Wednesday, September 16, 2015
La Vie Est Belle and the Power of Words
"Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates."
All around my house are written words, words to inspire my family and me. When I walk into the room and see "La vie est belle", life somehow seems to have the potential, to indeed, be beautiful. Even in this old, old house, I'm inspired to create a beautiful place.
Then I remember Leviticus 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood...", and I think of our hearts, rhythmically pumping the blood through our bodies, keeping us alive. Day after day, our entire lives through. I lay my head on the chest of my dearly beloved and his heart beats, steady and sure, this is life and it is beautiful.
When I go to see the ob doctor, and she finds the rapid little heartbeat of my baby, it always makes me smile. I hear the sound of life and it is beautiful.
Sometimes I write these verses on our chalkboard, "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.
And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings and quiet, restful places."
Isn't that lovely? Doesn't that sound like a nice place to spend life? It inspires me to remind my children to "use inside voices" and speak gently. It inspires me to keep clutter at bay and strive for cleanliness and order, so that when I sit and my eyes take in our dwelling, it is full of peace and rest. Seeing those written words day after day, feels as if a blessing is being placed on my home. I love what God has promised us as His people.
I have lots of things written in our school room. "I love thee for a heart that's kind, not for the knowledge of thy mind." W. Davies
This reminds me, as well as my little students, that not everyone catches onto new concepts quickly, some may struggle with math, reading or spelling . Not everyone thinks Algebra is fun. But EVERYONE can be kind. Everyone can ask Jesus to help them to be compassionate and caring, and those are the truly important things. We want to try our best academically, but if we learn to love others well, we will have a happy, blessed life.
A couple years ago, Isabelle used her newly developed calligraphy skills, and wrote and framed another quote for me.
"If we write Beautifully, it will somehow be easier to think Beautiful thoughts. And if our thoughts are Beautiful, most everything else around us will also be Beautiful." Love it!
The first week of October, we'll be starting our new school year. I've had the last month to purposely assess and contemplate the heart and habits of our home school. It's something I set aside time for every summer. A few weeks to just be home and quiet, at the end of the summer, to plan and order books, to reflect on the previous year, and dream of the one to come.
Of course, I want to start out the year with a heart full of purpose and inspiration. What is my role, really, in guiding my children through these learning years? I am a teacher, yes, but more importantly, I am one who helps to shape and inspire a mind. A mind that is organically tied to a soul. The two can not be separated. I believe that the heart and soul and mind are one unit, which is why I count it such a great privilege and responsibility to educate my children at home. It's why I believe that I should be the one, as their mother, to raise them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It's why I believe that sending them away to a godless institution for more than half the day, to fill their mind with knowledge, separate from the nourishment for the heart and soul, is not what's best for God's people.
"God himself is our model for language: God first spoke his Word, then it became his written Word. The ability to communicate, especially through the spoken word, is one of God's most important gifts to mankind. Without language, whether spoken or written, there would be no Word of God, no Great Commission to preach to the world, no means to edify and encourage other believers, and no gospel message.
With the gift of spoken language, you can proclaim hope, teach truth, encourage others, move multitudes, affirm love, condemn evil, and inspire God's people. With the gift of written language, you can move people in other places and in other times, many miles and years from the sound of your voice. Language is a gift from God that we tend to take for granted. It should not be."
Clay and Sally Clarkson
This will be the first handwriting and memorization piece for my four older students to study this year. Powerful!
May our school year be one full of growth and goodness, and may yours be blessed in the same way! Whether you're able to teach your kids at home or not, seek for way to inspire them to greatness of goodness!