My family enjoys spending time together in many simple and wonderful ways. Through the activities we do, I pray that we connect with each other as our kids learn special things they are enthusiastic about.
As well as their parents, my children also have other teachers we trust to help them learn practical and special skills. For instance, every week, I have the opportunity to be with my eldest daughter and be her parent-partner as she learns the violin. Those times are special for both of us, and it has been that way since day one a couple of years back, because she loves to play the violin and she loves her teacher greatly. Lesson days are fun, though I admit learning the violin is difficult because it is very detailed. Instead of saying how hard it is, we always say it is so much fun! Hence, music still remains one of the very best ways we enjoy spending time together.
On our way to her lesson in the afternoon, we always have the chance to see the idyllic scenery of a countryside. Oh, the joy of driving on zigzag, hilly roads — going up the mountain and down the slopes while the sun is shining above, with cool breezes gently kissing our faces! There is also small-ish acre of land keeping watch over budding evergreen trees that will be ready for the holidays. It cheers us passing through this place. We praise God for His beautiful creations and the peace they bring.
For this short time, we savor completely the moment of solitude as we gaze through the beautiful scenery, and at other times, we also have precious conversations about nearly anything under the sun. Perhaps the best thing between us is that she knows that she can talk to me freely about anything she would like to. I do talk to her and encourage her to not be afraid speak her mind.
These moments are so precious to me. There’s nothing I would like to say and do more than to inspire her to learn. At home, we try to tell, demonstrate, and work side by side with her. And, we always look for ways we can inspire her to be what God needs her to be. I was once talking to her with something about learning. I remember telling her that learning the violin is like learning math with the use of the abacus, which we did earlier in the morning and which she has been learning this year.
I told her, “If you can play the violin, you can do math or anything that you would want to do as long as you put your heart to it. You pray, you claim God’s promise and work on it. See? You have done a lot of math in your music, and you are getting so good at it!” Our learning lifestyle flashed through my mind, and I continued, “And, it is okay to make mistakes when we are trying to learn. We learn little by little, every day. We just have to be patient and pay attention. With daily practice, we can be better every day at things we like to learn — just like how you learn the violin.”
By God’s grace and blessings, Nichole is doing wonderfully with her violin. And then, from the back of the car, my daughter’s gentle and soft voice called to me: “Mommy, I love you.”
Silence. Seconds passed.
“I love you, Mommy! Thank you for all the things you do for me. I love being with you. I love going to my lessons with you. I love that it’s fun. I love that you teach me the best way you can. I thank Jesus for you, Mommy.”
I was struck powerfully by those words she spoke. It’s not the first, but this time is special…different. My little girl that has been with me since birth! We are always together, and, thinking back on all the things that we have gone through, good and bad, my heart felt so full. I was empowered.
“Nichole, sweetie, thank you. I love you, too. I love you. I try to do the best that I can. I always pray to Jesus and ask His help. Mommy is not perfect, but I try my best every day. I keep praying. I love you very much…and remember that I am sorry for the times that I hurt your feelings, because Mommy makes mistakes, too. You know that, right? When we make mistakes, we ask for forgiveness, we say we’re sorry, and we forgive. We will be happier that way. God will help us every day to learn together and have fun along the way. I want us to be happy always, to have joy in our hearts.”
“Yes, Mommy. I understand. I remember your words. But Mommy, I want you to know that I always try to do my best, too. In everything. Even though things are hard to learn at the beginning. But, I try.”
“That is one thing I love about you, Nichole. But, no matter what, whatever it is, I love you just as you are, and that will never change.”
When I am bothered by so many things, I remember this moment. “Mommy, I try to do my best, too.” Surely this gives me wisdom to understand, wait, and teach my children kindly. I know that God taught me a great lesson that day, and also answered my prayers. I praise God for whom all blessings flow. God helps bind our children to our hearts. We are a work in progress; nevertheless, this homeschooling journey is worth every minute of our life.
Enjoy, savor, cherish, and celebrate your life, however domestic and simple or luxurious and adventurous your journey may be as you learn with your children. They are the most precious gifts ever given to us. Rest assured, that day when God asks us how we tended to our flock, we will be ready to present our family worthily. For with God, all things are possible, and with His grace, we will live!