For all you planners, perfectionists, and overwhelmed moms out there, here’s my little story from three years ago which I hope will provide you with a dose of hope and encouragement!
At the beginning of our summer, I had it all figured out. I had plans to make plans to make more plans. My plans included planning these wonderful, thorough lesson plans that would make the most of our study of American History (and all the other stuff that we are planning to study starting this fall).
- My husband’s work schedule changed, leaving him with very few days at home (or even in the same country) this summer. And, really, why take one of the few days he is home and use it as a planning day instead of spending time with him?
- My Classical Conversations community needs another tutor and no one is stepping up to the position. As a substitute tutor, I happen to be the first in line for consideration. I feel a bit like Moses right now as I come up with excuses. “PLEASE, LORD, CHOOSE SOMEONE ELSE TO DO THIS!!!”
- Our Parent Practicum this year (2011) has been all about Improving Our Vision—simplifying what we do in order to focus on God and how all the subjects we study glorify Him.
Overwhelming thoughts cloud my vision:
How can I focus on spending time with my husband and children and still be ready for the school year?
How can I do this without sending my children off to boarding school for the summer? Really?!?
How in the world am I going to pull it all together before August whatever?
Overwhelming thoughts clear my vision:
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand” (Proverbs 19:21, KJV).
The fact is, we can plan until everything is picture-perfect on paper, but we don’t really have any control over what happens. And sometimes God seems to shake things up a bit so that we will simply trust Him:
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, KJV).
In reality, I have been losing sight of my vision by looking around at all that we are not doing. (Does anyone else do this or is it just me?!?) I was not looking back upon last year and seeing all the wonderful things we accomplished regardless of the fact that I did not have much planning time and regardless of the fact that I did not get to use all the resources that I had previously collected about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. God was with us through it all despite the fact that I did not have it all together then.
I still do not have it all together.
Thankfully, I do not need to fret about this, because God is greater than I am. He is much greater than I am and He will carry me through my calling in spite of myself. (Praise God, He works in real time!)
And so, I rest on the promises of God, realizing that our first action is to focus our vision, for:
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).
God will guide me through this regardless of the number of planning days I have. In a world of quantity education, it is difficult to break through to a quality education, but He will teach me how to do this as I teach my children.
“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:8, KJV).
I simply need to trust Him with all that I am…
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7, KJV).
…remembering that my husband’s schedule will not always be like this. My children will not be at this stage forever. These moments are beautiful, regardless of how shot my plans are. I cannot let that cloud the fact that these moments are so very precious.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,11, KJV).
When I have to cope with the disappointment of not feeling ready for the school year, I remind myself to cast all my cares upon Him…
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7, KJV).
…and delight in Him above all else…
“Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4, KJV).
…because He knows how strong my desire is to be an excellent wife, mother, and teacher. I know that God will supply all my needs (spiritual, emotional, physical)…
“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, KJV).
…and He will give me wisdom that I did not necessarily plan for.
And if the Lord can take a king’s heart and turn it wherever He wants, how much more can God do that for me and my children!
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1, KJV).
And even if they are not always completely compliant now, one day, when my children are faced with their own circumstances, they can draw upon this training to make godly decisions.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6, KJV).
Above all else, we are to remember that God is the center of all of our studies. We learn about the world because it is His creation. We acquire knowledge as we discover the world around us and we use that knowledge to minister to and share God with others. God provides wisdom beyond that which we study, as long as His Word is exalted above anything else in our endeavors.
So what about my plans? I love to plan, so I will when I can.
We simplify, so we can simply fly, for “they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV).