Webster’s first definition of the word VIVID is about color – hues that are very strong, high in chroma. I like the second definition much better. It speaks of VIVID having the “appearance of a vigorous life, or freshness”. Ah, a vigorous, fresh life. Now, that’s what I want.
Two days ago I cried on my husband’s shoulder that maybe I wasn’t cut out for this “homeschooling stuff”. Our house had been chronically chaotic for two weeks, I felt like the kids weren’t learning, well, anything – and I was slowly, but noticingly, losing my mind. Doubt clouds over me in times like these. The whispers of enemy lies take over. “Psst – You’re not cut out for this. Stop trying so hard. This way of life is just too challenging. It’s not worth it”. And I start to believe that these Holy days with these beautiful kids of mine aren’t worth it. Aren’t WORTH IT? I’m ashamed to admit this now as I’m curled up in a quiet house, my laptop on my knees, Kari Jobe quietly worshipping in the background.
And then, it happens. Just like it always does. I have two VIVIDLY bright days. Two days filled with the vigorous, fresh life. Two days of letting go, and allowing myself to experience joy, joy everflowing. Joy that comes from the wreckless abandon I force upon myself, because I’m slow with these things. Joy that comes when I just shut up and trust in Jesus.
In the past two days we’ve made Pizza, baked a pie together, enjoyed a visit with a dear friend, read lots of silly audio books, and today – spent the whole day sledding and eating too much chocolate. And yes, this is home school. It is this week. Because it’s what we needed. It’s what I needed to make sure I was embracing that VIVID life. That life that says “whatever” to society’s standards. That life that kicks the Deceiver in the face by choosing to embrace the calling God has given me to raise these children in Him. The life that stops whining long enough to look around and see what I really have. That life that shrugs shoulders to the ‘norm’ and just breathes in the joy of right now. The life that allows our family to be the only ones on the sledding hill. The only ones shreiking with laughter, whooping out “YA!!! THAT WAS A GOOD ONE!” on a Friday afternoon.
A smirk crawls across my face now as I remember the giggles, the rosy cheeks, the sheer joy of being free. Flying down a snow-dusted mountain side and laughing hysterically when you spin three times then flip over, face first in white powder. When your three year old jumps on you and begs you to “sit in the sun with me, Mama” and leans trustingly against your chest. The sun beams down and I lift my eyes to the sky. God is here, in these moments, revealing truth to my forgetful soul.
To me, the dull life is the life filled with pretenses, cultural norms, classrooms, cubicals, and consumption. The dull life is void of God and void of the belief that we have the power to impact the world. Yes, little us. We have that ability. I want the vigorous life. The fresh life. The daring life. And I want it for our children. The life lived in God’s hands, whether the Phonics lesson gets done or not. Every day, making choices based on what leads us to God and keeps us fresh. Isn’t that life school? Isn’t that the education of a life-time? To zoom down a hill laughing with joy, caught by your loving Mom who is more concerned with joy and life than she is about filling out a checklist.
I choose to live FRESH, free falling right into Christ’s arms, trusting He’ll be at the bottom of this crazy hill, ready to catch, pick up, dust off, and point me back in the right direction… which will likely be right back up that hill again.