Friday, November 7, 2014

Homemaking 101

 Yesterday I posted some pictures on Facebook of doing morning school with my littlest kids.  Above you can see Millie and Cecily counting out their dimes and pennies for the daily coin cup in the math meeting before their math lessons begin.
 Elijah is coloring in the Bible Story Coloring Book that came in a 6 book preschool book set that I got him. 
 Cecily's math lesson using pattern blocks.
 Millie's math lesson involved setting up a "store" where she labeled everything with a price, picked out two items at a time, wrote them on a receipt, totaled the prices and paid for them using dimes and pennies. is today.  More math.  More preschool.  Can you guess what I spend hours and hours doing every single day? 
 The kids are great at helping each other out...
 ...yet, there is many hours of tutoring required of me every day without fail.  Today I helped Ben and Cal look up a weather map with the high and low temperatures for the whole USA for tomorrow.  We documented the projected temperatures for about half of the state capital cities so that they will be able to graph them tomorrow.
                    I love teaching my kids and watching them learn, but there's a duty to this task that goes beyond anything I love to do.  They need my daily, consistent investment into their expanding knowledge as a big part of helping them to become strong, healthy plants in this garden of a household I am trying to manage.
                    I got to thinking today about how all of the many aspects of homemaking are meant to work together, like an ecosystem in a garden, to accomplish the end of strong, healthy plants that are bearing fruit.  Of course, the end of that end is glorifying God and growing His kingdom.  This isn't about me.  I play a role that God has laid out for me and I work for His pleasure.  All of the jobs I perform as a homemaker are a part of this role and they are meant to work together to produce healthy, thriving plants here in my home.  You can't remove any aspect of it.  They all work together:  the cooking, the laundry, the shopping, the cleaning, the discipline and time for training, the spiritual nurturing, the educating, the bathing and grooming, the soul nurture through generous giving and serving and providing things that they delight in, the continual looks and touches of affirmation and affection.  
                   I have a long ways to go when it comes to getting all of these aspects to function efficiently at once.  The truth is that my garden is far from lovely.  In fact, I feel a lot like Elijah, trying to learn the basics of drawing a straight line and stopping at the right spot on the bottom line(pictured above).  As I was teaching him this week and marveling at how such a simple task was difficult for him to get down, I was reminding myself that it's a building block.  First he's got to get the line straight.  Then we work on stopping on the bottom line at the right place.  When he's figured it out through repetition, we can move on to some curved lines and attempt the number 2.  Even holding the pencil is so awkward for him right now, but one day, Lord willing, he'll be writing essays and who knows what else.  
                  I recognize God doing the same kind of training with me.  Is it hard to be content with this?  Sadly, yes.  My pride wants to be the "accomplished housewife."  It's just this kind of weakness that indicates that I couldn't  handle being that yet anyway.  If I were, I would fall prey to so many temptations and it wouldn't be about God's glory anymore.  He has me where He wants me and He's writing my story.  I trust in this.  And I am content.  I could look around at all of the weeds left in my garden, still needing to be pulled, and become discouraged or ungrateful.  Instead, I believe the Lord wants me to reflect with praise on all that He has wrought in my life with His faithfulness, look with gratitude on the progress He has allowed me to make and view the weeds with a sense of hope and ambition to get busy!
                    Lord, I ask your forgiveness for all of the pride and self-reliance that I have brought to this task and for all of the weeds that I have subsequently sown.  Thank you for the hope you have given me and the opportunity to work for your glory instead.  May this garden you've given me ever glorify you.
Side note:  Will's chopping work today.
And my 32-week pregnant self heading out the door to spend some spontaneous time with my husband. God is good.


The Jones Family (TN) said...

So well put, Julie!! Thanks for sharing. And you look great, too!!! Praying for you all.

JoAnn Asmussen said...

You do look lovely, and I love that you shared your personal thoughts on raising your family, and on your life. It's very refreshing to hear. I have trouble taking care of just myself, so you have nothing but respect from me for all of your hard work and effort. You have a beautiful family, and one I hold dearly in my heart. Love you!

Kathy Poncy said...

What a fun and wonderful post. Julie, you are beautiful. I love homeschooling but boy is it ever a committment and a labor of love. Oh how I wish I lived closer and couod help in some way.

I wish you well an I pray for you all every day.

Hugs - Kathy

Jocelyn O. said...

Julie, I so appreciate your prayer at the end of your blog. Self-reliance and pride are at the root of so much. I pray that you and I can continue to pull these choking weeds and sow the planting of the Lord...that He might be glorified!
I love your photos, too!