I was looking back at the beginning of 2012 and the plans I had to do more tutorials on this blog plus really get down to business with our cookies. Neither of those things happened. I used to stress about this blog watching my stats counter for page views thinking of ways to monetize my blog and generate some income. That was a huge part of my thinking for the beginning of 2012....how I could make money to add to our family's income. It was on my mind a lot!
But somehow all of that fell away. Things didn't seem to matter as much anymore. Life just started to take a different shape with our homeschool, sports activities, different classes, our prayer lives. I felt like I was along for the ride in the second half of last year. I wasn't thinking about the blog so much. I was commenting less on other people's blogs, would fall behind on my Google Reader, and didn't post as much. I was trying to hang onto life more than snap pictures of it with my camera. Still I managed to do a few link-ups, but not near as many as I did the previous year.
Our "unschooly" ways have ebbed and flowed. Maybe we are true Unschoolers because we morph so much with our model. Paul calls our homeschool a "hybrid model." I just look at each week and maybe even change it by Wednesday. I think the thing that really made me stop in my tracks was seeing how much Monica and Maria have grown up right in front of my eyes. They are both so independent now. Monica has taken over her schedule and manages her classes and grades. She does her music practice with so much passion, and basically charts her own course. She is a beautiful, young lady that has a beautiful group of friends and a deep love for her sister. Maria is also incredibly smart and independent. I have tried to keep some sort of control over her schooling because I'm so not in control of Monica's. But Maria is proving to me that she will be flying soon, managing her own courses and grades, and seeking things with passion that I may not have envisioned for her.
Sometimes I think it's because I've had so much vice-like control over the girls over the last few years that they are able to be so independent and successful. But I don't think that's the reason. The girls have been nurtured by love and God's graces. The reality is I'm just a control freak and a mom who loves them dearly.
|Oh, by the way, I knit the hat Paul is wearing. I forgot to post a picture of it earlier.|
It is a fair isle knit that was a joy and a challenge to make. I love that he wears it almost everyday!
As I look forward to 2013, I don't know what to expect. Peace. That word keeps popping up in my head. Peace! There are many unknowns for this year so I think God wants me to be at peace with not having all the answers. He wants me to be at peace with the following:
- Will turning 40 this year be all I've anticipated it to be?
- Will I regret turning 40?
- Will we really send Monica off to High School in the fall?
- What will be the outcome of the discernment to send Lucas to the parish school in the fall?
- Will we decide to send Jane to preschool one more year with Nick? Or will she start Kindergarten to be with Gabe at the Spanish Immersion School?
- Will Maria choose to take more ARCHES classes than Monica did this year, but a whole year earlier?
- What will we discern following Paul's graduation in May? Will he enter the diaconate program?
- Will we be able to get to TX this year?
I feel at peace with all of these questions which are huge decisions in the life of a family. I am reminded of a letter written to a woman by St. Francis de Sales. He likened our work on earth to a little child who builds little houses out of sticks and mud. When the rains come (or another sibling) and destroy the little creations, the child gets upset. We as adults say, "It's ok. You can rebuild it again. It's just a mud house." We think it inconsequential. St. Francis de Sales says to the woman that this is how our work on earth is viewed by God. He loves and cares for the things we care about, but they are so tiny and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.
What matters is our souls. This is why Peace is so important. Through all of this year's decisions, twists, and turns; the challenge for me will be to remain at peace. My only anchor can be Christ. Age, circumstance, and indecision will not change the love of our family. Christ will bind us together. He will work his plan for our lives in spite of us.