Mommy Summer School

HardwarewordprocessorSince we’ve hit our summer stride, I’ve let quite a few things slide.  Laundry.  Mopping.  Sweeping.  But there’s one thing that I didn’t have in the first place….

Good organization.

Part of my problem is that I’m a part of that generation that didn’t grow up with computers (Brother Word Processor, anyone?) but was introduced to them in during college.  I never typed my notes from class. A blank school planner and a pencil was my life-line.  Yet, now I see how amazing having a good sync-able calendar is.  Computers make a lot of organizing of files and data easy and simple.  But, I still crave the use of a pen and paper to convey my tasks, goals, and any note taking.  Yes..there’s an app for that.  But, in a similar irrational argument that lovers of books hate ebooks, it just doesn’t feel right to me.

But I want to learn. I hate being on that generational gap fence; half in technology and half out. I learned to love ebooks after the simple logical lightbulb of realizing I will never, ever have to physically move 300 books from one home to another again.  When you read as much fiction as I, and have moved as much as I have, that’s a big deal!

So my current summer goals are to discover how to use both Evernote and Scrivener. I know, these have been around a while, but I’m just realizing how I could use them in my life. Both have been heralded as game changers for organizing, writing, editing and making the sticky notes actually become something more.  Can I become a better writer using them?  Will I not have to flip through old scribbly notebooks for my next inspiration?  Or free up space on my phone’s “note” app where I put every idea in and never look at again?  Will it be useful for a homeschooling momma or is it for CEO’s and entrepreneurs? Can I finally get off the generational gap fence and embrace this?  Only by learning and trying will I find out.

Mommy Summer School is in session!

Grace in Learning Disabilities

We’ve already established I’m a miserable failure when it comes to matters of faith during trials.  Although redeemed, my natural tendencies of fixing things, preventing issues, and strategically planning perfection still come knocking.

Enter homeschooling two differently dyslexic boys.  There are some really excellent resources out there for parents, but I started here.  I have not had my children professionally evaluated.  Why not professional evaluation?  Personally, as a homeschooler, there isn’t a free or low-cost option.  While my school board can offer a learning disability evaluation, it doesn’t specify which one.  Though probably helpful in a school setting, that doesn’t help me as a child’s primary teacher.  When I sought an evaluator for my first son as we entered into this new area, I found they were quiet expensive.  When the office verified that I would be paying out-of-pocket, they never returned my calls.  Could I have pursued more?  Sure.  Did I want to shell out the money?  No.  I wanted to put my money into the schooling of my son.  Curriculum methods that would help them move forward in hope and self-discovery.

I’ve done my own research, looked at various factors, and sought some very practical hands on advice from those who specialize in this area.  I purchased reading programs that used the dyslexia standard Orton Gillingham approach.  I reduced the pressure on my boys to be like everyone else.  I have a milder case child, who in this last year has come a long way in gaining confidence in reading and finding the joy that can come with it.  I have a more severely dyslexic child, who every day is a struggle in remembering what letter is what, often confusing the name of the letter with its sound.  Numbers are always backwards to him.  And I seek, each day, to fix it.

There is no fix.  Going from a mild case of dyslexia in one child, to a more severe case in another, I have been faced with the realization of the fact that this is a true learning disability.  Not a slowness that can be fixed.  Not a lack of will or of trying.  This is a different kind of brain function.  And all of my fixing and forcing only serves to frustrate and impede faith in a boy who will one day know that God created him.  Do I want him to angrily say “God, why did you create me this way?” or to have faith and love for his Creator and say “Because you made me this way, I need Your grace.”

I need faith in homeschooling.  I need to rest in the assurance that these boys are of the utmost importance to my Father in heaven and that He has a plan for them.  I want them to embrace (not excuse) their differences and for them to grow up knowing how to learn things for themselves.  It means a different path than my daughter.  A different path for each boy.  I have a lot to learn and grow myself in this process.  But I’m learning to cherish my children’s differences and uniqueness instead of wanting them to be the same.  So I’m working to fix less and trust in grace more.

Que the epic

….fail, that is.

Have I mentioned I’m not juggling well these days?  Has my misery over my plodding…and re-plodding…and oh my gosh, where’s my coffee, I can’t deal with this today? been obvious?  I feel like the heel of the bread loaf that’s been forgotten in the pantry and is so unappealing that even mold spores won’t grow on it.

In my dream of dreams I can throw out this old, dry, wrinkly and gross model and upgrade to the new me.  But in reality, that dry yucky toast that is me, is trying to learn and do everything.  I am failing epically!  The last 2 weeks have been, I don’t care how many cartoons you watch at 6:30 in the morning, but if you wake me up to make you breakfast there is going to be some pain in this house!  It’s been realizing my son has been playing video games for 2 hours…eeehhh that’s ok, isn’t it?  It’s been looking at all the little fuzzies on my floor and thinking I will have time to vacuum tomorrow.  I kinda had a burn out and went a bit I don’t care over a lot of stuff that I really do care about.  So now, I’m trying to work my way slowly out of the yuck.  To reclaim a schedule for myself and for my kids.  To actually do the homeschooling we need to do.  To write again, read again and just have fun again!

Sometimes, you have to fail big.  Maybe you need to stay there for a few, just allowing sanity to return to the dazed and confused parts of you.  Just don’t stay there.  Grab that coffee and run towards something epic.  Even if it’s just tackling that mound of laundry waiting for you.

Failing Faith

I have been inundated lately with some very disheartening things.  You probably have too.  Finding rust in the washer and dryer and needing replacements.  Going to floss my teeth and finding I broke a molar when we’re still trying to pay off my last 2 root canals.

There’s nothing better at making me feel valueless than the stupid downs of life.  Within the space of a single 24 hour period, I went from joyfully resting in the shadow of God’s wings to anxiety, worry and a frantic 2am job hunt for something I can do to contribute to these financially draining events.

The truth is painful to admit.  My faith is evidenced by the crisis in my bank account…or I should say, my lack of faith.  Now, I’m not preaching a prosperity gospel here.  History and current events are a testimony to the simple fact that the price of faith and obeying the Lord is most often one of poverty and persecution in many forms.  And, let’s be completely honest…I have a washer and dryer and an appointment with the dentist tomorrow.  I’m not in poverty.  But my lack of faith in where God has me, in what He’s already called me to be, and how He’s already called me to live, was immediately abandoned in the midst of crisis.  This is a painful realization that, even after so many years, tests and trials, I still seek what is comfortable over Him.  And when things are not comfortable, I seek to change those things, even to the point of considering to change what I know is true.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8 ESV)

Instead of seeking an immediate change of circumstances, or letting worry and anxiety rob me of peace and rest, I should have been seeking wisdom.  Not the vain wisdom I gave…which was a few desperate prayers while I was seeking instant changes I could perform to make the crisis go away.  No, I was exactly the double-minded, unstable woman God cautions against.  I was seeking a quick rescue and when not supplied, I sought one of my own making.

I am so thankful that in spite of my double-mindedness, He is single-minded in His pursuit of me.  I am never so lost to sin that His love, forgiveness and blood hasn’t paid and covered me.  With great sorrow over my lack of faith, I can cry “give me more faith” (Mark 9:24) and know He will give it.  I don’t know the answers to our unplanned financial woes, but I know the One who does.  And that is better than any financial security.