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.
I’m sure we’ve all had mornings like this one. 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 we 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 chaos comes at us from all angles? We learn to bend or we just might 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 everyone 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. 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. 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 (e.g. staying up too late); work with difficult situations; 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!”
“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
Chime In!: Do you struggle with remaining flexible in times of stress?