Bend or Break

Bend_BreakAs 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?

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13 thoughts on “Bend or Break

  1. I think that homeschool mothers tend to be very hard on themselves. We are sharply aware of the full extent of the responsibility we have taken on– not only raising our children, but educating them too! And we can get stuck in fretting over our schedules, planners and to-do lists, nearly missing out on the sheer joy of living out the freedom of a homeschool childhood alongside our kiddos.
    We don’t have to teach to tests or meet benchmarks– we are the measure of our own success.
    How we develop that measure of success is up to us.
    Is success staying on schedule?
    I think we like to feel in control (and indeed, we need some semblance of order and planning) of our days, but all too often, we find that we are the ones being controlled by our own schedules.
    I have the luxury of being a second gen homeschool mom. I know what works and what doesn’t from a homeschool student’s perspective. Kids learn soooo much just in going about their day. Regardless of when it starts. There is math, reading and writing in every part of your day, if you look for it. Linking learning to life is a special perk for homeschoolers. It’s something a child rarely gets in a traditional classroom. And it’s something that sticks with a student for life!
    So, no, I personally do not fret over schedules and flexibility anymore. Because when I did, I lost the joy in the whole endeavor. I became a flustered and out of touch with my kids– the exact opposite of what I was going for!
    Find a rhythm to your school day that works for you, and be willing to roll with the pace of the day. Your kids are learning from the moment they lift their heads from their pillows, until the time they go back to bed. Teach them that time matters because people matter. Our experience of our daily lives should never be sacrificed to schedules; they work for us, not us for them;)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. LOVE it! I gentle reminder for me during this period of grief for my family to give myself grace to not have the perfect schedule. And to remember, my children are learning all the time!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Momma Birdy and commented:
    Be flexible. Our children grow up too fast. I have graduated two and have one more to go. I am reminded daily how fast they have grown and that being flexible allows for a more enjoyable day. I learned through some stressful situations that I need to write my schedule out in pencil; this way I can adjust my schedule to the circumstances going on and daily search out the teachable moments and capitalize on those. Praise Jesus for pencils. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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