School Days and The Steps

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I felt a bit insane trying to finish up the school year and packing up our life to move. I plopped all the books into their bins and instead of sticking them on a bookshelf, I stuck them in the back of my car. My grade books stayed in my bag and haven’t left yet. Dragging them up mom’s stairs and into her library was cathartic. We had been here just 6 years ago. We lived here for 6 months waiting for our house on Jefferson to be built. Now my kids are older, I’m homeschooling them, and now I have to homeschool them IN my mom’s house. Thank goodness she is an eternal student.

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Tessa finished up her first year of Pre-K and it was wonderful. She loved it. I’m excited about teaching my youngest to read! We worked on end of the year projects: Jupiter, paper sculptures, writing assignments and other reports. We had lots of end of the year parties. We said some goodbyes.

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Being at my mom and dad’s wrapped around me like a blanket. I was such a bundle of nerves as I packed up our Jefferson house. I was brought to tears and/or nausea thinking about our stuff in a cement box storage unit in the ‘hood. Our whole life, in a ratty, dark hole. I had to will myself to put one foot in front of the other. So plopping down at Mom’s dining table and talking, watching cable, walking down St. Elmo Ave, sitting on the deck and watching kids jump on the trampoline…it was medicine for my weary mind. Those days that I did need to cry, I could pull the covers over my head, hear my mom have quiet conversations with Josiah, and listen to my dad play piano one floor below. Praise God for the time that it takes to coax our trust in Him, and the things He uses to stimulate the deepest part of our senses and know that He is aware of every. last. thing.

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Those “breaks” that I was going to give myself once we moved out. I don’t think I really let that happen. My mom told me to take it easy, don’t beat myself up. My friend and fellow home school mom told me I was doing great and was probably ahead of the game.  So as we spent the last three weeks of our school semester living out of boxes at Mom’s and filling our days with conversations with grandparents that we wouldn’t have everyday, I breathed a sigh of relief and just kept on going. There were books to be read and topics to discuss. There were walks to take and things to see. It seemed like a satisfying sigh at the end of our first year of homeschooling.

Then we packed up, and found another place to squat.

Out with it

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So I’m out, I’m back in the grind of regular life. I’ve been waiting to feel normal and I now realize that that might not happen for a couple years. Or maybe never again the normal that I think I want. But then again, why would I want it? I have another child and for that I am willing to sacrifice the normalcy that I thought I wanted.
I started back teaching on Monday, and wow what a circus I had to run in order to get through the day!
Looks like my day starts at 6:45 and ends around 4:30. Non-stop action, with very few breaks. Game face on the whole time. Tessa did great with Grandma showering affection and she took bottles both of Mama’s milk and the aweful powdered stuff. All my students and their parents were glad to see me and peered in thru the nursery window to exclaim how cute Tessa is. I even got a couple Valentines. I picked up where Kelly, my sub, left off. We painted. That’s the short version.
The thing that I left the day with, besides the sigh of relief that I had a whole week before I had to do it again, was the conversation that happened during my Middle School class. They talked almost the whole time about horror movies. In short, I don’t think there is anything innocent about horror movies. The demonic, the darkness and dipravity, and we know that these movies are also full of sexual content that is just there to titilate what other senses are not peaked. The celebration of these things is exactly what the Enemy wants from us. The hold that this form of entertainment has is dangerous.
I went to small group Wednesday night with this on my mind and asked what folks thought. Thankfully, we now have parents of a teenager in our group, so this topic was much closer to home. All the advice was consistant and we all were in agreement. So as I write out my lesson plan outlines today I realize that I will have to address this topic. And I know now from talking to experienced parents, that I will not go so far as to judge why these young people watch this stuff or why their parents let them watch it, but I will address it as part of art class. That’s where I’m in charge and that’s where I have authority in these kids lives.

Phil 4:8
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Also, Joel heard some good Biblical teaching that was focusing on everyman’s desire for the spiritual. We all long for that connection, if we don’t pursue it in God we pursue it somewhere else. This is troubling for me as I think about my class, but again, I want to stay within my boundries unless I see that I need to talk to a parent. At this point I should pray for my classes that all these young people would seek God for their spiritual fulfillment. And that God would answer that prayer by showing up in mighty ways in their lives and the lives of their parents.
Now that I’m out and about I feel like a functioning part of society. Teaching still does not come natural to me, my selfish heart would rather not give knowledge, I want to just use it. But I am feeling realistic and I want to do what God has given me to do. With a crap economy I want to have hope that artwork will still sell, but I also want to lean on teaching as something that’s more consistant and forces me to be humble. Getting back to painting humbles as well because I’m so rusty.That needs to be worked on. Bends in the road are nice to see, but what’s on the other side always surprises. I look forward to this year and what I’ll learn, I pray God will be gentle with me.