“Teach me to number my days.” This discipline of recording what I’ve learned at the end of each month has been such a great blessing for recording to remember. Without the mark on time, I’m prone to become discouraged. The difference I feel this year compared to last year in February is quite the contrast. (Last year, I had hit the bottom, and the well ran dry. I learned a hard lesson.)
1. I don’t want to quit. I love being a homeschooler.
It’s a common feeling among homeschool moms to want to throw in the towel by February (and sometimes in November too). This year has been dramatically different for me, and there have been a lot of contributing factors to our consistency and positive attitudes. One major factor has been the kids’ Bullet Journals. I talk about this so much already, so I won’t bore you. But if you don’t know what I’m referring to then read more about them here.
2. Chicago taught me to relax and look for the fun in anything.
My husband and I went to Chicago the first weekend in February for Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week. He is an alumni, and we hadn’t been there for a visit in almost a decade. (Yes, we feel old. If you were wondering.) My husband still knows the landscape well and can navigate at street level on the fly, which meant that he was the tour guide/planner/main decision maker and I was the tourist. We would discuss our options of sight seeing and dining choices and then head out. Sometimes I didn’t know where we were going or how long it would take us to walk there – but I resisted the urge to ask. I knew that if I even attempted to “know” or (worse) “control” any of the journey then I would ruin most of the fun. So, instead every once in a while, during our many, many walks I would whisper to myself “I’m having fun.” Maybe this is similar to the concept of looking for joy in every day situations or being grateful in everything, I’m not sure. All I know is that I’m learning to grow in staying present. I don’t want to miss the process because I’m caught up in controlling the outcome. And it was a bonus that we ate a lot of great food.
3. Glasses on a toddler means a lot more attention from strangers.
My poor kids are accustomed to strangers everywhere coming up to them and touching their “adorable curly hair.” But with glasses on the little one, it’s been like an epidemic. I’ve taught the kids from the beginning that having the opportunity to make someone smile just because they like your hair or your smile means that God has given you a gift. He wants us to spread His beauty and goodness to others, which means that when someone tells you how cute they think you are, that’s your opportunity to share God’s love with them by being kind. My toddler gets a lot of practice at this.
4. We are having a girl!
We enjoyed seeing our little one on the ultrasound screen. I have to admit that I wanted to know that the four-chambers of the heart and both sides of the brain were developing well more than I wanted to know the gender. When we did find out that our little one was a girl, I was overwhelmed. I was ready for another boy. I kind of expected that the baby would be a boy, but I also hoped that we would have another girl because I really think this baby will be our youngest. (I thought my current toddler would be my youngest, but that’s another story.) Now if only I could settle on a name… Our usual is to name the baby after the ultrasound. We usually love naming our babies, but this time it’s felt impossible. I have a feeling I’ll need to hold her first before her name comes to me.
5. Joining the gym has been such a great decision for all of us.
So…I gain a lot of weight while pregnant. I don’t eat for two, I know how to balance my diet, and I am very conscious of eating the best foods for the development of the little one inside me. That said, I still put on a lot of weight during the first trimester (when you’re only supposed to gain 1-3 pounds). What I knew I needed was regular exercise: endurance training and muscle toning. Now, I know there are many things I can do to exercise at home. But I just don’t because of the many other conflicting roles and responsibilities in my life. Without the option of going outside, the inside of my home is just too distracting to my desire to workout. The gym we chose is right around the corner, my husband gets a nice discount through his employer, and they provide a kids gym so that all of us can go together. Win win, going to the gym has been really rewarding. Not to mention how getting out of the house in the winter improves my mood dramatically.
6. I have a passion for seeing homeschool moms connect.
I’ve been researching curricula (still) and the best way I’ve found to get a handle on how the curriculum functions is to read forums. On these, moms share what they do, how it works for them, or they ask questions about how to solve certain issues they are facing. Most people are respectful, helpful, and kind – sharing in ways that leave room for personal freedom and expression while being specific about what they have faced or how they solved certain issues. There’s no pressure to take the advice found there, and there’s no shame for asking questions. I want to cultivate a safe place like this in person and online. I hope to inspire homeschool moms everywhere to celebrate their homeschool, and to support and encourage the homeschools around them. I wrote about comparison in February, sharing my past burden from comparing and my current freedom. I know I’m still learning how to apply this, but it’s so close to my heart that I hope to see others blessed.
7. Accountability is a popular topic.
I wrote about accountability this month and it generated a few great conversations. While I was in Chicago, I was reading a book that is encouraging me to pursue my passions. I had a light bulb moment right in the middle of Moody Church while waiting for the evening session to begin. I feverishly began writing in my Bullet Journal the thoughts and plans I came up with. Then I wrote the post on accountability to get a pulse on the issue, and to my delight the post proved that this topic is one that people want more of. I am so excited to be developing my plan. The goal is to see moms go from floundering in their personal goals to flourishing. I am developing a program that will take you from dependent on an accountability partner to independent and personally disciplined, reaching your goals with consistency.
The program will not be a generic video based course but a one-on-one partnership. I’m getting close to the launch and I’ll be inviting the first 3 partners to try it for free! If you think this is something you’d be interested in then sign up for the email list now! There will be more details to come.
Today’s post (see it by clicking here) is a day in our homeschool life. See how I manage our daily routine hour by hour.
Thanks for reading this months "What I'm Learning" post. I have linked up with Emily Freeman on this one, and you can read more about what she learned here. Don't forget to sign up to learn more about personal accountability! You won't want to miss what's coming soon. Click here to sign up now!