“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” – Luke 12:27 (NIV)
I recently read the line, “It’s spring! Are you blooming?”
My first reaction was to roll my eyes at the cheery expression. After all, we are winding down our school year and it feels like every major project, presentation, debate, performance, and final you name it are all happening at the exact same time. It’s barely possible to make dinner and have clean clothes, let alone bloom.
Yet, I want to bloom. Blooming sounds really fabulous about now. When you think about it, blooming is something that happens after all the hard work is done. Blooming happens almost effortlessly.
I recently found a packet of lavender seeds. One Saturday several weeks ago, I decided I would put them in a pot. I found a lovely container hidden in my garage, poured in some really rich soil, layered the seeds in and covered them carefully with mulch. When I remembered, I watered my humble pot. Then I left it alone and pretty much forgot about it.
Yesterday, I was walking around the yard and discovered beautiful tiny lavender shoots. I know it feels like a simple thing, but to see the tiny buds pushing forth felt like an unexpected gift after a long, hard day.
When we can take some time to step back, we can see our homeschooling efforts just like the lavender shoots. I think blooming is about noticing. It’s putting in a good faith effort and waiting for time to do its work on your efforts. Truly it’s about love and patience—two fantastic qualities to celebrate in the homeschooling walk.
To get back to the original question, I wonder, “am I blooming?” To rephrase that I might wonder, “am I taking time to notice the seeds of truth, beauty, and goodness that have bloomed from the school year?”
I see blooming in my community. I look at my friendships from my Classical Conversations community and I am grateful for the wise, faithful encouragers in my midst. I am thankful to see the rich friendships and experiences my son and I have formed in community.
I see blooming in character. Looking back on all the books we have read this year, I see how they have formed our character in discussions. I see my son’s growth in confidence from his Challenge debates and writing abilities. I see his ability to think through an idea, a book, a hard concept has grown, in spite of my imperfections and the fact he did much of this without me.
I see blooming in faith. Every year God surprises me in new ways. Even when I fail miserably—when we don’t finish the book, when something is forgotten, or when we mess up on math, He still is there, teaching a new lesson in perseverance, in trust, in growing anyway. Even when our efforts fall short from the world’s standards, we bloom anyway. Sometimes the falling short experience is the bloom.
Where Are You Blooming, Anyway?
I think about the miracle of my lavender pot. I did a couple things well and let time do the rest. Despite my lack of efforts and constant care, my lavender bloomed anyway. As you wind down your homeschooling year, take a moment to pause and notice. Where is your student blooming, anyway? Where are you blooming anyway? How is God showing you that your loving efforts are still yielding?
My invitation is to take some time to admire the blooms. Noticing where you are blooming as a family is about gratitude. It’s recognizing that your humble efforts produced something beautiful in the name of our Father. Blooming allows us the chance to praise God for His faithful love and treasure the efforts of time well spent. To remember that, regardless of how imperfect we are, God is faithful. He allows us to bloom anyway.