Thank you,Sarah Mackenzie!
The other day I was reorganizing my files and came across a piece I wrote about 8 months ago and NEVER shared! Rereading it, I saw the truth it contained and decided it needed to make its way here. I hope reading it blesses you as much as it has me.
Next week my baby turns two. The approach of her birthday doesn’t feel as difficult as it did last year. But boy, the past two years have been tough! This little girl is full of spunk, and toddler, through and through! When the natural curiosity of this little lady is combined with her preschool brother’s natural mischievousness, we have a recipe for mayhem. All. The. Time. J I’ll save you the gory details and just say that the antics (some adorable, some not so much) on any given day have made homeschooling our 4 school-age kiddos much more challenging, and many days just frustrating!
We’re pretty relaxed homeschoolers at heart, but I was feeling like we weren’t getting to even a sliver of what we wanted to. And when we did get to something, I felt rushed, my mind not able to stay focused on the task at hand. I was always thinking about all the things I wasn’t getting to, all the things left undone. It’s awful feeling as though my efforts aren’t enough. It was well into the little one’s second year that I came across that quote from Robert Louis Stevenson, “Don’t judge your day by the harvest that you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
It was also around this time that I discovered The Read Aloud Revival Podcasts, hosted by Sarah Mackenzie. I distinctly remember listening to the first episode. I remember standing there after it finished playing, just standing still, a rarity for me. I remember wondering how I had forgotten how much I love reading to my kids.
We had always read aloud. Day after day, we would spend an hour or two reading together. I had looked forward to snuggling in with a cup of tea and my favorite book lists every Sunday afternoon. I’d read over the lists, get a preview online if I’d never read it before, and reserve a boat load at my local library. I had been intentional and generous with our read aloud time. But with the birth of baby #6, I had lost my balance and finding it seemed out of reach.
So, standing there in the glow of inspiration of the conversation I had just heard on the podcast, I felt that spark again, that feeling of excitement about witnessing the education of my children by sharing great books together. As I write this, I realize that reclaiming our read aloud time wasn’t just about educating my children. It was about reclaiming our family culture. It took Sarah spelling that out for me to remember what I had set out to do in the first place. I am forever grateful because sometimes a weary, sleep-deprived mama just needs a reminder (and a swift kick in the pants :-). So if you haven’t had the privilege of listening to Sarah’s podcasts over at the Read Aloud Revival, go! Just pick one and start listening. You’ll be glad you did. No matter what the topic is you’ll find yourself energized and inspired!