I have a character who intrigues me. Have you ever wondered what you’d do if you could start your life over– completely? Ella gets that chance unexpectedly and the results are interesting. To her, she is who she is now– she always has been. It is as if her real self has come forward and now has a chance to shine. The problem is, the others in her life do not know that person. Daily she says or does something that confuses them, frustrates them, or causes some sort of contention with them.
I’ve “reinvented” my life a million times, but not certainly not to the degree that Ella did. I remember the day I woke up and realized I was going to learn to hate sewing if I didn’t change the number of hours I spent at it per day. That doesn’t sound like reinventing a life, but when the bulk of your days was spent sewing, cutting, planning, or processing orders, you have to admit that it is.
Some things are non-negotiables. I am a Christian. No changes in how I live my life can conflict with that. My choices, decisions, and priorities must align with God’s Word. I WANT my life to reflect that the Lord of it is Jesus. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. If I’m going to make changes in my life, the first ones should narrow my focus from myself and to my Lord.
I am a wife. I am my husband’s “helper” according to scripture. For the first 23 years of our marriage, I have been blessed to have a husband who spent much of his free time doing my job for me– helping me. Well, I think the time has come for change. It’s time for me to pick up some of the slack that I’ve left over the years. Don’t get me wrong. I do a lot around here– much more than even I think of at times. I am just talking about embracing that “helper” role instead of “getting ‘er done.” This non-negotiable cannot be crowded out by the rest of life anymore.
I have nine children. Nine. Yes, one is married with two of her own children and another one slated to appear in April/May. One is off at the University of Irvine–three hours away. I have two more adults at home and five minors. Just because some of my children are grown doesn’t mean my job is done with them. They aren’t dolls. You don’t sew and stuff and paint them until they’re finished and then put them on shelf to admire. If anything, sometimes I think your older children need you more than ever. I’m a mom. It’s part of who I am but I think I need to be MORE of a mom– somehow. That’s a non-negotiable. I can’t set that aside and I wouldn’t want to.
I’ve really wrestled with this but home education is definitely a non-negotiable for me. Would I like to feel free to “outsource” our children’s education? Absolutely. There are days it is my daydream– long mornings and afternoons with no one around but myself. No planning, correcting, or working with a student that just doesn’t get something. The problem is, I can’t do it. I just can’t. It’s not negotiable.
If what I decide what I want to do and be conflicts with who I am as a Christian, a wife, a mom, or a home educator, it can’t happen. It just can’t.
The real question then begs, what I can I decide? What– blended in with the four things I cannot and will not supersede–will I do? Who will I grow into in these next years?
I’m eager to see. Ella had the advantage of an author who could mold the story to fit the will of her character. I have the superior advantage to have an Author who is able to mold me to His will. I’m fascinated by the concept.