The public schools having a snow day doesn’t really have an effect on a homeschooling family. At least, that is what you would typically think.
On the contrary, it has a HUGE impact on the homeschool day. The announcement sends waves of expectation, excitement, energy, and ultimately, dissatisfaction through the walls of our untraditional schoolhouse. The dissatisfaction comes when they realize that they don’t qualify for a snow day.
There are no slick roads to contend with. There is no extreme temperature to take into consideration. There are no buses to factor in. There is simply a warm, cozy house, a teacher who was able to make it to work easily, and students that didn’t have to factor in a commute.
How that translates is frustration, no attention span, and lots of negotiating over subjects. “Why do we have to do school today?” “How many subjects are we going to do?” “Surely we’re not going to do a full day?” “Can I go sledding with my friends? They just called!” “How long are we going to go?” “I finished a chapter. Can I stop now? Please? Please?”
The requests and questions press on me, actually causing a visual of arrows flying towards me. As I feel my temperature rise, only equal to the volume of my speech, I am reminded that I don’t have what it takes to parent these kids. My patience isn’t enough. My judgement isn’t enough. My creativity isn’t enough.
And I pray.
“I always feel it well just to put a few words of prayer between everything I do.” Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon, the British Baptist preacher from the 1800s known as the “Prince of Preachers” who left a legacy of sermons, as well as a legacy of lives transformed, could very rarely be found on his knees – not what you’d expect from a man of God. And that isn’t because he didn’t pray, but rather, that he prayed incessantly.
I am working on finding a rhythm, based on complete submission, to prayer in my life. Breathing a word of rescue, a recognition of need, a verbal representation of hands thrown in the air, can be effective and relational as a continual supplement to time set aside and dedicated conversation with God.
“Father, these are your kids, and I am your daughter. Would you help us all work together in love, as a family? Give me patience to handle their present emotions, and give me wisdom to balance play and studies. Thank you for always, always being there for me.”
Perspective is changed and new life is breathed into my reserves. Circumstances don’t change, but internally, I am changed.