My oh my, I'm sure I'm causing gasps by many of you out there! But there is nothing anyone could say to me that would convict me more than the daily, minute by minute, hour by hour thoughts that have been making my head feel like it is going to absolutely explode, over the past year. No, overall I do not think my girls have "fallen behind" or that they have not learned or that the year has been a complete loss. My mind tells me that. And I am thankful for my mind, because my heart, oh my heart has ached for these girls this past year in a way that none of you out there could possibly understand.
Patterson is our little Richard in female form. Full of life, motivation, ENERGY and endless optimism. If you knew my husband, you'd understand (and I'm sure if you know him, you are smiling reading this). But also like Richard, she struggles and with processing the negative. This was Patterson's first year of school. Patterson is our Kindergartner. I have worried so much for the lack of "fun" this little girl has had in her "introduction" to formal schooling this year. Patterson is not very creative in any way. She is our thinker and "question asker," so it was really just within the past few months that she has started sitting down and doodling. Her drawings are simple and similar to many her age. But they are so Patterson ... they are HAPPY. Look at this one that I picked up off of their drawing table today. It just oozes happiness. Even the cloud has a smily face!
Richard says this is a "good sign." It is also a good sign that she drew her sister Parker (see the red hair girl??) in a positive light. Patterson threw away Parker's prized possession, a little stuffed beagle dog, when we moved to KS (Patterson was 4 and she used to play "hide and seek" with Parker's things and put "Pup Pup" in the trash) and Parker has never forgiven her! It is terrible!!! So it does my heart good to see this little drawing. Anyway, I picked this up and put it by the computer to put on the blog tonight. Then as I was tucking in Kate (again) after my end of the day run with Richard (so incredibly hard to do at the end of the day after all the girls have been read to ... while I love to run, and love to run with Richard at the end of the day my top choice is curling up next to him on the couch and watching dvr'd Glen Beck!!!) .. so back to Kate, as I tucked her sweet little footy jammy self back in bed, I sat on the floor and rubbed through her hair and talked to her about what she was going to dream about "Jesus" she said (good answer:)!!) and so I said what Bible stories do you like? Do you like the story of Daniel and the Lion's Den? And I talked her through that story and told her of how God is always there for us, even when "bad" things happen (like being thrown in the Lion's Den). When I left her room I thought about David. Richard loves the story of David and Goliath, and I must admit so do I! What an amazing story of confidence in God's strength and will. Sitting down at the computer preparing to type this entry, I saw Patterson's picture and then thought about David and then remembered I had a picture that Parker drew of David and Goliath last year. I decided to get it and keep it out as a reminder of this year.
When we moved to GA, I was overwhelmed by all the Goliath-s that surrounded me ... the civilian world, our really nice mold-free house, five children (three to teach, one to potty train, one not even walking the first months we were here ... diapers to youth group H.E.L.P.), no husband, a sick momma, no friends, N.O.O.U.T.L.E.T.! Yes I was surrounded, and I had my armor ... I guess I just forgot to put it on and keep it on and go forth in the confidence of the Lord. Somewhere in the changing of diapers, putting people on the potty, laundry, dishes, sounding out words and grading papers I got tired and forgot that being on my knees isn't the worst place to be. Being alone isn't the worst thing that could happen. And not having the most fabulous homeschool year one could dream of might just possibly be the one we all learn the most from.
I am so thankful for the faithful moms who invest so much in their children's lives. So thankful for those of you out there who have a vision for Christ and live as intentionally as you can. So thankful for those of you who document both the good and the bad for the benefit of those who read. You inspire me. You encourage me. You comfort me.
This year has been hard, and it's going to be a while before I can fully lay it at the cross. But I am working on it and I look forward to next year and am excited about a new start and another year. My girls are amazing (despite having me as their Momma) and I love them with all my heart.