The cooler weather is beckoning to you. The falling leaves are begging you to ignore your studies and go outside just to breathe in the colors. The hearth calls you to gather round, snuggle up, and read another book aloud to the children. And with all your might, you want to listen.
But, you are afraid.
Afraid that if you take the holiday season off, you will lose your momentum, your children will fall behind, you will once again lack the consistency you are certain you need in order to truly teach your children anything of import.
So, you trudge along…ignoring that inner sense that this is a season of slowing down.
But, I urge you to listen, my friends. God created these seasons. This is a season of harvest and thanksgiving flowing into a season of anticipation and realization. Do not miss what is good.
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Do not let this be a season of anxiety and trouble. Keep what is necessary ever in front of you, ever in focus.
Yes, it IS ok to take time off from school for the holidays. But even better than that, why not use this season to listen, and to glean, and to draw nearer to the Lord? Why not meld the beauty that is Thanksgiving and Christmas with wisdom and understanding?
Here are a few of the things we have done this past week, and will be doing this coming week for the Thanksgiving season (I plan to share more about our Christmas season in an upcoming post). These are things that are slow and simple, yet rich with the beauty of this time of year. They are blessing our family beyond measure, simply because we took the time…off.
Kim Sorgius from NotConsumed.com has a wonderful series of Hymn Studies. I own them all! She has a Thanksgiving focused book, and a Christmas hymn book that are phenomenal! We will be walking through these hymns this year and for years to come. Such rich, alive history and meaning – I want my children to sense that wonderment and utter humility before their Creator through these hymns. These are the perfect slow simmer of wisdom and understanding that comes from truly listening to the lessons of the season.
We took our first ever Thanksgiving Walk this past week. You can read HERE about how you too can lead your child through the Pilgrim’s journey in a way that is simple for them to grasp and enjoy. We had such a wonderful time taking that journey with the Pilgrims, and learning why they (and we) had (and still have) much to be thankful for.
Following our Thanksgiving Walk, we made our annual Blessing Tree. This is always something we do as a family to recount some of the many blessings from the year. It helps us to prepare our hearts for the season.
And we are spending more time outside. The boys are walking the fields hunting for pheasant and quail. We are sitting on the porch as a family. We are exploring and observing the nature around us. We are viewing the world through a lens of thankfulness as we watch it give of itself to bless us, exactly as God created it to do…no longer perfect, but still in working order, because He loves us.
These things may not “look” like school, but they are not supposed to. As you decelerate your life, you will find that education does not cease. In fact, in many cases, you will see that true wisdom accelerates as you slow because you have the time to see it, savor it, and retain it.
So, please, take time off. Give the books a rest, if not for the entire season, at least for a day or two a week. Study a hymn, count your blessings, take a walk, listen to His voice, be thankful.
It is necessary.
It is good.