“Always be open for something or someone unexpected. Always be ready for an adventure.”
This is one of my mottos. Sometimes, the unexpected is disappointing—like when Laurens uses a stone to add some unasked art to the car of our neighbour.
And, sometimes, we see the the kids taking more responsibility for their behavior. But, even then, their independence can come unexpectedly:
“My surprise!” one of our girls cried when she came into the kitchen. She held 25 cm of her hair in her hand, which was obviously not connected to her head anymore. The soup was at boiling point, butI became speechless for a few minutes. After that, we did have a little conversation about the usefulness of communication.
Our Christmas break was lovely and quiet, after which we had our house full with a team meeting and friends who stayed for a day or two, filling beds and rooms. After that, there was more rest—another week to be busy in the house with all kinds of cosy stuff: sorting out the latest boxes, archiving last year’s school stuff, and organizing life at yet a deeper level. How I love that being in and around the house, busy in home-making!
Whenever a box is opened, lots of stories are unfolded—memories, drawings from Mary Towerton School in Studley Green, written stories from Willowdale Christian School in Toronto—all in English. Later came the Dutch material. In it, we see the journeys of the kids, dropped into yet another country, language, and culture, learning and relearning in the country where they are supposed to feel at home because they were born there, although at a time they can’t remember.
This time, it was more than just opening a few boxes. Going through it all one more time, it felt as if we brought our years of transition to a close.
At the beginning of this new year, I also rediscovered my own personal “rule of life.” It is not a rigid rule on paper that tells me what to do and when. I see it more as a guide to the endless flow of time. Time asks for structure, and this “rule of life” helps to give me that. I shape my way through time in creating my weeks and days.
At the beginning of my rule is a Bible verse that means a lot to me. My verse this year is Psalm 73:28. “I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” It explains my desire and my goal for what comes. And, it is the foundation on which the rest of my week is built.
I will give you a template that you can use, if you like, to create your own days, weeks, and months. I hope it inspires you. For me, it is so helpful to have something to hold on to in a time when there are many balls to keep in the air all at once. But, even when life is getting more calm, I love to have some structure.
Maybe you do not need to organize your life in this way. Maybe you have lots of obligations all lined up in your agenda. Maybe, especially then, you might want to add a cross in your agenda—a cross to breathe, step back, and be silent for a moment. A cross to be reminded of The Cross.
Template: Download the Rule of Life template here.
A question for you: Do you have a “verse of the year”?
Feel free to share in the comments below.