Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Prayerfully Planning Day 1 - Thoughts

I have realized the past few days that there is one good thing about bouncing around endless ideas in your mind for weeks and weeks. You come to some basic conclusions about your life. Basically, I was able to expand upon my Prayerfully Reflecting on Last Year thoughts and discover a bit more about myself. My brain has finally been making some connections that make sense of scattered thoughts. I'll share a few of these realizations here:

  1. Homeschooling is a need for me, now, not just a want. Prior to moving here last September, we had some options for schooling our children in ways that were appropriate for their spiritual lives. Here, there are no such options, for a variety of reasons. Plus, I did not realize until moving how one of my children would not outgrow some tendencies which would make a traditional school setting difficult to be successful. For this child, our homeschool life is ideal. So, my mindset on homeschooling is changing due to this mental switch from doing it because I want it, to doing it because my family needs it.

  2. Spending a year focusing on my marriage has been fruitful for us but has resulted in neglecting other friendships. My husband was in law school for the previous three years, beginning when our children were three and two months old. We joked that I was a single mother for those years, but in all practical realms, that was entirely true. We were lucky to see him for occasional dinners and Mass on Sundays. Don't get me wrong; I am not complaining. I went into the experience fully knowing the sacrifices required, and I do not regret any of it. This year of him having a "real job" has been amazing for us as a family! We are learning how to function with him as a part of our daily lives again, and that has taken quite a bit of time, emotional energy, and attention on my part (and we are still working on it!). Thus, I cannot tell you the last time I called my dearest friends. There are three women in particular, whom I think of often and regret not keeping in better contact with this year. Terri, Katie, and Lauren, I am truly sorry, and I do love you! Plus, to make matters more challenging for me, due to the attention I gave to my marriage, it was very difficult for me to begin to establish true friendships here in our new city. It usually takes me quite a while to connect with other women on a personal level, anyway. In this situation, I have not even attempted to get close to anyone. I believe the energy I poured into my marriage was much-needed but that to do so to the exclusion of much-needed friendships was a poor choice.

  3. My standards/expectations for my children, both behaviorally and academically, need to be higher. I am such a pushover! They are truly capable of so much more. I feel I am finally getting a handle on being more consistent with discipline. My struggle to implement a chore chart this summer has resulted in several different versions and no success, however. Additionally, we toddled our way through first grade, but now my oldest is technically in second grade, and I feel the need to take the academics more seriously. Of course, my youngest, now four, has been begging to learn to read for about a year now. I have simply been putting off working with him seriously, but I do feel he is capable. So, a little more time spent would probably yield great results! In the end, the minimum is not enough; I have always believed that philosophically but to implement it is a challenge to me.

  4. My brain cannot hold meaningless information. This has been true all of my life, but it is only now becoming evident to me. The fact has several repercussions. One is that I do not know such facts as the qualifications of a fish versus a mammal, which country is currently at war with which, or the saints with feast days this month/week unless I look them up AND write them in a meaningful place. Another is that I need to strive to make learning meaningful for my children, in case they suffer similar brain-sieve. Furthermore, I do not remember things if they are not written down. It simply does not exist if it is not on one of my many lists. I often feel scatter-brained or dumb when someone asks me a simple fact, but I am coming to terms with the fact that my brain holds the information that is important to me.

  5. The Lord knows what He is doing with my life even though I do not. Just when I think I have things all figured out, I realize I am not supposed to figure things out completely. I am simply supposed to be open to His will this day, whatever that might be. For me, to look into the future, is not a profitable thing. Throughout my life, I have been blessed by God in unexpected and remarkable ways that reassure me He is indeed working in my life. Some of these are those God-incidences (what my husband and I call coincidences that are too uncanny to not have His hand in them), and some are simply the ways God has guided the large decisions in my life - my vocation, whom to marry, having children, moving to far away places, etc...

That is enough to share, so that I think you can get the idea of what I am thinking. There are a few other points I could list, but it is probably time to move on. I need to go pay a few bills, and I'll be back!

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