Have you ever had one of those beautifully serendipitous moments, when the very thing you needed was right there, in your pocket?
Like, it’s so funny you need nail clippers in the middle of this hike! I saw some in the living room and stuck them in my pocket but forgot to put them back in the bathroom – so here they are!
Or, I put an extra hair tie around my wrist this morning and I have no idea why! Yes, girlfriend with your hair blowing in the wind, this thing is all yours!
I recently had one of those moments, but it took me a while to realize just how big the serendipity of it all really was.
Back in 2015, we’d been homeschooling for a couple of years and decided to join a Classical Conversations community. I was drawn to the philosophy behind a Classical approach to education, to the focus on memorization that incorporated different types of learning, and to the Christ-cenetered heart of the program. One thing I found especially fascinating was the concept of “training the brain to retain” information – and how starting this at an early age can set a child up for a lifetime of success in learning.
A huge component (and my favorite part) of our participation in Classical Conversations is the memory work – helping our children memorize a wide variety of facts, passages, and definitions across several disciplines like Math, Latin, English, Science, and History.
Through songs and chants and practice and hard work, we’re building a strong foundation upon which to hang the pegs of higher education together later on.
So when we came home from the hospital with Blake, and the dust settled, and we began to take inventory of where we were, what we were doing, and what we needed to do, a few things became obvious:
- Blake would need the special attention of an individualized tutor, especially in the early days, to help him overcome his visual field neglect.
- Blake would need special attention to identify appropriate schoolwork that was tailored to his situation as a child recovering from a brain injury. Maybe he’d be able to do 3rd Grade Math again right away… or maybe not. Maybe he’d need extra time to ease back into schoolwork.
- As he struggled with very significant short term memory loss in the early days of his recovery, Blake would need additional help to train his brain to retain information. He would need help to remember.
I’m sure you’re immediately seeing what it took me weeks – maybe months – to rightly identify. We were bringing Blake home into the perfect situation for him to recover from his brain injury. I was already his personalized tutor. I was already very well acquainted with what he had been capable of before, what we could work towards again. I could take the time to assess Blake’s ability with each lesson, to tailor each lesson to his attention span and memory abilities.
And four years before this brain injury took place, we’d begun a journey of training Blake’s brain to retain information.
From a severe and significant injury, to him thriving as we jump into a new school year, I marvel at it now, wondering: is part of the reason he’s doing so well the fact that we were training his brain before this ever happened? Was all this brain training part of the reason that when he miraculously woke up from that coma, just a few days into rehab he could remember these extended passages, recite countless facts and count in Spanish?
Now I simply marvel that it took me so long to see it. And I wonder: what else am I missing?
If God says, “You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart,” I think that’s an invitation to take Him at His word.
I think we can see Him because there are nail clippers in our pocket or there’s a hair tie on our wrists. I also think we can see Him in red lights and flat tires, it usually just takes a little bit more seeking for us to recognize His hand in the circumstances we don’t like.
This week I saw him in the eyes of a nine-year-old who came out of the hospital eleven months ago asking the same question on repeat every thirty seconds, who’s now memorizing the names and locations of the states and capitols with very little effort.
One of the most beautiful things about finding God’s fingerprints in the details of your life is that it’ll give you a sense of peace that He knows and He’s there – but also? It’ll make you thirsty to keep right on looking for Him, and you’ll find Him even more.
So let’s seek Him in the small things today, friends. Perhaps it’ll train our brains to remember to look for Him, and find Him, in the big things, too.
A few weeks ago I shared that following me on Instagram, liking/sharing on Facebook, subscribing to my emails and sharing them with friends are ways of supporting me as a writer who is WEEKS away from pitching a book proposal.
I’m excited to say that big day has come and I’ll be sending out a proposal this afternoon! Thank you so much for your encouragement and support! Publishers look at numbers and care about engaged audiences, so these small actions truly are a gift to me! I continue to pray these words will find you at the right moment and bless your heart. xoxo, Caroline