Friday, January 17, 2014

40 Days of SPS ~ Day 5

Cosmic Order

From The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers (quoting her own play, The Zeal of Thy House):

“For every work [or act] of creation is threefold, an earthly trinity to match the heavenly.

“First, [not in time, but merely in order of enumeration] there is the Creative Idea, passionless, timeless, beholding the whole work complete at once, the end in the beginning: and this is the image of the Father.

“Second, there is the Creative Energy [or Activity] begotten of that idea, working in time from the beginning to the end, with sweat and passion, being incarnate in the bonds of matter: and this is the image of the Word.

“Third, there is the Creative Power, the meaning of the work and its response in the lively soul: and this is the image of the indwelling Spirit.

“And these three are one, each equally in itself the whole work, whereof none can exist without other: and this is the image of the Trinity.”

This book is so rich. I’ve found it fascinating so far. Madeleine L’Engle wrote the forward, and The Mind of the Maker dovetails very nicely with L’Engle’s book Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art which I am re-reading this year.



Yesterday the boys had swim team practice again until 7:30. We ate dinner after that and I manned bedtime while Russ headed out for more work. (Yes, his schedule is ridiculous. He works from 6am until 2:30, often later. Three days a week he commutes an additional 45 minutes each way. Mondays he has been taking the boys to archery in the evening. Then Tues-Friday he leaves for the pool around 4:30, swims from 5-6, coaches from 6-7, gets home around 7:30, quickly eats dinner, and then usually has a couple hours of work to do in the evening. He often coaches or works some over the weekend. And lately, he’s spent hours fixing things that have broken down around here—like the truck. He goes on out-of town business trips every couple months.)

I was so tired last night, but it took everyone a while to get in bed and fall asleep. I came down from Lola’s room at 9:30 pm. Russ was just walking in the door with ice cream. He knows me too well. I fell into bed after more house chores, and couldn’t keep my eyes open to read. In addition to less sleep and more productivity, I’m fighting off a cold.

[Is this cold the natural ebb and flow of life? Is it spiritual opposition to my productivity and intentionality? Or is it spiritual opposition to my ability to extend grace not only to my family, but also to myself? Or is it spiritual opposition meant simply to confuse me and make me expend energy in thinking about it? Should this be filed under hangnails or cosmic order? Ha!!]

It was very, very difficult to wake up this morning. I was up 40 minutes late, and dragging. Skipped life-coaching exercises and worked with kids instead. They are having a hard time getting independent starts in the morning, but we got quite a bit accomplished today and it felt good. Our three chapters of Watership Down were definitely the highlight. [Well, that and the homemade chocolate chip cookies.] The boys wanted to keep going, but we had to spend some serious focused time on our IEW writing assignment for Essentials today.

The above quote? I couldn’t think of a more accurate way to describe what writing assignments are like in this house. Luke and I co-write his papers, a la Brave Writer style—which she compares to making cookies with children. I’d say it is more like me modeling the process for him, as he finds writing decidedly more difficult and less desirable than making cookies. Levi is encouraged to be at the table with us while we hash out ideas aloud, but he doesn’t seem to be able to work that way. He just wants to listen and not write. Or be distracted. Or stare at his paper until words magically appear. I told him that the words were not going to come until his pencil started moving. I told him that the process is there to help him: The key word outlines. The prompting questions about the elements of story. The brainstorming pages. The checklists for content.

He fights prescribed or required process (or content).

But, in the end, he buckled down and rather quickly (after days of wasting hours of designated writing time) came up with this. Three different kinds of paper. Many colors. Random shapes and sizes. Upside-down words. [No outline. No double spaces.]

…Irate and scornful, Kay ordered Arthur, his squire, to immediately go back for his sword. Arthur tried to argue, but Kay stood firm.

“But there is no time!” Arthur exclaimed for the last time.

“GO NOW!” Kay yelled maliciously.

Arthur raced towards the inn. He spied the sword in the stone. Quickly he clutched its golden hilt. Effortlessly he removed the sword from the stone. He didn’t realize that he had accomplished the near impossible. He raced back to Kay, not noticing Merlin in the shadows…

…The crowd clamored to try. Ector commanded Arthur to replace the sword in the stone. Arthur obliged. When all the knights had tried except Kay and Arthur, Kay stepped up to the stone and strained with all his might. The sword didn’t even budge an inch…

It needs just a little bit of editing for a final draft, but not bad. Not bad at all.


And for the past three hours, my mantra has been “KEEP MOVING.” Laundry. House-straightening. Dinner. Blogging. I so badly wanted to crawl into my bed with a book, but I knew I’d never get back out.

I’m praying for a little bit of down time (maybe a show?) with my husband this evening before hitting the weekend. Swim meet Saturday and Sunday. Meal planning. Grocery shopping. House cleaning. Nursery at church. Finishing our assignments and presentations for CC, and all the night-before prep (backpacks, clothes, snacks, lunches…). Some administrative tasks. We’ll survive another Monday and then I’ll be single-parenting for a few days…


Briana Almengor said...

Oh man, we did the story in CC Essentials a few weeks ago, and I wanted to hang myself. It's our first year in Essentials, but I have taught IEW in the past so I'm familiar with it. Being the teacher and being the mom is such a different experience of IEW. For as creative and imaginative as my boys are, I found the story to be the most difficult assignment this year. Give me research any day! My boys had trouble in translating all the imaginative ideas in their heads to ink on a page that would make sense for a reader. It was quite a learning process for us all. I have abounding respect for authors of fiction.

I am praying for you right now, Heidi, that God will heal your cold, that you will rest in His grace and love for you this weekend, that your service at church tomorrow would hold a nugget of His truth that you will walk away feeling like it was just for you--His special, "I love you, Heidi. I see you Heidi" message that you might carry with you throughout your next week of "single-parenting."

Allison said...

Coming out of lurkdom to tell you that I love your blog, and I'm really enjoying these recent posts on your 40 Day Journey. You may have the tendency to beat yourself up, but from what I observe through your writings, it sounds like you are doing a fabulous job! I, too, have 3 boys, the oldest one (age 10) being a competitive swimmer. It's definitely a challenge to balance it all! This is my first year of homeschooling, and we just joined a CC community, so I'm still trying to find my way. My kiddos are all "non-compliant" and extremely extroverted, so your recent post on homeschooling and dealing with all that felt all too familiar to me.

I know that you are feeling like it's all a struggle, and I, too, can relate to the difficulty of those times of single parenting (My husband is a Marine.). Just know you aren't alone! Keep on keepin' on. You are doing a GREAT job, Heidi, even if you don't feel like it.