Our first day of school was full of many ups and downs, but most importantly full of God’s awesome grace. We began the day with our tradition of french toast with cookie cutter shapes in the middle then grilled with an egg in the middle. This year Isabel and I worked together to prepare the first day of school breakfast. This is a wonderful benefit of home schooling. It is such a blessing to have my daughter work alongside me even when we are not in the same room. She started the breakfast preparations and I finished it. It is also awesome to see her develop some wonderful homemaking skills. As much as I love to see her academic successes, I am overjoyed to see her embrace the beauty of being a Godly woman. It makes such a difference when we have a good attitude towards the repetitive chores of the household, no matter what age we are. One of my devotionals noted, “how often times we spend more time working on issues of the heart.” These heart issues are character shaping and so important to keep in check, even as moms too. When my attitude is awful, my daughter will mirror what she sees. In our mother daughter relationship, as it is in any relationship, it is crucial to correct those sinful attitudes as quickly as we can otherwise we spend the day and evening full of strife and frustration. By late afternoon, I began feeling tired and frustrated from our first day of school and had not made time for exercise. This is the moment I need to remind myself of the gospel and whisper a prayer asking God to give me a humble and sweet spirit and a spirit of thanksgiving and joy that God has given me a wonderful and unique bond with my daughter. Proverbs 17:14 reminds us, “The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.” and Proverbs 26:21 also illustrates this point, “As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.” As I mentioned in my last post it is so important to keep our sweetness of spirit in all circumstances. It is a great reflection of the gospel when we do. Paul reminds us in Romans 12:18, “if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Although this is not humanly possible all the time we can always seek God’s hand through prayer and meditating on scriptures that produce right thoughts when we are unable to which lead us to right actions. Be encouraged and keep on fighting the good fight of the faith.