As I look back through my articles over the years, it seems that I have been chasing a more simple lifestyle for longer than I can remember. In December of 2010, I wrote an article called De-cide to De-clutter – Minimalism – part one, and then another in March of 2013 called De-cide to De-clutter – Minimalism – part two, and these articles came long after I had begun my original quest years before. Now, about six years later, I find myself still on the quest to de-clutter, minimize, and simplify my surroundings, schedule, and life. I am finding that this is a life-long quest that may actually never come to an end.
As I sit outside, alone with my coffee, and welcome the coolness of the early morning sunrise, I realize that Fall is just around the corner, and it makes me semi-reflect on the quickly passing summer. This summer has been a hard one, but one that has been way overdue. God and I started on a journey in April, and I haven’t looked back. He has been with me all the way, leading me, guiding me, pushing me, and then holding me when I feel beaten; like I can’t do it anymore and need to rest. The rest periods have been short and very sweet, and God has never allowed time for me to become complacent before sending me back to the battlefield. This fight has been really hard, but I know that it will be well worth it in the end.
We aren’t naturally born with healthy boundaries, and if you have ever been the parent of a newborn baby, you would probably agree – sleepless nights, constantly being on call, never feeling like you can leave the house… However, on the contrary, if you are the parent of a toddler or teen, you may disagree and think otherwise. Setting healthy boundaries does not begin and end with our children. It is a forever lifestyle that impacts every area of our lives and is vital to our emotional health and wellbeing.
Whenever someone finds out that we are a homeschooling family, the very first question they seem to ask is this, “What do you do for socialization?” It’s funny how just one small, simple question can make someone feel totally inadequate. For years, I would react to those six words as if I was standing face to face with a judge; needing to explain my way out of a speeding ticket.
Have you ever been on the side lines of a game, just waiting for the perfect time to jump in and play along? Do you know what it’s like to sit and stare longingly onto the field while others play the game, all the while thinking that the season was going to end before you were able to show your talents and play along?
I always thought that I knew how to love people, but what I have realized lately is that I really don’t – not the way that Christ loves or wants us to love anyway. However, through surfacing circumstances that have been bubbling all of my life, He has finally gotten me here, to a place of complete submission and learning what it is really like to really love.
This post is coming a few months late, but still completely relevant, nevertheless. In fact, there’s a huge possibility that it could be relevant for me now, more than ever. You see, a few months ago, the world lost an amazing, incredible woman, who will forever touch and inspire my life. She probably never even knew that she had influenced me in such a way, and I am positive that I didn’t know just how much she had left her mark on me until she was gone. However, she did, and even though she is no longer here, her mark continues to grow.
I recently discovered a bald spot on my head. No, it’s not the start of a receding hairline, or Female Pattern Baldness. It is, however, due to stress. When I found this bald spot, I was suddenly reminded that when I was a little girl and stressed, I would pull my hair and accidentally create a few bald spots, but they were nothing to be noticed. I would always spin and twist the hair on the lower, back part of my head – sometimes pulling out chunks at a time. So when I found this spot, I immediately knew exactly what it was. I still spin, twist, and pull my hair often, mostly out of habit, and one of the many problems with this is that it is now on the front of my head – in a more visible spot. Yes, I know. If you know me, you are probably going to look for it the next time you see me. Don’t worry, I am confident and no longer ashamed, and I will gladly show it to you. One good thing is, I don’t mind crazy hair, and I actually prefer it, so I am able to cover it just as well.
2014 was a huge life-changing year for me. I had a lot of ups and a lot of downs – all allowing me to change, gain strength, and become who I am today. One of the ups for me was finally planning for a backcountry backpacking trip. This is something that I have dreamed of doing for years, but I have never had the guts or the time to actually go for it. The opportunity finally came around with our 12-yr-old son’s Boy Scout Troop, and our plan was to conquer 21 miles on the Appalachian Trail. In order to do this, we had to do a lot of training hikes and months of preparation.
As a homeschooling mom, I hear and read a lot about tailoring learning more toward the styles of our children. Lots of research has been done to show the different learning styles of people, children in particular. Theory stands that these learning styles allow each child to learn in a way that speaks to them best. Expensive curriculum and special schools have been established in order to capitalize on this research. Personally, I have spent precious time and reserved energy on this topic, and I am just as guilty as the next mom in making sure that our homeschooling environment is tailored towards my children’s personal learning style.