Here we are, half way through the year. I always panic at this point because I feel like I have wasted my summer in frivolity. The kids are never even close to where they “should be” in their reading program. And my to-do list always seems to be growing.
This year isn’t super different. My perspective is though.
Usually I feel like my children, my home, my use of time, everything that I touch really, are an expression of the value of my life.
Now don’t misread that. My involvement or application toward those things are 100% an expression of what I value in life.
I finally realize that they are affirmatively not a valuation for my life. I finally appreciate my value as coming from my creator, not from what I do.
Separate from Legalism
I have a firm hold on an understanding of legalism. When we believe that we can earn favor with God we engage the world around us, and prioritize our activity, in wrong ways. Gods favor is fundamentally necessary to our life, and that can only come through Christ and his work on the cross.
I had never seen the harsh standards that I held myself to as legalism. To be honest, I still don’t. I don’t do all these things because I think God will love me more. I keep my lists and check them twice because of my own list of what it means to be perfect.
This has more to do with social norms than God, sadly.
What’s different about this summer?
I am doing things that have a value according to worldly standards. Writing, working, pouring time and energy into getting myself out into the world. This forces me to evaluate every moment. I try to stop and value the moments of free play my children have along side a summer reading plan. This just seems ridiculous. I can actually see the intrinsic value that my life has in the lives of my children just through my presence. No small thing seems wasted any more. They are having their best summer simply because I am here to let them be kids, and to talk to them about their experiences. Each second is a choice I make between what I want, what my family needs, and the balance of all of our time.
This summer feels like a giant victory so far, for the first year in many! We have spent long days out doors and family trips together. They have spent every waking moment discovering the world around them, and I have been a part of that! These are things that used to feel like such a burden to me. The things that were getting in the way of my “summer goals” of reading schedules and science projects, field trips and historic sites. I can finally see the blessing of forts in the woods and berry picking outings. I can finally make out the forest for all the trees.
The truth is the beauty of my summers, and all of life really, was never hidden. I just obscured it with my expectations.
I hope this can be an encouragement to you. I hope as a homeschool parent, or a working parent, or a not yet parent that you can see the value in all the things you do. That you can not make the same mistake I did for so many years. Sometimes living with intentionality causes you to miss Gods intention for small moments. Go Ahead! Waste some days! Because, God knows, they aren’t being wasted when you are living in community.