January 01, 2012

Peace Be With You: My 2012 Homeschool Mom Reflections

Piece of the sky fell...

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” - Isaiah 52:7

I have been stressing out for a week or more about trying to find time to figure out what my "WORD" for 2012 was, much less sit down and write about it. I have been burried in two weeks worth of laundry, piles of papers on my desk, my to-do list that I have been slowly consolidating from the many scraps of papers it had multiplied to... and it seemed with all of our holiday hustle and traveling about, I would NEVER have time to THINK.

I might have mentioned it in a brief prayer - one of those, "Oh, yeah - God, I need a word for 2012. Now can you please help me not go crazy in this moment." No bother with an Amen, because someone was sticking their fingers in a dirty diaper that was left on the floor... or flinging their toys in the toilet... or accidentally peeing on the bathroom rug before they stepped in the bath. I say a lot of unfinished prayers around here... and that's ok. I've heard them called "prayer sandwiches" - because everything you do is sandwiched in between two prayers. I sure hope so.

Today, God answered my heart. My flippant and quick wishes for a word were given consideration by the King. He showed me he's thinking much more about me than I am about Him.

Last night I was cleaning off my desk and I picked up a broken ornament that had three silver hearts – one said Jesus, one said Hope, the other said Peace. I was kind of leaning towards hope because I’ve felt like a failure lately with all my piled up duties. In fact, I just told all of Twitter last night that I was already behind and it "wasn't even 2012" yet. But I do have hope, always. I do persevere. I “do the next thing”.

One thing I DON’T do is stop KICKING myself. Last year was about finding joy in the journey. I suppose I had more joy last year just because I stopped to THINK about it more. A new baby, while deliciously sweet is yet another person to fit in the schedule and the schematics... and a quadzupling of our laundry quota. Counting blessings is magic, though... so, "Thank You" to Ann Voskamp for my new obsession with listing my gifts.

Lost in thought, I turned over the two tiny hearts and smoothed my finger across their scrolling inscriptions: Hope and Peace… I wasn’t sure which word was standing out. Or maybe they weren't my words at all. I got back to sorting papers and didn't give it another thought.

Today after church, I picked up my task again. Piles and piles. Bills, magazines, coupons, homeschoolishness, blogging inspiration, scrapbook and prayer journal bits to remember, correspondence, to-do list sticky notes... paper after paper needing a place to rest. In this never-ending stack was a Beth Moore Bible Study workbook for “Jesus the One and Only” which I didn't finish (that I’ve had on my to-do list since, ummm... 2004). I thought – hey, maybe I should do this with the kids as our Bible this year - since they are old enough, and there's no use in finishing it now that I have probably forgotten everything in it anyway.

I remembered recently telling a friend of mine that I was willing to host and lead a bible study at my house because doing it at home would help me not have to get the babies out and about (and give me the comforts and safety of home to do my study in: baby gates, snacks, and toys). Leading a study would make me more accountable to get the reading and preparing done, too.

I mulled this over and stared at the dusty workbook in my hands. On the cover of this book is a picture of a dove descending on Jesus. My eyes hung on the image.

Doves are a symbol of peace. Hmmm... Jesus, Hope, Peace...

At church today, my daughter picked up a handful of Christmas cards from our church mailbox in the foyer. I had added them to the pile on the table I was sorting through. I had a stack of them to open: late Christmas cards, belated birthday cards for my husband and I, and a couple of anniversary cards that were early. The first card I opened was puffy – so I knew there was something else in it besides just a card.

Peace #peace #newyears #2012

It was wrapped in tissue; a crystal window ornament – with two doves and an olive branch. It caught the sunlight and spun on my finger.


I can’t explain it, but it almost made me cry when I looked at it. Someone at church who barely knows me gave me this symbol – this ornament for my window – a light catcher… and had NO IDEA that it would be sending a message to me about what I needed to REST IN this year: God’s peace.

There was no inscription in the card other than a name... but the card said, "Wishing you peace and joy throughout the season and the new year."

I felt it in my spirit all at once that God was telling me that He is in control, that my life and all the mundane details that carry me like a tidal wave through each day… the diapers, the dishes, the division… that all of it is part of his beautiful plan for my life – and that I’m NOT behind. I’m in HIS PALM.

Peace in the midst of my chaos.

I can hardly type it without tears. What an overwhelming feeling to know that the creator of the universe cares about a housewife’s burdens. That He knows my fears and wants me to rest in Him.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13

And again, I say AMEN!

Happy and PEACEFUL 2012 to you and yours.

May you find a double measure of His Peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) waiting for you this year. #SELAH

In His Grip:

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Michelle said...

Peace that surpasses all understanding-that's exactly what all of us needs!

Have a Happy and Blessed 2012 Spritti!

Lisa B (TheTadey) said...

I got chills reading it! I hope my word for this year helps me get closer to the peace I know is waiting for me!

I just love it when we ask God to show us and then He does, in the simplest of ways!

Laura said...

Yea for 2012 Words and all! :o) Came across your blog today and I love it! Many Blessings!

April said...

Your post is so inspirational! It reminds me of when my husband and I got married. Our theme was two doves, seriously! Anyhow, happy new year!

Adena said...

How beautiful and exactly what I needed to hear. Again. It's only the first day of the new year and all the feelings of being overwhelmed has followed me into 2012. Just tonight I realized what I should be praying for - peace that passes all understanding. Even when so much is going wrong right now, I need to have peace in knowing that God is still in control and hopefully I will be able to look back at this point in my life and see His fingerprints in my situation. May you have a blessed new year resting in His peace.

Amy said...

"Peace in the midst of chaos." You can't know how timely your words are for me.
You may have managed to type this without tears, but mine are streaming after reading it. Your words touched my heart.
I never thought of having a "word" for the year, I hope you don't mind if I borrow yours.

"Peace, peace wonderful peace coming down from the Father above, sweep over my spirit forever I pray, in fathomless billows of love."

Peace and Blessings to you,
Amy :~D

Sheri said...

Beautiful Heather! (Both you and the sentiment) My word is "Poor". I wrote all about it on my blog (http://www.theshadesofpink.com/2011/12/word-of-year-2012.html)

Amber @ Classic Housewife said...

AMEN, Heather!! God DOES use other people to bless us and speak to us. Happy PEACEFUL new year to you, too!!

Amy said...

I accidentally stumbled upon your blog while searching for KONOS ideas, and like the KONOS post from 2005 (!) enough to wonder if your blog was updated, and if you were still homeschooling, etc. ( yeah, I'm nosey like that!) so I started back at the latest post, and started reading backwards, until I got to this post. And what I am reading has stopped me in my tracks, and brought tears to my eyes. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by our jobs, that we forget that Jesus is right there, holding our hands through the rough times, bringing us peace in the noisiness around us. I am a homeschooling mom to three beautiful blessings, 9, 6, and 3. And there are days ( like today) when the phonics, and multiplication, and climbing on the table just seem like too much. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, ( and struggles) because they have been a great blessing to me today. I read lots of homeschooling blogs for ideas etc. And sometimes it feels like every other homeschool mom out there must be super- woman, because they have clean houses, and hot lunches, and (obviously) perfect school days, when I am doing good to have sandwiches at noon, and Daddy's work clothes washed. And maybe, just maybe the kids learned something in the chaos. So thank you for reminding me that Jesus speaks peace in the storm.

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