Monday, July 19, 2010

As Long As it is Called Today: Finishing Well

But encourage one another daily...

{Might I do this for you today?}

Because it's that time. For me, at least.

We finished our first official full year of Ambleside (delightful!), and now we're tying up loose ends, dotting our i's, crossing our t's. Math is the slave-driver of the moment, and I'm trying desperately to keep it light, keep it relaxed, keep it necessary, but not all-consuming.

Somehow, one final subject has crept into the summer months with us; perhaps we've had one too many days of casting aside the books for a hike in the woods, or a romp at the local pool, but regardless, we are working for it now. Payment with our pencils.

And I sit and stare dreamily out the window as pencils scratch paper, fingers scratch heads. The school table will go there, beneath the new window... fires in the fireplace in chilly fall and icy winter... timeline will fit on the whole wall over there, above the reading couch... and I'm going to be more consistent with Circle Time and I'm going to so enjoy this book with him and teaching her to read and...

Before I know it, I'm Then.

But this is now and they need me here yet I want to be there...

I know I'm not alone in this soul-searching and effort-judging. I'm looking back over our school year, one that started out so beautifully and has, for the most part, been a joy and delight every single day in some fashion; but I see holes.

I see failures, I see concerns, I see struggles. I wasn't consistent here, I gave up there, he struggled with this, she needs more than that, Little Man was such a distraction...

And I want to speed carelessly through this final chapter and close the book on Now and shut my eyes and turn away.

And open them again to Fresh Start.

But He's been whispering to me, gently speaking truth and tugging me back to Here.

Finish well, beloved. long as it is called Today... (Hebrews 3:13)

This is the day. I've been taking it back for a long time.

But it's always good to be reminded that, sometimes, before we begin well, we must finish well.

So I'm yanked back to Present, and Little Man has crawled onto my lap with his favorite book and I smile across the table into her green eyes as she proudly displays her latest colored creation. I shift closer to my Big Boys and reassure them that the pool will still be waiting, the popsicles are definitely ready, and we will conquer Math today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

For as long as it is called Today, there is a chance to Finish Well.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, will still be waiting.

And I can hardly bear the hope that fills my heart in grateful anticipation.

Shall we finish well, kind friends?


11 fellow travelers shared:

Rebecca M said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Elise!

We too are working towards some yet unreached goals hanging on from "last year".

I rarely jump in here and tell you but I treasure your writing. God has spoken to me so many times during my time spent here.

Thank you!

Shonni said...

What a beautiful and encouraging post! Thank you for sharing this.

alli said...

thank you sweet Elise. i need this desperately. we started a new math program half-way through the year, and we need to finish it to be on track for next year. some days it is so hard, when everyone else is on break, and i wonder if i am being too hard on my daughter by making her press on. so the Lord used you to strengthen my heart and give me the courage to finish well.

Linda said...

I was thinking about finishing well a while ago Elise - but in a little different context. I am in the sixth decade of my life. It is tempting at this stage to consider coasting" a bit - to sort of sit back and let others do the hard work. But I know the Father would not have me do that. I know He wants me to finish well. Perhaps the things I do will look different at this season of life, but I want to do what He has planned for me. I want to do it well.
Thank you for this sweet girl.

Tami Boesiger said...

Mmmmm. . .love this Elise. Thanks.

Betty said...

Thanks so much for this, Elise. We took 3 months off this year to move and now we are trying to finish all the loose strings which will probably not be finished by the time I want to start the new school year on August 2nd. But it is almost a form of escape to plan and think about "then". I need to be "here" much more. Thanks so much! Blessings, Betty

laura said...

glad to know i'm not the only one planning and finishing simultaneously. so glad that Little Man is still enjoying Little Blue Truck. Found Sam earlier today with his 'big fat truck' and all the little people animals pushing it out of the mud- and thought of you, friend. thank you for the encouragement!

Stacey said...

We just came off break and have started anew. But this applies to so much, does it not? To school, yes! And to much, much more. Finish strong? Finish well? Yes, lets.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the uplifting post. I, too, homeschool and it is easy to focus on what isn't done, instead of what is done well. Character development, servants hearts,and Bible time are my focus. Diligence with the academics and don't forget to make it fun. I often have to remind myself!If we are faithful, God will fill in the gaps. What a blessing you are to others! Janet

Anonymous said...

Hello friend...I am so encouraged by your writing...we, also finished our first year of Ambleside...we have math to keep going too...but there's so much *life* and *love* that has gone on as I have humbly prayed for wisdom each day. Love from Mary Brooke in Atlanta (and oh, how I love to think of fires, read alouds, crisp days, books that are treasures). Another thing...I am so enjoying "Read For the Heart" that I read about here.

Laura said...

Elise, dear. It's been far too long. Have enjoyed catching up a bit. As always, you've encouraged my heart. I wanted to ask you some homeschooling questions but your email address ( came back undeliverable? Perhaps you could email me so I could get your new address. Thanks, my friend!

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