Spaces to Think No. 4

fresh water clam
Freshwater Mollu found in nearby creek yesterday!

For our Spaces to Think post, I am sharing a quote from Volume 1 that I have been pondering time and again this week.

For my children, yes, but even more for myself. I hope you find it helpful too!

Do not let the children [or mother!] pass a day without distinct efforts, intellectual, moral, volitional; let them brace themselves to understand; let them compel themselves to do and to bear; and let them do right at the sacrifice of ease and pleasure…

(Volume 1 page 22)

This quote has come to mind for various reasons since I read it with my Charlotte Mason Reading Group a few weeks ago.

When I fall into bed exhausted wondering how long I have until my baby wakes for her next feeding, I am challenged to read for even a few minutes before I sleep…

happy baby
Don’t Let Her Cuteness Fool You! (Sorry for the fuzzy picture, she wouldn’t stay still and giggle at the same time!!)

And when I close the book and spend time in prayer examining my day, I wonder what  moral efforts I have taken on….

And throughout my day, I often see how closely related my moral effort and my volitional effort are. This great duty we have because “Ye are not your own” as Mason reminds us so often, is to Will to do the next right thing.

Whether that next right thing is to do

The dishes, yet again.

Or laundry, yet again.

Or referee a squabble, yet again.

Or a dictation lesson, yet again.

And when “the next right thing” is unclear or seems too difficult. I ask how has our life gone off the rails of good habits? As Mason writes, “the man who can make himself do what he wills has the world before him” and it is also true that “the effort of decision is the greatest effort of life.”(Volume 3 page 20).

And so, I must “brace to understand” myself, my children, our habits, our strengths and weaknesses.

I am called this day “to do and to bear” and there is much to do and to bear!

To read the rest of the Spaces to Think series, go here.






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