It's our week off this week. We just finished homeschooling through elementary school. We need some time off after this huge milestone and all the work that went into it. Our pattern is to take a full week off at the end of May or beginning of June with nothing planned. Nothing. Then we go back into what we call summer learning. We do a little Math, a little Latin and a little reading daily throughout the summer. It helps keep the brain engaged and yet it doesn't bog us down making us feel like we are still in full-time school.
I even took the week off Facebook and Google+ so I could hopefully feel the rest that a week off gives. Still, this morning at 4:00am, I tossed and turned in my bed with "to-do" lists rolling around in my head. I am aware of various commitments and goals which seem looming. It is so hard to let the silt settle and to just be still sometimes. Life seems to press in and needs don't stop just because we declare a week off.
Summer has its own kind of busy. We started swim lessons, so everyday we pack up at 12:30 and head out to a home where a few families gather to watch their children slap at the water, stand at the end of the diving board refusing to jump and make big arm circles while grasping for the side of the pool. Once a week we have piano lessons. That is going down to every other for summer, so we'll feel that space by next week. My older son is in a newly forming Debate Team. He loves it and it is just up his alley, but yes, we have to pack up once more and head to that event once a week. We have swim dates and skating parties and playdates and sleepovers. Where did the break go in "Summer Break"?
As for my other commitments, I am leading some other homeschool moms in a series of four gatherings over eight weeks (one every other week) to explore the basic principles of Charlotte Mason Education and learn how to practically select curriculum and set a home educating rhythm. I am slated to speak at a homeschool conference and I have a few women I am mentoring. All that adds up to prep-time and it entails having a home that has at least one room without LEGOs and boys underpants on the floor.
Sometimes when I look around at all that I need to do and want to do I feel like I just freeze. Where to begin? Which pile of papers should I get to first? How did I ever get "piles" when I am such an organized person? Is it really necessary to cut the front vines or should we just leave machetes out front so people can hack their way to our front door when they visit?
I know I'll catch up. I always do. And I'll fall behind again. I always do. It's the ebb and flow of the tides of our lives. In the middle of it all, I'm hearing God's call - His repeated and timeless call to rest. He calls us to mission. He calls us to ministry. But, first, and foremost, He calls us to rest. Which of these activities qualified as essential enough to be in the 10 commandments? Go? or Rest? Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. Set it apart. Make room for Me. And from what shall we pour out in ministry? From our empty and frazzled selves or from a place of filling and renewal? Abide in Me. Apart from Me you can do nothing. I am hearing the sweet call of the Shepherd, reminding me I am but a sheep. Nothing depends upon me. He is the center of all of life. In Him I live and breathe and find my being.
I might just cut the front vines today since women are coming over, but deeper than that, I need to find Him in the midst of the overgrown places in my life and allow space for rest - even for Summer Break.
Usually on Wednesdays I have been writing about Fenelon's wisdom for child-rearing. I'll get back to that series next Wednesday. For today, I am practicing rest.
Flip Flop photo by Ross CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons