Sheer Genius…and Its Mom

Sheer Genius…and Its Mom

Have you seen the Piano Guys video of their ren­di­tion of Angels We Have Heard on High that’s been float­ing around on Face­book recently? I saw the video link for days upon days before I finally clicked on it tonight. Incred­i­ble. For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s the link: Piano Guys: Angels We Have Heard on High I’ll wait while you go lis­ten to/watch it.

So, I just watched this, and do you know what went through my mind?

What kind of moth­ers did these men have?

That’s what I won­dered. I imag­ine that they had to actu­ally spend time explor­ing in order to get to the place where they are so com­fort­able around the piano to play with it like that. This is not nor­mal, folks. In case you didn’t notice, most peo­ple don’t do these things with a piano. They are com­fort­able with it. They aren’t afraid of get­ting it wrong.

And their moth­ers likely let them explore more than I think I have done with my kids.

Here’s the deal: I’m a rule fol­lower. And those guys, they are break­ing a lot of rules. And it’s magical.

Here’s to allow­ing our chil­dren break some rules in the name of explo­ration. Here’s to let­ting go of the fear of the unknown and allow­ing them to expand their under­stand­ing of things. And run­ning with it. They might actu­ally sur­prise them­selves and every­one else in the process. This is sheer genius. But it isn’t in a box, neat and tidy, and fol­low­ing anyone’s rules. Cre­ativ­ity is like that.

I’m inspired to let my chil­dren play around with things in ways that seem out of the ordi­nary. Not in a destruc­tive way, but in a way that I might not have ever con­sid­ered before. I don’t want to be the lim­it­ing fac­tor in their lives. God gives some peo­ple eyes to see things dif­fer­ently than we do. Do we fight that or embrace it? Why do I strug­gle with this con­cept? Why do I rein them in when they are think­ing of unique ways of tack­ling a project or a prob­lem? I think I am try­ing to save them from mak­ing mis­takes and wast­ing time. Or from being seen as silly or unusual. But, it is in the dif­fer­ent that our imag­i­na­tions are cap­ti­vated. Bril­liant minds do things dif­fer­ently than the sta­tus quo.

And I’ll bet they have moms who give them the free­dom to explore. Let’s be those moms.

Photo credit: Pinterest

I’m bored…

I’m bored…

Those are prob­a­bly every mother’s most despised words. Well, at least they are up there with “He’s touch­ing me!” or  some­thing along those lines. They really get me riled up. They cause me a moment of panic, to be hon­est. How am I fail­ing my chil­dren to give them the oppor­tu­nity to feel bored? Am I not chal­leng­ing them enough? Not offer­ing enough insight and purpose?

bored: adj; feel­ing weary because one is unoc­cu­pied or lacks inter­est in one’s cur­rent activity.

I haven’t had the lux­ury to be bored in a few years. You know: chil­dren, home­school­ing, home busi­ness and all. Lazy at times, per­haps. Bored? Not so much. I’m sure every mother can relate to that sen­ti­ment. Our work is never done, so if we are lack­ing some­thing to do, we just need to look beyond our noses to find the next thing.

When I am faced with these words as they pop out of the children’s mouths on those rare occa­sions they didn’t think before they spoke, I just cringe. What? Don’t you know that this moment, right here and right now is a gift? Don’t you know that you are not guar­an­teed the next minute? How on earth can we waste our exis­tence by being bored? If you knew you only had 2 days left to live, would you be bored right now? What would you do that would glo­rify God? Go do that!

I cer­tainly under­stand the moments of the loss of focus. I think most of us have had that hap­pen. But, what a shame to let those moments define our days.

As we are enter­ing into the sum­mer months, that temp­ta­tion to be bored is ever present. How can we spur our chil­dren on to redeem the time rather than waste it on friv­o­lity? I’m not say­ing that we ought to remove all plea­sure and enter­tain­ment from their lives. But, again, it shouldn’t define it either.

Lately we’ve been inspired to get some sort of fam­ily econ­omy going, where the kids are inte­gral in it. We want to teach them how to run a suc­cess­ful busi­ness. We just need to find some­thing that they can prac­tice with, take respon­si­bil­ity for, and not worry (too much) if it flops. The main thing will be to teach them the account­ing, the drive to seek out busi­ness, the cre­ativ­ity to think out­side of the box, and the gump­tion to do it even when it is hard. Per­haps that Fam­ily Eco­nom­ics Con­fer­ence we went to inspired us more than nor­mal. I’m excited for the chil­dren in this endeavor. They have all tried a few things, like dog walk­ing and yard care. But, we live out in the coun­try, and we only have a hand­ful of neigh­bors. Most aren’t in the mar­ket for these things. And, if they are, well, there are only a cou­ple of peo­ple. Not really the mak­ings for a boom­ing business.

The inter­net is avail­able, which is really excit­ing. It really opens up doors for us that might oth­er­wise be unrealistic.

So, what ideas do you have? Reselling seems pop­u­lar. I’d love to find some­thing that the kids could really get behind (but not want to keep it all for them­selves!). Any cur­rent or upcom­ing fads we could get in on? I’d love it if they came up with their own idea. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Another way we can quell the bore­dom is by min­is­ter­ing to oth­ers. Some ideas I have include vis­it­ing nurs­ing homes so the girls can play their musi­cal instru­ments for the res­i­dents. They haven’t quite mas­tered their harp yet, but it’s hard to make a harp sound bad. It is just so sooth­ing. They can offer to walk the neigh­bors’ dogs, rake up pine nee­dles, bake cook­ies or breads for friends as a sur­prise to them, or write let­ters to grand­par­ents and cousins. I think I may put a list on our refrig­er­a­tor for them for those moments when the “b” word nearly slips from their lips. They will have a go-to place to find some­thing prof­itable to do with their time.

Faith practicing her harp

Faith prac­tic­ing her harp

Please, share ideas that you have. I’d love to get more items on my list for the kids. What are you going to do to bat­tle the bore­dom bug?


Photo credit: Con­law­prof / / CC BY-NC-SA




I have been at the Fam­ily Eco­nom­ics Con­fer­ence this past week soak­ing in the words and wis­dom of many godly and gifted speak­ers. As I was lis­ten­ing, I was think­ing, con­nect­ing dots, exam­in­ing our life and the way we do things as a family.

Inte­grate: to bring together or incor­po­rate (parts) into a whole; to unite or com­bine. from the Latin inte­gra­tus to renew, restore

We are a fam­ily of home­school­ers, but more than that. We inte­grate our chil­dren into our daily lives. We inte­grate them into the wor­ship on the Lord’s Day. They sit with us in church, they wor­ship our Lord with us. We don’t farm them off to nurs­eries or children’s church. The thought of them not being right with us dur­ing the wor­ship is hard to even com­pre­hend, much less bear. We also inte­grate our chil­dren into our daily lives. They help run the home, they help keep us orga­nized. After lis­ten­ing to many of the speak­ers, my hus­band has encour­aged me that we really need to inte­grate them more into the fam­ily econ­omy. I have to admit that I have been slow to adopt this vision for our chil­dren. I am very pro­tec­tive of my lit­tle busi­ness. I am “par­tic­u­lar” about the way things need to be done. I desire excel­lence in it, from start to fin­ish. I fear that it may not be as much so with the chil­dren because, well, let’s face it, I don’t see it in their bed­rooms or the dishes just yet. But, is the prob­lem totally with them, or am I to blame some­how in this? I do think I share in this more than I’d like to admit. So, when we get home, our plan is to inte­grate them more into the busi­ness. Pray for me please. That I will be filled with grace and patience, that I will be able to teach them effec­tively, and that we will take great joy in the process of learn­ing together how to make this work.

But, why do we do all of this inte­gra­tion? It really is a lot of work to get there. Yes, there is much joy and grace from the Lord towards our fam­ily in doing it. We really like being together. When I con­sider the thought of them going off to a school, pub­lic or pri­vate, I get teary-eyed think­ing of them being away from me and each other all day. I can’t stand the idea of some­one else get­ting their best all day. But, is there more to it than that?

Then it hit me. The oppo­site of inte­gra­tion is disintegration.

Dis­in­te­grate:  to sep­a­rate into parts or lose intact­ness or solid­ness; break up; dete­ri­o­rate; to decay; to reduce to par­ti­cles, frag­ments, or parts; break up or destroy the cohe­sion of.

Um. No thanks. THAT is what we are try­ing to avoid. We love the cohe­sion of our fam­ily. We believe with all we have that it is what God desires for our fam­ily, for your fam­ily, for all fam­i­lies. It isn’t about con­trol or fear or any­thing else neg­a­tive. It is about glo­ri­fy­ing God, rais­ing our chil­dren in hope, teach­ing them about the One who cre­ated them for His glory and purposes.

We’ve seen dis­in­te­gra­tion long enough in the world. Let’s start build­ing up, breath­ing life into our chil­dren, giv­ing hope. Let’s show them a bet­ter way to live: together, in Christ, for His glory.

What areas can you re-integrate your chil­dren into your life? Surely all of us have an area that we have neglected. None of us have arrived yet, have we? Per­haps some have done a much bet­ter job at see­ing this than we have. Let’s learn from them and stand on their shoul­ders. Let’s redeem the time together. And remem­ber the promise from Joel 2:25, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarm­ing locust has eaten, the crawl­ing locust, the con­sum­ing locust, and the chew­ing locust…” Walk together, inte­grated, in hope and joy, know­ing that it is never too late to reclaim your fam­ily for the Lord’s delight. Embrace these bless­ings that the Lord has given you. Let’s repent where we have failed due to lazi­ness, igno­rance, stiff-neckedness (is that a word?). And embrace our call­ings as moth­ers who carry much respon­si­bil­ity and priv­i­lege. Who’s with me?

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