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As much as I love homeschooling, I love my summer breaks equally as much. And for some reason, I just didn't feel ready for the start of the 2016-17 homeschool year. I changed my mind over and over again on when we'd dive into our studies. I got all of our curriculum out and ready, calculated dates and holidays, and talked with other homeschool moms. No matter what I tried, though, I simply felt unprepared for the start of school.
Although I didn't do as much lesson planning this summer as I have in the past, I don't think my hesitancy this year had much to do with a lack of physical planning. In fact, I think it had everything to do with a lack of spiritual planning.
Truthfully, I didn't adequately prepare my heart.
I didn't pray enough over the start of the year. I didn't seek the Lord's leading like I should have. I expected everything to work out on its own without much spiritual effort on my part.
I went into the start of our homeschool year (I finally settled on beginning the day after Labor Day) with some trepidation, but we ended up having a fabulous first day. Despite the spark plugs' insistence that they don't like studying, the structure, routine, and freshness of the day went a long way toward limiting sibling squabbles and bad attitudes. And it felt wonderful to me to be actively involved in their day.
As we worked through our Bible curriculum and discovered that our science book from a completely different publisher both started out with the exact same verse, my heart felt light. Reading aloud to the kids was something I hadn't done much of during the summer, and I found a renewed energy and joy as we journeyed through the first chapter of Prince Caspian.
I may not have prayerfully prepared my heart as I ought to have, but the Lord still worked in all of us to give us an amazing start to this next chapter in our homeschooling journey.
I'm so thankful that God's goodness isn't dependent on our works. It's true that things are much easier when we choose to actively obey, but He isn't limited by our shortcomings. I could have avoided several weeks of fretting about the year had I been praying and spiritually preparing, but the Lord still quieted my heart when it came time to begin.
I'm praying that the next time I'm facing a challenge and feel unprepared, I'll remember to spiritually prepare my heart for the situation.
Your turn: What are you struggling with right now that you simply need to give to God? Have you been diligent to prepare your heart for the coming season, whatever that might bring?