I’m listening to Shawn tell Anna that he is doing some things that God has told him to do even though he really doesn’t want to do them – at all. He said he contended with God about it. He chose to do God’s will over his own even though it’s a death to himself every time he does it. He has peace now that he settled with God that he will do His will no matter what.
He sat down yesterday and the day before and learned how to figure out square roots of numbers without a calculator. He continues his self-education and his spiritual growth and helps guide the younger children to the Lord and His ways.
Anna took her books with us to the library and did as much as she could do in an hour. Yesterday she finished all of her subjects before we went and did errands. All without a word from me. Not unusual for her, just noting it here because she mentioned to her daddy that she finished all her schoolwork in the early part of the day. Then she went with me to get what we needed at Walmart. This is not unusual for her, either. She has been my “shopping buddy” for many years now.
Patrick walked around with his Math book most of the day yesterday. He was working on some conversion problems that would have been rather difficult for me. He kept working until he got it done. I was very proud of his persistence. He often organizes chores and clean-up.
Kelsey quietly goes through all of her work and accomplishes a lot without fanfare. She takes up the slack when she sees the younger ones doing things they shouldn’t and redirects them or cleans up the mess.
Morgan is getting better at grabbing his books and getting them done so that he can do other things that are more entertaining. He likes to serve the family when he knows what needs to be done.
Shawn and I have spent a great deal of time catching up on what happened to each of us over the weekend. He was in Kentucky at a Quinceanera. He also had the special honor and privilege of reuniting with his best friend after 7 years of absence. I had a lot to share with him, too. We prayed a lot together about this nation and about friends of Anna who have been battling fibromyalgia.
The older kids often make special time to just talk with a particular younger sibling. They set a good example for me, and then I think to do the same thing. This helps me to remember to treat each child as special and unique and not just part of the herd. This helps me to not experience guilt about not spending enough time or giving enough attention to each child. Sometimes I worry about that. But I take it to the Lord and ask for His help and guidance. And then I trust Him to make sure that each child gets what they need.
It used to be so difficult to get errands done when all of the children were young. Now that I have teenagers in the house, I have a whole different lifestyle. I can get out alone if I want to. I hardly ever want to do that, but I could if I wanted to. I can go with Gary after he gets home from work. We can go out for a date without worrying about getting a babysitter. I am so freed up now. I really noticed it when all of my teenagers were gone over the weekend, and I had sole care and responsibility for my 4-year-old and 5-year-old. Wow, they about wore me out! I had to take them everywhere I went, and they had to go whether they wanted to or not. They weren’t used to that, and neither was I. I didn’t go very many places, but it brought back memories of when I had to load up 5 or 6 young children every time I wanted to leave the house.
All this to say, TEENAGERS ARE A BLESSING. I am so grateful for my older children and all the help they give. They have blessed our family in so many ways. Sometimes I grumble about having to do the dishes more than my fair share and almost all of the cooking of dinner. But there are so many other things that just wouldn’t get done if my older kids didn’t do them.
So, if any of you, my children, read my blog, I want to say Thank You, and I’m sorry about the grumbling.
And for anybody else reading, maybe this would be a good time to reflect on what your older kids are actually doing instead of focusing on what they don’t do. Maybe others don’t have that problem. But if you do, take this opportunity to thank your teenagers!
And for those who are just starting out with only younger children and no helpful teenagers yet. This is to encourage you that they do grow up! They do mature and become helpers and may become your best friends. If you are considering letting God decide how many children you have, remember that it gets easier as the first ones grow up if you raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And teach them to bless their family; that they have purpose and an important place in the family.
I’ve linked this post to Big Family Friday at Holy Spirit-led Homeschooling
And at “A Wise Woman Builds Her Home”