I read a challenging quote by Edith Schaeffer the other day. I was making my daily visit to Home and Heaven and Melissa shared it as part of her post.
" We must say to ourselves and to our children, "There is never a series of little packages of time given to you in life labeled: Time For Illness, Time For A Wedding, Time For A Death, Time For A Broken Leg...Time For The House To Burn Down, Time For Disappointment. You can't face sickness...the disaster or even the headache unless you realize there is never a convenient time set aside for joy or sorrow protected by neat little walls so that the two things will not mingle and spoil each other.
This is a two-way understanding. We need to remember, as finite, limited human beings that we cannot care perfectly for others' needs nor can others care perfectly for our needs, even when we or they want to. Life has to go on, and we can only do the best we can in the melange, the mixed up nature of what there is to be done. There are no protected little boxes of time which will not be invaded by a mixture of demands upon us. Life is not like that. It is another case of the danger of demanding perfection or nothing, and ending up with nothing."
I thought that this was such an excellent qoute. It is something that I have come to appreciate, something that I saw so clearly over Christmas time - sorrow and joy, pain and gladness all at the same time.
This has been something I have loved about home educating my kids, although I never have been able to articulate it as well as Mrs. Schaeffer. I love the aspect of being able to experience real life with my kids daily. Some days we have a normal day of learning and family life, but other days are taken up with those things that come our way and need our attention. We all experience them; a sickness, a death in the family, a neighbor in need. We must learn and teach our children that this IS real life...
I like Mrs. Schaeffer's reminder that if we demand perfection or nothing, we will end up with nothing. It is so challenging to me; take each day as a gift from the Lord, accept each interruption, challenge or difficulty as something He has allowed. There is never a perfect time to have a baby, there is never a perfect wedding (there are imperfect humans involved you know!), there is never the ideal circumstances for learning....
We must learn that we cannot expect others to be a certain way in order for us to have joy or happiness in our lives. We cannot demand that everything be "just so" in order for us to feel secure. The only Perfect One is the Lord and we can and must depend upon Him and find Him daily to be our source of strength, joy, security, forgiveness, growth. We either cling to His perfection or we have nothing.