I am slowly and carefully finding my way back to thinking about our upcoming school year.

I am still trying to process why I ended the year so very tired.  Things were fine.  School ended.  We tested.  And then I sort of shut down.  I was completely exhausted.  I was weepy and discouraged and just overall felt very low.  People asked how I was doing-- a basic, "Hey, how are you?" and as I began to answer "Great, fine!" my eyes would immediately fill up with tears.  Isn't that strange?  It's not like me at all.  And there was no reason for it, really-- it wasn't a difficult school year.  We ended well.  It was all very normal.

But I felt thoroughly weary.

Mark prayed for me, my mom prayed for me, I tried to pray for me.  I read my Bible but found it difficult to pray.  Somehow I knew God wanted me to speak the Word.  So when I read my Bible, I began reading it out loud.  And I was intentional about playing worship music and instead of merely listening, I forced myself to sing along.  God really ministered to me through that- through speaking His words aloud.

And I've spent the last two months pretending that I don't have a school year to plan.  I haven't made notes or lists.  I haven't looked at any of my previous notes or lists.  I've read very few books.  I've been online less and have watched very few shows/movies.  I've slept more.  I've knitted.  I've planted.  I've weeded.  I've baked.  I've hung laundry on the line.  I've had long conversations with Mark.  We've had picnic lunches in the yard, blanket all spread out, sitting cross-legged in the sun.  I've cut flowers from the yard and brought them indoors, making sure to always have vases full of flowers inside.  I've lit candles.  I've sent letters.  I had two free evenings- Mark was camping- and I made some cards.  I sewed a little.  I made homemade laundry soap again.  I sat outside and drew.  I've canned.  I painted.  I've checked out books on typography and practiced hand-lettering. I've listened to more music. I've done little redecorating projects around the house- I put up a bunting over the mantel and recovered our piano bench.  I've worked in the yard- nearly every day.  I've simply sat and watched the kids play.   We've all danced together in the kitchen.  We've read stories and colored together.

God has given me great rest through all of these things.

I have had time to pay attention to the beauty around me.  I have delighted in it.  I've been so much more present with the kids- seeking to pay attention.  Being fully in the moment with them as they're speaking or sitting with me.  Just resting in that moment, cherishing it- as Adelia sits in my lap: feeling the weight of her body and smelling her hair and really hearing her, really listening.  Not thinking "Okay, this and then I've got to get up and do that."  Or when Isaac is telling me his dream or about the book he's reading.  So often I am busy DOING something else that I'm actually thinking about the dishes I'm washing or what needs to be done next, and I tune him out and sort of nod and say mmmhmmm, but I don't really hear him.  He'll walk away and I could maybe give you a few words of what he said but I wasn't truly paying attention.  I don't want to be like that.  I want him to grow up confident in the knowledge that I care about what he says, that I am one who will pay attention.  So lately I have been trying to understand what he's talking about, to really tune in to the sequence of events he's sharing, and also to consider why he chooses that part to tell me about, what is it in that story or character that appeals to my boy?


Now it's planning time again, and I approach it cautiously and prayerfully- wanting to figure out a way to maintain this sense of rest as we move ahead into the school year.  How can I shed that sense of hurry-up-and-get-to-the-next-thing as we move through our school day?  How can I keep creativity in my life; in all of our lives?  That's one thing God has reminded me of in this season of rest: expressing myself creatively is important: making things is part of who I am; it's how God has made me, and I find joy in those pursuits.  But how do I tuck that into our days?  How can I continue to be fully present with the kids when the demands of school are upon us, when everyone is asking me a question at the same time, and when there is a load of laundry to do and a phone call to make and something to copy and things to clean and dinner to make?  Even typing that previous sentence makes me a little tearful-- just thinking about being in that season again- of constant need and constant demands on me.  Mark has already expressed that he wants to have more of a role in our schooling this year, and I need that and welcome it.  I feel like I'm going in fully dependent on God to sustain me and to guide us in every thing.  And that's a really good place to begin.
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One other note that is purely blog-related:  I am going to turn the comments off for a season.  
[This post will still have the commenting option, but future posts will not.]  I've thought about doing this many times over the years, but have never taken the plunge.  But I think doing so will free me to write without wondering about the response I may or may not get; to write for the pure pleasure of it, rather than thinking of it as a post to get just right for whoever the "audience" is that may be reading here.  So I'm trying it for awhile.  I can always be reached via email, and that link is on the sidebar where it says "I would love to hear from you!"  I do love to hear from you.


  1. Thanks for being transparent! I too have been weary. The thought of starting school back up has made me tearful. Jamie Grace has a song out called Come To Me. It encourages me in those weak moments. Worn by Tenth Avenue North is another I have listened to a lot lately. Praying for you.
    ~Crystal H.~

    1. Oh, Crystal.

      Thank you for the song recommendations. I will look them up today. And I am adding your name to my journal to remember to pray for you in your weariness. Blessings to you and yours,

  2. Praying for you, Stacy. As much as I like the curriculum choices I have made, I find myself wanting to slow down the pace at which I think I need to complete the lessons. But it's hard to allow yourself to go at a slower pace, everything urges us to "keep up" and not "fall behind", but I think you're right about taking time to create and enjoy God's creation and our own ability to create things and not consider that less important than the 8 parts of speech or whatever. Anyways, lots to think about here and perhaps I will write something similar to what you've already said, because I have been feeling overwhelmed at the number of "subjects" I am trying to teach at the same time and the amount of time I have to prepare and execute the lessons. There is so so very much I never learned properly that I am trying to teach our kids and stuff like that ole' Latin that I never learned at all. :) Love you and praying for peace of mind for both of us.

    1. Heather,

      Yes. Same here. Not only is it a lot, but I think I tend to make things more complicated than they need to be, too. For instance: I have written in my planning notes: "Listen to classical music" and yet that notation is in addition to the "Plan/figure out Composer study" note. Yesterday I was encouraged as I read Brandi's blog (Afterthoughts). She was writing about Composer Study and all these CM quotes and at the end Brandi said, "The focus is upon hearing the music. Do you see what is missing? Music lectures. Composer biographies. Charts. Graphs. Timeline figures..."

      Ah, yes. That was a good word for me. I plan to cross off Composer Study and we can just turn the music on and listen to it and enjoy it. That seems doable and freeing in a way. The enjoyment of it now, the hearing of it now will flourish into further learning for them as God sees fit.

      Praying for you, too, Heather! (((Much love to you.)))

  3. OH I am sad your comments are off. I get it. I like leaving a little snippet of how much encouragement I get from you here. Thank you for your heart. for your transparency. I have felt the same way about school WE just ended. It was time. I still have not done the testing AACK!
    I will be praying for you. Thank you for the reminder about the 5 character qualities. I am going to think on that.
    Blessings to you~

    1. Carolynn~
      You are one of the very few people that ever comment here, and I SO appreciate your comments. Truly. Your words are always an encouragement to me. I think it will be for only a season.
      And I will pray for you, too!
      Happy week-before-the-Fair! to you!

  4. i absolutely love your authenticity. thank you for sharing your heart.
    sometimes i think there are some areas that seem taboo for us christian mama's to share vulnerably: family finances (when things are really tight) and this from you ... weariness, anxiety, sadness.
    i walked through what i call now my "funk season" in the fall of 2009, and for no "good" reason: we started homeschooling (a dream and prayer), i was home with my girl finally and YET ... i was so weary. then, anxious. depressed. it took many months of SOAKING in memorizing GOD's word, claiming it and clinging desperately to Him, for some lifting.
    i may never fully understand but one piece that i can see in retrospect: i was desperate to *feel* better so began to be really serious about what i was putting in my body, finally not because of some "diet" but to heal and be strong. i have such a deeper understanding of food and my body and healing our bodies and mostly just a HUGE passion for it now, that maybe i wouldn't have.

  5. I, too, am coming off of my fourth year of home schooling, yet feeling like it was my worst (for ME and MY mental health). I am going to copy what you said you've done for the past two months and try to remember those things. Thank you!

    On a practical note, maybe you could have a relaxed year where the focus is Nature instead of History. Just plan to listen to classical music while doing your "table work" (copywork, dictation, math) and then go outside and do nature study ... often, instead of once a week. It might feel more "natural" and less tiring.

    Hugs to you. :)

  6. Stacey
    I comment so infrequently I don't think I really deserve to comment. I'm a reader from the UK & have read since you were pregnant with Audra I think. I think I found you from Bakers Dozen blog originally, anyway I wanted to say a massive Thank you for your beautiful, inspiring & encouraging writing. I read your blog every few months or do & always come away reassured & inspired to try harder in my parenting or in my Christianity. This post resonated totally with me - I sometimes feel I'm always rushing with my 2 toddlers & I need to be more intentional in my parenting. Thank you for the beautifully written remainder. Also your more recent post about negativity & your husband - oh my goodness I'm so guilty of that! Sometimes I'll spend all day thankful for my husbands hard work & love for us but to him I'll just show the exhausted, resentful negative side. Ugh - thank you for challenging me, reminding me and as always inspiring me! X verity


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