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Birdsong on the Bad Days (+ Printable)

So far, our family have been enjoying our lockdown life. I am surprised how happy the children are and that they don’t seem to be missing their friends. Of course, they have their moments, but there has been a settled spirit in them. I think our daily routine of lessons have helped this immensely, as well as having a general routine for each day. Oh, how precious routines are! I realise now the importance of them, more than ever before. And it is something I am pondering during this time, hoping to have a plan for when lockdown lifts, how to keep this precious routine going.

Yet, we had one particularly rough day this week. It was one of those days when one or two of the family just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and it was a challenge to say the least. I spend much of the day in prayer, asking the Lord for help because I myself, was feeling particularly weak. I am so grateful that His power is made perfect in my weakness, and that I am free to give of myself, not counting the cost.

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One of the many steep streets we walked down (then up!)

It has been our routine to go for an hour’s walk from about 3pm each day. This day, however, I decided to take Josiah for a walk just on his own, knowing that he needed that special on-on-one time with Mama.

It was a glorious Autumn afternoon. The sun was warm, there was no wind, and the birds were out in their song. We were delighted to hear and see a native Tui which, usually, is found only in forests and bush. The new city we live in, Dunedin, has quite a lot of native bush within it, and so it is actually quite common for Tui to be seen. It was the first time in my life.

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Autumn colours everywhere.

As we walked down hill, through streets and bush, we chatted and discovered and listened. Both of us felt the peace of birdsong: these beautiful creatures that do what God made them to do – to be birds and sing for His glory. Their precious trust and simplicity always speak to me, and as we walked, I was just thankful for their audible praise.

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We saw the beautiful dark Tui with the white tuft.

The walk and birdsong restored our boy and he was much more settled afterward. Nature has always been, in particular, a balm to his soul. And on this day, it was the exact medicine he needed – as well as that special attention from his Mama.

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How hard and precious Motherhood is. It is crushing and stripping, but soul lifting and rich in joy. And there is something about the relationship between a mother and son that is unique and fragile. There is such a balance between closeness and space. I am so grateful this is all in His hands.

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A historic house of Dunedin.

The love of nature that my son has always reminds me of Wendell Berry’s poem which resonates with all who feel called into the wild. I have designed two printable pages for you of his poem ‘The Peace of Wild Things’ . I hope his words echo to you in this season as they have for many.

Click on the image to downloadwildthingsprintable1-page-001

wildthingsprintable2-page-001

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Being Intentional During Lockdown

We are on Day 3 of lockdown here in New Zealand. It is Saturday and feels as if we have been on holiday in a remote place for a week. I am both loving it and thinking what a challenge it will be in many ways, for all people. We are made to be with people and interact with people – yes, even us introverts! – so it will be by Grace that we all will get through this time.

I believe deeply that God is Sovereign and therefore, I believe this time of isolation is ordained by Him. It needn’t be just about surviving four weeks (or more) of lockdown, we can thrive during this time! We can redeem this time for His glory and our good as we live simply at home.

I’m realising how important it is to have both a routine for our days and to have goals to work toward over the next month. I mentioned in my last post two specific ones, but I have been pondering more since, and I have come up with a broader vision for goals, as well as specific ones.

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I am not usually a goal-setter. Perhaps it is my Type-B personality or that I don’t like feeling like I am failing at something so I just tend not to make goals for myself. I am generally happy just pottering and slowly working on something over time (like the garden).

But I am coming to see that goals with intentionality doesn’t have to be the hustle-like goals I see around that make me feel like I would never live up to them. I believe that being faithful toward little things is something I can, by Grace, do. And, at a time like this, how important it is to have intentionality about our days.

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I have a bullet journal that is where I record my weeks and lists and homeschool things. I call it my Homeschool Mother’s Journal, though I actually record what we do for schooling elsewhere. This is more of my Homeschool Mother planner with books we read, curriculum plans, daily tasks etc.

In my Mother Culture section (more specific to me and my own education), I have a two-page spread of my goals for the lockdown. I have created six categories with three different goals beneath: Faith, Reading, Hands (or Hobbies), Homemaking, Homeschooling, and Home Projects.

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If I complete only half of my hopes, I will still feel good. In the end, redeeming the time during lockdown is more about how I am using this unique time for the Lord rather than achievements. I dislike so much that our world is all about how much we do and not who we are. This time ought to be a cultivation of our character, a resting in His grace, a seeking of Him, and spending our days with submissive hearts.

This blog post by Rebekah at Ready to Be Offered shares my thoughts so well on accepting where we are right now, laying down before the line, and embracing the limitations put before us. This period of social isolation and home-living will be fruitful and peaceful as we do this, rather than a time of chafing and biting at the bit.

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So I encourage you to sit down and pray about redeeming this time and being intentional about lockdown. How can you cultivate your faith? How can you grow your habits? How can you improve your mind? How can you nourish your children? How can you build your home? How can you have a settled and joyful heart?

Friends, we can really flourish during this time!

What are some goals you might have during lockdown?