Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We're Never Finished

      Though we have homeschooled for three years, I still find myself comparing. I wonder if my children are competent and if I am as well. Then I hear families saying they are finished ahead of schedule for their school year. Congrats to them, but we are not that family. We school year-round, so I truly feel we are never finished with school.
      In those moments of questioning myself and my family I have to remind myself that we are on God's schedule. We have found what works for us. Given this year has been particularly hard with my husband's firefighter schedule and babysitting my nephew anywhere from one to four days a week. Maybe my children aren't light years ahead of their peers, but I have seen them grow as nurturers and witnessed a deepening of  their dependence on one another in the greatest way possible. They have witnessed us living out a family-first philosophy that I hope will last them a lifetime.
      When we weren't able to do paperwork everyday I noticed we engaged in more diverse discussions about life, God, history and beyond. It seems we have lived out the un-schooling method rather well. The hardest part is to not compare. I don't know how many times while questioning God that I received a reassuring peace in my heart letting me know we are the family He created us to be. At the very least, we are becoming the family we are meant to be.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review: Become the Person You Really Are

      BookSneeze recently provided me a complimentary copy of Beyond Talent by John C. Maxwell on behalf of Thomas Nelson Publishing. In Beyond Talent Maxwell claims that anyone and everyone has talent, it is a God-given gift. However, not everyone reaches their potential because they don't implement certain principles into their lives. Within 13 chapters he shows how to take your talent and strategize to reach success. A person must have belief, focus and passion invested in their talent. Maxwell uses a formula to become that person you want to be;  "TALENT + ____________ =A TALENT-PLUS PERSON PUTTING THE TALENT-PLUS FORMULA INTO ACTION."
      This being my first John C. Maxwell book I was impressed with his eloquence, as well as the ease of reading it. Some authors can get wordy in their quest for professional appearance. He definitely comes across as a professional, but with humbleness. Most chapters were easily read in one sitting even with three little ones running around.
      As a busy mom reading is my solace. I always read with an eye opened to find anything useful as it pertains to my mothering. With this in mind I found great encouragement to foster my own growth as a mother, as well as knowledge to encourage my children's talents along the way. One of the most fascinating chapters in Beyond Talent was on teachability.Am I open to being taught something new? To me that summed up my life's quest to never stop growing. "If what you are doing does not in some way contribute to what you or others are doing in life, then question its value and be prepared to make changes." Life makes a lot more sense when we don't chase things of little importance. Only when we live as people of worth as God created us, does life make sense.
     Beyond Talent may seem at first glance only for the professional or those with a dream to climb the corporate ladder. Maxwell may be a leadership trainer/consultant/author, but we all use leadership skills in some arena. Every reader can walk away with an increased knowledge of how to reach their potential, but the question lies in who will strive to reach for their star?