I saw my surgeon yesterday. He said I was recovering quite well. Many of the neurological symptoms I was having before surgery have either gone away completely or reduced in severity. He reminded me that some of the complaints may never go away. He suggested I add some weight bearing exercises (no more than 5 pounds) to my work out. I still need to rest as much as possible and stay away from all forms of physical exertion. He also reminded me that my body will tell me when I’ve been doing too much. Today, my body is screaming that I did too much over the weekend. I’ve been in a great deal of pain today. I thought we might come home from our apple picking/doctor’s visit weekend in the mountains and have school while doing laundry and other chores. I also had high hopes of making jelly and apple sauce. I have been on the couch most of the day.
Someone asked me recently what was the number one advice I’d give new home schooling moms. My immediate response was flexibility. Well, a couple of weeks later I not only believe flexibility is essential for home schooling families, but for all families.
I like having a schedule. I like order. I enjoy my label maker. But, sometimes an event in life happens that will throw a monkey wrench into the best laid plans. Brain surgery has done that for me. As far as pain goes, I do believe I have fared well. There are times I am in tears with the pain, but mostly I am in tears because I can’t do as much as I’d like to be doing. I’m trying to “wait on the Lord so my strength will be renewed” (Isa 40:31) But, it’s not been easy, and considering recovery from this surgery can take as much as 12 months I’ll have plenty of time to practice.
I bet you didn’t know that your head is very heavy. Just being upright for prolonged periods of time is literally a pain in the neck. My neck muscles are weak. Therefore, I need to spend a good bit of time in the prone position. I’m on the couch for about 30 – 60 minutes and up moving around another 30 – 60 minutes. When I am up I have to be careful what I do.
I had so much fun this weekend that aside from being fatigued, I really didn’t notice much pain. However, I’ve had pain that has brought tears to my eyes today. My body needs rest. Needless to say, I am not doing school today. My children have tackled the laundry and won that battle. They even managed to make plenty of grape juice for jelly making. I do not have the energy to add anymore tasks to the list. They have done a great job today. My plans for the day have totally been derailed as I do my best to recover from the weekend.
I’ve been homeschooling about 10 years now. I started when Christi was just a preschooler. I’m kinda old fashioned in that I enjoy standing up in front of my class to teach. A couple of years ago we realized Christi needed to be more independent with her studies. I flexed my teaching muscles, and we set her up with Switched on Schoolhouse, a computer based curriculum. We also set the little ones up with ABCMouse.com. This wasn’t so bad. I still did a good bit of traditional teaching in my dining room/school room. However, this year I can’t stand or sit-up for long periods of time so I am having to learn a new way of teaching that allows me to lay down most of the time.
Over the years I’ve learned to be flexible with my curriculum choices. I don’t have to use what my friends use. I can change mid-year if I need to. Although, I have a set plan for how and when we do school each day, those plans can and will be interrupted. Lately, I am the reason I’ve needed to be flexible. Today is a classic example of how my illness has altered my agenda for the day. I’ve had days that I’ve read books for several hours because I don’t have the strength to sit at the table doing workbooks. Although, I like to start school at 8:45, some mornings I am so tired we don’t get started till after 9 a.m. I can choose to let these glitches in my plan stress me out or I can lean on the Lord for understanding of how to accomplish my day.
I am all for scheduling my days. I encourage having a routine no matter if you home school, send your kids to school, work in the home or out of the home. Studies show that having a routine is good for you. I have a better attitude when my day goes according to plan. Even my children seem to be better when we stay on a regular routine. But, I cannot be too rigid with my daily agenda. Allowing flexibility in my daily plan, keeps me from experiencing undue stress.
I admire Kind David. He had a good habit of asking God if his personal plans lined up with God’s devine plans. I learned in 1 Chron 14 that although David’s plans did not always line up with God’s plans, he was willing and ready to be flexible to the point of throwing away his ideas and starting fresh doing things God’s way. David sometimes forgot to ask God’s advice. When David wanted to bring the Ark of God home, he sent for it. Unfortunately, poor Uzziah died in that attempt to move the Ark of God. It’s a good thing David learned his lesson. He asked God how the ark should be moved, and did it according to God’s decree. David was successful the second time around safely returning the Ark to the Temple of God. Most importantly the people celebrated after victoriously accomplishing their task.
I encourage you to plan your day after consulting God regarding your agenda. Make it His agenda. However, when your day isn’t going the way you want it (and it will sooner or later), stop to ask God for directions. Be willing to change your plans even if it means chucking the complete day and doing something utterly different. Lastly, rejoice in the Lord at the end of the day acknowledging His part in a smooth day.
We haven’t done school today. We’ll have a freezer meal tonight. The children successfully made grape juice with minimal supervision. I have gotten more rest than I wanted, but obviously needed. I am so glad that years ago I learned to be flexible with my schedule. I had high hopes of doing many tasks today, but God put a stop to that right away. I am so glad He did.