Okay, so I didn't chronicle my year here. The days were long, tiring and beautiful. I think it may be in my reflection period that I am able to process and write more. The writing just didn't come in the midst of it all. I am approaching my last week at Ambleside, and I think that I have figured out the main reason why God put me here this year.
If I hold above all else only one thing, it would be this:
Logically, I know many things about how to live life well. But, until those lessons cross over from my left brained, logical side into my right brained, heartfelt side, I will never live well. My dreams will remain dreams until my heart has been trained.
So, how do I train the heart? The heart is trained through a sense of wonder and awe at the Glory of God all around. And cultivating this sense of wonder happens in many ways. The primary ways that I've found are through music (mainly hymns and beautiful instrumental music), stories that inspire noble ideas (yes, this includes the Bible), and nature study. These avenues train our hearts to understand what is good, true and beautiful. When the life gets sucked out of your home, SING. When you are struggling to teach a child noble behavior, READ an inspirational story. When you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed with the noise and chaos, go OUTSIDE, stare at a plant, and marvel at the perfection of His creation. Keep a nature journal, plant a garden, read beautiful stories and sing through it all.
I write these lessons today, not because I have mastered any of them, but to document them for my own weak self. These are the keys to the life He desires for my home. And, a heart that has been trained to seek His glory will be a heart more sensitive to his leading - more compassionate, more hospitable, more generous, more Christlike...
This year has been a gift to me. The hope of Charlotte Mason has found a footing in my heart, because I care more, the room that I find myself in is wide, and my life feels full, indeed.
All glory be to the Father.
"The question is not, -- how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education -- but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?" - Charlotte Mason