Inspire

If It’s Hard, Be Grateful

If It’s Hard, Be Grateful

Life can be hard. Life IS hard. We face mountains each and every day. These obstacles can fill our minds with negativity, or they can be approached with optimism that you will overcome them and you will be stronger because of them. Resilience. It’s what you can be made up of if you choose.

Home educating was a life choice we made when our kids were very young. Ok, I was a jealous mom who wanted to be there for every ‘first’…not just hear about them at the end of the day. I wanted to see the sparkle in their eyes, hear the excitement in their voices and I wanted to be the one to give them a hug and tell them it was going to be ok.

Every-time.

The days of wonder.

Just writing this reflection prompts a tear.

But what about when it gets hard. Not everything goes away with a hug, a kiss and a band-aid. Once my son announced to me, to my disappointment and new awareness of his outlook on hardship,

“Mom, the kiss doesn’t make it go away!”

He was right -to a point. I wasn’t convinced though, and I pursued a new challenge to teach him the power of love through adversity.

The kiss will make it better. Watch and learn, son.

An unsure kiss from sister.

We had days of ‘spilled milk’, when the homework was lost, and the dog ran away necessitating a parade of my children and I running after him to the neighbors blocks away. At least we got our gym class in that day! And…our dog got cuddles of relief.

We had days when I watched the toddler swipe all the papers off the table onto the floor with one sloppy strike of her fingers and then cry through every lesson we …really…needed…..to….focus….on. We had nights without sleep, and boys that were noisy, and little girls who were bossy or had their feelings hurt. We always felt behind, and like we were never doing enough or learning enough, or missing out on something important but we didn’t know quite what… till our facilitator came and we got to have a show and tell.

I am so grateful for those meetings. This was such a great exercise for us because we’d forgotten all the good among the day to day struggles and we got to see our growth. Then we felt on top of the world and I’d announce to my kids we were taking the rest of the day off! Which usually meant snuggling on the couch reading books together.

Yes, we had the Big Comfy Couch and it was well used.

Grandma Day on our Big, Comfy Couch

These days were the good, the bad…and the comforting.

Today I am in awe of the abundance of where our lives are. Our oldest son has now completed an Engineering Course with top marks, and several scholarships. He drove away early this morning in his brand new truck, to a new career. And its just weeks since he completed his course. His employers took his marks to the office to show off his grades and announce the new ‘kid’ that was coming to work there. He was accompanied by the boss to a work related event before he was even officially hired.

And here I am, remembering the days of ‘spilled milk’, and shedding a mom-tear as my once little boy has begun his life so many ways as a man.

Home educating was hard. But nothing good comes easy. And I would not trade it for the world. I am incredibly grateful for the times I got to teach my kids and be there to pick them up when they fell, and to see them achieve their hearts desires. Home educating was and is still- so good.

Our son learned to be resourceful. If he didn’t have the answer, to find it. If there wasn’t an opportunity, to make it. To see adversity as a chance to overcome and grow. He watched us rise up to fear and stand up for what was important. He learned to do hard things.

We had plenty of adversity. But we had plenty of joy. And mixed together became the most abundant lessons of life to teach our kids.

Be thankful for the hard times. Those are the times you learn and grow and you discover what you are made of, and what you can be made of. If those times weren’t there, the richness of who you could be today will be missed.

Watch for them and be grateful. The challenges of life could be exactly what you needed for growth.

The greatest rewards are found after the most difficult journeys.

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