Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Agenda

A friend shared a blog post with me today entitled, "A Messy, Grateful, Beautiful Mama".

I read the entry and it rang so true.  

The gist of this post was how life, being a mom, and everyday happenings can be 'messy'.  How we tend to highlight the happy, the fun, the tidy when we present things to others.  Yet, we need to embrace the messy times just as much, if not more, else we could find ourselves getting bitter, irritated, angry.  Instead, we need to be grateful for the not-so-neat-and-tidy and point our kiddos to Jesus in all times.

As I read the post, I was reminded of a conversation Techno-genius and I had had just days before.

This school year has been rougher than many in the past.  I've been struggling with my teaching of the littles.  Imagine that?  Me?  Struggling?  Ha.  Seems a huge chunk of my blog posts have been about just that:  my 'issues', shortcomings, and faults.  Guess this blog thing has become my counseling of sorts.  (Maybe another post for another time.)

Anyway, back to my original thoughts.  As Techno and I discussed these obstacles, I realized most of them revolve around the fact that a) I'm a rather controlling person (don't anyone choke here) and b) I was allowing my agenda to dictate my reactions during lesson time. 

I'd come to our school room with an unwritten agenda in my head.  Since I was the one going over the  lessons the night before, I thought I had the wisdom to determine what the girls would whiz through and what might be a bit harder, take longer.

When it came time to teach and learn, what ACTUALLY transpired was often quite the opposite.  The concepts I feared they might wrestle with, that might cause some faltering were easy as pie.  However,  tasks I thought we'd whip right through and be done with in a jiffy - took.  a.  long.  time!

It was at those times, on those concepts that I'd -- YES THE TEACHER, THE MOM -- would scramble, stagger, s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e.  

MY AGENDA was off kilter.  I was NOT in CONTROL!  GASP!!!

My attitude followed suit.  

I'd get flustered, which would frustrate the girls, which would irritate me, which would...... you get the picture.  I have to admit... we had moments of tears and yelling.  Yeah, I know, not the most conducive atmosphere for learning.  Hence, the many wearying days of beating myself up, heartfelt talks with Techno, and lots of prayer.

Discussing this with Techno, we both agreed I needed to be more 'FLEXIBLE'.  Not exactly easy for my Type A, overbearing, slightly controlling nature.  [I'm sure Techno is laughing - loudly - at my 'slightly' comment.]

Comical --  after reading the 'messy mama' post, I also read a post about being flexible in your homeschooling.  Gee.... think someone's trying to teach me SOMETHING?  ;-)

Some simple to implement ideas we came up with to help me achieve this 'flexibility' goal included:  Leaving my agenda at the door (or at least realizing that it won't happen the way I plan ALL the time) -- in spite of itself, having a plan isn't ALL bad; stepping away from the concept when it becomes apparent it's more difficult than I could have anticipated - doing another subject before returning; taking a short break to grab a snack, use the restroom, get a drink when we are butting heads; simply smiling and hugging the child who's struggling and letting them know I too am struggling and leaving that concept for the day.  That's one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling - we can ALWAYS return to a concept later, the next day, even the next week if need be.

I'm not saying this is easy for me to achieve.  I WANT to accomplish all our lessons for any given day ON that day.  I'm funny that way.  Just how I'm wired.  Get it done, get it done now!  That tends to be my motto, my way of thinking, my A-G-E-N-D-A!  There's that word again.

I'm thankful for my friend who sent me such an encouraging post.  Being a mom, in my case a homeschooling mom, is M-E-S-S-Y beyond belief.  {I mean that both figuratively AND literally.}  

It's good to be reminded that messy is normal, it's good, it needs to be embraced.  

My AGENDA is not always the best thing for any given moment.  I need to let it go.  Let life happen, messes and all.  Enveloping them with a smile.  Yeah, that one is hard for me.  Messes do cause me stress, both figurative and literal sorts.  This is a tough lesson for me.  One that will probably take a little time to master -- sorta like some of those concepts I thought would be so easy for our girls............ that weren't.  Hmmmm.......... coincidence?

Yeah, I don't think so either.

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