This weekend, I was walking on a path through the woods to our greenhouse. I walk this path at least once every day. The ground is slightly inclined, the foliage is natural, and on this particular morning, everything was pretty wet. As I walked, I was looking at the ground to make sure that I didn’t slip when I was clotheslined by a low hanging branch.

The next day, in an effort not to miss what could attack me from above, I stumbled over a vine that caught the toe of my sandal. I had to laugh because it seemed like the woods were suddenly personified into figures that were out to get me!

Later, as I sat pruning my vegetables, I thought about slipping on the path. I meditated on which things are most likely to trip me up:

  • Things I don’t see
  • Trying to avoid things that have tripped me up in the past
  • Familiar things that I assume I know
  • Abnormal conditions
  • Lack of prudence or care

I thought on how this might apply to our family holistically—to our heath, our happiness, and our homeschool.

  • Listening to others’ observations helps me see things I can’t see. My homeschool support group is a vital part of my homeschool journey because these parents are my friends, colleagues, and peers. We are on the same path—even if only a step or two removed from one another.
  • Comparison is a thief of joy. I have to remind myself that every day is an opportunity to look forward.
  • Assuming that I know everything is an issue of pride. As a teacher, I must remember to always be teachable!
  • We can’t plan for every possible hiccup, but we can usually sense when things are a little off. It’s okay to take a teacher workday, gauge where we’re at, and set a new course.
  • The Thrive! Conference is, without a doubt, consistently the place where I go to take care of myself as an educator. Every time I leave the conference, my confidence in my calling is renewed. The conference is when I am recharged. It’s where I am refreshed. It’s how I am encouraged that we can homeschool through the next phase.

I didn’t stop gardening because I tripped. I didn’t declare gardening was no longer a good fit for me. I laughed and realized that I am glad I wasn’t hurt, it’s probably going to happen again, and walking the path each day is worth it— because this is the path that leads to something really good! When we stumble, we stay the path because it leads to what we value.