What Are You Waiting For?
By Jeannette Webb
There haven’t been many momentous occasions in our family history. I can count our vacations on one hand. I don’t remember the last day I had to spend entirely as I chose. There have only been a handful of amazing surprises. To be really honest, all of us have had to work very hard. For years. And yet, there is a lot of laughter in our home.
Perhaps because there was seemingly little possibility of reprieve from the never-ending responsibilities, we learned to savor the small things. A rainbow spotted out the window could empty our house in seconds. A delightful wildflower was admired, an unusual insect followed. We asked countless questions of strangers (and friends) to learn about their jobs and lives. We savored afternoon tea and were pretty radical about catching the sunset from the hill overlooking the back pasture.
But most importantly, we’ve come to delight in each other’s presence. I love my children’s creative use of words, their electrifying sense of humor, their ability to be honest about themselves and their world. This gift in in my life now because of choices made when my kids were tiny. As parents, we’ve always listened, REALLY listened. I’m talking about the undistracted, looking into the depths of their eyes, connecting at a heart level kind of listening. The listening wasn’t crowded by the busyness of tons of outside activities. None of us were competing with television, video games, Face Booking, or texting. We rejected the alternate realities that cyberspace offers as well as the false sense of importance provided by being overly busy. As a result, all four of us focus on the people God has placed in front of us, whether family or those who cross out path.
I guess you could say that we live smack dab in the middle of the authentic world with its gritty realities and its unparalleled pleasure.
Because we couldn’t afford the luxury of believing that tomorrow would be easier, we came to accept that we had only today, this instant in time. Thus, we learned to stay focused on finding the beauty in the moment, the humor in the situation, the life lesson in the experience. Focusing on today-sized compartments keeps life in perspective. Today is what matters, not the goal or the final destination.
Remember, the joy is in the journey!
Look Who’s Talking!
Homeschooling through high school was one thing, but homeschooling through high school with the aspiration of applying to highly selective colleges was another matter. Fortunately, we have had Jeannette to help us navigate these years. Her wisdom, knowledge, and experience have been indispensable and helped give us the confidence to forge ahead. Prior to our son’s senior year, we checked in with her periodically to see if we were on the right track curricular and extracurricular-wise. When the time came to start the college applications, Jeannette was right with us – quickly replying to our myriad of questions, critiquing essays and school forms and pointing out homeschooling nuances which secular colleges might not understand, and helping us stay focused especially when panic set in. This year our son is attending his first-choice college – an Ivy League- and Jeannette is now helping our next child navigate the college application process. We cannot thank Jeannette enough. Not only has she been our consultant, but Jeanette has also been a godly friend sharing like-minded academic and spiritual perspectives for our children. ~ Julie, CA
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