Somewhere between perfection, which is unattainable, and apathy, which is unacceptable, lies goodness and excellence. We can be good parents and excellent people. Umm...How do we do that, anyway? It's not hard. Read and be encouraged!
I know several teachers and many of them say that October is a very challenging month in school. When I was homeschooling and teaching in public school classrooms I found the same thing to be true. I think I've worked out why that is.
The new has worn off the new shoes, the new backpacks are scuffed, the beautiful home packed lunches are a memory. The special school snacks that were on sale six weeks ago are all eaten, and seem a bit pricey now. The school routine is just that: routine. The days grind on and the Christmas break seems a long way off. Sigh. This is reality right now.
Last week I wrote about what a great job imperfect moms do. This week I want to encourage you to continue to be good, and reach for excellence even in the mundane routine of a random Monday in October. Excellence and goodness are real. They can be your reality even when you are ready to throw your hands up, or at least put your feet up. Here are some things you can do to pursue excellence and goodness this week:
Overflow With Love: And this I pray, that your love may overflow still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may discover the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ;" Philippians 1:9-10 NASB I often say that, in parenting, love is not enough. There is the need for order, organization, consistency, provision, and all the other. But love is the foundation. If your love is overflowing and you are allowing that love to fill you with more and more knowledge and wisdom, Paul, the author of Philippians, indicates that this is excellence in the sight of God. So this week, let your love overflow into all you do. This is excellent and good.
Apply Diligence: "Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge." 2Peter 1:5 NASB . As the days of work, school, and homemaking flow together remember that these are the days of your children's childhood. Your children still need you to be diligent and engaged as they grow and mature. Even in the midst of the routines that seem so repetitive you feel you could do them in your sleep, remain diligent. Diligence is that careful attention to duty when it is easy to let details slide by. Check in with yourself and your children. Are you living with your eyes and heart closed? Living life on auto pilot is easy to do, but diligence keeps that far from us. This week, be diligent. This, too, is excellent and good.
Stand Strong In Your Core Beliefs: "And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You;" Exodus 15:7 NASB It is a sad truth that there are many loud voices in the ever present media today and they can, if we allow them, drown out every message of hope and joy and warmth and happiness. Stand strong this week. Don't give in to the message that you and your children are victims or perpetrators or helpless as politicians lead us all down a dark, dark road. God is absolutely on the throne. God continues to care for us. We are the sheep of His pastures and , now and always, He is the Good Shepherd. In spite of all pressure to live your life in fear of political strife, societal upheaval, and cultural turmoil, stand your ground. Be strong in the knowledge that all the tumult of this current world situation is not new. God has not failed us yet, nor will He. Stand strong. This is another excellent and good practice.
Remember that perfection is an artificial and arbitrary notion that comes from the core of Satan. God asks us to be good. To be excellent. To be diligent. To Love. To stand strong. None of this ever looks perfect. But it does look good and it is excellent. Even on a random Monday in October.