Aug 18, 2012

Gifts in different packaging.

Warning:  This post is mostly me processing/journaling, and it got long.

Waking up at 5:30am to Malia crying and saying "I can't breathe!" got my heart pumping a good bit.  Though 
she and Josie often seem to breathe more quickly when they get sick, this time it was enough to worry me.  So into the doctor's office we rolled at 9:00am.

After a breathing treatment and some analysis, it seems she has asthma tendencies.  Strange, as this happens to both of my girls, in the same manner, only when they are sick.  Actually, Josie had been having similar breathing patterns the night before Malia, just not as intense.  By the time Malia was struggling, Josie had returned to normal.  Maybe viruses just go quickly to their lungs?  Not sure why this happens.

But I was happy to pick up the nebulizer, nonetheless, and have it handy in case matters worsened.  They didn't.  After that one treatment, Malia's breathing got better over the course of the day, though she spent most of the day lying on the bathroom floor (sometimes sleeping) or hanging her head over the toilet.  Today however, they are both almost back to normal.  Just some coughing and raspy-ness.

Going with the flow of what happened over the last couple of days definitely meant laying my expectations down.  Why, when things don't go as I expect, do I have this tendency to feel somehow "wronged" or treated unfairly?  Like what's happening is a misfortune.  Am I so infatuated with myself that I think I should be owed ease?  Or that I really know more about what's good than He who delivers gifts such as these?  You know, the ones that come in different packaging.  I'm used to the ones that look like nice weather and happy moments with my husband or kids, or a sweet interaction with a good friend.

But what about these types of gifts?  The ones that involve tight breaths, vomit, overlapping demands, and cleaning various fluids off the floor?  These are gifts too, meant for my ultimate good.  Cause I'm pretty sure that being able to eat, talk, pee and relax when I want is not what brings ultimate happiness.  If it did, that would be pretty anti-climactic for the amount of joy we are longing for, wouldn't it?  There must be a type of joy and fulfillment that comes from an intimate relationship with this Redeemer that tops it all.  And if laying expectations down and waking up to "I can't breathe!" is a leg of that road, then take me on it.


Now, this leg seems to be ending and a new leg beginning.  We start school next week!  This means some change for us here.  Not a lot, but some.

I really don't want to be enslaved to the clock.  As tempting as it is for me to pencil things in down to the half of the hour, I feel as though it actually ends up making me feel more stress.  In my world, it's not realistic that things will go according to that specific of a plan.  One little things goes "wrong" and poof! now my whole day is off.  This just doesn't work for me.  If I give myself a more general framework that incorporates room for some roadblocks or some spontaneity, things happen and I'm still doing okay.

I can't stress how important this element is to me.  If my need for control (i.e. enslavement to the clock) trumps helping a friend, or spontaneously playing with neighbors, or stopping on the way home to help the homeless guy, I am missing some primary things.  I may be teaching my kids some facts, but I am missing some real-life opportunities to love God and people around me.  Isn't that what I want to be teaching?

A schedule's purpose is to be a tool that aids one in doing what he/she wants to do.  In my case, what I desire to do is to be grateful for the redemption given me and love God and others sacrificially in response to that.  I desire to be present with the moments God places me in each day.  I find that when I hold too tightly to a schedule, I often miss what is happening in the present, thinking more about what I need to get to next.  Thus, this tool has often become a detriment, rather than a help.

Ergo....we have a weekly "rhythm".  Definitely some guidelines, but very fluid. :)

You can click on the image to see it enlarged if you wish.  This is only the daytime.  Early morning and dinner-on are not included.  So it's not a picture of our full week -- it was just meant to help me think through my days.  Meeting with college students will (hopefully) come in the mornings when I go walking.

The only school-related things on here that must be at a specific time are the Family Bible Time (has to be at 8:00 before Nate leaves) and the girls' Co-op classes.  Other than that, I plan to be laid back.  If one morning, Malia is more interested in Math, I'll move Phonics to the afternoon.  There is room for spontaneous drop-ins, outings, or other needs that come along.  We may decide to buck the system and go somewhere for school that morning.  The asterisks by Josie's school-time just means that it could happen then.  It definitely doesn't need to happen every day.

I'd love any feedback.  I'm very open to this changing if we get into the semester and find a different pattern that works best.  We'll see how it goes!


  1. Hey! Excited to follow along during your school year! A friend of mine had a post not too long ago about the rhythm of her homeschool days. Loved some things she had to say. Here's the link if you want to check it out...
    Glad the girls are feeling better!

  2. Where did you find a Co-op for Josie? Have you heard what you'll be teaching/doing in the CHEIF Co-op yet?

  3. Wow--you can't imagine how happy I am that we made it on your weekly rhythm! Can't WAIT!! I love your thoughts and learn so much from you!

  4. Nanette11:08 PM

    Erika - The first half of your post has Romans 8:18 written all over it. Love you, girl. - mama

  5. Love the first part of your post and resonate with it so much. Thanks so much for sharing. And the idea of having a "rhythm" is fantastic!