If lessons are meant to be creative, mine fail. This year, lessons are pretty much straight from the book. Commendable plans smolder in my thoughts. Our idea books are perused often, but not by me. My son has taken to finding his own creativity. I applaud his efforts.
When I asked him to record the characters in Pilgrim’s Progress, he hunted for Alternatives to Worksheets. Not taking into account my paper-cutting, creative-sketching, engineer-type son, I had traded it on Paperbackswap. Similar books grace our shelves, so I did not think it would be missed.
It was, but only momentarily. Once my son explained his idea, I found another tab book as an example. He finished his lesson with flourish.
Enter guilt. Where is my creativity? I should be adding interesting projects to make school exciting. If I battle laziness, and quit being distracted, maybe my son will not draw incessantly at the bottom of every assignment.
Then again, maybe that isn’t so bad. His mark of individuality is on each page, and every doodle tells a story. I need some of his inspiration. Thus the thoughts clash in my heart. I can choose guilt and despair, or forgiveness and hope.
In Pilgrim’s Progress Hopeful and Christian are captured by Giant Despair. Thrown into the dungeon and tormented the prisoners refuse to die, so the giant plans to kill them. Fearful captives intercede through the night. Then Christian delivers a passionate speech,
What a fool, am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle.
The key does indeed unlock the doors, and the companions escape, free to continue their path to beloved Celestial City.
Like these two pilgrims, I cannot remain burdened by fear any longer. Wallowing in guilt cripples. There are keys for me to use. They are principles to challenge my negativity.
He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. Philippians 1:6
I am unfinished. The grace of God is my hope as I forge ahead on this pilgrim journey.
A battered reed he will not break off, and a smoldering wick he will not put out, until he leads justice to victory. Mathew 12:20
I am not ashes yet. The breath of the Holy Spirit blows on my heart to ignite my soul.
With these promises firmly in my grasp, I hear the chains clatter as they hit the floor. The gate swings open, and the paralyzed giant is no longer a threat. I am free!
Written by Renae Deckard, Biblical Principled mother of 3. Find Renae’s reflections about homeschool and family life at Life Nurturing Education.
Freedom from guilt and fear? You’re so right, we don’t have to bear those burdens. What a timely reminder for me. Thank you.
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What a beautiful reminder, Renae.
Mommy guilt frequently rears its head in my parenting and schooling. I needed this encouragement. Thank you.
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Great article. I love Pilgrim’s Progress…it’s a favorite of my son’s. I use the illustrations from the book often.
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