Posts Tagged ‘homeschool’

A Wrinkle in Parenting (spoiler alert)

We’ve just returned from the theater, only to verify once more – the book is always better than the movie.  It sounds like such a great homeschool policy – “We’ll only go see the movie if we read the book together!”  Yet every time – the movie ends up falling flat.  It just doesn’t stand a chance.wrinkle.jpeg

Pushing that aside for a moment, I do love the book and so much of the imagery and themes througout: Light fighting back the darkness. Strength discovered in weakness.  You cannot serve two masters.  Hope even in places where we’ve made mistakes.  There are even direct quotes from scripture used imaginatively throughout.

L’Engle presents a Universe much larger than we usually envision, and the invitation for each of us to become warriors on behalf of light.  This doesn’t mean strapping on our weapons, and polishing our armor – it means offering ourselves in places and situations where we aren’t assured of the outcome.  It means loving the other, even when there’s no visible sign that such sacrificial love will be received well.

One of my favorite scenes is toward the end, as the lead character realizes she has been self-centered in her relationship with her Father:

          “I’m – I’m sorry, Father…(tears came to her eyes, their hands together)..I wanted you to do it all for me.  I wanted everything to be all easy and simple…So I tried to pretend that it was all your fault…because I was scared, and I didn’t want to have to do anything myself–“
        “But I wanted to do it for you,” Mr.Murry said.  “That’s what every parent wants.”  He looked into her dark, frightened eyes….
         “No.” Mrs Whatsit’s voice was sterner than Meg had ever heard it. “You are going to allow Meg the privilege of accepting this danger.  You are a wise man, Mr.Murry.  You are going to let her go.”

So many layers to this.

We love our children, and want great things for them.  But we must remember, for them to grow and develop they must be allowed to experience the mystery of holding Gods’ hand into the unknown.  As John Ortberg has written, “Persons of excellent will, judgment and character are formed by having to make their own decisions.” (Focus on the Family, April/May 2018)

We see this same love as God invites humanity with free will to respond to a crucified Messiah, an image of self-sacrificing Love that doesn’t force, demand, or overthrow.  An infinitely compelling revelation of a path we’re invited to follow, not with the promise that all will go well – but with the promise that this is the path of New Creation Love.  This is the way of proclaming Jesus as Lord.  This is the way of light breaking forth into darkness.

So what is the wrinkle? If we want to invite our children to step forward into a faith-filled unknown – we must be prepared to respond to their obvious questions.  “Really mom/dad?  You’re doing this?”  Where are we following Jesus into areas of unknown?  Where are we trusting Him to do something, without which we would sink into the waves of a stormy sea?  Where are we experiencing this as a home/family?

This isn’t meant to be intimidating, but encouraging/inviting.  This isn’t saying every family should sell all things, move into a tiny home in the bad part of town, or other side of the world.  This is simply saying – great distances can be traveled by small and simple acts of sacrificial love.  Great rifts can be overcome by a humble dependence on a Love that reflects the brightest light that has ever shown.

This is how Christ began the ultimate victory.  This is how we continue to proclaim & establish it, empowered by His Spirit even now.   Not by our own power to Love, but as we are transformed by His…

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“Bring You Where I Am” by Wick – Music Video

I know, you’re probably sick of hearing about it by now. But here’s the official music video to go with our song, complete with links to purchase the song or donate to our adoption if you’d like!!

different kids.

“He’s part of the smart and popular group.”  I heard a 5th grader describe his friend this past week.  Holy Smokes.  I don’t remember thinking about “popularity” in elementary school, although I’m sure it was there somewhere.  I remember coming to school and getting incredibly good at the art of twisting my hair so that it stood up without using any gel.  Throw a cape on my back, because I was super.

I remember some mornings, waiting out by the road for the bus to pick us up.  We’d easily get bored, and want to do something more fun.  I remember putting frogs in the mailbox for our postal worker to be surprised by.  (She wasn’t happy when she found baked frogs in the mailbox.  Ooops. Hot fall days.)  I remember playing Ninja Turtles. (I preferred Michaelangelo.)  I remember squatting down, pulling my coat down over my knees, while hobbling along the road trying to scare the cars driving by into thinking I was some sort of troll.  (Probably not the safest thing I’ve ever done along a highway.)

Looking back on who I was growing up, I think is part of the reason I was totally okay when we began our homeschooling journey.  Sure, a lot of homeschool kids can grow up a bit weird.  But look at me…public school kids can grow up pretty odd themselves.  My kids are certainly going to be unique in this world, scripture pretty much demands it.  But their uniqueness is not about simply wearing the moniker “Different”.  It’s so much bigger than that.

In fact, it’s too big to fit into an awesome sentence that I can make into bold text, and you can quote me on in some place that gets more internet traffic.  I want my kids to live authentic lives of experiencing all that God has created them for.  I fiveironfrenzypray over them daily that they would be filled with so much love, the world will be changed.  I believe it’s possible with all that I am (and the even more that I am not), and parent them that way.  Whether they go on to become missionaries in foreign lands, moms who raise the next generation to know the love of God, or a female-fronted version of Five Iron Frenzy.  In fact, if they could go on to become a female version of Five Iron Frenzy, at least for a little while, I’d be pretty excited.  One thing is for sure – they will be unique.  I pray they are unique even in the face of consumer-driven Christianity.  That they would ask questions, and push the envelope for how God’s Love can be shown, and how the Holiness of God can be lived.

So for now, we’ll continue to build the foundations of a life lived uniquely toward responding to God.  We aim to exercise those spiritual muscles on a regular basis.  To invite our children to respond to God with us on a regular basis.  To train them to listen to His voice.  To point out where some things in our world are broken, or don’t make sense.  To help their first reflex and knee-jerk reaction to be Love for God & others.  And above all of that, because we cannot guarantee what path they’ll take…..we pray.  God, use our family to make things different, as you are Different.  Amen.

centenarians. (a book review)

My grandma lived to be over 100 years old.  She sang opera, planted canned pineapple, and always had a giant smile waiting for you.  There’s a woman from our church who’s well over 100, and until recently she drove herself to church every Sunday morning.  One day she called me up to help her stain a gazebo in her backyard, saying she was about to climb a ladder and do it, but “it’s getting too sultry outside”.

I’ve always been impressed by these centenarians (the official term for someone over 100 years old).  It often seems as if they’ve got a flicker of joy from having pulled one over on Mr.Life-Expectancy.  So when I saw a book titled “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared“, by Jonas Jonasson, I was intrigued.  I took a chance on a book and author I’d never heard before, 100yearoldmanand was pleasantly surprised.

History was never my forte in High School.  Sure I could tell you when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and the date of our nations’ independence, but that’s about it.  I’d cram just enough studying to pass a test, and not long after that most of what I’d learned would be forgotten.  The unfortunate thing about this, is that so much of the world we live in today comes from recent history.  Which sounds like a pretty ignorant thing to even say. 🙂

I say this, because I think this book could probably be used to trick high school students into learning more about modern history (the past 100 years or so primarily).  Without giving too much away, the book does a great job of introducing world leaders from many major countries, giving brief thoughts on “capitalism vs. socialism”, and even topics of national security and world wars.  Teachers could use this book as a launching point into quite a few important conversations.

Here’s just a brief moment in the hilarity of events that happen from this one man escaping the passive prison of his nursing home:  “And not only that, Mr Stalin. I have been in China for the purpose of making war against Mao Tse-tung, before I went to Iran and prevented an attempt to assassinate Churchill.’  ‘Churchill? That fat pig!’ Stalin shouted.  Stalin recovered for a moment before downing a whole glass of vodka. Allan watched enviously. He too would like to have his glass filled, but didn’t think it was the right moment for such a request.”

From the building of the atom bomb, to being a prisoner of war, to bonding with an elephant – the book goes back and forth between Allan’s life as he aged, and the current story.  It’s a great blend of humor, ridiculous historical moments that could never have happened, and crime drama.  It stands in pretty big contrast to another book I’ve just finished reading, “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” (a great resource for understanding the current racial tensions from the perspective of the aged, and a man you’d want to have as your grandpa)…but he’s a young 91 years old, and so doesn’t belong in this review.  Both great books that will make you want to drink in your abilities now, and live a life that offers your 100-year-old self a few things to smile about…

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