Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Monday

Are you all having a great President's Day? We are.

This morning (and into the afternoon) we visited the home of a very sweet friend. Her two littles played with my two littles while we chatted about life, school, faith and family. Isn't that always honey for the soul?

{Completely unrelated to this post-- It just made me smile.}

Now we're back home and the kiddos are silently reading for an hour. I'm about to sneak back into the sewing room to work on a special project for a precious new client. It's a good day. I'm thankful.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Dreaming and the Doing

Admittedly, I spend too much a lot of time filling up on great ideas. They suck me in. They beg me to grab them and get ready to run. So I do.

I line up at the block. I set my focus on what's ahead. And when the whistle blows, I'm off and on my way. Darting toward the finish.

LSE Sports Day, Malden Sports Ground, c1920s

But then something happens almost every single time after the race has begun. I look to my left or to my right. I become distracted. I get bored. Overwhelmed. Anxious. Afraid. Tired. I forget my motivation, so I just stop and drop the baton mid-race. I don't even pass it off for someone else to carry.

If I'm honest, I'll also admit that I've usually left room to justify my reasons for dropping the baton. Before I even began the race, I unwittingly plotted away at my exit strategy. After all, if I wasn't entirely committed in the first place, then I really didn't quit or give up on anything anyway. *shrug* Nonchalance. A defense for my own self-doubt.

What I'm beginning to discover is that if I spend my time doing {no matter how tiny the project or task} that it helps me to better filter my dreaming too. Some of those ideas really aren't good-- at least for me. I'm a realist. But if I try it and finish it at least once, then I can better sort through what I love to do versus what was simply a neat idea. After I've tried,  I can hone in on what makes me tick and look for what ideas beget more/better ideas? A sweet cycle of joy emerges in the process.

I wrote recently that I never ever considered myself a creative person-- and it's true. I didn't. But now, I don't know. I feel a little bit like a creative fraud. That since I never really dreamed it, that surely it couldn't be. That a painting, a sunset, a stack of fabric, a clothing design, a splash of unexpected color on an old barn...that surely just because it evokes something in me doesn't mean I'm creative, right? Or does it?

Did God create me to create? I'm still dreaming. Only now I'm working on doing too. I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity to just soak it all up and enjoy the new work that God is creating in me. All I know for sure is that an adventure lies ahead, and it's bound to be good.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool

We spend our days a little cooped up here at the Smith house. Between homeschooling, the cold dreary winter, Jeremy's unconventional work schedule and a teeny-tiny house, even for an introvert, I feel a little stir crazy.

But you know what? I actually don't feel stir crazy to get out of the house-- I feel stir crazy to have some time ALONE-- or even one-on-one with friends and family. 

Last year, we sent Peyton to a wonderful little Christian school run by missionaries with YWAM in Tyler, TX. At the time I felt like I should get the "Mother-of-the-Year" award (note sarcasm here). I had every intention of homeschooling Peyton for Kindergarten, but when I heard about CHS, and given that we were in a new state and Peyton desperately needed some new friends, it just felt right in our spirit. So off he went to school all day...on a bus...24 miles away from home. Gasp! But nonetheless, it was unequivocally the right choice for that season too.

When our time in Texas came to an end and we migrated back North, homeschooling was our only best option on the table for first grade. Given that we weren't sure exactly where we would land, it only made sense that we could best give Peyton and Parker some stability by teaching them at home and letting them get involved once again with activities here that included their old friends. It was/is the right choice for the moment.

Now that we're nearing the end of first grade, I'm feeling the nudge to get Peyton back in a classroom-- and Parker in one next year too. For all of the frenetic pace that can come along with rushing to finish homework assignments and spend quality time together in the midst of a "conventional" schooling schedule, it does bring something to the table that I love: a time to refresh, recharge and reorganize my thoughts, my life and my schedule.

So here we stand on the precipice of another year, and as we move forward, we have decided to pursue the possibility of putting the kids in private school. In no way am I anti-public school either, but for right now, private school is simply the best fit for my two sweet peas.

Homeschooling is rewarding. It's wonderful in it's own right. I so very much appreciate that it is always a viable option. But right now, I'm thankful for schools too. And tonight I'm grateful that as we wait and see what doors the Lord opens up for our family that we have such wonderful options to consider.

I'll keep you posted!