Finding the Spark for My Soul

I’m a gonna be real here, folks. It’s time to start back to school on Monday for me and the kiddos, and I don’t want to.

We had a great Christmas with the best of friends joining us, making memories and just BEING together. It’s the best.

And then we had a fantastic team of volunteers come from our church for a week. Great men who love the Lord who pour into our lives through encouragement and support.

And now it’s officially time to put the schoolroom back together, after the Christmas crafting and late night movies and makeshift decorations to celebrate togetherness. It’s time to look over lesson plans. It’s time to sharpen pencils, and straighten the books and adjust our morning schedules so we can get up and at it.

I’ve picked a word for the year, or for the season- whichever is needed. I’m going to “FOCUS.” It covers a lot of things. Mainly, the fact that every area in which I’ve been struggling is due to lack of focus.

I’ve bought 3 books that I’m going to read during the first part of this year. Maybe one  a month. Maybe all 3 on a boring weekend. I’m excited about it. I heard reading is good for you and I’ve lost the art of reading since I had babies. Got to get that back.

I start teaching two ESL classes next week. That means that the class is growing, which is exciting. More ministry, more spiritual warfare. Not so excited about that.

But when I start thinking about actually doing SCHOOL with my kids, I want to bury my head in the sand. Not sure what my hang up is. I love my kids. I love it when they get excited about learning. They literally want to learn. It’s kind of an inborn thing if we don’t snuff out the excitement with academics.

It’s the academics that I dread. Ironic, because as a child, I went home each summer with a stack of worksheets to do for FUN. I got the Perfect Attendance award to go with my All A report card. The kids don’t share my enthusiasm for worksheets, but that’s OK. Learning is about more than that, I know.

I guess I’m terrified of making my kids hate school. I’m scared to fail. I don’t know where this is coming from. I do not feel cut out for this.

When Josh and I first came out to Africa, I felt terribly ill-equipped. We were encouraged with the saying “God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.” And while we are not experts, I do feel more confident in the role He has called us to, 9 years later. He did carry us. He still does.

I hope it doesn’t take 9 years to feel like I’ve made progress with teaching my kids. My oldest will be almost 19!

But maybe, just maybe, I can stuff these feelings of being ill-equipped, or I can write about them, and then move on. Move on to celebrate the victories. Celebrate the progress forward, at whichever pace we are moving. Celebrate the questions, the inquisitive spirit. Because where there are questions, there is a desire to learn and that’s what it’s about.

This is one of those “personal growth” things that I’m in a battle over, but I know is necessary. It’s like exercise. It hurts, but the results are because of the pain and the discipline.

I really, really want to be excited for Monday. It’s Saturday night. I’ve got about 36 hours to find some excitement. Really praying that God will bring some quick rest to my soul and a spark of joy for the calling He’s given me of teaching my children. Praying I will be encouraged that they are doing OK and not falling behind. Praying that I can find peace in being obedient and feel the disparity between my responsibilities and my desires lessen.

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-quote from Soul Keeping:Caring for the Most Important Part of You                           by John Ortberg

Signing off for now. I’m going to process this journey of finding the spark for my soul online. Stay tuned.

-Maggie

Finding Spark part 2

3 thoughts on “Finding the Spark for My Soul

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