Monday, 6 August 2012

We can't always control our circumstances, but we can control our thoughts

photo source

The last four weeks have been very challenging. The transition between homeschool to regular school has not gone as smoothly as I envisioned. I have had to concentrate very hard on encouraging my boys on the one thing that you can control when you cannot control the circumstances around you - your thoughts.

Sometimes after putting the boys to bed over the last few weeks, one of them would wander down stairs and say, "I can't sleep." After probing to see if we could pinpoint the problem why the child couldn't sleep, I would find out that it is because they have something on their mind.

Everytime this happens, I remind the boys that they need to take those bad thoughts in their mind and put them in a cage.
We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. {2 Cor10:5}
I ask the boys to close their eyes and visualize those bad thoughts in their mind. Then I ask them to imagine that they are putting all those bad thoughts in a cage, that they have the key to unlock, and lock them in.

Next I tell them to
 fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. {Phil 4:8}
After having the boys do this exercise, they wander off to bed and have no trouble falling asleep.
I love that they are learning to control their thoughts at such a young age. I am still learning to master this skill!

photo source

Most days are a struggle to get the boys to school because they simply do not want to go. Most mornings there are tears and tantrums. 

We have been talking a lot in our home about choosing to have a good or a bad day. 
We have been talking about when something happens in your day that is bad, you have a chose to whether or not you let it ruin your day.
We have been talking about how there are chapters in our lives that we won't like, but that's not the end of our story - it's only part of the story.

A book that had a big impact on me last year was Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. 
"One Thousand Gifts is a celebration of grace and a recognition of the power of gratitude."

I have been able to use what I have learned from this book about gratitude and see just how powerful it is in my own life. This month, we have revisited the message of this book that is giving thanks in ALL circumstances. When the boys complain to me about school, I challenge them to find things that they can be grateful for about going to school. 

After thinking that all my words had fallen on deaf ears, one of the boys returned home on Friday with a big grin on his face. He was so excited to tell me. "Mum, I looked for the good about today and the day went so much faster and didn't drag on like other days!" I was so delighted that he had learned the power of being thankful. 

I am not convinced that our homeschooling season is over. My husband and I both agree that sending the boys to school has been more stressful for our family as a whole, than when I was homeschooling them. The boys understand that they need to remain at school until physically I am able to cope with the demands of homeschooling. But whether or not we return to homeschooling or continue to send them to school, I know that the boys and I are learning valuable lessons in this chapter of our life. The most important one being: 

 You may not be able to control circumstances around you, but you can control your thoughts.

Still taking lessons from the King,


  1. Following you into this valley and wishing you could feel my holding your hand and praying for ya. You have excellent advice and yes, they are learning so much. I suppose you all are learning so much.
    Would a nanny or a tutor be an option?

    1. Thanks Pam. I love that you are journeying with me. xo
      Hubby and I are looking at all options. Stay Tuned!

  2. Your boys are going to become such strong men.
    Hugs xx

  3. Wow! You are an amazing mama. I so appreciate your honesty, and the snippets of examples I can use to mother my own children! xxx


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Jo Princess Warrior xo