Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Seven Daily Rungs

While surfing the net this morning, I followed a link to "A Holy Experience", a blog by Ann Voscamp. This woman has a way with words, and I highly recommend stopping by. I am adding her blog to my links.

In the daily grind of life, when we're feeling a touch "Crazy", it's good to remind ourselves that our walk through this world IS truly a holy experience. Taking a step back from the craziness and fleeing into the arms of Jesus makes complete sense. It gives new life, and hope, and the strength to go on. Ann (without an e!) explains this brilliantly.

The month of August is fast approaching, and I am furiously working at yard work and barn chores, in order to complete these before the end of July. I have two days.

Why the rush? Because August has been, for 25 years, my preparation time for the homeschooling year. I take four weeks to plan, to photocopy, to prepare all of my curriculum for all of the children I happen to be teaching for the following year. Interspersed in all this planning time is a getaway with the children, and a couple of days' camping with my dear friend Darlene. By the end of the month, I am ready (I think!) for another year of reading, writing and arithmetic.

All of this planning is meaningless without purpose. My purpose is to glorify God, and to raise my children to glorify Him. So, the books we read, the methods we employ, the practical skills we learn, must all be chosen with this purpose in mind: Whatever you do, in word or deed, do all to the glory of God!

Ann Voscamp addresses this succinctly, writing:

How do we know everyday what is a worthwhile investment of our time and what will burn up, straw at the end of time? How do we cultivate not simply well-trained minds, but nurture holisitic, well-lived lives? How do we work everyday towards raising up children, who are not merely academic automatons, but exuberant, soul-healthy, worshipers of God, committed to meaningful, eternal Kingdom work? How do we set our ladders against the right wall, and make the opportunity of today count for eternity?

Simply put, how do we make our way through a day?

Ann writes, "Everyday, we endeavor to scale
Seven Daily Rungs.

I urge you to follow the link and read the post, but in a nutshell, here are the seven daily rungs:

First Rung ~ Listening: a way of the Spirit (Scripture reading, prayer and memorization)
Second Rung ~Love: a way of sacrificing (that which is at the the heart of everything we do)
Third Rung ~ Labor: a way of serving (farm work, household chores, creativity, ministries, volunteer work)
Fourth Rung ~ Loveliness: a way of seeing (Poetry, Nature, Music and Art)
Fifth Rung ~ Literature: a way of seeking (discovery through great books)
Sixth Rung ~ Language: a way of speaking (narrations, Latin/Greek, grammar, writing)
Seventh Rung ~ Logic: a way of scaffolding (ideas, reasoning, science, mathematics, discussing)

At the end of the day, Ann and her family sit together and evaluate:

As the sun sets in the west, we ring the farm table, and pause to reflect on the shadow of the seven daily rungs.

Hands to ears, we ask of the first rung: Did we listen to our Lord today?
Hands over hearts, we question the second rung: Did we love Jesus by loving others?

Then, holding fingers high, we mark off the five remaining rungs:
Labor: Whom did we serve today?
Loveliness: What did we see today?
Literature: What did we seek and discover in good books today?
Language: How did use we speak, written and orally, today?
Logic: How did we scaffold into new ideas and understanding today?
With God's help, I plan to incorporate climbing the seven daily rungs in our family's homeschool this year.

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