With the new school year starting, it’s a good time to remind ourselves that God is in control and we are not. It’s so easy to set up our plans and watch them fall apart. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve planned out our days activities to only have them fall by the wayside as some emergency, family crisis, illness, or phone call changes the direction my day was going to go. It’s easy to get frustrated and agitated when things get in the way of what has been planned. Once the frustration and agitation set in, it then becomes hard to focus on the crisis, much less the day’s plans.
As a person who likes to be in control, it’s very hard for me to hand over my plans to God and trust that He knows best. I want uninterrupted math time, writing to progress at my pace, not my student’s; I want things to flow smoothly, according to my plan.
Over the years, I have come to realize that I need to be flexible in my plans, not only for my sanity, but also for my students to be able to flourish in their learning.
When I set my plans in stone and my child gets excited about what we are studying and goes off on a rabbit trail, I can crush his curiosity and continue on with ‘my plan’ or I can realize that homeschooling is about these moments. Moments when you drop your to-do list and go with the flow. Moments when mom has to be out of the picture for a bit, so the student has to learn on his or her own. Moments when curiosity demands dropping the day’s plans in favor of inspiring a love of learning, questioning and exploring. Moments when the day’s plans fall by the wayside, as a beautiful day beckons us to move outside to explore God’s creation. Moments when we realize, ‘wow not much learning is going on here – I need to regroup and approach this from a different angle.’ In other words, homeschooling demands flexibility. It flourishes when interruptions are looked upon as a part of life and not the end of the learning process.
I’m not saying we don’t plan, but that we allow our plans to be our guidelines, not our all in all. Proverbs 16:9 says The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. We are to plan our way, but we need to remember Who is directing our steps.
On a side note, I’d like to recommend a book – Christ in the Chaos: How the Gospel Changes Motherhood. I can’t say I’ve read it yet – my children are grown now, but I have read blogs by the author, Kimm Crandal, and follow her on twitter. She has a heart for the Gospel and is very encouraging. Here is what it says about the book on Amazon:
Moms: Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop striving to meet false expectations. Stop thinking your performance dictates your worth.
For far too long mothers have been beaten down by the law of “do better” and “try harder.” The burden of “getting it right” threatens to crush weary souls who desire to serve their families faithfully. Christ in the Chaos brings comfort to conflicted hearts that are starved of grace and longing for the freedom in Christ the Bible promises.
Christ in the Chaos is a “must read” for every mother who longs for what is seemingly impossible: peace and freedom in the midst of her chaos.