Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day #1: Developing a New Routine

Success.  Our first day was a success.  We sent our oldest son off on his first day of school and he come home with these words, "School was awesome.  Mrs. Halverson is my best teacher yet!"  Such music to my ears.  His proudest accomplishment?  "I was the first to move my clip to outstanding, Mom."  My sweet, young rule follower who is always aiming to please his teachers and be on his best behavior.

As planned, we spent a few minutes reading the daily devotion and sharing a story from the Bible before bed.  As parents, we did our best to handle the messy situations with calmness and grace and for the most part did so successfully.  Imperfect progress and it feels so good.

Dinnertime has become very challenging in recent months.  The kids are so silly, out of control, and sometimes inappropriate, that there is little joy in eating as a family.  Today while I was getting a much-needed massage a lightbulb went on:  we need to do our best to facilitate the conversation at dinner.  So, we did.  It was the most pleasant dinner we've had in quite some time.  The intentional act of asking more questions and pulling more out of them took away the opportunities to veer off track.  

The simple little tweaks can have the most impact.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Starting Over

Today marks the first day of school.  Our summer has come to an end, per se, and now it is time to begin anew.  Several month ago when I started this project, I was full of optimism and hope for change, but as time went on, my efforts seemed to wane and ultimately I had to take a break from the disappointment of not seeing much progress.  Especially in writing.  I am hoping for a better outcome this time.  I believe a large part of the problem was me.  I needed to accept that I wasn't myself and seek out some help.  My midwife prescribed a regimen of supplements to lift me from my funk and it seems to be helping.  For this I am grateful and my hope is to continue to feel more like myself as the days go on.

Our summer was not as gloriously fun as I hoped it would be.  We made the most of it, though, and will have some wonderful memories to look back on some day.  There are times I want to beat myself up about my lack of motivation , patience, self-control, and creativity, but I am human and this period of time just happens to be a bit of a struggle.  I can choose regret or grace.  I am trying to focus on the latter.  My kids spent hours playing together at home by choice and in those hours they grew closer to each other, laughed until their bellies hurt, and ultimately had the opportunity to do what they craved the most:  be kids and play.

While we cannot get our time back, we can move forward.  My hope is to refocus our energy on the positive.  I truly believe the first step in doing so is bringing God to the forefront of our home.  The beginning of school means the return of structure and routine and within our new routine we will be spending time talking about God.  I purchased a wonderful daily devotional for children many months ago and a new children's Bible as well.  I plan to read the daily devotion to them before their school day starts and am thinking breakfast time will work the best.  Before bed I hope to gather as a family to share a Bible story.  Peaceful family time...I hope!  

For months we struggled with our decision to homeschool.  For now we have decided to send our kids to our neighborhood school, but some day that may change.  This decision has weighed heavy on our hearts for months.  While I'm unsure if we have made the right choice, I am hopeful our kids will have a great school year and if we feel the need for change, we will.

And so it begins.  A new year of learning.  The opportunity for a fresh start.  One full of promise and challenges, but how blessed we are for second chances.