Saturday, August 23, 2008

My 500th Post: School Stuffola and Writing with Confidence

(photo taken by T this morning as I typed this entry)
This post marks the 500th time I've written on this blog in the past (almost) two years. I have to say that blogging has become a true joy in my life, and I'm so grateful for this encouraging venue to develop my thoughts, express my heart, and share what God is teaching me about living a life devoted to Christ.

This morning I came to this blog to write about the joy of setting up my homeschool "classroom," if one can call our living room a "classroom." Last night I sat on the floor, doing my favorite homeschool-prep job: using library spine-binders to tape the colored tabs onto this year's Sonlight books. Each year of Sonlight books has a different color, so if a few of the thousand or so Sonlight titles we own become misplaced, I automatically know whether it belongs in SL 4 or SL 7 and can shelve it accordingly. Having the books color-coded also makes lending them out to family and friends much easier, both for me as lender so I can locate the proper books and for the borrower as she can keep track of them better if they get mixed into her books (which they inevitably will). Using the clear library-quality "band-aids" to affix the colored dots to each book works far better than Scotch tape.
Today I'll be organizing the school supplies I bought yesterday at Staples; I'll be purchasing some binders and a few other items at Costco tomorrow but I have most of what I need. I'll clean out the boys' bins (in those plastic 3-drawer organizers) and put their new books and journals into each bin; E arranged her school things yesterday. I still have two boxes arriving from ABeka on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, so B & J won't have their math books until then. However, I still have the teacher's editions, so we'll just review the first lesson or two orally, and E will have to play a little catch-up with her American history which I can't plan at all until it arrives. I'll give her something to read regarding American history as a warm-up for Monday and Tuesday. I also purchased most of the books she needs for her American literature course that I'm creating myself because I simply didn't like any of the programs I looked at. Her chemistry program may not arrive for a month, so I'll have her double-up on history until it comes, then she can devote herself to chemistry until she's caught up. The Spectrum Chemistry program really excited her at the homeschool convention; she can't wait to work with all the chemicals.

But back to this blog. One of the reasons I enjoy blogging is that it makes me write something almost every day, and consistent composing is important for any would-be writer. Blogging also gives me the illusion of publishing my writing -- something that every writer dreams of accomplishing. With blogging, I also have a venue to write about different aspects of my book, trying out ideas and topics to see if I have anything fresh to say about saints or liturgy or Communion. And, lastly, blogging helps me in learning to write with CONFIDENCE.

I found myself thinking a great deal about the word "confidence" while driving "up the hill" the other day. I don't remember where I read it, although I'm fairly certain that the writer was Catholic (Thomas Keating? Thomas Merton?), but the word "confidence" can be broken down into its two halves of Latin origin: "CON" means "with," and "FIDE" means "faith." So writing with "confidence" denotes writing "with faith." Of course, the next question is: "with faith in whom or what?" For me as a Christian writer, the obvious and very true answer is that I write with faith in Christ my Saviour. But many, if not most, writers (definitely including myself) have issues with self-confidence. Is my writing "good enough"? Will anyone want to read what I put on paper? Am I simply deluding myself, wasting valuable time on a craft for which I have no real talent? Many writers have problems writing with self-confidence -- confidence in God's gifting of talents, confidence that, as one of my friends tells me, "God doesn't make junk," confidence in my ability to form words and ideas on the page that may help and teach as well as inform and amuse -- confidence in oneself is entirely necessary in a writer. So I as a writer need "confidence," need to write "with faith" in God and "with faith" in myself as a child of God who has been given this talent, this drive, this passion, to commit words to the page for others to read.

Writing on this blog 500 times has increased my confidence as a writer immeasurably. And that thanks is due to God, and also to you who read what I write. You have helped me develop as a writer far more than you know. Thank you, and God bless you as you exercise your own talents with CONFIDENCE.


Luke said...



CC said...

Hi Susie -- I will have to call you for suggestions and tips as I am going to be homeschooling Caroline again for most of the year. I am excited about it, but at the same time am looking forward to her being around her loving classmates who have all been fervently praying for her all this time.


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