small steps, big leaps.

Do you ever wonder if the next step towards change is going to transform you, or cause you to stumble?  It's hard to trust that the 'leap of faith' off the proverbial cliff is going to let you fly, instead of crashing into a mangled mess on the rocks below.

But currently, I feel the wind beneath these fragile trembling winds.. and I am excited to share with you friends the changes on our horizon!

After keeping our oldest daughter (Azriel,5yrs) home for junior kindergarten year, and then sending her off to try out a local Catholic school for her senior year... we've recently decided to homeschool her for (at least) this next school year.  Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but if I'm being honest there was lots of internal 'freaking out' and paper bags involved.  Because, I am not the type who embraced this idea right off the hop.
There were the silly reasons - like, "I'm just not creative enough to teach her".
The selfish reasons - "Will I ever get a moment to myself?!"
The socialisation reasons - "Will she be isolated from her peers?"
I was the champion of listing pros + cons for both sides of the debate... but after sitting on the fence for the last couple of years, it was starting to chafe.
So we are stepping out, and I am seeing the joy - instead of sheer panic - about this choice.

There's a lot more I could say, but for now just a few points:
We chose this path for our daughter (for now) because we believe it fosters her well-being. She has blossomed over the summer in ways we were delighted to witness, and have noted that it is in direct correlation to the quality time spent with her family/friends.
This does not mean we make homeschooling our 'gospel' and assume it's the best choice for everyone.  I respect the convictions and choices each family makes for what is best for their children.  Like many of the debates in our culture - this one seems rather polarising as well.  I'm not out to convert or convince you to homeschool (my many homeschooling friends will be the first to tell you that I often questioned their reasons, in fact!)  It is probably ironic to them that I am now on this side.
But maybe we don't need to make it about 'sides' with this issue.  Let's just hold to the conviction to be on the side of our children's growth and health... and encourage other parents to do the same.

For now, I'm just feeling so blessed to know that this sweet gal will be by our side a whole lot more this school year!

Mel ;o)


there and back again...

Oh hi, ...anyone...?  Just blowing the dust off the blog here.
Let's pretend we were on summer vacation and far too busy with the three kiddos in our nest to scratch two words together.  Partially true, also... the laptop was out of commission for the past couple months.  So here we are, back for now.  Thanks for your patience friends.

Let it be known, I was still writing (in my head often) and I also was published in the BARNABAS summer edition magazine recently.  For those who weren't able to get their hands on the article I've attached a version of it here:
"We live in a busy age, don't we? We want our food fast, and our theology in a sound bite. How do we find perfect peace at this peace? How do we pursue the presence of Christ?
The Bible is my defibrillator.  When I feel the panic of 'do more, be more!' attacking my heart, I find the shock of Christ's words brings much clarity.  Take this passage for example: Jesus enters a village and is welcomed in to the home of Martha and her sister Mary.  Martha, understanding the importance of hospitality in that culture, was 'distracted with much serving'.  Mary simply sat at Jesus' feet and listened to his teaching.  I can imagine the vein bursting from Martha's forehead when she protests: "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Tell her then to help me" (!!).
We see Him respond with: "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her".

Serving, or sitting.
I feel Martha's priorities hammering on my own heart.
I desire Mary's passion to consume it.

Because productivity is like a drug to me.
If I can keep just enough things clean.  If I can check off just enough tasks on the 'to do' list.  If I can visit with enough people.  If I can juggle all the important parts of the day without being swallowed in to chaos...
... I can find my value in that accomplishment.
Because the business of busyness defines us as important, doesn't it?
Which is not to say that being productive is wrong.  The problem is if our identity is found in what we are, instead of Who's we are.  The danger is if we find our value in what we do, instead of what we are (in Christ). What one thing defines you? Where we find our identity, is where we rest.
A heart that rests, is the Mary heart.
Found sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Holding to his teaching.
Leaning on his strength.
Trusting in his promises.

A heart that does not know it's 'one thing' is the Martha heart - "anxious and troubled about many things".  There is the restlessness.  The running from thing to thing to find comfort, peace, security.... identity. 

Practically how does that look for us in the harried days of daily life?
One way that I've been convicted lately is to make my 'quiet time'...my devotions of reading/study/prayer take place during the *sweet spot* of the day.
You know, that one precious hour when the house it quiet.
That delicious moment when you know you could be 20x more productive at cleaning the house, or catching up on e-mails, or fill-in-the-blanks...
I see this as the perfect moment to give a sucker punch to my productive heart.
To clearly show it that we are going to STOP. SIT. and be STILL at the Saviour's feet.
I'm not perfect at it.
I still have a throbbing vein in my forehead that wants to do instead of be.
But I see the sweet relief that comes from this rare rest.
I want more of it."
"Thou has made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until it finds its rest in Thee" - Augustine.


Stay tuned,
Mel ;o)