Nurture Your Soul – Summer Devotions Series
by Cara McLauchlan
The only true voyage of discovery…would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another…”
— Marcel Proust
No summer would be complete without an adventure to the island. As a child, the island of our hometown lake held the promise of discovery and mystery for me and my brothers. Every summer we would make a plan to take our clunky rowboat there and to search for whatever treasure might be lurking along its bluffs.
Once you arrived on the island, there was not much to it: bunches of clumpy reeds gave way to mounds of dirt trails and a patchy forest. It was an ordinary pile of land that was not beautiful or interesting. The true beauty was in what stories the island held. We imagined pirates or mafia hiding away there, burying their stash and waiting for crimes to blow over. The lore and legends of the island were the stuff of campfire stories that became grander every summer.
Even though we knew none of it was true and the fact that the island itself was not that exciting, we still went every summer. It was a lot of work getting to the island—typically, it meant sore arms for all involved—still, we went, hoping to find something amazing that would yield the best adventure yet.
Looking back, in a lot of ways our first year of homeschooling was like those trips to the island. There was a wonder and a mystery about it. What would we find? Could we make it all the way there? All the while, we were taking in our surroundings, the beauty, and the effort required to arrive at our destination.
This year, we will be embarking on our fifth year of homeschooling. I look back on those early days with a lovely sweetness. Those were captivating days as I watched my then nine-year-old transform from a tired and burdened little old man into a blooming, jubilant boy filled with light. Those early years were filled with so much goodness.
As I look ahead to begin eighth grade and Challenge B, I am daunted by it all. It feels hard to me. I have so much to learn this year alongside my son. I want to reclaim the sweetness of the early days, the joy of learning something new, the beauty of discovery. I long for the same mindset of wonder from those beginning days while pursuing the upper school years.
I know doing hard things is a part of growing up. In my head, I understand the discipline of the Challenge program is what will give my son the equipping he needs to be a man. I appreciate that by working alongside him, I will model with him what it looks like to struggle in order to learn something new.
Just as when we were rowing across the lake to the island, we knew it was the hard thing that gave way to the discovery. We gladly poured our hearts into the work of it because we knew we would be rewarded with our adventure.
This summer, my aim is to rediscover that passion from the early homeschooling days. As our greatest example, Jesus was amazing at resting while He worked. He took time away from preaching to crowds to pray and think. In the midst of a storm at sea, He napped. He was taking a rest when He asked for a drink from the woman at the well. If Jesus is my greatest hope and model, could I do any better than to rest while working as He did?
My hope is to find rest while I work this school year. My plan is to stop in the midst of a busy day to look up and give thanks to God for this adventure. To cast my eyes across the beauty of all we are learning and to remember to rest while we work.
To trust as we work side by side, God gives us perfect provision in each day. We can rest in the knowing that our greatest adventure awaits in Him and each day is a fresh chance to discover it.
How will you find rest while you work this year?
Read Isaiah 40:28-31
Think about how you can create a mindset of rest while you work this year.
Pray and consider where you need to re-tool your vision for your homeschooling plans. Consider areas where you struggle and how God might transform that this year.
Teach me how to rest while I work.
When I begin to get overwhelmed with all I have to do and think about, will You remind me that You are still on the throne?
Can You show me where I need to let go?
Can You help me see where I need to rest this year?
Teach me to trust You completely so I can be freed up to do Your will.
Thank You for sending Your Son to show us more of You.
I want to discover more of Your wonder this year with my family.
Reveal in my heart fresh wisdom to pursue You this day and every day.