Thankful Thursday is one of those things I force myself to do, not because it’s fun or easy, but because I NEED IT. I am not a person who is naturally prone to gratitude, exactly. I tend to be quite critical. (See? I’m doing it again!) Consequently, my Thankful Thursday posts tend to be hard to write (and sometimes end up on Friday. . . oops.)
This week, however. . . Ah, I can DO this topic!
Although I don’t talk much about it here, home schooling is one thing that takes up much of my day to day life. Calf #1 is in first grade, Calf #2 is pre school, and Calf #3 has fun toys to keep her busy; so it’s not as much of a juggling act for me as it is for some of my friends who are schooling children in several different grades. But still, it takes time and effort.
I LOVE home schooling most days. However, there are some days that it’s an exercise in beating my head against that proverbial brick wall, though. We just don’t talk about those days! Except that I have to talk about “those days” right now, because that is where the LORD has provided for me most recently.
Generally, the home school year starts strong with big dreams and plans, and new books and gear, and excitement and optimism. But by the middle of the year we’re dragging to get things accomplished and dealing with bad attitudes (kids and parents.) It is a tiring, thankless, difficult job.
We in our area are blessed to have a home schooling convention nearby, and I got to go this year!! That’s right, a day to myself. Somebody else watched the kids all day long so I could go hang with my homies. It was like sitting on a battery charger for a few hours, except without the curly hair.
I will share one of the best points with you. I think this applies to people in MANY different walks of life, not just home schoolers. I think it’s safe to say that life gets like this for working moms and charter school moms and hey, even dads too (I would imagine, except that I’m not a dad.)
The speaker described the day-to-day tasks involved in home schooling (aka running a household with teacher duties attached.) For each task she put a bead on a string. Except . . . the bottom end of the string was not knotted, so each bead fell OFF the string. A bead for dishes . . . down the string and thud, onto the table. A bead for laundry, thud. A bead for school work. A bead for organizing, for menu planning, for vaccuuming. Thud, thud, thud, thud. All the little repetitive things that make up a typical day; a dozen beads strung and lost.
Seemingly lost, I mean.
Because she had (unbeknownst to us conference attendees) tied a length of clear, nylon thread to the end of the string. Each bead fell OFF the string but slid ON the clear thread. NOTHING, she said, that we do is “lost.” It may not SEEM that our multitudinous tasks amount to anything, to us. But in God’s eyes, nothing is lost! He sees the things we do and treasures them. One day, our children will remember our work and treasure us too.
Sadly, she hadn’t brought any kleenex. And I don’t think I was alone in needing them.
Did I mention that she started the workshop wearing a shower cap, holey bath robe, and fluffy slippers? She described this as “what we think we look like.” Underneath that, she wore a lab coat with attached recipe cards, shopping list, a big wooden spoon, flash cards, a string of colorful beads for a hip-riding toddler, everything that a busy mom would need to get through the day. She even had the alphabet taped on the back of her coat, for times when the kids were behind her. She described this as “what we think other mothers look like.
Do you feel like you are the bathrobe mama, living right next door to the labcoat mama? Reality is, NOBODY does the labcoat perfection thing. We just THINK that they do.
Yeah. It was a great day. I truly needed that encouragement! I think I can take on another year of home schooling now.