Monday, January 2, 2012

Reflections On Years Gone By

I have been cleaning. There is just too much "stuff" in this house! The girls have been great helpers and I am so grateful for their willingness to throw things away, give things away, and to really think about what is the purpose of "things".

This morning I couldn't sleep, so I began working on cleaning my office. I came across two boxes marked "Kid's Artwork". So I opened them and started sifting through. All these pieces of memories. Most are projects they did while in public school. Mother's Day/Father's Day letters written in first grader scrawl with backward "d's" and everything spelled phonetically. Pages proclaiming their love for a newborn sibling, for Meme and Pepe, and Mom and Dad. Not five minutes into it I had to go find a box of tissues.

In amongst the papers were progress reports and report cards. After the fourth or fifth one which mentioned that so-and-so child "works slowly," "needs to complete work on time," or "needed to focus on completing tasks", I began to feel such sadness. Each report stated that our girls were polite, courteous, and well-behaved, but they just couldn't finish their work. Yes, my kids worked slowly. They are meticulous and want to get it right. I realized that these teachers, while fully meaning well, increased my kids' anxiety about getting it right by pushing them to finish more quickly. This in turn caused them to work even more slowly. It has given me a huge encouragement that we did the right thing in homeschooling them.

The other thing I found was a poem I had written sometime during the year 2000 shortly after Rachel had been born:

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray my sanity to keep.
Please, O Lord, before I wake
this whole mess please do take.
Looking down from above
You know my family I do love.
But I pray, Lord, for some quiet
far, far from this noisy riot.
I need You Lord, through and through
without Your strength, I cannot do.
Without the love of the Son,
it simply, just can't be done.
And so I pray for this night
that you'll keep me in Your sight.
Please grant me this request:
that I could have a full night's rest.
That I not be woken
just because the night light's broken.
And please chase the bad dreams away
until the breaking light of day.
May the baby sleep all night
and let not the bedbugs bite.
Let me not in my sleep
be thinking of that laundry heap,
or all those other chores,
while my husband beside me snores.
Nor what's on the kitchen floor
and what's behind that bathroom door?
My nerves they are unraveled,
by muddy feet and where they have traveled.
My patience Lord, is all used up.
Please refill my empty cup.
With Your mercy and Your grace
all my frustrations please replace.
Yes, now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray my sanity to keep.
But as I look around I know,
I surely lost it long ago!

The New Year is here and the old papers and things are being put away as we look forward to all the things God has for us in 2012!
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