Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One Down...

"time to teach"
Deuteronomy 4:14

Today was our first day of school.  And man, am I exhausted....

This was the day the kids chose to begin, which was fine with me.  In past years, we've begun much earlier, but it would have been hard this year ~ the weather was unbearably hot the past few weeks.  Hard to get much accomplished when it's like that.  Especially when we're trying so hard not to use our air conditioning.

So it's just as well that this was the day the kids chose.  And the day went well, just a lot more work than the past few weeks have been.  We'd all forgotten what the schedule is like.

For my part, I had actual teaching time, of course, but I also had to do the necessary record-keeping.  What we covered; their assigned homework recorded in my book; their assigned homework in their books; plus I copied about a half a dozen activity or follow-up pages, and typed and printed three or four others. 

And then, there were the bookshelves.  I know it's only two kids, but it seems like I have textbooks galore.  They needed to be sorted and prioritized, each in their proper place on their proper shelf.  You may wonder {like my Awesome Girl did} why I didn't do that before today, but I find it's just not my favorite way to work.  I'd rather do it as I work.  It's how I like to organize.  So that was done today, too. 

So the good news is, we're off to a great start.  Everybody gung-ho about the new schedule, and about doing their best work. 

But I kept hearing Mary Poppins in my head as I mentally congratulated all of us.  She would, if she were here, say, "Well-begun is half-done".  In other words, we have a long way to go.  A lot of work to do.  Reading, writing, studying, learning, teaching, copying, typing, printing, grading, highlighting, recording, erasing, memorizing, reciting... On hot days and rainy days, on lazy days and energetic days, on headache-y and stomachache-y and congested nose-y days. 

Fortunately, in addition to Mary Poppins, I'm also hearing the words of a sweet and courageous saint of God, Corrie Ten Boom.  I heard a speech by her once, where she talked about how difficult it is to do and be what the world expects of us, compared with what God asks of us: 

"'Run, John, run!' the law commands, 
But gives us neither feet nor hands.
Far better news the gospel brings,
which bids us fly, and gives us wings."

It was years ago when I first heard that.  I've learned since then that she was quoting author John Bunyan, but it always makes me think of her.  I even hear it in her Dutch accent in my head.

The road is long.  I love teaching my kids, but there will be days when I don't think I have what it takes to teach, or to push, or to encourage them.   But I do.  I'm grateful to know that He never asks us to do more than He equips us to do.  Some days the motivator is enthusiasm, and some days it's endurance.  But that's okay; both come from Him.

~ "be a vessel of honor,
sanctified and useful for the Master,
prepared for every good work" ~
2 Timothy 2:21

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