I remember when Mystie’s course -Learning to Love What Must Be Done- first came out. I, of course, was one of the first in line to participate and couldn’t wait to dive in. I love organizing, rearranging, and re-doing anything and everything. I started the course and finished the first lesson. Then, I marked it off my checklist! Not surprisingly, I did not return to it.
If I am honest, I was not completely open to being wrong, to being corrected, or to learning new ideas about organizing and homemaking. I had my critical thinking cap on, and I was thinking about all the steps and the content, but I was not taking it into my soul. When we read and experience things through a critical lens, they almost always feel like someone is giving a lecture. However, if we hope to be transformed and loved by what we read and experience, then we must be brave enough to take it into our souls and let the work do what it will.
I was trying to micromanage how it came to me and how I interacted with it. I still wanted to be an expert. I am not sure why, but I have kept this homemaking, organizing, scheduling area of my life pretty separate from all the other things I’ve been learning in regards to humility and teaching from rest. Maybe it’s because I can easily delude myself that I can get to a utopia of perfection on this side of eternity. Maybe I still believe that I can prove how great I am by how I can keep it all together, keep the house clean, homeschool, and run a business. Maybe I have not completely believed that I am a child of God. If I did, would I really be striving like I do?
I am not sure what led me back to the course today, but I was. As I listened, I just took it in and realized some things about myself and why I did not go back to the course the first time I listened. I wasn’t ready to lay down the pride and delusion of a perfect life, and I wasn’t ready to admit that my metaphor for life had been one of control and worry. As much as I pursued the principles of peace, rest, and wonder in our schooling, I was holding back a huge part of my life. My script was one of “I am not enough, and I never will be enough” and because that was my script for myself, that also became the script for my kids. I had to repent and to give up my vision for what our home life ought to look like. I am learning I am not the best visionary for these kinds of things. The only thing I can do is repent and seek the face of Christ and maybe, if I do that, we have a chance. A chance at finding peace in the storm and kindness in the chaos, but not perfection. At least not the kind of perfection I was after.
As I am reflecting on it now, I see how I have been fighting an uphill battle. I can’t separate homeschooling from homemaking. They are diverse parts of a whole, and as long as I try to approach them separately we will be hard pressed to experience a harmony in the tension. Therefore, the same principles that are so life-giving in our discussion about literature and schooling need to govern my living. I am ready now, and I need some wisdom apart from my own. I am too close to my life to give myself good advice. Therefore, I am quite grateful there is a resource out there that attends to these restful and humane kind of principles. It is hard to find homemaking and management resources that do not drive us more into pursuing delusional forms of perfection, but actually speaks to the heart of the matter and tells the truth even if we are not ready for it.
So this summer I am choosing to release my script of “I am not enough,” I am allowing others to tell me the truth, I am telling myself the truth, and I am going to pray for the mercy to begin to love what must be done rather than what my selfish ambition would like me to do. Of course, I still have to live and work and play, and so I expect that I will fail and need to repent. I know I will need to surround myself with some external supports to help me create new habits. I will probably need to meet with my Priest a few more times, and I will need to pray more often. Outside of that I am focusing on Mystie’s course and a book by Anthony Bloom called Beginning to Pray. Mystie’s course is great because she gets at the heart of why we struggle with this management and homemaking thing, she tells the truth and helps you see the harmony in the tension. Bloom’s book has helped me to navigate prayer in a way that lets me be where I am, yet calls me to a higher place. Bloom recognizes the tension of this life and teaches you how to pray in the midst of it. I think these two resources will be a fruitful combination for me this summer and I am going to move through them as slow as I need to.
I would love for you to join me or should I say, I am ready to join you!
Expanding wisdom, extending grace,
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