For the past few years, I’ve used Powersheets Goal Planners from Cultivate What Matters (which I highly recommend, by the way). In the months preceding a new year, you spend time answering a series of questions, journaling and brainstorming what goals you specifically feel God calling you to cultivate in the new year. But before really developing your goals and the action steps to accompany them, you use your brainstorming and journaling to choose a single word or phrase for the year (or, if that seems too intimidating, you just think of the first quarter of the new year).
When I completed this process at the end of 2019 and into the beginning of 2020, the word I felt placed on my heart was simple:
At the time I didn’t really even know what it meant, or how it would flesh out…at the time that I chose it, I had zero plans to even consider homeschooling, and of course I didn’t anticipate a global pandemic that would cause a quarantine.
But God knew, didn’t he?
When I look back, I can see how God was changing my heart in this direction for several months before I even realized it. November and December were hard months for our family, as I mentioned in a previous post. I felt a sharp discomfort with how our family culture had developed. We seemed to be rushing everywhere with short transitions and even shorter attitudes. I identified it and began to fight hard to change things. I tried to change our schedule, change my attitude, change developing bad habits, etc.
But even after months of fighting HARD for what we felt was valuable, there was still a healthy discontent with the amount of time we had as a family to cultivate what matters most to us. I NEVER expected or anticipated a switch to homeschooling to be the direction God would lead us. I certainly don’t think it’s the only answer for the problems I mentioned above. And I was very resistant to it for many reasons, but God began a slow and steady shift in my heart towards the idea.
All I knew going into 2020 was that I wanted – I needed – to focus on cultivating our home more. The first action steps that came with that were doing the #konmari decluttering method on our house, fully and completely. It was literally very shortly after that concluded that the word home shifted to homeschool. It was as if the decluttering not only removed physical, unnecessary accumulations, but revealed space for cultivating a space and home that we enjoyed and made room for more important things.
Here’s my takeaway from this part of the story: God was not surprised by any of this. He’s in control and directs our steps even when we don’t realize we’re walking in the direction that we are walking. I’m so grateful for the revelations of his character in this process. We can trust his guidance, even when we have not anticipated where he may be leading. In fact, I often must remind myself that the ultimate goal is not for me to know what’s coming, but to trust my shepherd as he guides me. That can be difficult for my natural controlling tendencies, but my goodness – it’s so liberating when I remember my place in submission to the Lord’s authority! He knows best, and we can absolutely trust him, friend.
What have you learned about God’s character in your own journey lately? Comment below and share!