Sunday, June 1, 2008

What's Refreshing

"Figure out what refreshes you, and do it on a regular basis."
Carole Thaxton


This is probably the wisest bit of homeschooling and mothering advice I've ever had. Carole Thaxton is one of the early homeschool gurus and co-wrote the KONOS curriculum with Jessica Hulcey. We were a few years into parenting and were just beginning our homeschooling journey when we heard her speak.

With 4 children in 5 years, I was an overly ambitious, perfectionistic mother destined to crash and burn . (Which is really God's method for teaching that living in my own strength isn't all that great!)

Many years and a few more children later, I'd occasionally found myself skirting the edge of a significant burn out. This bit of wisdom always echoes in the background. When I find myself in these hard spots it's usually because of 1) wrong thinking (perspectives, attitudes, anxieties) or 2) wrong doing (too much work, not the right work, no rest)

My challenge has been two-fold -- to find what really refreshes me and how can I find time to do it? TV demands no work and can be relaxing; it's rarely refreshing. Sometimes spending time with friends energizes me; other times it's exhausting. Working in my garden is a mixed bag. I love crawling in the dirt planting and weeding; I'm physically "toasted" at the end of a day.

Finding time is harder than finding something to do. I've taken 3 of my favorite activities (reading my Bible, reading anything else, and drinking coffee) and combined them for a little retreat from the demands of the day. As I'm hiding away at some coffee shop with my books, I'm refreshed and refueled.

What refreshes you?

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