The Beauty and the Pain

September 15, 2016


People are so annoying…and I try to be thankful for that. No really.

This past summer I was asked to speak at a number of home schooling conferences for Classical Conversations. The theme was easy to get excited about, history,  and it was an opportunity to serve a community that has made our home school journey productive and praiseworthy. On the very last day of this three day conference, we spoke about the advantages of homeschooling in community.

To really discuss what “in community” means, we had to define our term. Community, in this circumstance, had a number of meanings: our community in which we live, our community in which we worship and our community in which we learn – in our case Classical Conversations weekly home school community day.

Moms tend to connect pretty quickly in situations where there are shared interests or goals, so our discussions was lively. We shared the joys of seeing our kids interact, of how our kids brought their love of God into every day. We also discussed why we chose to homeschool in a community – and I brought up the beauty that can be found in the pain of community.

“Here’s the thing, people are annoying.”

I know you’re probably thinking “beauty and pain” – what the what? Here’s the thing, people are annoying. We all have rough spots and edges. Inevitably, these quirks will poke and chafe those around us. And oh, how the beauty abounds when we allow and encourage ourselves to love others when they are most unlovable. What a gift we offer our children, and ourselves, when we model the grace of forgiveness and patience. As parents, I think we ask this of our children and encourage this behavior, but the very best way they can learn is to see it demonstrated. Not to mention, this is how we should be living as Christians.

“A present wrapped in a Savior tied bow.”

Loving the beauty that is found in pain, supporting each other along our mutual path, its a gift – a present wrapped in a Savior tied bow. We are so lucky for the opportunity to love those rough, scratchy, irritating, down-right annoying people and moments.  And never forget, truth time, each of us is someone else’s annoying person and we need the loving, too.

Day three was my favorite at all the conferences. Every time, there were tears. Tears of pain. Tears of joy. Burdens where shared. Prayers were given. It was lovely and exhausting and joyful and heart rending. We had our own moments of beauty in pain and I was and am so fortunate to have been there for every tear and prayer. We shared a delicious taste of the sweet and savory of life.


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