Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Today--a week ago

Today  I feel out of words. Out of sorts, even, maybe. Possibly just tired. But out of anything useful to say--I've been reading blogs and doing image searches(trying desperately to avoid Pinterest because I do.not.have.time. to get onto that! ).
It's the time of year when home school moms everywhere are pulling old books from shelves, ordering new ones, and reorganizing schooling spaces. It always hits in August, the need to move and change and look ahead for a better, brighter, more productive year.

I decided a couple of weeks ago(one week into our readjust-to-school-schedules time!) that our "front room," which was supposed to become the piano room, would be the optimal place for our school room--again. We've done this before. But I'm off to bigger and better ideas now! :) See, last Labor Day weekend, my hubby spent three days assembling shelves. . .
Last year's new shelves just for school. . .turned out a tiny bit TOO full. Imagine! :)

Only, the three smaller shelves we designated for school stuff just weren't quite large enough. And there was the issue of the piano being in the way. AND that room has doors to the back porches on both sides, so the large work table in the middle just really didn't make us happy as we had to maneuver around chair legs and table corners to go feed the dog or put the trash out. THEN this summer we put in the pool and built the deck off one of the porches, firmly deciding that the sunroom-on-the-north-side would BE a high-traffic zone. Whew!
So the school stuff had to move.
And there are FOUR tall bookshelves in the front room.
The front room in the middle of the switching/moving process. MESSY! :)

The four bookshelves in the to-be-schoolroom, BEFORE the switch out.

Plus, the space between the tall shelves in the sunroom is PERFECT for wall-mounting the tv, which we did this weekend = happy hubby.

That's what I've been doing. Oh, and trying to finish up "last year" so we can begin anew in September! Getting kids up early, trying to be on a schedule. . .
Our History resources for the school year coming up. A full shelf of American history! I'm excited!

It's also the labeling, and sorting, and finding a place for things that makes me tired. I've got boxes and boxes of similar items--school supplies, sewing materials, craft supplies--that have been stashed here and there over the years as we've moved from house to house AND as I've moved things from room to room.
Sorting, sorting

They all need to be sorted so I don't go buy a single other pipe cleaner or wooden bead OR packet of hand-sewing needles!
Four front room shelves, after most of the books are moved in.

The specially-built rolling shelf for our workboxes. It still needs paint, and the boxes need to be organized better.

Plus there's the "buffet" piece on one wall of my room. It's beautiful and matches our bed frame's finish wonderfully, but it's six feet long, takes up most of a wall, collects dust like a static cloth, and is piled fourteen inches high with--deep breath--BOOKS. It is next to where hubby studies for sermon preparation. AT MY DESK.
The buffet. ACK!
My desk. Ack-ack!!

Do you see where this is going?

So once I finish the school room and the craft boxes, the buffet will be next. I think it is moving into my craft area(just off the kitchen--it is the perfect length to go under the high bar from whence the bar stools have been banished). It will efficiently hold MOST if not all of the scrapbooking materials I've got squirrelled away. I'm hoping it will also not collect so much DUST in that part of the house, or at least may be dusted more often. Am I the only one who never DUSTS her bedroom furniture?.

Then we will be deciding on the future of my desk area. To the school room? Remain in my room? Somewhere else?

Don't tell my hubby I've got all this in my brain. Shhhh! :)

Meanwhile, C began her six-week summer class two weeks ago, and is doing that four days a week for three hours--online. It is a WONDERFUL course, with great students and a fun teacher, and I could just SIT and listen, as it encourages my heart so much to hear teens talking about God's truths and our world and developing a view of reality that will serve them WELL as they seek to walk with Him into the future. Amazing.
C's very own school shelf--one of my favorites. She's got some serious books this year! The monkey keeps things in perspective! lol.
And I am blessed.

We had fifth-Sunday sing yesterday. No pianist was there, and a small, small crowd. I was blessed to have my barefoot 12 year old lead five songs a cappella, and to see the support that our church family gave her. That is priceless.

It was a weekend of heavy thoughts for me. Church is often difficult because I don't enjoy being in groups of people that aren't super-close to me. . . it taints the whole experience as I am so stressed over the social aspect most of the time, but I realized last night, somewhere in the middle of Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, that God works even through tiny, struggling churches. His holy arm is mighty to save and His hand reaches down and touches us with just what we need, when and where we need it.  I wept from thankfulness.

And this passage comes back to mind, a passage that when I thought as a child and spoke as a child and sat in church on Sundays I often wondered WHY the grownups made such a big deal out of it. Wow. I am understanding it more now.

From 1 Corinthians:

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

The greatest of these--the greatest--is LOVE.

So a thanks be to God for His indescribable love toward us. Thanks for being fully known by Him who made land and sky and sea and all that is in them. Thanks for the understanding of my own minutia in light of His greatness, and yet the awesome magnitude of His love for me--for you--for each and every person--that He did not spare His only Son but gave Him freely--
                                           so that one day we can know face to face.  Fully.

And gratitude.

I'm starting a list, to remind me  on the days when I don't WANT to do what I must. 

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." 
1 Thessalonians 5:18

As with most things that cause me struggle, it is an issue of obedience
Day in, day out, day over again. . . get up, make the bed, cook breakfast, teach the children, cook lunch, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, answer the questions, plan and cook dinner, shop for food and clothes and school books, and be thankful. Four little lives under my watch. Four souls to be shaped for Him, and my own being worked on by His kind hand.  No, this journey into history and math and science and philosophy and literature and just general messy creativity and childhood exuberance is not just for THEM. It's for me too.
I'm thankful.

Blessings to you--may you know Love--and be thanks-full.



Michelle said...

I love the workbox shelves! I am so not organized enough to do workboxes, but I really wish I could pull it off. I have one rolling cart and I divided the drawers (3 each) between the two kids for things they can do when I'm busy with the other one or things they need to finish at some point in the day. Usually flash cards, a reading log, preschooly stuff for the little one . . . way simple stuff.

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

I'm amazed by all you do as a wife and mother. God is qualifying you to fulfill each of the roles he has designed for you. You are blessed!

no spring chicken said...

Seriously? You started this post thinking you had nothing useful to say? I think that maybe the rest of us should clean our brains and take your lead... You've given me inspiration (guilt), and a very good word to chew on today! Thanks sis...

Blessings, Debbie

April said...

I guess it turned out okay. That's why I decided to go ahead and post it. Isn't one of the hardest things to realize just the fact that our feelings don't always drive reality?
Blessings! and THANKS. :)

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage said...

Oh, April!!! My heart went out to you, as I read this post. I wanted to just reach through the computer screen and hug you, but new I couldn't. So...I prayed that the LORD would do so instead. ;)

I could say so much here, but then it would be a post and not a comment. lol I home-schooled my children through to graduation, and have been in ministry full-time, so I understand many of your struggles.

I will simply leave you with this:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18(NIV)

God bless you and encourage you, as you begin this new home school year.

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

Amanda said...

I'm really blessed by your authenticity April. It's interesting to me that as I get older things like church and social situations are harder, and how God keeps using these things to teach me more about how great He is and how humble I ought to be.

And on your school room, here's to new beginnings! I feel much better knowing I'm not the only one doing the crazy work of change & scramble. Maybe I will post tomorrow....

Erin of HomeSavvyAtoZ.com said...

Hi April! It sounds like you children are very luck to have a Mom who works so hard to create such an impressive learning environment for them! I am stopping by from HomeSavvyAtoZ.com to return the blog love. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my clock. My omeMade Monday weekly blog party is still open and I would love for you to link up at: http://www.homesavvyatoz.com/2011/08/07/bog-party-2/

no spring chicken said...

Hi April~ I'm a little embarrassed that my header picture isn't obvious. Of course it is to me! It's been ridden in our backyard for almost 15 years... I gave you a link to one of my posts that let's you see the whole thing. :)


danielle @ RLR said...

Honesty is contagious. :)

Also...I love your magazine holder thingies for workboxes. I've been hem hawing about using them to organize magazines and coloring books for awhile now. After seeing them used for workboxes too...I'm not sure how much longer I can hold off!


laurie @ bargain hunting said...

With all you have on your plate, it is no wonder you are struggling, but you worked your way through this post and were able go end with the greatest of these is love. Your post is made more meaningful by your honesty. Thank you April, and hang in there sweet April. You are doing God's work with love in your heart. And maybe a day off for everybody once in awhile wouldn't be a bad thing. laurie

Lynn at Cottage and Creek said...

Be of good cheer, April. Your attitude and humility is inspiring and I admire your determination to be thankful in all things. I am confident the Lord will continue to sustain you and provide for you and yours as you live for Him. My children are grown. One is following the Lord. One is not. But like you, I did my best to honor God in my home and be the mother God desired me to be. Keep at it and take time to refresh yourself when you can. Wonderful post and reminder to be thankful.
xo ... Lynn

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh my! You have been very busy indeed. Looks fabulous!

Thank you so very much for your kind words on Falling in Love With a House You Hate. :)

Beauty From Ashes said...

This is Ashley Davis- I used to be your babysitter when y'all lived in Hammond! I came across your blog from Kellye's blog at One Mom's Walk (she and I went to high school together) I saw your comment and then clicked to your blog and I realized, "I Know them!" Your girls are beautiful- I still remember when they were little! Hope things are good with you- just wanted to say hi.

Sunrooms Northern Ireland said...

The workbook file looks great. Its a beginning of a more well arranged room. Thank you for sharing.