Friday, February 8, 2013

Loving What Must Be Done

I spend a lot of time thinking, speculating, even second guessing.  I'm not sure if it's inherent to my personality or if it's something thrust upon each and every mother crazy enough to embark on the home education journey.  Probably the former intensified exponentially by the latter.  In an case, I spend an extraordinary amount of time analyzing my failures as a parent and a teacher.  In some ways I'm pretty sure I've been a better parent than a teacher - evidenced by my children's lack of academic ambition - I haven't heard me talking about filling out college apps to Ivy Leagues schools, have you?

I consoled myself along the way with the thought that raising kids who love the Lord is more important than raising brilliant scholars.  It seemed I had the energy for only one of those endeavors - when in truth I only had the discipline for one (but that's a whole 'nother conversation).   I had this vague philosophy that if I could raise kids who were hard workers, were self disciplined and had a good foundation of the 3 Rs, my job would be complete - or at least be adequate enough not to churn out societal misfits.

As a matter of fact, I championed "self-discipline"...well, sort of.  I was convinced it held the key to so many good things for my kids and for me; yet like a greased watermelon, it was ever elusive (I suppose because I'm so naturally inclined to be lazy).  And it can become a task-master.  I've spent time exercising great amounts of self-discipline while I served others only to become resentful and bitter .  I spent so much time focusing on what I was giving up in order to be self disciplined that I grew to resent the people around me.
Enter the German poet Goethe: 

Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done.

Wow...why didn't I think of that?  I need to shift my thinking from what I could be doing to learning to love those things that can't be avoided.  That my friends, is a paradigm shift that could be a game changer.

But what does that look like in the midst of cleaning the kitchen, taking out the trash, and sweeping the porch?  And what does that have to do with raising kids or education.   I'll dive into some thoughts on that in the next post. (read that: I'm tired and need to go to bed)

How does that quote strike you?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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