My new motto, also? Two section headings from chapter 1: “Choose to be thankful” (p. 34) and “learn to be content” (p. 36).
When I decided to read this book and “join” this book club, I wondered if I was going to “fit” with it. By this, I mean that I’m a thinker and an arguer by nature. My relationship with God is characterized by struggle. Nothing about my faith journey has been easy, and I don’t suspect that will change at this stage in the game. People for whom faith comes easily have my envy and my respect simultaneously. I wish it could be that “easy” for me, but it is not and I’ve come to see that there are many different kinds of relationship with God (actually, though reading the Bible in 90 days last year) and that there are those who have my sort of relationship and it’s okay.
What resonated with me in this chapter, what made me stop and say, wait, it’s not always that easy for her either was her descriptions of her vision/expectation of events and the reality of those events. The Christmas cookies stood out for me because that’s me. I go into things full of expectation of how it will go and the things that will happen, and when things don’t happen according to my plan, I come a little unglued. Okay. A lot unglued.
And even though I know that countless women have gone through the same thing before me, for some reason, this time, reading it in this book made it click. It’s not about the cookies or the chapter in the math book or the spelling words or the way the painting looks. It’s about the moments that I’m spending with my children doing these things. Those are the moments that I should be and am thankful for. It’s those moments that are “God sightings” (to use the phrase that Ben learned in VBS this year). Those messy, crazy, sometimes awful moments are just as much God’s doing as the moments when Ben or Katie shows me in some way how much they love me.
What I know I have to work on now is contentment. I need to learn to be content with circumstances as they are, as God has presented them to me, and accept. It sounds so easy, but I know that this will be the hardest work that I do as a mother and as a person. It takes an astounding amount of faith to accept all that happens as God’s will, God’s choosing, God’s timing, and believe that it is as it was meant to be.
About ten years ago, P and I had some serious relationship troubles. The kind that led to a trial separation. One of the things that I learned during that separation is that my expectations tend to be too high for anyone to meet and so I am always disappointed. When we were working on bringing ourselves back together (which clearly we did), I repeatedly reminded myself that I needed to have no expectations of how something would go or what something would be. Somewhere in the last few years, I’ve lost sight of that and chapter 1 has reminded me that I need to get back to the place where I have no expectations (well, I’m going to stick to always expecting that we’ll live through the day because that gives me peace, but otherwise).
How much better could our lives be if, instead of setting insanely high expectations for ourselves and our children and our homeschool, we accepted each day as it comes — as the gift that it is from God?
That’s my goal, and and that’s what I learned from reading chapter 1 of Seasons of a Mother’s Heart.
If you want to know what others who are reading the book learned from chapter 1, please visit Home With the Boys and check out the links.
*As always, where possible book links are to my affiliate account at Amazon. Every little bit helps when it comes to homeschool materials.