Friday, March 5, 2010


A Bag of Tools
R. L. Sharpe

Isn't it strange 
That princes and kings,
And clowns that caper
In sawdust rings,
And common people
Like you and me
Are builders of eternity?

Each is given a bag of tools
A shapeless mass,
A book of rules;
And each must make-
Ere life is flown-
A stumbling block
Or a stepping stone.

I first heard this poem as it was shared by an evangelist many years ago.  It "spoke" to me then and I asked the evangelist for a copy.  A few years later I was delighted to find it in the second volume of KONOS under the character trait of responsibility.  I found myself this morning looking back over the responsibility unit that we were completing....seeing what I missed before going on to the next unit.  And boy, did I miss a lot.  I have been very discombobulated in the last few years trying to balance all of my children from the oldest to the very youngest, having a daughter marry and make me a grandmother. It has been a season of change and, once the changes started, there is no going back.  I lost my focus on our homeschool....lost direction and the fortitude to stick it out.  I have become a slacker mom!!  We are still doing and learning, but we are not really enjoying it  and I am not seeing the character development that I would like.  The character training got lost in the struggle to get the academics done and my children have become a reflection of their mother.

This morning I had somewhat of an awakening as I looked over all the Bible verses that we should have covered during our time on the responsibility unit, but didn't.  We will spend the next two weeks doing some in-depth Bible study in this area while starting our study of the Revolutionary War.  There has been a good bit of discussion at about young men who have been homeschooled, but are not being trained to be "real men".  I also was told how young some of the leaders of our Revolutionary War were....young men in their late teens and early twenties who did incredible acts to bring about  a free country.  They had to have been given lots of responsibilities early in their lives to give them the gumption to start a new country.

So, what does it mean to be responsible?  It means doing a job in the way and within the time that it is expected.  I want my children to understand why it is important  to be responsible
--to get the job done
--to help others who are dependent upon us
--to have extra time for other things
--to avoid the consequences of being irresponsible

I want them to learn how to be responsible and to whom to be responsible.  To learn the truth, to practice skills and to please God and their parents are their primary responsibilities but they also have to be taught to do what is assigned or expected right and efficiently and to do more than is expected.  (Taken from KONOS, vol. 2)

I have an opportunity to go back and re-focus on the character training in myself and in my children.  I want to be a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.  How are you doing?  Are your children reflecting any of your bad habits?  Children are mirrors, reflecting what they see in the lives of their parents.  Sometimes it hurts!


Laura at By the Bushel said...

Anita, I'm so thankful for your thoughtful posts. I'm always encouraged by your transparent sharing of your experience schooling the various children in your family, as well as molding them to be the persons God intended.
I am currently deeply in read of '7 habits of a highly effective family' and it's really helping me to put a sharp focus on the necessity for me to step up and discern what I/we really want from life for my family. Instead of letting the perceived urgent surpass the most important.
I struggle, but am in a 'take no prisoner's' mode. I need next to move on to Sally clarkson's book we discussed/mentioned last week, but the book now, 7 habits, is an excellent jumping off point. It is wider in it's approach to families to reach a broader spectrum of faiths, however, it is most enabling to a christian who wants to take the bull by the horns, but feels sooo lost.
It's only guiding me more to go where I KNOW I need to go with my familiy. Places like you've mentioned, character building with resources that are right at my fingertips.
slowly, with love, patience, fun, but not lacking dillligence.
Blessings as you jump in to everyday, prayers for energy to keep the ship sailing straight!

Jennifer said...

Where do you start your boy training? Im not sure where to place my finger on it in the bible. I'd love to have him copy work and stuff like that.Any ideas?

Amongchosen said...

Thanks for your honesty. You always seem to have every i dotted & every t crossed the majority of the time, so it seems less intimidating when you post that you do struggle occasionally.

Twisted Cinderella said...

Such a thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

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