Miss Mari has been home 8 (and a half...yes I am late) months and it has been a good season for her. There are still "days" but those days are SO much less intense than they were before. I am seeing her draw closer to her Daddy and seek his attention and comfort, as well as respond better to my verbal commands and now is able to "talk things through" instead of falling apart and screaming in anger or frustration. We traveled (this time ALL of us) to California for a week of fun in the sun and she did GREAT. Daddy was there through it all and stepped in at all the right times with her and she responded beautifully to him. Yes, she is still pushing those boundaries, but she had two of us enforcing them day in and day out for the whole week and I can see, now that we are home, how that really helped her settle a bit more.
She is more affectionate than ever, and now tells me "I need to hold you, Mommy" if she is upset. I love to cuddle her and feel her melt into me. What a work the Lord is doing!
I had a first with her this week that has struck me so deeply. It was completely unexpected. She had disobeyed and I was trying to talk to her, to get her to look me in the eye and focus on what I was saying. She kept fidgeting with her hands, scratching at her clothes and playing with her mouth so I took her hands and held them firmly in mine so she would have to be still and listen. She began to cry as I spoke and got very frustrated because the tears were running down her cheeks and she couldn't use her hands. It hit me...
I had never in 8 months seen tears run down her cheeks. Every time she has cried, she immediately takes her hands and wiped the tears before they even have a chance to spill over her eyelashes.
When is the last time someone wiped her tears away?
My heart broke for her. As I spoke, I reached out gently and wiped away her tears. Her eyes, which had been downcast, darted up and looked at me in surprise. I continued to stroke her face and catch the tears as they fell while talking her through the incident and helping her understand right from wrong...
that Jesus loves her and wants her to have a clean heart.
That He died to wash her sins away and He will help her to obey when it is hard.
(Because it IS hard...even for Mommy. Especially for Mommy)
In the midst of all this, our trip to Cali was nothing short of fabulous! My darling 10 year old, Katie, who until this Summer didn't even like the deep end of a pool, not only swam in the Pacific Ocean, she SURFED! Nine times my girl caught a wave a rode it in, standing on her own two feet! She was so excited and proud of herself, and I (being the dutiful mom that I am) thoroughly embarrassed her by screaming and jumping up and down on the beach..."YOU DID IT! YOU'RE SURFING! OH MY WORD, YOU ARE DOING IT!!!"
We ate, we
I'm just sayin'.
It was good. SO good. And such a well-timed vacay as we are now preparing for our first day of school!
The schoolroom upstairs (which just recently became such...as the kitchen table was WAY too distracting with barking dogs, telephones, and doorbells interfering with concentration) was painted a cheery green today. Now I get to hang all the cute plaques with quotes SURE to inspire and finalize all the little details so we can get this par-tay started! I had hoped to start tomorrow but I think it may be Monday before we really get going. Maybe we'll do a 1/2 day for the next couple of days, just to get familiar with the books and new routine...but it will be a soft start to say the least.
I am so ready, though, to get going with this school year! The kids are ready as well...eager to try out the new books and programs, and I can just tell we need the structure to return to our days. It is time.
DJ is looking forward to his new Math curriculum, Katie (the bookworm) has decided she is going to assign herself book reports (we'll see how long THAT lasts!), Gracie is excited about being a first grader and doing ALL the subjects and Drew is "so proud that I am in Kindergarten" which just thrills me to no end! The boy cannot WAIT to learn to read!
I am SO thankful for this call the Lord placed on our family. Homeschooling is such a privilege, such a blessing. On the hardest of days, I would not trade one moment of watching my kids learn and grow and become best friends again. It is beautiful and I am humbled as I see the task before me. Lord, be my strength...fill me with wisdom and patience...use my hands and my words to bless and teach and train up my children in the way YOU want them to go.
Etch these days into my memory, more clearly than any photograph. May my children know and feel the love that surrounds them and be content.
Yes, Lord, may we all be content.