Sunday, April 10, 2016

What I Learned in March

Last month’s “What I Learned this Month” was quite well received, so I’m doing it again. It’s coming to you a little late … I hope you don’t mind!

Without further ado…Seven Things I Learned in March.

1. Kittens are cute. This winter, a stray cat adopted us (long story) and a few weeks ago, she had kittens on our deck. I don’t like cats, but really, the kittens are adorable. And while having a cat have kittens on the deck isn’t the kind of thing I would have written into our lesson plans for the year, it’s been a fun experience for the kids. 

2. Sometimes you need a new cup. I have a stainless steel thermos with a straw top I have used for years. I love it. It keeps my water cold, it doesn’t make a huge mess if it gets knocked over, it fits in my cup holder, it’s not made out of plastic…all excellent features. But I realized recently that the very act of sipping my water through a straw was slowing down my water consumption—by a lot. I’ve been ridiculously loyal to my thermos, but this month, I broke down and purchased a new Tervis tumbler (complete with Clemson Tiger paws) and a “water bottle lid” and my “glasses per day” numbers have skyrocketed. 

3. NEVER ever wait until the last minute to enter a contest. You know when the deadline is, you know it’s going to cost you money to enter, so you might be tempted to think, I’ll wait until the last day. DO NOT DO THIS. I recently entered a contest that I have never participated in. It wasn’t a difficult process, but there were a few extra steps I wasn’t expecting. Because I was entering two weeks before the deadline, they’d didn’t cause me any trouble, but I made myself a note that cutting the deadline close could be disastrous.

4. Peter and the Wolf is awesome! A local orchestra put on a free performance of Peter and the Wolf for school aged children and we absolutely loved it! The musicians brought their instruments into the audience and showed the kids their clarinets, French horns, flutes, and trombones. The music was engaging, the narrator funny and appropriately dramatic, and the performance kept even my five-year-old mesmerized. 

5. Vitamin D for the win! Seriously. I don’t realize how desperate I am for sunshine and longer days until I finally start experiencing more of it in March. My general disposition improves dramatically. Next year, I need to be more intentional about getting outside even on the cold days.

6. Sometimes I just need to stay home. There are a lot of great homeschool opportunities in my community. We have wonderful friends. We have family nearby. But sometimes what I need to do is stay home. I need to say no to field trips, lunch dates, quick visits, and meeting people for dinner. 

Not because there is anything wrong with any of that. But sometimes for the sake of my sanity and well-being, instead of saying “That sounds great - when should we meet you?” I need to say, “That sounds great but we can’t make it tonight. Another time?” 

And then I need to curl up with a book or watch a movie that I’ve seen 100 times and not feel guilty about it (that’s the tricky part). It’s a fine line to walk. Sometimes the excursion is so worth the rushed afternoon or the late night, but I’m trying to think hard about what my “Yes!” means for the rest of my day or week, for myself and for my kiddos.

7. I am not responsible for the miracle. This was my number one takeaway from the homeschool convention I attended in mid-March. It was shared by Sarah MacKenzie of the Read-Aloud Revival Podcast and Teaching from Rest fame (who I got to chat with at a meet-up after the convention and she is as delightful as she sounds on the podcast). I think she was quoting someone else, so I’m not exactly sure who to give credit for this, but I wrote these words in my journal and stared at them as she continued to speak. “I am not responsible for the miracle.” 

There’s much rest for a weary soul in those words. Whether it’s my efforts to rear my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, or my prayers for fragile relationships, broken bodies, or lost souls, I am not responsible for the miracle. God’s not fretting over my ability to “fix” anything, and if I’m stressing and working myself into a tizzy about it then I’ve installed myself in a position I have no business in. 

So that’s it for March. What about you? Did you learn something new this month? Share it with us in the comments!

Grace and peace,