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For When it Feels Like February

It’s bound to happen. It happens other times of year, of course, but I know it will happen during the long dark month of February: I will forget who my children are.

I will get all wrapped up in the doing, the checking off, the “getting through the lesson” or “finishing the book,” that I’ll forget the most important part of the whole project. I’ll forget that whenever I look into my children’s eyes, I am gazing on the face of Christ.

I am well aware of each of my children’s quirks, bad habits, and areas needing improvement. I spend all day every day with them, after all, and I’ve been charged with the monumental task of helping them to grow up to be capable seekers of truth.

The great temptation, always, is to treat my children as a math assignment on the checklist. To think that the most important part of my day is something that can be written down and checked off

The fatal mistake I make every February is that I forget who they are. And I forget who I am, as well.

If the most important thing a teacher needs to know is that teaching is the art of being imitated, I’d better make sure I’m imitating Him. Somehow I think He is less concerned with how many lessons we complete in the grammar program than He is with the way we’ve loved one another. There is nothing to be done in a school day but to radiate the love of God so thoroughly that my children cannot help but be swept up into it. It’s immersion learning, except instead of moving to a foreign country, we are immersing them in the heart of God by becoming, for them, exactly that.

Whatever we tick off our grand list of academic plans for the day is not the be all end all, and never is that more clear than we consider who our children are and Who they belong to.

They are God’s. They are Image Bearers.

This year, my method for combating February burnout is simply this: to treasure them. To love them well. To remember Who they belong to, so that I might have the courage and humility to focus on what really matters.

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