This morning dawned through clouds from the outskirts of a hurricane. Going to bed last night, we didn't know for sure how this hurricane might affect us in Southeast Texas. With a Category 4 hurricane of 150mph winds, the path makes all the difference - and we were watching closely. To our relief, my family ended up being just west of any potentially damaging winds.
As I write this, Hurricane Laura is still a nightmare for so many. Some will awake this morning (if they slept at all) wondering if their home will be whole when they return. Some endured a night of fear as the winds threatened to crush the walls around them. Some are still facing the threat of hurricane- and tropical-storm-force winds farther inland. Many have weeks, if not months, of recovery efforts ahead of them.
The only way to discuss the social evil is to get at once to the social ideal. We can all see the national madness; but what is national sanity? ...
Over the past couple of weeks, more and more emphasis has been placed on social-distancing. We are finding ourselves within our homes, as sheep, once freely pastured, suddenly behind a closed gate of limitations.
For homeschooling families, being at home together day after day is a very familiar situation. Yet, we are aware that this is not quite the same pasture we once enjoyed. We lift up our heads from our lackadaisical grazing. What are these new boundaries surrounding us? Why do we suddenly long for the grass now on the other side of this new fence?
My initial expectations of Wuthering Heights were admittedly ignorant. I had never read it in high school, never before read a summary of it, and had no idea what the overall tone would be. However, a few chapters in, I got feedback from others who had read it and thought it to be too dramatic and depressing. I went on reading it with this knowledge guarding my further expectation. Perhaps this helped me to appreciate it more than I would have had I been anticipating a ‘warm & fuzzy’ story line.
“Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.”
I'm finally done with the kids' bedtime for tonight and I am worn out.
Another late end to a day that was rough for no other reason than life has kept the punches coming. Another few moments before my own bedtime spent unwillingly surrendering deferred hopes of accomplishing more order in the home, or just having a few quiet minutes to regroup and untangle some thoughts without constant interruption.
“One more thing is of vital importance; children must have books, living books; the best are not too good for them; anything less than the best is not good enough; and if it is needful to exercise economy, let go everything that belongs to soft and luxurious living before letting go the duty of supplying the books, and the frequent changes of books, which are necessary for the constant stimulation of the child's intellectual life.”
Spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter.
Each season brings with it an invigorating freshness that mingles the jadedness of the season passing with the optimism of the season beginning. We who love beauty love to relish in the novelties and renewed wonder that the shifts in temperature and holidays bring to the imagination every few months. Each season truly is new. There may be only four which cycle on, but the seasons of this year aren't the same as last year - not quite - because you aren't the same as last year. Each trip around the sun welcomes untapped potential. Seasons, with their perpetual fluctuations of bleakness and bloom, seem to be in harmony with our humanness, ongoing reminders through which God encourages us: We have regrets, we learn, and we renew.
It can't be an accident that God gave humans years upon years in which to grow from childhood to adulthood. So much happens in the process. His wisdom saw fit to require much time to form and shape full growth. Miracles aren't all instantaneous.
But, what if those early years which were spent growing us physically left other aspects of ourselves stunted? Our body grew in height, but what about our mind? Our character? Were these simultaneously being broadened and strengthened along with our frame? Were they being nourished by rich, living ideas and exercised by deep, worthy thoughts?
"On my arrival at Ambleside I was interviewed by Miss Mason who asked me for what purpose I had come.
My first encounter with a homeschooling family was at the induction ceremony of my soon-to-be husband’s first job after college. The children of this family seemed to be such well-rounded kids: each were able to converse with adults and other kids well, and to sit quietly and respectfully during the ceremony. I could tell they had a great relationship with each other and with their parents, and there was such a striking joy about them. Something about the family was so captivating. Upon learning that they homeschooled, it was sealed into my heart.