Saturday, May 2, 2015

Newest Obsessions...

Lately I've been obsessed with two things; our end of the year homeschool portfolio and East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I've spent late nights with English Grammar and American History, early mornings with Steinbeck and his story of the human condition, and I've learned a new word- timshel.

The story of Cain and Abel is all about timshel,  the Hebrew word meaning "Thou mayest". God has given all of us the gift of freedom and with that gift he presents us with the dilemma of choosing between good and evil because, as Steinbeck's story intriguingly illustrates, if "Thou mayest" then man can also "mayest not". I make this choice on a daily basis, as do our children. As a parent, I must respect our children's individual personalities and their God given gift of choice. They are their own people from the very beginning.

Do you think the thoughts of people suddenly become important at a given age? Do you have sharper feelings or clearer thoughts now than when you were ten? Do you see as well, hear as well, taste as vitally?*

What is my role and responsibility in the choices they make? I open doors for them. They will walk through at their own pace and in their own manner. But the doors I open must be numerous and lead to the beauty of the world. One way to do this is to offer a broad and generous curriculum. I want them to be passionate about life because the Real Deal is this: it doesn't matter how much you know but  how much you care.

But I wonder whether you ever feel that something invisible is all around you. It would be horrible if you knew it was there and couldn't see it.*

I do have a few wishes for G and M and they seem to be about God's gift of freedom:
     ~ the freedom to be smart in the best ways: He's not so smart in a worldly sense but he's a good man. Maybe the best man I have ever known.*
     ~ the freedom of feeling content when alone: Abra had lost her gift for being alone.*
     ~ the freedom to recognize good and evil; always striving to choose good: And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal.*

M at 7:30 am
I'm parenting differently this "second time around". The Real Deal is this: our children are going to be and do what they choose. I can't change who they are even if I wanted to. I can help them understand that life isn't so much about finding oneself as it is about creating and developing the whole person that God has so wonderfully made. I can make their days good to awaken to.

"A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome. And I was not afraid anymore."* Beautiful.

M's bookshelf

I truly love how G and M each march to their own drummer. They each exercise God's gift of freedom differently. They make different choices and have different passions. Thank you Lord for the gift of "timshel".
G's bookshelf
G at 7:30am

*All quotes are from East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. John Steinbeck. 

So... embrace the difference.