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Welcome to my blog: Today's Lady Virtue. This site is for women--wives, mothers, singles, widows, family, friends, etc.! My heart is to share loving encouragement coupled with timeless truths from God's Word, the Bible, to enlighten, uplift, and empower women of today. At Today's Lady Virtue we're about "Reclaiming Virtuous Womanhood today the Time-tested Way!" Here you will find a variety of posts from poems, to "Put into Practice" principles, to pictures and more! I invite you to voyage with me on the quest to become Today's Lady Virtue.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Made more Maker-like by May Madness

Life is full and so is our quiver! Typically, May marks one of the busiest times of the year for my family. Not only does the boys' baseball schedule appoint additionally to our normal routine, but "May Madness" increases the load even more. Extra commitments (such as home renovations, an annual camp-out, family birthdays, and concluding year events) couple the final sprint to the "Victorious" end, undoubtedly earning the moniker, May Madness.

While energetic optimism, refreshed strength, and renewed hope welcome us at the starting line,  pouty pessimism, worn-out weakness, and faint faith threaten the end of the year race, contrarily. Whereas the exhilirated footsteps of well-groomed pupils danced in to tackle September’s schoolwork, May’s load waited long while tired learners trudged in tardily. Nevertheless, the Principal and Teacher of Cochran Elementary (our homeschool) deem “Victorious finishing” as part of the curriculum. Character education precedes academics here; however, six years of homeschooling has instructed me that the latter naturally follows the disciplined development of good character.

Finishing victoriously does not just happen. It is not easy. Sometimes it is not fun. Nevertheless, conquering the finish line triumphantly proves worthwhile and a remarkable teacher. Concluding school well requires much prayer in our weakness, problem solving and conflict-resolution, small goal-setting, establishing rewards, allowing unplanned breaks for essential refreshment, reading God's word together, thinking about others in need, remembering to laugh, and making time for fun. We further make the sanity choices of pure thankfulness and simply, breathing. Nevertheless, the harvest of perseverance yields character, 10-fold!

I often tell my children, "If everything is peachy, we would not need the Lord. If everything was perfect, we would not long for heaven." Likewise, the imperfect nature of Mad Madness uniquely provides a training ground for cultivating godly character, priority one of our homeschool. Moreover, the “madness” fails not to overlook any school member. From Supterindent to student, we ALL get trained! The Lord uses our schedule striving and finish-line fits, to till our hearts. He forms, transforms, and conforms us to do His will. God's handiwork in our hearts forges us through these trials, equipping us to endure hardship to the end, as a TEAM.

Specific to May Madness 2010, almost daily my boys and I submitted, "Lord, help NOW!" prayers. Conflict-resolution, whether personal or interpersonal, scheduled itself as often as "snack time". We focused on establishing short-term, attainable goals to keep our spirits encouraged. Delightful rewards such as earning new books for three-in-a-row, "All A" days, motivated our students. An occasional, "unscheduled" day off, like the FREE DAY we enjoyed for Mimi and Pop's impromptu visit, beget rejuvenation.

Although the "To Do" list continued on back, we stopped to read and discuss God's word. Our problems minimized when we read about injured, Haitian orphans in "Tent City" expecting the rainy season. Bedtime tickling, costumed impersonations, and family laughter renewed our exhausted spirits. Family nights complete with Mommy's homemade pizza, cozy sleeping bags, and a movie flick provided a fun deviation from the daily grind. Genuine thankfulness for God's many blessings in our lives and essential breathing strengthened us to to persevere through May Madness to another victorious end!

Successful completion of 2010 invites a celebration. Simply stopping to catch our breath and recount our blessings for this year’s victory remind us of May Madness’ confident conquest: 

1) Improved fundamental ball play and hitting a few “slobber knockers” characterized spring baseball for our “big boys”.
2) Straight, 5th and 2nd grade A’s, plus each a noteworthy book review of The Screwtape Letters and Left Behind (for Kids) Book 1, respectively, were penned with excellence.
3) Our two-year old fully graduated to “big boy underwear” day and night.
4) Our one-year old learned to walk, talk, and climb!
5) Home renovations near an end and save valuable time with reduced maintenance.
6) Discipleship and ministry opportunities hone Mommy’s God-given talents, challenging new growth.
7) Financial management opportunities broaden Daddy and further utilize His God-gifted skill set to bless others.
8) Closer brotherly love between family members becomes more increasingly evident.
9) Fun, family memories unite our hearts, keeping an adhesive bond of unity between us.
10) Several, specific answered prayers strengthen our faith, renew our hope, and motivate us to become more Maker-like.

Ten-fold blessings from the Lord crown the Cochran family for victoriously marching through May’s madness. A “one to grow on” blessing announced itself last week. God knits our “fifth and final Lee Cochran” in Mommy’s womb, due February 2011. Rejoice in victory!

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