It has been a really long time since I have had any desire to blog. I blame the pregnancy.
We are about to begin our third week of school. I have been VERY pleased with how we are doing! Last year I struggled and struggled. I just couldn't seem to get a flow going. We got the main things done, but very few of the cool things that make me excited to home school. This year, we are getting EVERYTHING in!! Plus, I have added a student and a half. Kevin just started kindergarten and Kaiden is doing some preschool play and simple lessons. The girls do most things together now and just have different levels required of them.
The very best thing about having several kids and homeschooling is all the work that God does on me during the process. I have learned (and continue to learn) many lessons. I know that God's mercies are new every morning! I know that life is work and that I am not entitled to play or free time. I get those times, but I don't expect them or feel like I have earned them. I have learned to work hard even when I don't feel like it. I have learned to try to live more and more for Christ and not for man.
I will stop on that one. I think women in general find themselves comparing themselves to other moms. I know I am guilty of that. We think that if we could just have it together like______, then we would be a good mom and finally must have become the woman God wants us to be. I have chased after that lie ever since I had my first baby. By the grace of God, He is now showing me what it looks like to seek HIM and not other moms. I don't claim to have this down or claim that I don't falter, but my focus is getting more and more consistent.
It is funny how I find myself doing the same things as before, but with a different motivation and purpose. It has been wonderful to see the transformation in my children as they learn to shoulder some of the chores and work of living in a family. We are a team! We help each other! We are learning to do more than expected and not just the minimum. We are learning that life is easier and there is more time for play if we JUST DO IT! All those tasks that we don't like, we do because we are called to serve each other, live with order, and work at everything with our whole heart as if working for Christ Himself! Of course we are learning these things, but I see the fruit in the family and in the way our home is run now.
Now, this does not mean that if you ring my doorbell at any given time, you will find a perfectly clean house and children loving on each other. In fact, if you come over, you will most likely find dishes in the sink and several things out cluttering the living room. (You may even hear a couple of kids arguing.) We have begun by having two 30 min. chore times a day. When the timer goes off, we move on. There is school, meals, play, nap, etc. that also need to get done during the day. No longer do we either do school OR chores. So, sometimes the chore doesn't get done completely. I am monitoring that everyone is working well at their job. Hopefully, as we continue to grow in this area, we will be able to have a completely clean house AND school, etc. done.
Right now, my priorities are that the kids learn to love, to serve each other, to love learning, to work hard, to obey and be under authority, to take responsibility, and to seek and follow Christ. If the dishes get done also, then great! If not, we will try again tomorrow.
Presently, we are having to put some things aside to love on one member of our family. My five year old seems to have no control over his emotions all of a sudden. He LOVES school and does really well during those times of the day, but all others are iffy. He rages no matter what level of thing happens. If he bumps into a chair and it hurts his leg a little, he rages. If a sibling makes him mad, he rages. If I say no to something, he rages. If any disappointment comes, he rages. A rage looks like him screaming uncontrollably and seeking to hurt people and things. He mainly reaches out to throw or hit things, but sometimes focuses on a sibling or dog. I have tried talking to him, praying with him, time outs, redirections, etc. etc. etc. to figure out how to reach him. I am sure he is crying out for something that he is not getting. That idea kills me because, as his mom who loves him, I want to give him what he needs. It is very hard to not be able to figure this out. Maybe he is getting a rush of testosterone in a 5 yr old growth spurt that he doesn't know what to do with. I don't know!!!
I am finding peace in that God knows him perfectly and loves him perfectly. I am asking that He shows me how to love and reach my son. I am trusting that this is just a tough phase that we will get through together. Until He lets me know what to do to help, I am just keeping him and others safe during these episodes.
I have to admit, that I am a little nervous about the idea of having another boy. Are all boys this hard? Will my 3 yr old soon do this? What will happen when there are three boys running around? My trust is in God, though, and I am positive all will be fine. I am very excited about meeting our newest little boy!!!!! I can't wait to hold him and kiss him and finally know what he looks like! Don't you just love babies?
Well, that is basically where we are now. I will try to update more often (maybe) so that this doesn't get so long.
(FYI: Even though we are expecting our 5th baby to be born soon, God still has adoption right on the front of our minds. We don't know or care about age, sex, or nationality, we just want to be a loving home to kids who need one. We will see where God leads our family. He, lovingly, only shows us one day at a time!)