Friday, February 22, 2008

Being Blended

This morning as I was reading my Bible, I came across some lines in my study guide that talked about how in our service to God, we need to overcome individualism. In other words, God cannot be satisfied with our serving Him or even being righteous or pious, all in an individual way. He wants us to learn to coordinate with others, to be blended together -- which can be hard when we'll all emphasizing our own gifts. I asked the Lord how this applies to me in my own situation, since most of my service to Him consists in the things I do day in and day out with my own children, and it really is just me -- not a whole lot of opportunity to coordinate with others. Besides, the world around us really admires "Renaissance people," as our listening to the story of Leonardo Da Vinci today reminded me -- now that man was a genius at practically everything!

So I had a tiny experience later today that struck me as bit of an answer. Lately I've sort of been outsourcing more of our homeschooling (Anne, your post really struck a chord!) by participating in two different co-ops -- one on Monday, which we've done for five semesters now, and, mostly recently, one on Friday, which requires full parent participation (i.e., it's not a drop-off thing, as is Monday). The Friday thing is different in several ways, and I'm starting to enjoy the sense of community it engenders (plus, Ian gets to take a class on The Dangerous Book for Boys), but I'm always exhausted by the end of the day! Anyway, during the first of our three class periods today, I was assisting in Eliza and Caroline's class, called "Storytime, Circle and Craft." The mom who teaches is very sweet, very mild-mannered, and I have to admit that a part of my mind was critiquing her style a bit -- I felt she could stand to be a bit more, um, dramatic or engaging with the kids. Well, during storytime she asked me to read the book while she nursed her baby, and ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, that was my moment! I mean, storytime is totally my thing. I love to read/tell stories (and this one was a typed one with no pictures) in a way that pulls the kids in as much as possible. I like to use different voices for the different characters, stop and ask the kids questions, make silly faces, whatever, even if I know I may be making a fool of myself! And it felt good, because lately I've been so aware of all the things I CAN'T do.

So maybe, maybe, there was a teensy bit of pride going on there too. I knew -- may I be embarrassingly frank? -- that I read the story "better" than the other mom would have. But then we turned to finger-knitting. She got out the yarn, gave each kid, plus the moms, a stretch of it, and gently, patiently, began instructing us. I was all thumbs! Eventually I got the hang of it, but trying to teach it to Eliza, it took me all of thirty-five seconds and I was impatient and flummoxed. How do you TEACH something like that? "You just wrap it around like THIS and hold this do-hickey like THAT ..." Yeah, not so much. The other mom took over and in her sweet, mild way had Eliza hooked, and chugging along in no time.

Let's just say I'm glad we all have our different gifts, there's a reason we have one another, and none of us has to be Leonardo!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

What a great experience!