Monday, June 29, 2015

Blog Title Change

This is indeed the blog formerly known as "CM, Children, and Lots of Grace".  I've changed the title to "Lots of Grace" for several reasons:

  1. The "CM" in the title may indicate more Charlotte Mason following than I actually do in real life. While I feel like I follow Charlotte Mason method in spirit, I'd rather not hold myself or my family up as ideal.   
  2. My youngest child is fourteen.  The "Children" in my title seems to me to imply younger kids. They will always be my children, but at this point they are truly practicing adults-- or practicing-to-be-adults.
  3. I want my blog title to reflect a broader focus than home schooling or a particular educational philosophy.  When I've posted lately, which hasn't been often, it's been mostly about us living and loving each other and trying to follow Jesus and making mistakes and trying again.  
  4. I am keeping "Lots of Grace". I need lots of grace! I think all of us do. So the grace part remains.
Also, you may notice that I've rearranged the sidebar and added a list of links explaining our religious beliefs. I've been circumspect about sharing those beliefs in the past, as I think religion is something personal.  Also, a wise man once said the only statement of faith that matters is the one you live. But it seems to me time to put it out there. So there it is.

Thank you very much for reading this blog. I don't get many comments, but Blogger tells me I have followers and get page views.  I appreciate you, readers. As you look around, please comment if you feel led.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

How Summer is Going, or Changing Expectations

I had all these good intentions of spending quality educational time together with Cornflower this summer. We were going to read poetry and essays and Shakespeare, practice dictation, do some writing, and finish the last four chapters of her biology textbook. So far, all we've done is kept up with biology. It's only mid-June, but I'm already thinking I may use my beautiful summer plans as a basis for our together work in the fall, and allow summer to be what it should be-- a relaxing of requirements so she can rest a bit. She's entering high school this fall. This may be her last restful summer for awhile.

I never feel like I do enough with Cornflower. She is my youngest, and I have this perpetual sense that she's gotten short shrift.  When I'm thinking rationally, I'm pretty sure that is not the case-- at least not anymore. But the guilt has become a habit that is hard to shake.

She has been painting her room this week.  She did some babysitting for a friend and earned some money which she used to buy paint in exactly the color she wanted. For the past five or six days, she's spent all her spare time thinking about her room and painting and arranging it.

And this is part of my insanity.  This girl has been painting her room all week and I'm fretting that we haven't read Shakespeare.  She is making exciting strides in piano practice, and I'm upset that we aren't working on writing.  She is volunteering at the library, and I'm sad we aren't having poetry teatime together.

The other day, I mentioned that it didn't look like we were going to follow the (beautifully laid-out and posted in the kitchen) summer schedule I had made.  She said consolingly, "Yeah, I'm really sorry you went to so much trouble to plan out stuff we aren't going to do."  Little stinker. ;)

So I've decided to switch gears and make new plans. I've been wandering the house this week like a lost soul, trying to figure out what to do whenever I'm not working in my music studio or tidying the house or making meals. Because I laid all these plans and we are not doing them and I don't feel right forcing them on my daughter.

Today is my day for starting over with new summer expectations.  I can't keep wandering the house picking up odd socks and wondering what I'm supposed to be doing.

It's weird having almost-grown kids.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Christ and Perfection

When I read the Bible, I sometimes get frustrated at the Israelites and the Apostles. I mean, the Israelites walked away from God over and over again. Throughout their long history, they get close to God, receive blessings, forget God, go into slavery, remember God, beseech Him to rescue them, are rescued, and the cycle begins again. Over and over this happens. And I think, “Come on, Israelites. Haven't you read your own history? Look at the pattern!” It's easy for me to think this because I'm reading what they lived. They lived it slow and messy, but I read it quick and tidy-- in a book.

The Apostles walked with God-on-Earth. Jesus, the Lord Incarnate. They admire him and love him and are in awe of him... and they think he is here to set the Romans straight, put them in their place. One more rescue from the God who is there. Jesus continually tells them they are on the wrong track, but they never get it until they see him rise from the dead. It takes him dying himself-- destroying their dreams of earthly power-- for them to realize something bigger is at work here.

Perhaps when Peter told the people, “You have with wicked hands crucified the Christ,” he was also thinking a little of himself-- how his expectations of Jesus had been so low. He wanted earthly justice, but Christ brought love. After he betrayed the Lord, watched him killed and saw him rise, he finally understood Jesus's perspective. This world is not our home. Then Peter stood fearless and meek-- can we be both?-- although persecuted and eventually killed by his earthly enemies. Because it's not about earthly control. It's about God's love.

This life's problems can seem so big. We don't have God's perspective. If there's one thing I've seen in the Bible, it's that life is complicated and messy and requires a God to put in order. Most of the time, that order is not revealed until later, that's why He says to trust Him and do good. As best you can, do good and love and live at peace with others, even if it seems like it won't “work”. What you think is the solution may not be what God intends at all. His ways are not our ways. They sure aren't. I would totally have gone after the Romans. But that was the wrong thing.

Remember this when you mess up. God doesn't expect us to live to perfection. That's what he was showing us with the Israelites-- he gave an entire nation so many opportunities to get things right, and they went in circles. None of us are any better. None of us. Some sin one way, and some another. If you think you are doing a pretty good job staying within the lines, be wary. The law is a continuum with sin on one side, and sin on the other, and a teeny little sweet spot of perfection in the center. And that's why Christ came. Christ is our perfection. We love him, and good comes of it. But it's all Him. Remember.