I like having a solid plan. I’m an organized soul who adores routine. And lists. Lists are my friends. But lists are not my ministry. I am called to meet the needs of my family. Sometimes this means I have to press pause on my well-scheduled plan and follow the Lord’s leading. I loved morning basket, but when it stopped meeting my family’s needs, we dropped it.
Even as I’m writing this, I sigh over my vision which has now been set aside. I had grand ideals of sitting on comfy pillows, reading amazing literature; us sharing cups of cocoa and exploring famous pieces of art. It was not to be.
To be fair, my kids gave it a shot. They quietly listened to the stories we read. We discussed the music played and perused the multitude of art books carefully placed before them. They weren’t unwilling to participate. They just weren’t receiving.
What went wrong? The concept was brilliant – if I do say to myself – our plans were well thought out. I had everything covered and fun ideas to keep things interesting. It stared out great. Slowly but surely, the kids not only lost interest in our activities, they began to dislike morning all together.
My little lady courageously braved her mother’s displeasure to pull me aside and ask if we might think about coming up with a new plan. They weren’t opposed to what I was hoping to teach, it was the method of our exploration.
Instead of starting our morning with books, together we decided lunchtime would be a better opportunity for our reads. We could listen to books while preparing lunch and enjoying a meal together. Art appreciation and music are better received when introduced organically. (Secretly, I believe this is just a ploy to put more field trips on the calendar, but we’ll keep that between ourselves.) We still start our day in prayer, but even Bible has seen a change with Pop taking over devotions at bedtime and introducing Logic.
Why did God allow us to start down this path if we weren’t meant to finish? To teach me a lesson. Morning Basket is a wonderful thing. But not every wonderful opportunity is perfect for everyone, or for all times. We enjoyed it for a season. That season has passed. The concepts are still being received, even more enjoyably than before, except now our learning takes place at a time and in a way our children are more able to receive and grow.
This isn’t the vision I had in mind. At times I foolishly wonder if I should force my children to sit and learn to like this method of receiving. It feels as if I’ve given up, and I hate giving up. In truth, I didn’t. I gave in to the leading of the Lord. There are battles I am called to fight, areas of raising children which need to be held firm. This isn’t one of them. Instead, this is an opportunity for growth. In all of us.
The basket still exists. It sits in our family room, filled with books and games to be played. I pass it often and fondly remember our quiet mornings together. Then I hear the laughter of children sharing a funny portion of the story they’ve chosen for themselves and can’t wait to share with each other. I listen to my oldest lovely recording symphonies for her iPod. I see my son looking through the art books constantly filling my husband’s shelves. And I am reminded learning takes place in many ways. This is not failure, merely another step in the adventure.
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.”
~ Colossians 3:21
Your Turn!: Is there an area of learning you loved, but the Lord felt the need to change?