Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trying to Find the Space

Yes, we're back to school.

And I need space.

Not physical space--that I have. While many home schooling families have dedicated school rooms or fancy libraries, we school at our dining room table above. It's in the corner of our living room, with our kitchen adjoining. So we "do school" right in the middle of our daily lives.

Education isn't a separate part of our day for us, taught in a separate place.

Education is a part of our daily life as a family.

The space I need is more of a mental space. While our school area may be tidy and well-organized, my mind isn't.

The first few weeks of homeschooling each autumn is always an adjustment. New schedules, new books, new plans--all needs to be settled into, made comfortable.

Kind of like breaking in a new pair of shoes so that we don't get blisters on our heels.

Then add into the mix of adjusting to two high school students and a middle schooler teaching an online class in the MLA Research Essay at Brave Writer, a class which started the same day we started school. The class isn't large, but it's still a time-consuming process to post all the class information and assignments and respond to student work and questions.

Next, add in the two co-op Class Day courses I'll be teaching starting next Thursday the 15th. One class, Intermediate Writing, an expository writing class for students in grades 10-12, is one I've taught probably ten times, but this class is full with a waiting list for the first time. Plus, I'm leading a team of teachers in offering a new class: Medieval History for grades 4-6. That baby is taking quite a bit of work, of organization, etc.

So with all of these things taking up room in my head, I haven't had much space or time or inclination to write blog posts here or to even draft my two stories, one of which is near completion.

I don't like not having space nor time nor inclination to write.

The stress of not having that "creative outlet," as my doctor call it, weighs me down. My mind feels heavy, sluggish.

Saturdays are my usual writing day. But with so many classes needing attention, I'm not sure that much, if any, creative writing will occur. I didn't post updates to my stories last week; I must post at least one new chapter this weekend or my poor readers will be sadly disappointed. They're already moaning over having to wait an extra week as it is.

So I pray for space--for time--for inclination. I pray that I will be able to do more than wail and whine about not having any of the above here in this blog and write something of true substance.

As I opened my Book of Common Prayer 2011 just now, Psalm 46:10, familiar to most of you, stood out to me:

"Be still and know that I am God."
I pray that I might be able to do so, tomorrow (actually, later today as I write this in the wee small hours of Saturday morning, basking in the cool of the evening and in the silence of the darkened house), and my hope is that you, too, will find yourself stilling this weekend, pressing into the serenity of the heart of Christ, who loves us and cares for us far more than we can ever comprehend.

Being still and finding space, I hope,

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