Saturday, February 09, 2013

Here I Raise My Ebenezer Part 2: The Still Pool

(Part 1 here.)

I thank God we have the resources to homeschool.  Over the years, we have met families that do not.  A lot of families make large sacrifices in order to homeschool, but sometimes even then it is not possible. Dads leave.  Moms get sick.  Families lose their homes.  

The Lord has always provided for us through the Warrior Poet's employment, help from family and bartering arrangements with friends.  It does not necessarily look like what we call education nowadays, but I have seen the girls grow through activities, reading and responsibility.  Even when our resource-pool is low (especially then?) learning takes place.
We are steadfast to the affinities we take hold of, till death do us part, or longer. And here let me say a word as to the 'advantages' (?) which London offers in the way of masters and special classes. I think it is most often the still pool which the angel comes down to trouble: a steady unruffled course of work without so-called advantages lends itself best to that 'troubling' of the angel––the striking upon us of what Coleridge calls 'the Captain Idea,' which initiates a tie of affinity. (CM Series Vol. 3 pg. 212)
Affinity.  In chemistry, it describes two dissimilar chemicals that are capable of forming compounds.  In literary terms, affinity is a spontaneous or natural attraction of one thing for another.  I want the girls developing beautiful, right affinities.  It cannot be forced.

I strain to gather every thing and every thought I can reach for the growth of my girls.  But often they need me to step aside.  If I stir the soil too much, the seedlings will not grow.  It is difficult as a mother to stand aside and watch, knowing I have the power to act, but that my acting on these things and thoughts will not strengthen the will of my child toward good things.  She has to act on them.

I often think I know what the girls need yet feel powerless to provide it.  And yet they grow.  The Lord is faithful.  He loves us and knows what we need.  The still pool, a steady, unruffled course of work: fewer activities, much reading but not many books, a quiet growing time at home, talk, discussion, rough edges smoothed out by constant contact with loved ones that are so precious and yet so irritating at times.

I am in the middle of raising these girls.  One of them moved out this Christmas.  She is not far away, but she is not here.  We no longer kiss good-night every evening and hug every morning.  It takes so long and goes so fast.  But I am in the middle.  Two more girls await my kisses and hugs each day.  They need much instruction and are so beautiful.  What will the future hold for these three?  I want to know, but oh! only the Lord has that knowledge.

In my vanity, I am sure I could do better if only I saw deep into the future.  No, Katie.  That is not right.

So I am in the middle.  Here I raise my Ebenezer.  I have made it this far by the grace of God.  Lord, grant us wisdom to discern beauty.  Teach our hands to help.  Teach our hearts to love what is good.  Teach our feets to walk with You.  So many ways we can squander time and live low.  Help us choose what's right, even if it's not what we want.