Bend or Break

Seriously? As I glanced at my alarm clock, I could tell this was going to be a fun day. I was already running two hours behind and the day hadn’t even started yet! In addition to our late start, the kids were already beginning to squabble at each other and I had a long list of things which needed to get done.

Ah! I’m sure we’ve all had mornings like this one; no? Mornings, days, weeks, or months when things just don’t seem to gel. For whatever reason, our well-planned, organized life went haywire and we are struggling to catch up; setting our world to rights.

As home schoolers, this problem can cross over into all areas of our lives. Not only do we feel challenged to keep our households together, but our children’s education also needs to remain somewhat on track. While I don’t subscribe to a rigid form of learning, our children do, in fact, need to be progressing in their studies and receiving an education.

How do we maintain sanity while trying to keep life moving, especially when life comes at us from all angles? We learn to bend or we just might break.

Bend or Break

Not every morning (or week for that matter) is going to go according to plan. I can either choose to make the situation worse by becoming irritated and nit-picking everyoneย or I can bend with the situation and find a workable solution.

By having a bad attitude, I am preventing myself from enjoying the day and all the blessings it has to hold. I am going to tear apart my family and stress myself out along the way. My children will be less able to learn when they are in a hostile environment, being pushed to make up for lost time. Our home may be “back on track” time wise, but, in all other senses, we’ve lost sight of what’s important.

On the other hand, when I choose to simply let it go, life is much more freeing. Yes; I woke up late, but maybe I really needed that extra sleep and the kiddos needed a few more winks too! Yes; we are a little behind, but perhaps this will inspire us to move a little quicker or just to rearrange our routine for the day. Yes; there are a lot of responsibilities on my plate, but maybe I need to re-prioritize our list.

I also need to evaluate the situation and see if there is a lesson hidden among the madness. Perhaps I need to learn to go to bed earlier. (Um; yeah. That’s totally me!) Maybe I needed to organize my day better or manage my time a little more wisely. Or, and here is a big one, maybe the Lord tossed this little snag my way to see what I would do with it. Am I going to bend or break? Will I do my best with the situation or allow the situation to control me?

By “bending” to accommodate life’s occasional craziness, my children are also learning valuable lessons. They will see mommy own up to her mistakes (like staying up to late); work with difficult situations;ย choose not to stress out; re-prioritize in times of need; and so much more. These are all just as important for them to learn as arithmetic.

Life isn’t always going to go according to plan. When we learn to bend, instead of break, we are choosing God’s best and setting an example for our children. After all, character is just as important as book learning. And, as a friend often says, “Blessed are the flexible!”

Do you struggle with remaining flexible in times of stress?

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me….”
– Philippians 4:12-14

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10 thoughts on “Bend or Break

  1. This sounds like many days I have and I love how we do have that choice it’s us who has to make it and we can either make a good choice and teach our children a wonderful lesson, or we can make the bad choice and lead them in the wrong direction when it comes to dealing with circumstances that change. Great post!

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  2. I’m slowly learning that, I’m a new mommy and I’m terrified of making a mistake. I want to be supermom so bad that for a while I was super stressed and upset. But now, I’m learning to let go. Thank you for posting! It reminded me to look on the bright side of things, to see the glass half full instead of half empty ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. The timing of your post is perfect!! Having the same kind of day!! What’s funny is I seem to have these days when I actually wake up and spend time with the Lord! It’s like, ok, now let’s test to see if she was awake ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks so much for your encouragement, I am going to try to spend the rest of the day not being irritated by everything that has gone wrong, but choosing to be happy for all the blessings we have! Thanks again!

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  4. It is a constant struggle here…. but I am improving! One thing that helped me recently is reading the book Unglued….. It really helped me refocus. I’ve learned to breathe deep, say more prayers throughout the day and simply tell myself “I will not become unglued here…I will not as it simply will not make anything better…it will only make things worse….” and repeat something of that nature over and over and over and ….well…you get the point…

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  5. I can certainly relate. There seem to be more out of sort or off schedule days around here than I can keep up with. A class or two may go beyond the evening meal just make our quota. Sometimes the desire to get those number of homeschooling hours in per day, a lack of cooperation with the kids and miscellaneous things can provoke me to the point of near explosion but thank God for His reminders of His mercies which are new every morning and faithfulness is so great. A time with a hymnbook and the guitar can also be just the source of calming and peace I need. Homeschool days are often stressful but by Godโ€™s grace they are most times successful. Thanks for your post and encouragement to bend, my husband calls it being “semper Gumby”.

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  6. You’ve really been hitting home with your posts lately! Must be a motherhood thing ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have to remind myself of these things on a regular basis. I can really flip out when my schedules get knocked off course…which happens on a regular basis with such young children. I have been learning an incredibly humbling lesson over the past three years.

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  7. Love this!! It took me a long time in homeschooling journey to learn to let go and enjoy impromptu moments. Now that I have this somewhat “mastered” I am understanding that learning comes in many different forms and areas, and that is just the beauty of homeschooling being able to have bendable, unpredictable moments!! Glad to know I’m not alone!

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  8. This year I’ve learned that we need a flexible schedule…if we had a long day…like AWANA night when kids are up later than normal, I need to make our morning light and unstructured. It’s not always easy to find a balance…but I’m starting to feel more comfortable saying, we can just do that tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

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