I am an organizer. My homeschool supplies are sorted by when we plan to use them, color coded by grade, and completed work is stored in a box. I have more folders and three-ring-binders on my shelf than any one person needs because I just love office supplies and organizing things. I have everything on lists and in notebooks – not always with pretty pens because I’m just not that crafty.
But the last thing I want is for life to become just a giant to-do list. That’s what God got onto Martha for in the Mary and Martha story in Luke 10. Remember the story of Jesus showing up at the ladies’ home? Martha nearly panicked and rushed in the kitchen to play hostess while Mary sat at Jesus feet, listening to him teach. Martha tattled. In that culture, it was the woman’s job to make sure guests had a decent meal. I would insert a joke there about how not much has changed, except that it has: back then men never dared set foot in the kitchen, and if a woman didn’t serve a meal, it was a mark against the family. The stakes were higher. And Mary was failing in her role. Martha tattled. Jesus rebuked her.
It’s better to sit at Jesus’ feet, soaking in His presence, than to pride ourselves in our crowded schedule and overstuffed work.
Isn’t that what women are supposed to do though? The feminist movement has taught us that we can do anything. We can be supermom and super-employee. That’s what we’re supposed to do, right?
And we do it well…kinda. We stuff our schedule to the point that when asked how we’re doing, the answer is no longer a rote “good.” Instead, we answer, “Busy, but who isn’t?”
Really? Jesus says it’s better to sit at His feet than to overwork ourselves.
A few years ago someone presented the idea of a yearly theme verse for homeschool. Last year’s verse was Psalm 119:9: “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your word.” For a kindergartener, that meant learning what God says about manners and being kind. That’s purity to a five-year-old. But as a five-year-old who struggles with autism, he needs the logical reason behind why he needs to behave a certain way. So, we added the Bible element (which is a good idea anyway). Using that logic worked for him. He went through a spell where he was really concerned with figuring out which rules were our rules and which were God’s rules. In other words, he decided it was okay to break our rules occasionally, but not God’s rules.
I’ll go with it. He learned not to lie and be jealous of his brother’s toys because those are God’s rules. He learned not to jump on the couch because that’s our rule.
This year’s theme verse is going to be Galatians 5:25: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
I’m tired of living like Martha. Life is not a to-do list, even if that to-do list is made with fancy markers and scrapbooking stickers. It drives me crazy to see my boys picking up on that habit. So, this year we’re going to be about following the Lord’s leading. If God’s Word really is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105), then I’m going to let that lamp guide what we do, even in our home education.