Saturday, January 6, 2018

Notebooking, Slow Reading, And Seeing Glory


A new year with a clean page . . .  sort of relieving for no reason in particular, isn't it? Beginnings of any shape or size hold so much hope and promise. This beginning in particular always brings me back to that soul in Lamentations 3 that looks up and over a sea of trouble to the horizon where he knows the dawn will come, for the Lord's lovingkindnesses never cease, His compassions never fail, they are new every morning; (here comes the kicker) GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS.

That's where I am right now. For us, 2018 holds a lot in the way of big decisions, change, and the need for wisdom, but for the moment my anxious eyes are lifted above and ahead to the promise that God is faithful. It'll likely be different than how I imagine it, but His faithfulness will still be true and that steadies me. It's pretty much the only resolution I'm bent on keeping - to keep looking there, keep walking that way. But I'm making the year sound a bit ominous, aren't I? I guess what I mean is just that I'm grateful there's a portion for me in the hope of God, and that it fills up the space that worry would otherwise hold.

On a lighter note, I do have some new things I'm using January as a starting point for:

One is notebooking.


Charlotte Mason can be blamed for this. I came across her method of notebooking (beyond just nature journals) in her writings and was looking into it a la Laurie BestvaterLogistics you know, how and why and all that. All I can say is "oh man." Sometimes God speaks in unexpected places through unexpected people, and let me assure you, even there His Word is alive and well, cutting right on through bone and marrow. Here I was innocently looking to learn how to better teach my kids and instead I'm coming away with the awareness that I'm better learning how to live.

I've come across this concept of "beholding glory" in my reading all year (well, last year), but Bestvater's faint nod to Moses and the burning bush really bookended it all. I found myself limply holding her book while staring at the wall mumbling, "She's right, he saw and recognized the thing because he was paying attention." And that's what shook me - the chance to see God's glory here in the world is going to pass me by if I'm not practicing the discipline of recognizing it. But as Bestvater eloquently points out, "if we are going to 'know glory' we are going to have to be specific and have a relationship to that particular burning bush with our particular feet and without our particular shoes."

Thus enters the notebook. It's a way of learning how to wrestle with truth like Jacob wrestled with God, to grab the hem of his robe and beg for the blessing. There's so much more to it, but do you see the strain of thought? I'm aiming to make it a way of life. I'm so stoked about this that we're swapping things around to use this notebooking thing in our schooling too, but that's another post for another day.


Another thing I'm trying is slow reading.


I know, it's kind of odd, but it goes hand in hand with the notebooking. If I linger a bit then I can go deeper to mine the nuggets, or otherwise put, recognize the glory. To keep myself accountable (because darned if I won't habitually speed through a newly dubbed 35 zone), I worked out a loop system with the meatier of the two stacks of books on my dresser. It works like so: Pick a book off the top, read a bit, stick it on the bottom, repeat. The second of the two stacks is for me to zip through at whatever pace (because I need a little of both). A few days in and so far, so good.


Social media presence is the only other thing I'm eyeing right now, but that's sort of a trend. Already being wary, I happened to read this terrifying thing a couple months ago, and immediately hightailed it. Sure, I've read a lot of things about the dangers of social media and technology in general, but when you have a top dog in the business saying, "yep, our business plan is basically to exploit your humanity and consume as much of your time as possible." Um. . . .

I don't know what the right answer is though, I just sort of wish we could have the days of hallooing neighbors from the front step again. But anyhow, all this coupled with the fact that my highly visual self appears to be easily overstimulated by screens has me moving them to the weekend and swapping over my Instagram account to the role of "visual companion" to this blog. That to say, if you contact me there, don't expect a quick reply.

And yes, I just admitted to having the same screen problem as my little ones, you have my full permission to have a good laugh.

Any new things you are trying or looking forward to this year?