Although this week began with colder weather, copious amounts of rain, and gray skies, it has also come with a mini break from our school routine. We are having a mid-semester break alongside our Classical Conversations homeschool group. When I originally saw the schedule, I didn't really think I would want the break. I figured that I would rather get done earlier, especially when it starts warming up outside.
However, I am in a slump with school this week, so I am very thankful for a small and timely break. I honestly feel that the break is helping me to slow down, re-focus, re-energize, and simply enjoy my kids. I feel like when I slow down and don't have to stick to a certain agenda or a task checklist for the day, that I can be more creative and sometimes more patient with the kids. We didn't work through any particular "curriculum" yesterday, but we seemed to read a lot more together and have more time to discuss the things we read. For example, K-lady saw a short chapter book about Abraham Lincoln, from the library bag sitting in our living room. She became very interested and decided to sit down and read the book. We read parts of it together and she read some on her own, but she really enjoyed retelling the story to me and highlighting her favorite things about his life. On her own, she connected some of the events in the book with some of the events we have memorized in our history timeline. It was a blessing to see her making the connections and truly having an enjoyment for learning. We also spent some time having family worship last night: singing songs and Bible reading/acting. We try to do this somewhat regularly, but it felt like we had more time and freedom to be creative and not rush to get to bed. I desire to experience this freedom, creativity, and slower pace on a daily basis. I just haven't learned how to do that yet. I feel so much inward pressure sometimes to achieve certain goals with schooling at home or to not "fall behind", but I can also suck the joy out of learning by being so task driven. I am thankful for this week because I feel like it is giving me a chance to see how much my kids enjoy learning without the pressure of a strict schedule and time constraints. I desire to find the balance between schedules/time constraints and the freedom that comes by doing school at home. I know that we need to be diligent with our work, yet I desire joy and love to be present in all that we do.
I am thankful that I don't need to work harder or feel like I have to figure it all out on my own. When I slow down and rely on the Holy Spirit, He is transforming me. I know why I struggle from what Paul writes in Galatians; that the desires of my flesh are fighting a battle with the Spirit. In addition, I know that my flesh has been crucified with it's passions and desires (Galatians 5:24). How do I win the battle? How do I teach and train my children with freedom? Paul answers this in Galatians 5 by repeating these phrases, "Walk by the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, live by the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit.". There is no law for the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We have been studying the book of Galatians together in our church, Covenant Creek Community Church and I have been thankful for the teaching and instruction we have received these past three months. Our teaching elder from this past weekend was preaching on this text that I have been discussing, from Galatians 5. He pointed out that the word "works" (as in the works of our flesh)is plural, because it is done by us, but the word, "fruit" is singular because it is done by God. That displays freedom to me!! Another way to think of the fruit of the Spirit is to compare it to a bunch of grapes.....there are many attributes(love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc) but they all come from ONE stem or vine. I have been challenged and encouraged this week to look at my desires because we all have desires. We have the basic desires of needing air to breathe and needing sleep when we are exhausted. As our teaching elder pointed out, our whole day is made up of desires. What are my desires? Am I keeping in step with the Spirit or are my desires reflecting the old nature?
I am happy for a chance to refocus my thoughts and desires this week. I am learning to live moment by moment. I wanted to encourage anyone reading this post through simple truths the Lord is revealing to me. What are your desires?
Remember......."It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.". Gal. 5:1.