Monday, October 1, 2012

Reading, Writing and Arithmetic

It was early but her smile was bright.  I was armed with my daily plan, one I actually spent time planning.  And we started our new Monday Meeting tradition, looking at the seven calendar squares stretched out from here and getting a snapshot of which day she would dread the most... and the least.  Because that is who she is… she just needs to know.

And five minutes into our Monday Meeting, I had lost her.  Something about math and reading every day sent her over the elementary cliff and the next 30 minutes were an unpleasant blur. 

It’s painful, sometimes, how much alike we are. This girl and I.  After the climax to unpleasant, she went to her corner and I went to mine.  And I prayed my prayer I always pray from my corner. And I was ready. Not ready to fight. Ready to bend.

I decided to leave the talk of reading, writing and arithmetic out of the ring for now.  As I whispered my amen, I found the strength to swallow my pride, exhale through the tension that carried our agenda and climb from under the weight of all those expectations – mine, hers, the public school, other parents, strangers, this foreign land. 

We are making a new way, blazing a new trail – straight through the desert with Egypt in our rear view. And it's our trail.  Not anyone else's. And my God is faithful to bring forth the streams right here, in the land between the Red Sea and the Promised Land.  Because this is where He has led us.  And we need Him more than ever here.  Because we have no idea what we are doing or where we are going.  He knew it would take these measures for His strong-willed, free-spirited girls who tend to blaze their own trails.  Trails that lead to shackles in Egypt.

I entered her corner with one piece of paper.  Fourteen words.  An assignment.  Copywork.  It was risky.  But it was Spirit-led. And I took His courage.

"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24)

Our memory verse for this week, divinely chosen last night.  She fought and wriggled at first and climbed in her blanket fort with the copywork sheet on her clipboard.  The muffled groans were an indication she was less than thrilled but she emerged with a full verse of scripture written out in decent handwriting.

And I could see it lifting.  The weight that restrained her smile, her joy.  And they soon broke free from her lips – pleasant words.  Just three.  “I’m done, Mama.”   Her soul smelled sweet.  And my bones... they were being healed only because I was bent.  At His feet, with His Word.

And before I knew it, she was going up and down stairs collecting Bibles.  Different translations.  And we were entrenched in a conversation based in these Pleasant Words, discussing the meaning of this verse and applying it to real life as she read from each Bible she gathered, using math and the table of contents to find it. 

And she decided.  This verse was her favorite.   And I decided, too. This is my favorite way to do reading, writing and arithmetic.

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