Saturday, October 6, 2007

Joy in Learning?

• Oct. 6, 2007

Here we are in October, a month (or two for some of you in the US) into the 'school year', so to speak, and I must ask how we--the 'students'--are feeling about our learning endeavours. I'm telling you, when I first thought of writing this post, it was because I was THRILLED every day about the things I was studying and learning. Everything seemed perfect., and at the end of 2 hours of flute practice, I wanted more and didn't want to stop and get on to other things. My excitement about my 'bookwork' was way up there, beyond what I ever thought it could be, and soaring in happiness and glee everyday. I was getting up at 6:00, keeping on schedule, and hey, what could be better?

Well, you all know how it is. By mid-September, my 'going to bed early, getting up early, and staying on track everyday' plan had started to falter. I was falling a behind, and slacking off, and it kind of felt like every day was 'one of those days'. "Yuck, I just don't feel right today, I'm squishy." "Well, you know, I did do such and such and so and so today, and those are good things! (Just not what needed to be done)", and the like. I'm sure you've made excuses like that too! Well, I just didn't know how to pull myself out of this silly hole I'd dug for myself. Although the things I was learning were amazing and great, I just couldn't bring myself to truly enjoy the learning of it.

Let us now look at what I've learned over the last week. I've tried a few things that have helped me to figure out what I should be getting out of this, and I've talked to God about it. First of all, I've realized I have to get over the elementary grades notion that I have to be 'done' for the day. I'll never be done, there will always be something else I could do, so when I need recreational time, I have to just take it. Of course, that doesn't mean an easy excuse for getting out of work, but I've found it's true. If I want to crochet at all during the day, I have to just say to myself "Okay, now I'm going to crochet'. Otherwise it will never happen and I will stress over not having a chance to do some of the 'extra-curricular' things that I like doing.

I've also learned that some days I need to get ALL 4 hours of practicing done before I even touch my books. Other days, I MUST complete all my bookwork for the day before I dare to look at an instrument. Other days are crazy, and I just have to fit things in bit by bit. Of course, I have two days each week in which I don't expect to get nearly as much done, as I am out for most of them. So you see, I learned that organization can be slightly disorganized, and therein lies the beauty,

I am enjoying what I am doing, and trying to feel at peace and relaxed no matter what I'm doing or how much I have 'accomplished for the day', for though it might be 4:00 and I may have only done one hour of practicing and half a math lesson, did I take into account the housecleaning I did, or the things I learned going out with my Mom? Nope, I usually forget that.

Last week I prayed, I prayed with more fervency than I have in a long time, and you know what? I'm slightly ashamed to say that I was praying for me, not for the lost in poverty stricken countries, or the persecuted in Arabia, but for selfish little me. No matter how much I need to pray for these people, however, I really needed to pray about this. Shedding a few tears, I asked God for the excitement I had at the beginning of the year for my instruments. I asked Him for this thing which it seems all other musicians have except me, and that is the desire to be constantly playing my instrument, at least to some extent, I asked for the instrument to be a distraction, and that He would help me to find pure joy in them all the time and not just sometimes. Wouldn't you know it, the next day was easier, I didn't feel that old dread seeping in of having to practice as I had a few days prior. No longer did I feel burdened to finish every minute of practicing that day. I did though, and I enjoyed it. The next day was even better, and suddenly, a burst of joy bloomed from my soul.

Please don't get me wrong, it's not that I hate my music, I don't feel that way in any way, shape or form, but sometimes you can get really bogged down with even the things you love the most. I guess that's what happened a little, and other times in the past I never thought of asking God for wisdom. This time I did, and it payed off!

All that to say that I have learned lots about learning. I realize everyday that life is one big schoolroom filled with shelves and shelves of marvelous books. Books to dig deep into, and to live from. At the very centre of that room is a very special book: The Bible. It governs all. I never want to get to the point where I say "That's it, I've learned enough." If my life is to be an adventure, I must keep learning about how to make that adventure the best one I can have, and Christ is my most valuable life-source: literally.

May you find peace in this as we learn together to find joy in life's journey. i'm struggling with you all, but I just found one tiny, fragment of the final answer that lies in Christ. I would love to say I could keep it up pretty well on my own, but I know I can't, and that if I rely on God and His wisdom, He will guide me through it and I can succeed.

Phillipians 4:13

I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

Gowing together,


PS. I have pictures for this post, but the computer with the pictures got fried. Fortunately the pictures were able to be saved, but I've already deleted them off my camera, and the computer is at the repair shop. I have to wait until I get the other computer back to get them up. Hope you'll come back to see them! Sheila

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