I feel like there have been many emails that encourage you through the hard(er) parts of homeschooling lately. In this series, I am hoping to do a more positive series, on ways that you might be able to glimpse God at work in your life and the lives of your family members.
These are not practical like, "Now my morning routine is so much more smooth!"
Instead, I hope that, in your life, these might be practical in the sense of, "I have a new view of how God is at work in me and my family."
A Tale of Two Plane Trips
Six or seven years ago, I had taken my youngest when I went to visit my family. He was a free lap child, and on the flight home he was not a happy camper. He probably didn't actually cry and scream the entire four hours, but that's how it felt.
I knew it had been a rough flight when another passenger from a few rows back stopped after the flight to say, "Don't worry about it. I have four children of my own, and sometimes this happens. If people make comments, just let it go."
I appreciated the encouragement--sort of--but it was quite embarrassing, to realize that we had been so disruptive that a man several rows away felt the need to tell me not to worry about being disruptive.
Now it's some years later. That crying baby is a pretty independent 8-year-old. And when we took a family trip recently, a woman leaned across the aisle to say, "You and your husband must have this parenting thing down. I've been watching for the last hour, and your spouse has been doing a crossword, and you have been reading a book, and your children just happily do their thing."
This is not meant to be self-congratulatory. After another flight, a few sons shoved each other on the gangway as they were leaving the plane. So if you happened to catch my family at the wrong moment, you would not think that we have "the parenting thing down."
But when this woman said that my children were independent, I realized that is mostly true. I hadn't noticed, because the youngest still needed attention at times, and sometimes children asked for snacks. But compared to a four hour cry on the plane, my normal has shifted.
So my family had changed, but I hadn't noticed it because that change has been incremental and gradual. (And, obviously, remains incomplete.)
But I suspect that, if you think about your life, you may have some area in which you, or your family, have grown in grace, perhaps without recognizing it.
Maybe it's not that years of training start to pay off with self-sufficient children on plane flights.
For me, for years I would pay the bills and be super grumpy, thinking that maybe this would be the month that God would not provide. And then at some point, that grumpiness went away. God has been faithful through the years, and that is no longer such a struggle.
My hope is that you can think of something in you or your family that God has changed.
And if you can't think of a way that God has been at work? Ask him! May he bring something to mind, so that you may be encouraged in your journey.
John and Sarita's oldest daughter
Homeschooling mom to five