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The Joy of Blowing Off School

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Zoo blessings. This was the only building we went inside, and we were greeted with a tiger pacing in front of us for a while…then a surprise greeting. The tiger jumped up on the glass with his paws toward us. Everyone screamed and jumped back a foot. Great fun, I missed the initial pose, but was able to capture this picture as he was getting distracted. Great memories.

As much as I love homeschooling my children, and I truly do, there are some days when you are plodding through.  Each week I have a list of the goals, and assignments that we need to accomplish to stay on a decent forward moving track.  (Plus, I like to check things off!)  Anyway,  yesterday we all woke, had breakfast and started Bible. The kids were a bit ansy and I could tell that it was a struggle to keep them focused from the very start.  During our Bible time I prayed that I would allow the Lord to lead and guide our day.  Now I often pray this, but so many times I allow our little list of things to do to overshadow all else.  So, began the start of our day, feeling tied to this list.  But, in talking and praying more as the morning went on (mostly for patience and kindness, because I had NONE of my own with all of the fussing and grumblings going on), I began to hear the Lord speaking that we were to “go” today.  Get out!

Despite what I thought we needed to do…I made a call to see if we could find a friends to go to the zoo.  With the snow/mud on the ground there are not a lot of parks to go to.  We thankfully found a friend that was willing to blow off school with us.   I did tell the kids that because we homeschool, we can do school at any time of day aghast-even at night.  So, with excited kiddos in tow, we headed out to the zoo.  The children were overjoyed!

The Lord blessed us in such great ways.  We were able to see some simple things that we haven’t or don’t often get to see.  Omaha has a delightful, huge zoo, but in the winter, it is pretty quiet there.  With all of the flu going around currently, we are being more purposeful about trying to stay out of crowds of people as much as we can, so the zoo was perfect for us.  The kids were able to run, play, be with friends, and be loud.  We had an up close and personal encounter with a sea lion and watch them play, able to see new babies, watch a duck battle, lions that interacted with us…and the list went on and on.  I know that it was a blessing from the Lord.  I also know that had I not prayed and more importantly, listened to the Lord, we would have missed out on a delightful “school day” outside!

While at the zoo, I had the opportunity to talk with another godly mom about life and its struggles, joys and hardships.  I was encouraged in ways that I can not even begin to express or articulate!  (At some point, I may share the rest of the story, but, for now, know that it was an amazing expression and confirmation that God cares, confirms, and provides our EVERY need!)  At one moment, I felt the overwhelming knowledge that I was where I was suppose to be in several areas of my life.  Tears of gratitude for my King!  Thankful for His leading, and for friends that walk with Him faithfully.

My children left with hearts that were full.  I left with my heart full.  When we got home the children piled out of the van, changed clothes (because despite there being miles of sidewalk there at the zoo, they found the mud and melted snow on many occasions =)), and finished their work.  They worked quickly and with out dawdling. We were finished by 6pm or so.  They were happy. I was happy.  And, I do believe, the Lord was happy.

How many times do we miss the blessing that the Lord is showing us because we have our own agenda?  This seems to be a theme in our lives currently!  I want to be that person that listens to the Lord’s spirit.  I want to be the one that honors the Lord by my obedience…even in the small ways…of blowing off school (or at least delaying it).  I know that we listen first in the small ways.  Our Bible time the day before was about Elijah and the gentle whisper.  How appropriate!  That is one of my favorite stories of the awesome and many times unconventional way that God works.  God could have spoken in the fire, or the earthquake, or the storm…but He didn’t, he spoke in the quietness of a gentle breeze.  Just like our day at the zoo.  In the quietness of the zoo we were able to appreciate and marvel at the many of the joys of God’s great creation.   Not only that, but I love that our day of “blowing off school” was so a lesson in listening, and obeying.  It was a day of all of us learning something new!

Oh, Lord, teach me to listen to you!
Teach me to love, honor and cherish what you do.
Teach my heart to be still before you, and continue
moving towards a deeper relationship with you.  
May I learn to obey in the ordinary ways through
my little faith and small acts of obedience…May
you be glorified by this broken spirit and contrite heart.

~Tiffany 

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