Colossians 1:29 For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he powerfully inspires within me.
My toil and struggle today has to do mainly with my children, specifically with the girls. While David did cause a bit of frustration today, that is not a regular occurrence so it is easier to handle, but the girls are continuing to test both my patience and Jeff’s with their fighting and bickering and rudeness to one another. Today was no different, I just felt drained and seemed to lack the energy to deal with all that came. On top of my children’s behaviors, we had haircuts for the girls to get and a 5 person birthday party this evening to celebrate birthdays in October and November.
Thank goodness the Lord had my back today, just as He always does and I was able to muster up some patience while dealing with my children. It is just so frustrating that they battle the homeschooling aspect of this trip. They embrace the fun and the play and the teaching beautifully, but as soon as we ask them to do their schoolwork they change their tune and no longer want to do this trip. Now this is not every day, but it happens enough to be extremely irritating. For the most part we are able to get done with their actual school work pretty efficiently, when they actually put their energy into it.
Additionally, the older kids at the primary school can make teaching quite difficult, they can be very loud and disruptive during lessons. We are trying to make it fun by playing games and such, but it just seems that there are 8-10 kids that really want to learn and that are fully engaged in the games and lessons, while the other 30+ students are just there to be there. This doesn’t both me nearly as much as it does Jeff, but it really makes teaching a bit more challenging. I think that there are just too many kids in this class, but this is basically school during break for them and beginning again in November they will go back to their normal classrooms and I assume (hope) things will be different.
The birthday party was a lot of fun with wonderful food, lots of laughter, and a bit of dancing! But for us that quickly ended when David and Lucia were showering and they proceeded to play with the shower wand like it was a hose and they were in our backyard back in Madison. According to Jeff there was about 1 inch of standing water in the bathroom because of their antics. In hindsight (I am writing this Friday morning), it is pretty funny and it is great that they were having so much fun playing together (I mean they were not fighting), but the way the went about playing was just not okay/acceptable. And then to fire Jeff up even more their bedroom was a complete and utter disaster. So all electronics were taken away from the children (except for school work) until they demonstrated a respect for the belongings of others. Now this did not go over well and we had sad/angry children until they fell asleep around 10:30 pm.
I really needed God’s patience and understanding tonight. I was hot, tired, and truly not wanting to deal with children until 10:30 pm–I wanted to be an adult for a little bit today, but I guess that is where this scripture lesson comes into play. We sometimes have really challenging days, days where frustration and aggravation seems to be more prevalent, and it is in these days/moments that we really need to relish God’s path for each one of us, especially the difficult ones. He has His reasons for making this day so challenging, and while I would prefer days where my children are respectful and loving towards one another, we also need to learn to embrace and be joyous in the moments that make us want to snap. We need to dig deep to find His energy inside of us because it is that energy that will bring us through even the most difficult of situations with grace, peace, and patience.
Here are some pictures of teaching today. The younger kids were great and totally engaged; it was a true pleasure to spend the morning with them. Here we are playing Duck, Duck, Goose (and practicing those difficult “d” and “g” sounds).
And our Crazy Train (practicing left, right, stop, go, fast, slow, hop, walk, etc.).
It was a fun birthday party too.