get older if we do homeschool, we have to try to develop that discipline so they are ready for the real world. this will be good for me 'cause i'm not good at it either!:)

tricia said...

I think every thing you plan to do with your time is wonderful. I hope to incorporate some of your plans into my day next year. I always seem to get distracted on days that the kids are gone all day, this is something I need to pray about.

That story is sad.

Anonymous said...

Alicia. It is so good and right to make plans... but remember...

Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.

And one other tidbit that I want to share with you that you can take of leave.... I got in the habit when my children were little that whenever they were gone from me that when we got together again (for example picking them up from AWANA, School, Party, Babysitting..) I always asked them two questions
1. Tell me one thing that made your heart happy... (something some one did that made you happy etc or something you did)

2. Was there anything that made your heart sad?

This was so that they had to communicate something to me about there time but it was not threatening, like tell me all about what you did... it was simple to answer. And they knew I wasn't going to prod, (at least not right then)

This promoted conversation without being overwhelming and it also forced them to think back on their time away.

They knew I was interested and cared but they also knew I wasn't going to interrogate them.

Anyway... nice reading your blog!


Alicia said...

If there is anything I've learned lately, it is those verses! This sharing was more the unfolding of what is being revealed to Rick and I as to how I fit into this change. What my role will be. That he is showing me a need to be diligent in my time (not to think oh, I get the whole day to myself!)so that my time with my kids is family focused and God focused.
Of course, all this is with an open hand. I hope He knows I'm willing to change anything at any time.
I am curious what was on your heart to remind me of those verses though. I hope I don't sound like I'm forgetting it. Kind of a "thank you I'll take it from here."
It's more like a defining of a mission statement.
I appreciated your sharing about how to get your kids talking about their day. It's ironic that you brought that up because the thoughts have all ready occured to me that I can tend to be an over eager parent in these ways. I remember my mom asking me how my day was and I didn't want to talk about it for some reason. Even now, I'm not sure why. I do know that it was when I was all ready older and that is why I want to open up channels now.
Thank you for your advice.