Recently, a dear friend and I were sharing blog reviews - ones we both read, and a few the other had not heard of. One she shared with me is, in fact, closed. It was called Study In Brown. I was captivated by the name, being drawn to the imagery of color. (into the box of empty pretties it goes!) I love the earthy realness of brown. The expression a brown study came to mean a state of thinking deeply about something, but has fallen into obsolescence. I think I'll lead the effort to bring it back into use again - it's a good expression, don't you think?
Intrigued, I had to go look at what was left at this blog's final adieu. It was not unlike visiting a gravesite, of a kind back when tombstones were carved so as to elicit emotion from even the unknown passers-by. She has left us with this thought provoking quote:
Sometimes the very desire for action leads to the neglect of action. Looking for some wonderful opportunity to give oneself, to devote oneself, one forgets the humble brother close at hand who is waiting for a word of comfort, a saving gesture.
Let us not linger in contemplation of the road ahead; let us follow the narrow path. Let us not look too far or too high, but right in front of ourselves, right next to ourselves. The good to be done is perhaps there.
~ Elisabeth Leseur
It is August. In our country this is one of those occasions within our cycles of regularity when we begin fresh pages, with school beginning again quite soon for students and teachers alike. Miss Brown Study's quote suits my own frame of mind as I methodically deliberate and prepare for what lies ahead of us in the coming months.
Yesterday's sermon on Amos. You'd either have to have been sitting with your fingers in your ears or had an absolutely inpenetrable heart to have not been convicted. M and I kept coming back to it throughout the day. As homeschoolers, we truly have an overflowing abundance of choices from which we can choose. Our variety basket has become as full as most any public or private school. From having others teach our children everything from those core subjects we are weak in to foreign languages, archery, horseback riding, swimming, cooking classes, lacrosse, band, karate, public speaking, football, debate, soccer, chess, art, design, fencing, sailing, music lessons, dance, and on and on and on. We have it all, don't we? The pressure to join something is quite a ponderous weight.
Of course it all comes at a price, and with more than one child, you can multiply that several times over financially. This says nothing of other intangible costs that can be tallied up and taken before you even knew what the total bill was. I used to tell my sons when they were much younger, "I don't care if you grow up stupid, so long as you grow up to be Godly men." Of course, that was a gross exaggeration said with an enormous tongue in cheek, but it was in the ridiculous that I was driving home the point of why we do everything we do - including our education.
Within the confines of the next week or so, I will be weighing our finances, our values, our goals, our priorities, and looking for what is an honest fit of stewardship and significance. One thing I can be pretty certain of, the road we take from here will be a recognizeable shade of humble dust - and upon it I would earnestly seek His blessing.