Saturday, August 6, 2016

When Your Ideal Meets Reality in an Unforeseen Way...

Love the utility sink and laundry room combo.  Look at all that storage space! Oh how I dream!:   

On the top you see a lovely looking utility room with stainless steel sink and counter top.  It is neat and tidy, freshly scrubbed and even appears to have an in tact faucet.  Now look below....Yup, that's my utility sink faucet.  It came right off in RileyAnn's hand this morning while she was making bottles for the calves.  If that wasn't bad enough, while taking the photo, I noticed all the dirt and grime surrounding the sink and faucet that I haven't cleaned. This, added to my homeschool planning failure, has caused me to see that my ideal sure is not meeting my reality.

Spring is always such a busy time here on the farm.  There's baby animals, ball, and book/thrift sales.  We're trying to finish up those last few lessons when the weather breaks after what feels like forever of snow, cold, and being cooped up.  Everyone wants to get outside!

This spring, I had a plan.  We finished up the bulk of our studies in mid May, everything except history.  Both kids were playing ball.  I was running around buying and selling books, as well as thrift saling to purchase our wardrobes for the coming year.  I was expecting chaos as usual, but planned that it would end with June. As a matter of fact, I didn't even make the pages of my calendar/planner for the second half of the year.  I purposely left them blank in the hopes of creating time off.  In July, we would have no outside commitments.  We were going to be home.  I was planning to pick our history study back up.  I was going to organize the school room and create fresh plans for fall.  In between, we would have beach days, cook outs, and leisurely reading.

I was also planning to try something new this fall.  We were going to start school in early August so we could have more breaks throughout the year, possibly testing a Sabbath school schedule.  I figured we'd all be refreshed and ready for a new start after our relaxing July.  This was my ideal.

Well, lo and behold, July came and reality set in.  The kids were offered a job.  The day after celebrating our independence, they were to begin pulling giant ragweed from organic corn fields.  The job would be short term and it was a chance for them to earn money.  It would be Ruben's first official employment outside the home.  It sounded like a great opportunity, however, the job was too far away to drop them so I would sit and wait at a friend's house while they worked.  I lost the first two weeks of July doing what felt like nothing.

Next, I was asked to volunteer for VBS again this summer.  I felt like I should since I had three kids participating.  It was Levi's first year attending and I was to lead the preschoolers.  Here went the third week of July away from home!

The worst part was the first day, Monday, when we arrived back home from VBS, shortly after noon to no water.  We have tannin and iron in our water and it had plugged the pump and the water lines.  We did not have water fully restored until Thursday!  Prior to the water stop, we made an impromptu play date with some acquaintances from the city who had never been to our home.  I debated on canceling since we had to use ice cream pails of borrowed water to flush the toilet, however, in the end, I decided the show must go on.  

At this point, I was down to one week left of July and you may have guessed that it did not go off without a hitch.  The Farmer received a call from a neighbor friend stating his elderly mother had fallen and refused medical treatment.  It was several days later and she was since unable to move from the chair.  He asked us to come over to help.  It took us three long visits over a four day period to convince her to allow us to take her to the hospital.  Needless to say, I am not the nurse type and was totally out of my comfort zone!

Now that we're heading into the second week in August, the reality is that I didn't even come close to reaching my ideal.  I have no lesson plans to show and no beach days, though we did sneak in two different water park trips.  The school room did not get organized.  Not only didn't we pick up and finish our history from last year, but I didn't get a single book read.  One might even say, my reality was dire compared to my ideal.

The funny thing is, I don't feel robbed or jaded.  I'm actually fairly calm, cool, and collected.  When I look back instead of seeing my ideal slip down the drain, in reality, I see God's ideal coming to fruition.  I watched my kids learn responsibility and gain employability skills.  I modeled service for them within our church family. We persevered through four days and near 100-degree temps with no running water, cultivating new friends along the way.  Lastly, I learned humility from our neighbor in the most humbling of times.  All the planning in the world, couldn't have prepared me for the last five weeks.

Today, was a new day.  We sorted clothing the kids have outgrown and cleaned the garage.  I updated book sale lists and answered neglected e-mails.  The Farmer cut hay.  Riley and Ruben helped with many odd chores.  We may be no where near my ideal as we begin this second week of August, but I see we're all the better for it.


  1. What an eventful summer! : ) when our plans fail - God's plans come into action. Wonderful!