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Reaching Out

It’s been one of those weeks…

After typing those words I’m sitting here thinking, “where do I go from here?”

Honestly, it was just a dreary week.  Although there were some grey, overcast days outside, what I’m referring to is the inside of our home.

I’ve realized that I am often the one who sets the tone for our home. I mentioned in my Affirmation Post about setting the tone for a more loving and grace filled day with our words, and at the end of this week I can see even more clearly the truth in that.

The Legislative Session began this week and since Andy works in that “world” we have entered our season of constant demands and busyness for him to meet his commitments at work.  This is one of the first years in a long time, that I actually wasn’t dreading it.  For one, the sooner it begins, the sooner it ends. 🙂  But, it was more than that.  The kids are older and more self sufficient so it isn’t as physically demanding, our new home offers us a lot of space outdoors to play, explore, and have fun, but most of all, the Lord is teaching me, encouraging me, and transforming me.  I’m realizing “I” don’t have to make it through Session alone.

This reminds me of a song I used to listen to constantly on my Psalty cassette tape.  Does anyone else remember Psalty the singing songbook?  If you do, please tell me!  I would love to know if anyone else grew up listening to this life size blue book who taught us Godly lessons and led us in praise songs to solidify those lessons.  🙂

Deja Vu!  I just googled this song and found the exact one I would sing along with!  Rather dramatically I might add.

Here’s the link if you would like to enjoy a part of my childhood memories…

I Cast All My Cares Upon You

…if not I’ve written out the lyrics below.

I cast all my cares upon You,

I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet,

and anytime I don’t know what to do,

I will cast all my cares upon You.

As I think about this busy time of Session I am reminded that I can cast my cares on the Lord.  For this, I am grateful, but I need to remember this in the hard moments.  In the trying moments.  The moments when I’ve come to the end of myself.

School was tough this week.

I had one child dragging his feet and complaining every time I asked him to complete the same assignments that he has day in a day out.  In addition to this was the usual puzzle of balancing time with the littles and then finding an activity that will keep them entertained while I am working one on one with one of the big boys.

One of my boys was really struggling with a new math concept this week.

For the most part, math has always been a subject I enjoyed and was able to grasp more easily than some other subjects.  But, enjoying math and teaching it are two entirely different things.  Up until this point the new concepts have been fairly straight forward, but things are beginning to get a little more complicated.  I don’t care for the textbook that accompanies our workbook because I feel it lacks thorough explanations and doesn’t introduce the new lessons clearly.  In the past I have been able to stand in the gap.  I was able to figure out ways to present the information in a way my child could grasp, but not this week.

This week as I watched him grapple with his work, I mistook his lack of understanding for apathy.  I didn’t feel like he was really trying and so I began to get frustrated as I explained his math over and over and over.  My words were sharp, my tone unkind, and my patience….well, it had gotten lost and I could not find it anywhere.

I didn’t know what else to do. When I observed tears in my son’s eyes that I knew came less from his inability to grasp this new concept and more from how his mama was reacting in the situation, I knew something had to change.

I reached out.

First, I reached out to my son and told him that this is not how our time together should be.  I apologized and asked for forgiveness.  (WHICH DOES NOT COME EASILY!) I told him that we will figure this out together.  Whether it means slowing down our work so that he can have more time to understand, or finding some extra practice, or changing curriculum, I am committed to making this better.

Next, I reached out to a friend that I knew would pray for me.

I reached out to another friend who is in the same stage of life as me because I knew she could relate and encourage.  When I’m having a hard day and she isn’t, she can encourage me and then when she has a hard and I’m not I can send her words of encouragement.  And when we’re both having a hard day we can pray!

I reached out to a local homeschool mom who I know uses this same curriculum and is a little ahead of us in years. Within a day she sent back a detailed email that is helping me get a better handle on what we can do to improve this situation.

Most importantly, I reached out to the Lord.  Because as that Psalty song reminded me…

anytime I don’t know what to do, I will cast all my cares upon Him.

When we began school this year I gave each of the kids these signed papers.

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Of course I knew when I was writing this that I wouldn’t be able to meet all of these pledges all of the time, but it was important for me that they know my heart.  As I pulled this out again this week to read them over they were great reminders for how I want to teach them, lead them, do life with them.

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School in this room, this week, didn’t resemble many of those words I wrote to my children, but instead of being buried in the guilt of my failings this week I am going to pull that paper out and read it each morning this next week and put it before the Lord.  I cannot do school alone.  I cannot do Session alone.  I cannot do anything alone.

But He, yes HE can do anything!

My prayer this week will be that as I am completely and fully at the end of myself He meets me in that place so that there will be no doubt it is God working through me.

And in that, He will get all the glory.

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I am so glad that I get to teach these kids and  spend my days with them.

But, I want to remember…

They don’t just call me teacher…

they also call me mom.

Are you discouraged, lonely, struggling?  Is there someone you need to reach out to for restoration, prayer, encouragement, or wisdom?  Don’t hesitate to let others into your world.  We all struggle, we all fail, we all need others.

BUT most of all don’t hesitate to call on the name of the Lord and cast all of your cares upon Him…

for He cares for you.

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