February 8, 2008
Note: My donut keeps getting bigger, but I am still working on this collection of posts. I am trying to make them full of information and inspiration, so they are taking a little longer that I first expected. Thanks for your patience!
This morning, I was listening to a Burl Ives (remember him? His is the deep, lovely voice narrating the classic version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, among many other things:-) His CD of children's songs such as "Little White Duck" is a classic, and my boys ask for it about 10 times a day. One song in particular touches my heart in a deep place. It's called "Watch the Donut, Not the Hole". The premise of the song is basically to see the good, not the bad; to look for the positive, not the negative.
As homeschooling parents, it is easy to forget that we not only have a great responsibility in educating our children, but we also have an incredible opportunity. It is terribly exciting to examine our lives and see that, through the challenges of dirty diapers, mounds of lapbooks, and the constant need to be "the go-to gal (or guy)", we have myriad options available to us for self-development.
What areas do we have influence over? Time to call in a list (you will see as this blog grows that I love lists!):
- SoulStretch: Spiritual development
- TouchPoint: Kids' education
- WisdomSeekers: OUR education
- BodyBliss: Health and well-being (hygiene, exercise, nutrition/meal planning, mind-clearing/relaxation)
- SpaceSense: Homekeeping
- Clear the Path: Personal Productivity
- TimeTakes: Service (volunteering, family, friends)
- The Means: Finances
- TeamMates: Your marriage
Now, I know what you are thinking! You barely have time to shower. How will you ever have time to work all of the above into your daily life? It's time for the funny farm, right? Take heart, my friends! Everyone (yes, everyone!) has the capacity to track and improve on any and all of these areas. I call these areas our "Core Elements" and they will be the focus of this blog.
Back to that donut. The homeschooling community is full of dedicated, loving parents who seek to raise children who are full of integrity and character, as well as knowledge and wisdom. With that goal, we encounter many challenges along the way. Legislative issues, teacher's unions, logistical issues, exhaustion, misperceptions, motivating youngsters… most of us encounter at least one of these obstacles every day. Well, this site isn't about the obstacles, it is about the opportunities. I am going to challenge you to stretch your mind and your spirit as we seek to focus on our Core Elements, rather than all of the clutter that we see in the world. We are going to learn to turn inward in order to generate more of what we seek. We are going to listen less to the news and more to God's voice. We are going to put less into defending homeschooling and more into demonstrating its fruit by how we live our lives. We are going to focus less on the clutter and more on activities that yield results.
This post is the beginning of a nine-week series on the Core Elements. Next week, we will cover what I like to call the SoulStretch, a unique way of integrating your time with God into every aspect of your life. We will be looking at real life examples of how to develop your spiritual walk by using mindfulness as a tool. I am not going to rehash everything that homeschooling parents suffer from. Instead, I want to encourage you to live fully this amazing life that you've been given!
In closing, I leave you with a little ditty to sing as you head to the Y or teach your son his math facts:
It's written on the rainbow, in letters made of gold
Written on the rainbow, there's wisdom to behold
My friend the little sparrow flew
Close enough to see
Written on a rainbow is this philosophy,
When you walk the streets, you'll have no cares
If you walk the lines and not the squares
As you go through life make this your goal
Watch the donut, not the hole.
Have a terrific day!