Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. —Francis of Assisi
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The high school years follow their own space-time continuum. The four years from kindergarten to grade three are achingly slow at points, despite being chock full of hours spent learning to read, to count, to spell, to multiply, to stay on task. But high school… high school flies past you at the speed of sound, broken up only by pesky questions like, “Do you have enough math credits to graduate?” “Are you ready for your driver’s exam?” and “Are you applying to college, trade school, something else altogether?”
The two lines weren’t supposed to be there. You took the test on a whim. If anything, you thought, Murphy’s Law would come into play and you’d start your period as you were waiting for the seconds to tick by on the timer.
One of the projects I was most excited about this summer is one of those purely delight-driven, purely fanciful little endeavors that make the best kind of memories: a sunflower house. We attempted one once, years ago, in Washington. I probably should have just hand-fed sprouts to the slugs for all the good it did me. I think we grew three sunflowers that year, which was lovely, but it wasn’t a house. It didn’t create the sweet little hideaway I had hoped for. Call me a pessimist, but I never tried again.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that my family (ahem) stands out. We have a lot of kids. We homeschool. We don’t watch television. We live in a barn, for Pete’s sake.
On Friday, I shared that, in the beginning, we were on the unexamined, default path of family living. True, anyone who knows my husband and I know that we have never had an issue bucking the status quo. But defining our Family Culture helped us not just lead reactionary “we want to do it differently” lives in regards to what’s perceived as normal, but gave us a framework and some bigger goals to strive towards as we walked through the years.
If you’re dissatisfied with the rhythm of your days, wary as you see the character of your children developing, or just wondering how to fulfill your role in God’s great story, this series is for you.
We are a family of 11. It’s an introvert’s dream at my house, as you can imagine. My 20 year-old, Babita, is in Nepal. Everyone else is at home. 19, 16, 14, 10, 8, 6, 4, and almost 2. I never have to worry about falling into the trap of isolationism that my fellow introverts can be prone to. Not ever. They make sure of that.
Isn’t God good?
I was sitting at the table this morning when my wife began recapping a story she’s been reading to our little ones.
It’s the story of a boy and his sheep (Mountain Born), but in this scene, the boy’s mentor is using another lamb to draw in wolves that have been decimating the larger flock.
I don’t know how it happened, but somehow, we mothers decided that we should be busy. I blame the NIV Bible, which translates Titus 2:5 like this:
to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
The email was a welcome bit of encouragement: you are not forgotten, I pray for you and your family, your work. There was a simple ask at the end. Just a request to partner in ministry.
And yet… the tears.
I recently took a trip to visit my parents. Took most of the children with me so that my wife could finish a book project she’s been writing.
This isn’t the first time I’ve slipped away with the children but every time is different as they each get older.