~ Capturing the Context of Contentment in Everyday Life ~
Every Thursday at Like Mother, Like Daughter
No complaining here; don't get me wrong! Through homeschooling, Husband, our four children, and I have all come home in the real way, and in a good way, too, I would like to believe (since this homeschooling "thing" was all my funny and sometimes, not-so-funny, idea).
Which brings me back to the study area.
No, I will not give you a tour of our study area. By virtue of its size and current level of organization, it does not lend itself to a tour. Today, I share with you some of what are pretty, happy, funny, and real about our study area, because yes, we are just so blessed to be able to spend time there.
Come with me?
We have started our school year, which means that many a good morning I settle myself in the study area and call out for a couple of my lethargic and slow-moving children to please come down and start with anything... just start!
And as I wait for my children take their time, I regard this little figurine of a pretty book lover positioned directly across me. It is on top of a study lamp base, which in turn, is atop Youngest Daughter's desk.
|The little dog is the sole remnant of a toy set.|
I bought the figurine more than two decades ago in an outdoor flea market, yet unaware that I would have three daughters (and an only son). I had the pretty firm wish though, that my children would be readers. My parents were not able to buy us many things, but we had books. We did not have grand summer vacations, but there were always more than enough books (and board games) to occupy us until it was time to go back to school and well, read more books.
The pretty figurine, right.
What might the pretty girl be reading? Look at the expression on her face. Serene yet slightly puzzled, contented yet seemingly questioning. That's exactly how reading should make us. For serious readers, reading is boundless. One question is quenched and another emerges. Some ambivalence is placated, and another one takes root.
I am tempted to pose a contrast with computer games and other such distractions, but I will not (for now).
Let me, instead, show you the top shelf of our book case because it makes me happy.
|If you are wondering why I am not showing the shelves below, |
that's because I haven't gotten them together yet :-)
The shelf contains our reference books. The dictionary of more difficult words has long been torn apart, with the spine irretrievably fractured and the pages in hopeless un-alphabetical order. My guess is that the guy who picks up our recyclables didn't think too well of us after seeing the poor dictionary. Thankfully, a friend gifted us with a Kindle that came with a dictionary. Now, if we find it in our prowess to pull the Kindle apart...
The reference books, of course.
I like having them together and at arm's length. That way, there will be no excuses not to look up some quick answers. Arguments on sentence diagramming are settled quickly. Fission and fusion are distinguished from each other for the nth time (thank goodness, none of my kids aspire to be nuclear scientists). The conquests of Alexander the Great are traced. A most beautiful picture of the Nativity is admired.
For all the benefits of organization that I can enumerate, I wonder why our house is wanting that way.
That kind of wondering will take too long. Let's move on.
You probably have seen this cute cuddly creature somewhere else in this blog. She has since made herself too much at home. I will consider that funny until she breaks anything at all, and out to the garage she goes. Permanently.
The poor cat was unhappy that nobody was paying attention to her, and to make the point, she joined in one our lessons.
She seems to be keenly listening and happily interested, but of course she is not. That's what I tell my daughter. Animals cannot be more intelligent than human beings, which is why we should be always grateful and happily hit the books for each day that we are given.
She (my daughter) didn't think that I was being funny.
|Give meow a break.|
In the same vein, Husband frequently tells our children that the whole point of education (and our occasional lecturing -- it really is just occasional, honest) is for them to be able to "deal with it". If we can help it, our children will not grow up faint-hearted. That's real. I am not being funny. "Wimp" is not a funny word.
I worked on this little project some time ago, and prominently displayed it in our study area.
Today and in the future when our children will not have their parents around anymore, "deal" can have numerous specific and contextual meanings. So does "it". "With" will always be the necessary and appropriate preposition.
But the overall and only real meaning of those three words taken together and threaded into an imperative sentence is that their father and I hope to raise our children so that they will earnestly seek what God wants them to do with their lives, and when they have found that out, to passionately carry out the will of God for them. Because in the end, dealing with what God has given them -- in the manner that God intends -- is what "it" is all about.
We also want our children to know that they will not be alone, clueless, and in an unsolvable maze. For sure, their father and I will be with them for as long as we can hold out. But beyond their parents' feet of clay, is the love of God, who will never desert, will constantly care, and will always be right.
Thus I have tried to put reminders of that Real Love around our study area. The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of them. It is one's first sighting as he enters our house.
If you've read this far, thank you very much for your kindness :-)
Have a good weekend!
Have a good weekend!