Clive and Charlotte Converge: A Mother’s Look at 2020 so far {Part 1}

 

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But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” ~John 6:68-69

Where or to whom do we go, indeed? The smell of approaching rain mingles with the warm, yeasty, crust of the earth smell that deep summer bakes. This year has been something, else, hasn’t it? And here we are on the cusp of beginning the only-and-already eighth month. Everything seems to be going so slow and so fast simultaneously. I’ve been trying to wrap my head and thoughts around the many cobwebby things tickling my subconscious. As I lean toward and into this coming last full month of summer, with blue skies, flocked with fluffy, white clouds, endless green, and the magical swish and swoop of the barn swallows overhead, a few things are converging in my heart and soul. This year, I opened it out with this (among other things) as an inspiring motto:

“Man must pass from old to new,

From vain to real, from mistake to fact,

From what once seemed good, to what now proves best;

How could man have progression otherwise?”

~ Browning, p. 58

The Cloud of Witness

     As the year began, I knew that my health, physical and mental, needed change and adjustment. I started eating healthier and took breaks from media, as those were two areas I greatly needed. I knew that my home educating was going to change forever in two ways…a year of my most students ever at once, six, plus a little guy toddling about and then my first toddler, blink, now a 17 year old in her last year, a graduate coming for me at the end of this school year. The weight of this year being my 40th birthday lent me more contemplative as well. As a writer, I also felt the winds of change as I’m seeing that I have to be “true to myself” for lack of a better term, and this art in which I’m called to live. Our Honey Locust protects me from the splattering, spitting rain, concentric circles flowing outward in driveway puddles. All this and more rolls around and around in my mind, growing slowly bigger and disappearing out into the void. Then covid happened and is still happening and I’m still processing and joining Peter in the lament, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” My own meager words have felt locked up, or private or dormant for this season. Sometimes, the more we have to say, the less words we have. So, we take it one moment, one word, one journal page, one image at a time, giving room for art and idea and thought to bloom. My trellis of purple and pink Morning Glories finally opened this week, the tightly furled flower buds bursting into a mass riot of vines, color, and heart-shaped happiness.

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As I’ve been stumbling around and reflecting on all this, especially in the light of my 40th…I got to thinking about my continuing metamorphosis as a mother and woman through the years, C.S. Lewis’ essay/talk “The Weight of Glory” took on a fascinating life of its own to me. I’ve found that this gift of womanhood and motherhood has shaped me in more ways then I could possibly have imagined. Here we are, supposedly the ones guiding our children, and yet I’m the one learning how to live and move and have my being in Jesus. A gentle, rain-tinge breeze stirs the Honey Locust branch overhead. Lewis opens out his essay alluding to how we all start something in life for the reward at the end. For me, this idea is far-reaching, in all the branches of my life. If I just used Charlotte Mason’s educational methods in my family, we will end up with educated, whole, well-rounded children at the end, or if I mother this way, write this genre or style, be this kind of person, check the checks and tick the ticks, everything will work out perfectly. In this talk, Lewis in context is alluding to our faith journey, by way of a school boy’s example, but I’m applying it broadly to my mothering and growth as a woman.

“…He begins by working for marks, or to escape punishment, or to please his parents, or at best, in the hope of a future good which he cannot at present imagine or desire.

p. 27, The Weight of Glory, emphasis mine

     He contends that at first in anything our goal is a bit “mercenary”, a reward for whatever it is we aimed for. Aiming at home educating my children well, I didn’t expect to run into joy and growth for MYSELF, in the middle of my dreams and hopes for them. Lewis goes on to say, “...enjoyment creeps in upon the mere drudgery…it is just insofar as he approaches the reward that he becomes able to desire it for its own sake; indeed, the power of so desiring it is itself a preliminary reward.” p. 28, emphasis mine.

I will return to these thoughts in Part 2 soon!

~

 

16 thoughts on “Clive and Charlotte Converge: A Mother’s Look at 2020 so far {Part 1}

  1. You always write so eloquently. It feeds my soul, Amy. I’ve been away from blogging mainly because with the craziness of the world it has felt like by writing anything about it I would be sucked into a horrible vortex. There are so many voices spouting so many things, but you remind me that it’s only by showing up that you may find the greater purposes God has for you.

    I’ve been writing my next novel and feel its purpose emerging, but your blog reminds me that stepping into the world now and again and sharing your heart really can touch others in ways you don’t always realize.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Adrienne! Thank you so much. I understand your quietness in this time. I’m so glad you’ve been working on your next book and I’ve been FINALLY doing some work on my children’s story, too, with my sister! ❤ It feels wonderful. Hard work, but wonderful.

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  2. These were absolutely beautiful thoughts, and I really enjoyed reading them. I told my husband yesterday that I feel so unsettled with everything going on around me, and the only thing I know I can trust is Jesus and His word. That brings me great comfort. Blessings on your day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful thoughts Amy!! Yes, my 40th year was a tumultuous one with a life threatening pregnancy, a struggling baby, a health crisis….there’s more but I will stop there. It was a big milestone year. The world has become so loud and noisy and a bit traumatizing lately. I am hoping to take a break from social media soon. But yes, it has felt like all my words are bottled up and makes me long for quiet even more.

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  4. You haven’t written a lot lately, but this post makes up for that. I agree with Adrienne that your writing is elegant. I admire teachers for doing a job for which I am unfit, and my admiration for a home-schooler knows no bounds. You are simply amazing!

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  5. Those morning glories are just gorgeous!
    I’m turning 38 in October and I am starting to have these same types of thoughts. My daughter graduated from high school in June. It’s been a year of change and growth and challenges.
    I am looking forward to reading your part two!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy, I speak as a nearly 64 year old to all these 40 somethings that have commented. Going from my own and friends’ experiences, the 40s are tumultuous years for women. Perimenopause is on the horizon for most women and the hormonal shifts create upheaval on all levels, including spiritually. The physical changes can be the least of it! What is opening up to you all with the cessation is a sense of ‘holding your power within’ It can be a very heady realisation. It can be a deeply creative time. In fact, it has proven to be my most creatively fertile time in my life these past ten years. Look forward to it! What qualms and storms you navigate will calm. Promise!

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