This morning crazy-mama did not pop in for a visit. That was nice! Before we got to school start time, we'd gotten through morning chores and gotten the kids' room cleaned up in preparation for our monthly fellowship time with church friends this afternoon. The kids even had some time to play together before nine. We were on the ball this morning, baby! (One must celebrate these rare occurrences, no?)
After we read a Bible story and did today's catechism reading, Elizabeth got settled with her math and Brian and I did his reading lesson. Katherine napped - good girl! Then Brian got settled with some independent activities and Elizabeth and I worked on her Language Arts lesson. Her dictation passage was a couple of sentences from a book about a girl who's frustrated with her little sister and how her parents tell her that siblings are forever friends (my paraphrase). The middle of the lesson involved looking up the definition of a friend, making a list of what she thinks a friend is, and talking with me about friendship. It was fun! Then came the final activity. Elizabeth had to make a chart with her siblings' names and spaces for each day for one week, and every day for the next seven days she can get a star or sticker for doing something special for Brian and Katherine to be a good friend to them. I thought this was a wonderful idea. So we all made charts!
What struck me most about this little activity was the simplicity of helping the kids to think of each other as friends. I think they already do, but that may not always be the case. I was interrupted by grace as I realized that the Lord guides and directs us as we raise our kids. We don't need to over-complicate, buy a special program, or read a million books. We can think about character we want to instill in them, talk with them about these things, model them, and maybe do a fun little activity now and then to be more intentional.
My natural inclination is to seek out a formula - for everything! But life and relationships do not run on formulas, they run on time spent living and learning together. I'm thankful for the reminder to take a deep breath, relax, and live this life one day at a time, seeking the Lord for wisdom and asking the Spirit to guide my words and actions. That's all I really need. That's all any of us need.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;6
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will direct your paths.