So that means there’s a pile of clothes in my laundry room, the kids are watching more TV than I like, I’m counting the days until Spring Break, and I’m really tired of phonics.
Every day, every day, I explain to one of my dear children, the difference between short and long vowels. We do cards and starfall.com and reading practice and games.
I ask, “Okay, so what is the ‘eh’ sound?”
And the answer: “Long E! No, short E? Um… long E?”
How many days until Spring Break again?
We keep on trudging. We do our best. I try my best to be nice, first of all. We try to do the work on our lists. Some days it feels like we make progress and some days it doesn’t.
But I know February will pass. March too (which is usually worse) and then we’ll be heading downhill on all my plans for the year, the classes we have left, the books to finish (or not).
God keeps giving me tests of patience and I keep failing. Sigh. Right now my back is out or something, I’m not sure, but I’m walking crooked and looking like a piece of corkscrew pasta. I’m seeing the chiropractor tomorrow. But meanwhile I’ve allowed it to be an excuse for being mean to my poor three-year-old whenever he’s disobeying and I have to pick him up and put him in his pack-n-play. I’m angry at him for hurting my back. Well, it’s not his fault my back hurts. It’s not his fault I’m tired. (It is his fault he’s disobeying, and we work on that, but I don’t have to be grouchy about it.) So, still praying, still trying, still falling on grace.
This verse has jumped out at me lately. I’ve been sitting here for about 2 weeks, because I just have to camp on it:
“Preach the word! [Exclamation point! How often do you see those in Scripture?] Be ready in season and out of season. Correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Tim 4:2
I like that version even better than the one I’m memorizing. I like the “great patience” and “careful instruction.” My version says “longsuffering” and “teaching.” Either way, I’m to be a patient teacher.
And I can’t get around the emphasis on preaching the word. Being ready in season (maybe when things are going well?) and out of season (maybe when they’re not).
Am I preaching the word to my children? Do I even have the word in my mind at all, much less dwelling richly? Are we spending our dwindling time and energy on eternal truths at all or rushing to get through the list?
Which will matter more in five years?
These are the things I’m thinking about, yearning for, leaning toward. Even if we still have to do phonics.
Grace to you, mothers. Keep walking, even now, even in February. May we know the word and be ready to share it with our children. We will all have opportunities, like them or not.
“Preach the word!
in season and out of season.
Correct, rebuke and encourage
—with great patience and careful instruction.”
2 Tim 4:2
May we all perservere until the sunshine comes out again.
P.S. One of my dear children just came out and gave me a picture of all the foods they can think of (including patato, trunip and brocily-tree) they’ve drawn with little labels pointing to everything and most of the words even spelled right. It makes me cry a little. Somehow they learn things and are these darling, amazing little creatures, and I feel so privileged to get to be with them and see it all. Even if sometimes I forget.