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When is Flexibility not Flexibility - Issue 154
June 04, 2010
Hi there! ....

This week has been a very full week. It started off with the finale for our local showcase event a concert called, Kimberley Moon. Pete and I joined another couple (and half the town) for a night of very loud music!! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves listening to local artists, visiting artists and especially John Farnham; though I woke up the next morning with his songs still ringing in my head.

For Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday we had another homeschool family join us so they could see some Charlotte Mason practices in action. We had a lot of fun together. It was a good exercise, for me as well as for the other family, as it helped clarify some things in our family that Id like to work on.

And now this weekend we have another family of 4 kids staying with us for the long-weekend while mum and dad are away. The kids are having a ball last night the 5 oldest had been out for a games night they came home all so very excited. 5 big kids make a lot of noise!!

Live life with your kids!

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When is Flexibility not Flexibility

This week we started our studies on Flexibility and as usual, there were lessons a-plenty for me as well. Though we usually see flexibility as Willing to change my plans and ideas without getting upset (Character First) - it was a slightly different perspective that challenged me.

Flexibility is responding to changing circumstances,
and yet not compromising my beliefs.

It is all too easy, in the face of changing or confronting circumstances, to change my actions regardless of my beliefs. This is compromise - it is not flexibility. Flexibility takes into consideration the principles and truths that builds ones beliefs and then makes adjustments to plans accordingly. Flexibility does not disregard truth.

Often I settle for less than the things that I believe to be true all for the ease and comfort of my own life, all under the guise of being flexible. Let me give you some examples:

  • Kids are playing happily so I let them continue, long past the due time for study to start I think Im being flexible but really often Im compromising what is best for my family.
  • An invitation comes our way and though our days are already very full I cant resist the social contact I say yes. I think Im being flexible but really often Im compromising on what my family needs.
  • I know it is time to get off the computer but . One more browse wont hurt. I think Im being flexible but really Im compromising what I know to be right.
  • My child argues back at me and I let him have his way. I think Im being flexible but really Ive made a compromise.

Now Im not saying that we will never do any of these things in one way these situations make up life but, if we are characterised by making those decisions, if we are kidding ourselves that we are simply being flexible, that we are making room to live life with our kids then we need to reconsider what flexibility really looks like.

Yes, flexibility helps us adjust to changing situations but flexibility needs to be held in balance with truth, diligence and dependability.

There are three daily circumstances where we need to clearly see am I being flexible or am I dilly dallying around?

  • Interruptions Ive said it myself many times, that interruptions of life neednt be that bad interruptions can be learning opportunities. But, if interruptions take us away from the things that are important and let us settle for second best, then they are compromise.
  • Indecision when we lack resolution (this is, determination to do what we need to do) we cover it up, and make ourselves feel okay about it by saying that we are being flexible. We often live by the mantra When in doubt, do nothing! And I am sure there are times that this is the right thing to do but often it is a cover up for not buckling down and finding answers.
  • Procrastination putting off that which we know is right. Ouch! This is my issue. I will put off the inconvenient, I will put off the hard, I will put off the mundane. It looks like Im being flexible going with the flow but really, I am in control of what does and doesnt happen and it is dictated to by my emotions. This isnt flexibility; this is a compromise settling for the comfortable and enjoyable in exchange for what is right.

Dilly dallying around means that we lose focus, we lose intentionality and motivation. Dilly dallying around means we wont reach our goal because of lost opportunity. Flexibility on the other hand means even in amongst changing circumstances, we respond in such a way that we still reach our goals.

When we are faced with changing circumstances and new opportunities we need to ask ourselves what is our family priority at this stage? How do I respond to this new circumstance in the light of that priority? That is being flexible.

  • Know what God requires of you
  • Know the difference between your goals (what God requires of you) and your method, if a change is needed, discern between the two (it may be one, and yet not the other)
  • Make plans, and yet hold onto them lightly, while constantly asking God for direction, and being willing to change or pause without getting upset, distressed, or timid (If God is in control enough to change plans, He is in control enough to handle the outcomes!)
  • Keep on course unless there is a good reason to change (know that reason)
  • Discern good opportunities versus God opportunities

Stay committed to your decisions
But stay flexible in your approach
~ Tom Robbins


Lifestyle-Homeschool Reading
Read more about Flexibility.

Live life with your Kids Blog Updates
Resources we are using for Year 12 (Highschool) Joshuas year 12 course is finely tuned to include the things that we consider standard for our children to learn, plus things that are chosen specifically for him taking into account his uniqueness.

Downsizing a Library Tough to do, but sometimes its just gotta happen!

Bedrooms do your kids share? The reasoning behind our family decision.



Bookshop
Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.




Heart Focus Parenting - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.





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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!


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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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