Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Busy (But Abundant) Life Right Now

I thought I would just post a general update about life right now.  We have a lot going on around here.

I home school my kids. 

As many of you already know, I home school my kids.  This is my full time job and it keeps me very busy. I have many, many reasons why I teach my children myself, but the main reason is that I want to provide them with a great education. It has taken me years of work to redeem my own education and years of research to find out what I need to teach my kids, when they should learn it, how best to teach it and why, etc. I tutor them in many subjects myself. They are also taught by professional tutors with groups of their peers.  If you are interested, you can read about our home school at myeclectichomeschool.com Home schooling is very effective and rewarding, but it is very time-consuming.

"No governess! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without a governess! -- I never heard of such a thing. Your mother must have been quite a slave to your education.''
- Lady Catherine from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

I teach group fitness classes.

In addition to my full time job teaching my kids, I work part time teaching fitness classes. I have been teaching freestyle classes (where I make up my own choreography) for a while, but I was recently certified to teach Bodypump.  Bodypump workouts are my favorite workouts. They helped change my life.

For those of you who know about Bodypump, you will understand why I am excited to say that I get to help launch Bodypump 91 next weekend at one of the gyms where I work.  Myself and three other instructors will be teaching the workout together, taking turns coaching various tracks.  I get to teach the lunge and shoulder tracks, both of which are very fun and challenging to me, so I have been and will be learning those tracks this week during my spare time.  So my part job is keeping me busy but interested, too.  

I read a lot.

It was my goal to read C.S. Lewis' entire bibliography this year and I have done fairly well. To date, I have read almost all of his well known works.  Now I have moved on to reading his more obscure writings if you can call anything he wrote obscure.  This week, I started God in the Dock, a collection of his essays of theology and ethics.

I am also enjoying reading and discussing the Harry Potter books with my oldest daughter. When we finish a book, we watch the movie that goes with it. We don't watch a lot of movies or television around here. We just aren't interested or are busy doing other things.  But watching these movies as we finish the books feels like a real treat that we get to look forward to right now. 

I am a parent.

In addition to Harry Potter, last week, my oldest daughter and I also happened to be reading about the Israelite Exodus from Ancient Egypt and The Salem Witch Trials in American History. The combination of those three topics together created a bubbling concoction of interesting and lively conversations. We discussed the material world verses the supernatural, historical literature verses the fictional, and various religions and their practices and influence throughout the timeline and the world.  Wow! Those conversations were totally spontaneous, but they were some the highlights of my week as a parent.

My middle child is also making real progress in learning to read.  Teaching my kids to read is a great privilege and joy to me.  I also really enjoyed sitting close to my daughter and helping her read out of her phonics textbook and seeing her pride and joy as she read the simple words faster and with more and more ease. I got to hug her shoulders, kiss her head, and encourage her little heart as we sat and read together.  Those were other highlights of my week as a mom.

My husband is in graduate school.

And he's not just going through the motions so he can get a fancy certificate. He's really reading, thinking, planning, building, and learning etc. But that is taking a lot of his free time, a lot of the time we usually spend together as a couple or as a family. We believe the effort is going to be worth it because this education will make him better equipped for everything the Lord has and will call him to do in life. But right now, it often feels like a real challenge and a sacrifice.  But we are a team.

We attend and serve at church.

We are a part of a small group from our church. We do a lot of things with that group of friends like go to the beach, camp, and cookout. If you scroll back through my blog, you will see various posts about those things.  We also volunteer at our church's services is various ways and we host a youth Bible Study at our house.  My husband and I both went to college to learn to study and teach the Bible, so having a Bible study at our house has been a way to use that education and experience.  In all these things, we get to spend more time with the people who go to our church, our friends, and we get to know them all better and laugh a lot and challenge and encourage one another in faith and in life and that is a great joy and reward right now.

In all these good things: home schooling, grad school, reading, parenting, and service, we are kept very, very busy.  But Jesus said, "I have come that you may have life and that abundantly."  John 10:10

Sometimes I remind myself that this busy life is a blessing and proof that God is at work in and around me.  He is the source of all fervor, productivity, and liveliness.  His fingerprints are all over this happy mess of life that He gives. 

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