Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Becoming an Expert

Hello...I promise I have not been completely sulky after my last post concerning our news that we are moving. I will admit that since falling in love with Juneau, I have been in complete denial that we are in fact a Coast Guard family.

Enough about that for now.

We are in Lent my friends!

And I had my birthday! Look at how pleased they are with the decorations with help from daddy.

We know that liturgically speaking, we are in the season of Preparation...purple! Purple for preparation...and being in a bit of a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd/Montessori mood I was thinking about the "prepared" adult.

Usually when reading or attending a training session for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd there is a great body of work that one comes across that covers the idea around a prepared environment. The atrium is a prepared environment for the religious life of a child.

An atrium environment is a treasure...

 but, as any catechist trained in CGS will tell you, all it takes unprepared adult to ruin the whole environment.

An adult who won't stop explaining or who rushes or refuses to ask that all important question, "What face of God does this child need to see today?" An adult who won't shut up and just wonder with the child, who is ambitious and doesn't let work unfold slowly.

There is so much training and studying involved with learning how one interacts with children in the atrium environment. This LENT I have made it a goal of mine to work on my LEVEL 1 atrium album pages (I hear are you getting album pages done if you are blogging?)

I LOVE the feeling of being somewhat academic about the whole compiling my atrium album pages.

I find it is filling a little...err...longing in me?

Ok ok...I will confess to you....I have this teeny romantic dream about one day being a professor of some sort. Being part of an academic scene...I mean, really, I have imagined that somehow while homeschooling and raising my children I managed to write a handful of bestselling novels (are you laughing yet?) and so OF COURSE I am asked to be a visiting instructor at ________College. I can see it now...I have a tidy shoulder length I don't mind grey haircut, with cute glasses and a colorful flowing scarf I got from a recent mission trip I went on to Uganda. I also have dangle earrings given to me by ________ (insert name of child of mine who will be an artist) should visit her Etsy shop. My students know I like coffee with lots of creamer and all things Jane Austen.

They can find me between classes in my cozy office that is full of beautiful books and a comfy chair with a fancy pillow. I have colorful sticky notes with inspirational things written on them scattered about and piles of papers, even a napkin or two scribbled on with ideas for my next chapter for whatever I am working on. Oh...and I have a toy chest for when my grandchildren stop by...

(imagine car breaks screeching)

no, that simply will not do. Yep. I think its going to stay a dream...and really...I'm ok with it. Toy chests are fun and all...but...

I think I can still have a certain style I like (I do like my scarfs and earrings) and I can certainly decorate my home a certain way but when it comes to writing and delving in and researching, I want my culmination, my thesis, my life's efforts to be becoming a subject matter expert on...

and don't forget...
Imagine with me one more time...
Dean ______ of __________ University takes the podium and adjusts the microphone. Gives a quick "ahem" followed by a swig of water.
The audience settles.
"Ladies and gentleman, thank you for joining me in our newly renovated Shankenheigen Auditorium, we are in for a very special treat this evening. Mrs. Stephanie Forbes is going to share with us her thoughts on her life's work...her family. As you all well know, Mrs. Forbes is the subject matter expert on her husband and children. The time and energy she has devoted to amassing her body of work shows in her ability to anticipate her husband's and children's needs. In her work she has cracked the code to six different languages spoken in her home in what she calls a groundbreaking effort to truly understand her subject matter.

She will share with us her tactics on how she was able to spend optimal time observing her subject matter by homeschooling them, insisting on dinner around the table every evening and honoring leisure on Sundays to name a few."

hahaha....this is so fun.

But really, can't we throw ourselves into our work like the scholars do? Can't we wonder at our children and truly know their needs and prepare their environment to suit those needs?

I was reminded of this whole...getting to know my people...moment when I was skimming through an old journal entry from about five years ago. I had written some bullets about my husband, it is so funny to look at it because of how matter of fact I was, like the journal was truly for research...
20 November 2010
The world will change one home, one family at a time. Let my home be a place where love begins and sets the world ablaze. Justin brought me home star gazer lilies and bright pink Gerber daisies. What does he like?
  • Lazy mornings
  • free evenings
  • warm meals
  • healthy snacks
  • a clean home
  • his slippers
So we are in LENT and we are thinking about preparing for Easter...hmmm...what is the point of having a home that can celebrate seasons (like...change a wreath) and is organized and comfy if the adults ruins it for everyone...if the...wife/mother hasn't taken the time to KNOW her people, to become the expert.

I am NOT an expert YET, but I have hope. I find I gain much ground in my own family research when I put into practice much of what I have learned in the atrium. When I not only have a prepared environment but I set about making an effort to be a prepared wife and mother.

I see more of WHO my children really are when I listen to them, when I read their facial expressions, when I notice things that hold their attention. When I count my words and limit explaining and instead focus on wondering with them. When I leave the day as unscheduled as possible (ok, we do get Math and reading in) but then otherwise just have a home where they can draw if they need to...or go outside...or nap.

I am inclined to believe that should we choose to make our children our life's work we have without a doubt committed ourselves to a lifetime of study of this particular subject matter. This just isn't a three year masters program. Luckily, God has chosen specific people to be in your care and He knows that you are a perfect fit for them.

Ok, I need to get a good night's rest now so I'm ready to immerse myself in my life's work tomorrow. Thank you so much for stopping by!! xxoo

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