Today is our last official day of school. Whew! This has been a difficult year, a growing year. There were days when I wasn't sure we could do it, but we did by God's matchless grace. We all made it through and we even managed to learn some really cool things. As I've been reflecting over this past year at the "Slattery Academy" I have been blessed to see how much we've all grown.
I've learned that I can't let myself run empty spiritually or I will have nothing to give to anyone. If my children weren't with me 24/7/365, I may never have learned that. My time with Jesus every morning is precious. Because it is usually not quiet here, I've had to learn to quiet my heart and meditate on God's word with a toddler wiggling on my lap. When I get out my Bible, Jordyn often says "Jesus, Bible." I hope this becomes ingrained in her memory so that she won't struggle with prioritizing time for Jesus as I did. I don't want her to be 35 before she realizes that time with Jesus is the most important thing. I can go without breakfast, but not without my time with the Lord. One morning, when I was particularly grouchy, Erin said, "Mommy did you get to do your devotions yet?" I hadn't. I was humbled that the difference was so striking.
We learned perseverance and focus. There were days when the toddler tornado was so distracting and "busy" that we could barely concentrate. If she could dump it out, rip it up, climb it...you get the picture. We pushed through, we adapted and we learned a wonderful lesson. We learned that concentrating is a skill. I'm proud to say that my kids can take a math test without silence. I think the real world implications for this will help them go far.
We learned to put others first. There was only one mommy and three people who needed her. We learned to say, "that's ok. I'll wait" or even, "I'll try it myself." We experienced the joy of doing a task we didn't think we could. We learned that there is no greater joy than serving others. We learned that many hands make light work. Folding laundry, dusting, washing dishes, etc. takes no time at all when we all pitch in. We learned to finish well. It was hard to do school work when the sunshine was beckoning. Sometimes we gave in and just enjoyed the gift, and sometimes we learned how much sweeter the sunshine feels after the work is done.
Perhaps most importantly, we learned how much we love being together. We learned that home is the best place in the whole world and that there was no place we'd rather be (except maybe at co op). Where ever the journey takes us, I know we are stronger together. Praise God for His faithfulness!