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Seeking What Matters Most

Home Office Desk and Fireplace

A quick glance at the mess in my purse, my kitchen drawers, and my closet, and most people would say that I am without a doubt the last person on earth qualified to write about organization!  Yet somehow the Lord has allowed me to be organized in those things that matter the most: sitting at Jesus’ feet, taking care of my family, and homeschooling my daughter.

Sitting at Jesus’ Feet:

One of my good friends has a daily early morning routine of “coffee and Bible.”  She keeps herself accountable by posting it as her status on Facebook.  It tickles me how many people pay attention to those daily posts; when she deviates, people want to know why!

I have something similar going on with my blog at everfaith.  Last year, I felt in my heart that I needed some way to ground me in my Bible and devotion time, and I prayed about it, asking the Lord to show me how I could be more organized.  I had been waiting until the end of the day to read the Bible and then half the time ended up falling asleep over it!  Then I saw the movie Julie and Julia, which highlights a woman’s attempt to cook her way through a Julia Child’s cookbook — and blog about it.

Eureka!  A lightbulb popped in my head as I realized I could combine my two favorite things: sitting at Jesus feet in the Word, and writing to process what I’m learning and to stay accountable.  Thus, my Bible Reading Challenge was born.

Using a yearly Bible chronological reading plan, I set out on January 1st to read and blog my way through the Word in a year.  Having a set goal and keeping myself accountable through blogging has really helped me stay organized and on task this year.  My family has been a tremendous encouragement; on those days that I feel too tired and run-down to write, my husband is my biggest cheerleader.  So it is that day by day, I’m working my way through the Bible.  It’s been an amazing look at the Lord’s hand in history thus far.  Although I’m eager to get to the New Testament, I have come across allusions and prophesies of Christ over and over again in my Old Testament readings.  In this way, I’ve been piecing together a bigger picture of the Lord’s plan for his people.

Taking Care of the Family:

Our home life probably looks very different from most.  For starters, we are only three.  Oftentimes we are down to two when my husband travels for work.  My eleven year old is still a very picky eater; most of what she eats are items that are not cooked…unless they are fried!  Thus, meal planning is not on my “what matters most” list.  To keep it from being a source of stress (my germaphobic habits make me throw away leftovers after one day and keep me from freezing items for fear that germs will lurk inside), I cook very small amounts at a time, make breakfast for dinner a lot, and eat out more than we should.

There are many things a mom does throughout the day that go unnoticed until she stops doing them: laundry, sorting the mail, cooking, washing dishes, ironing, keeping the pantry and toiletries stocked.  I try to take a page from the FlyLady in my attitude while doing these mundane, but necessary, chores: rather than being stuck in the doldrums, I am blessing my family by my work.  God has called me in this time and in this place to do what I can to give my husband and my daughter a peaceful home life.  Granted, there are many things I do to give myself a peaceful home life.  My daughter has clutter blinders that keep her from seeing those accumulating piles of laundry multiplying on her floor; my job as her mom is to help her see what needs doing and then teach her how to do it so she can bless others (like me!).

Homeschooling

Many of my friends and neighbors cannot fathom how I find time to be a wife, a mom, a homeschooler, and the director of a Classical Conversations homeschooling community.  Their Facebook status messages cheered on the first day of school; the overarching message was one of relief.

My excitement over the first day of school as a homeschooler is markedly different: I feel relieved that once again I am privileged to spend time with my daughter in meaningful ways, and the fun goes both ways.  She is excited about the start of school because she knows she will get my undivided attention for several hours in the day.  We snuggle on the couch and read history together.  We knock heads together during math…but then move into wonder as we study science.  While preparing lunch today, we giggled as we orally recited a verb anatomy for the verb of her choice: to conjugate. (You try to say the perfect progressive form, first person singular, future tense with a straight face: “I shall have been conjugating!” )  Every day that I homeschool is another opportunity to watch as the Lord shapes my daughter into the young woman he has created her to be.

This year I moved my computer upstairs to the school room so I could be near her while she works independently.  We are trying to implement a classical Christian education where the subject lines are blurred and where we look for connections.  In fact, making connections is the “theme” of our school year.  In the attached photo, you can see where I wrote our different subjects and connected them to each other and to God.  Do you see my daughter’s addition to the chart?  She wrote: “Fun.”

We stay organized by keeping our school books and supplies in the school room.  I pencil in her assignments in a student plan book; there are different homeschooling planning software programs out there, but for now, we keep it simple with pencil and paper.  The more complicated something is, the least likely it will be for me to follow it diligently!  After all, as Classical Conversations founder Leigh Bortins says, Jesus taught with a stick in the sand.  Surely I can do the same!

Another thing that matters most to me is encouraging others.  I do this through my blog as well as through my interactions with other moms, whether they homeschool or not.  I used to be a teacher in the public schools and in the private schools; now I say that I have a very private school!  This perspective helps me be an encouragement to others in the area of education.  The Lord has given me passion about education for students of all ages, and it is my joy to encourage you to seek wisdom and to get understanding no matter what your age or station in life.  The Bible is full of scripture about the importance of seeking wisdom.  The Lord was so pleased with Solomon for asking for wisdom that He gave him riches beyond all comprehension on top of mind blowing wisdom.  Wisdom-seeking honors God, as seen in this proverb:

“2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

I pray that you will take on the glory of kings today.  Ask the Lord to show you those things that matter most…and then it will be your glory to search them and live them out in your life.

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