To the Mom Who Feels Like She’s Failing

POSITION OVER PERFORMANCE-3 2.JPGTo the mom who feels like she’s failing in her newly found role as quarantine crisis homeschooler, please hear me … you are not failing. Because even if the only thing you do well during this time is educate your children’s hearts and shape their emotions, then you have succeeded. 

You didn’t ask for this or seek this. You didn’t choose this model. You are operating under extreme, unprecedented conditions with few resources, limited bandwidth, little emotional energy, and innumerable stresses. Your curriculum is scattered. Your learning targets are ambiguous. You feel ill-equipped and unprepared.

Your kids feel this stress too. Their entire world has been upended. Overnight they found themselves suddenly separated from their classmates and teachers. The routines they’ve known for so long no longer exist. They are confused. Nothing is as it was and no one knows when everything will return to the way we hope it will one day be.

So no, friend … you are not failing. You are simply in the middle of something hard, something unprecedented, something that requires more than you have to give. You feel like you aren’t cut out for this because no one is cut out for this. The solitary quarantine, the screen-time communications, the lack of any real community.

It’s not supposed to be this way.

It’s ok to feel like you don’t have this figured out. No one does. We are all stumbling our way through this, tripping here and there and then brushing ourselves off and trying again. And the best thing we can do for our kids during this time is to let them see us try and fail and try again. Our perseverance will shape their perseverance. Our acceptance of grace will impact their acceptance of grace. The way we cling to hope and seek the good and love without reserve in the midst of these challenging times will influence the same in them.

Copy of Copy of Copy of WIN COCONUT BODY BUTTER & LAVENDER BATH BOMSS!-2

Academically, our kids will rebound from our lack of ability during this time. They are resilient. They will learn quickly; they will catch up. There will not be any gaps in their learning because we didn’t do these few months well. 

Because in reality, math and phonics, literature and art, science and history … it all pales in comparison to the very real, tangible lessons our children are learning in the midst of this crisis. Lessons in conflict resolution and emotional health. Lessons in money management and frugality. Lessons in going without and giving more. Lessons in humble compassion and loving your neighbor. Lessons in appreciating the slow and honoring the sacred. Lessons in peace through faith and reliance on the Solid Rock. These are the lessons that are leaving an indelible impact on our kids. These are the lessons they will remember.

So give yourself some grace. Set aside the computer or the text book or the unrealistic expectations and just love your children through this. A decade from now, when our kids look back and remember this time, they won’t remember whether we failed or succeeded in teaching them fractions and prepositional phrases, they will remember the lessons they experienced around our tables, in our homes, and within our communities.

Aristotle once said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” What we have been given during these days of crisis schooling and this great pause is a gracious opportunity. Yes, we may feel like we are failing during this time to educate our children’s minds, but if we succeed in educating their hearts … then we have succeeded in giving our kids the greatest education we could possibly give.

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave, available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’.

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share!!! Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

You’re Invited to #LightTheGoodNight

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Dear friends, I want to personally invite you, your family, your friends, your churches, your neighborhoods, and your communities to join us for Light the Good Night, an opportunity to pray as one body for an end to Covid-19. 

At 7 pm CST on Good Friday (April 10), we will pray collectively from the safety of our own homes for lives to be spared and this disease to cease. As a symbol of our unified prayers, we will put a candle (or some light source) in our window.

What an encouragement it will be to see the night of Good Friday lit up with candles as a symbol of our collective prayers!

It is my hope that this spreads far and wide and results in thousands upon thousands of people praying in unity, but I can’t do it without you! I need your help in spreading the word! So please join us in sharing this event with your loved ones, your neighborhoods, your churches, and your communities. To share, simply post an invitation to social media and invite others to join you or even print out invitations and drop them mailboxes.

I have included a few shareable graphics for you to choose from in this post. Simply save the images and then share online or print.

If you would like to include a personal note for those not on social media or to hand out to specific people, I’ve included some suggested verbiage you can use to explain the event at the bottom of this post. Feel free to simply copy and paste. If there are other resources you may need, please let me know, and I will do my best to provide those. 

I also want to encourage you to make this event your own. It is not mine … it is simply something the spirit pressed on my heart. So if you have other ideas, please, by all means … run with them! 

I only ask that if you get a chance, please snap a pic and share it to social media with the hashtag #lightthegoodnight so we can all see those who are joining us in unified prayer! 

Are you with me? Let’s #lightthegoodnight and get ready to watch God move! 

* * * 

Sample verbiage for a letter or social media post. Feel free to copy and paste this or edit to make it your own:

Friends, as the threat of Covid-19 continues, I want to invite you to join us in praying for an end to this pandemic. And there’s no better day for unified prayer than Good Friday!

On Friday, April 10 at 7 pm CST, our family will take a moment to pray for an end to Covid-19. Would you join us? It’s easy; simply commit to praying for an end to the virus on this day, and then put a candle (or some kind of light source) in your window as a symbol! What a heartwarming treat it would be to drive around on the night of Good Friday and see the lights in the windows!

Please share with family and friends, and let’s all #lightthegoodnight!


Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave, available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’.

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share!!! Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

 

Heroes in the Fight

To school teachers, administrators, and staff during this Coronavirus crisis, you are some of the unsung heroes in this war, fighting on the front lines of a battle none of us could have ever anticipated. The 100 little sacrifices you make on a daily basis for your students are nothing compared to the sacrifices you are making now.

Nothing could have prepared you for this. But you have risen to the occasion. You have innovated and problem solved and strategized and tele-conferenced. You have supported and guided and directed, even while you are struggling to find some support of your own.

We know you’re tired. We know you’re heartbroken. We’ve talked to some of you. We’ve read your posts. We hear it in your voice and see it in your eyes. This wasn’t how the second semester was supposed to be. This wasn’t how the kindergarteners first year was supposed to be. This wasn’t how the seniors last year was supposed to be. Preschool all the way through college, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be for your students, for your families, for you.

You still have concepts to teach, minds to shape, ideas to form. Some of you have students with hungry bellies to feed, emotional wounds to mend, needs to meet. And now it’s all come to a grinding halt.

But you haven’t let that stop you. In the last week, you have proven that this enemy will not overtake you. In a matter of days, you have risen to the task at hand

It’s an unprecedented, overwhelming task for our schools, but we have no doubt that we will emerge victorious because of you. And in the end, our students and our families will be stronger, more adaptable, more resilient because you were willing to go the extra mile and make the hard sacrifices.

So teachers, administrators, staff … during this time where so much feels unknown, please KNOW THIS: we see you, we appreciate you, and we are so very thankful for you! Take heart, because one day, when history looks back and remembers the heroes in this fight, you will be among them.


Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave, available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’.

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share!!! Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

Love in the Time of Corona

POSITION OVER PERFORMANCE-2Voices ring out across the dark, barren streets of Siena, Italy. They rise and fall in unison, blending like a banner of hope over a scared and shuttered nation. The video documenting the song of quarantined Italians has moved many of us to tears. And there are more. Sicily, Naples, Rome, Salerno, Turin … these cities bear witness to Italians who are taking to their balconies, using song to weave a thread of hope through quarantined communities ravaged by Coronavirus.

It is a strange time, indeed. Across the globe, fear and paranoia permeate the news and social media. We hear it in people’s voices and see it etched across their faces … caution, weariness, frustration, distance. This disease that just a few months ago was virtually unheard of is now disrupting lives across the world. It’s changing families, impacting cultures, destroying economies. For some it’s tearing away a sense of safety and security. For others, it’s tearing away the veil between this life and the next.

It’s natural to be fearful. Sometimes the fear is manageable. Other times, it feels stifling. The questions echo: Will my husband be ok? Will my kids be ok? Will my parents be ok? Will my neighbors be ok? Will our economy be ok? Will our schools be ok? When this virus ebbs and this experience becomes part of our historical fabric … will we be ok?

We can’t answer those questions just yet. This is uncharted territory and so much is unknown. But here’s what I do know … in these days of uncertainty, we have two choices: we can be victims to the fear, or we can be victors over the fear. 

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Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

This passage reveals the way to triumph over fear … and it isn’t what we would expect. Our victory doesn’t come through battle. We don’t fight through fear and emerge victorious. Rather we triumph over fear through submission. We take our fear and we present it to He who calmed the wind and the waves with a word. We crawl to the cross, so close we can feel the jagged wood splintering beneath our touch, and we lay our fear at His nail-scarred feet. We submit it to Him … all our trembling, all our trepidation, all our frightened imaginings and our fearful what-ifs … we lay it all before Him.

And when we let go, when we relinquish our grip on the fear that ensnares us, we find that He picks it up and replaces it with a peace that passes understanding. This is what it means to lay our fears before Jesus … it’s not that we simply lose our fear, but that we find something so much better in return. There is an exchange. There is always an exchange at the cross. Fear for peace. Condemnation for freedom. Death for life. 

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This is good news for us all. And it’s good news for a world that so desperately needs it right now.

So what does that look like in an age of social distancing? How do we take this good news to the fearful and the frightened? How do we express peace when the world feels chaotic?

Pastor Scott Saul put it succinctly when he said: “In a time like now, Christian neighboring looks less like fearful self-preservation and more like servanthood toward the elderly, those with HIV, autoimmune disease, or no healthcare, fatigued and under-resourced healthcare workers, etc. Wash hands, for sure. Then, wash feet.

In other words … heed the experts’ recommendations. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Stay home if you can. But do so while responsibly loving and serving others. Order groceries for a single-parent family. Offer to pick up a prescription for your elderly neighbor. Send cards to the seniors in the nearby nursing home. Ask a stretched-thin healthcare worker how you can support them. Wash hands, then wash feet.

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus told his followers, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I don’t know that we’ve ever needed to let our light shine more than we need to now. These next few weeks and months won’t be easy. We will be stretched. Our resolve will be tested. We will be tempted to fall victim to fear. But we aren’t victims. We are victorious because Jesus is our victor.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

Let us take our fear, lay it fully at the cross, and exchange it for the peace that passes understanding. Then out of the overflow of that peace, let us respond to our communities in love and sacrificial service. Be empathetic. Love your neighbor as yourself. Find safe ways to serve those in need. Offer the hope you have in Christ to others. And pray … pray for the virus to be eliminated, for the sick to be healed, for fear to be shackled, for peace to be loosed, for hearts to be ransomed.

And maybe … like those songs ringing out from Italian balconies in an act of defiance against this disease that we all fear … maybe our good news will ring out louder than the fear that threatens to paralyze us.

Friends, this could be our finest hour. The question remains: victim or victor? What will you choose? I pray we choose victor. I pray we choose to let this be a time when history looks back and remembers not the fear and panic of a pandemic, but rather love in the time of corona.

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Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave.
Available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’.

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share!!! Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!

A Quick-Getaway Guide to Charleston, SC

My husband and I recently returned from a weekend getaway to Charleston, SC celebrating his birthday and our anniversary. We don’t get away often, so we labored over the destination. We wanted somewhere romantic, with good food, pleasant weather, and a slower pace. Charleston fit the bill beautifully.

For anyone who may be considering a quick trip to the Holy City, here’s what we loved.

| STAY |

There are a host of beautiful places to stay in Charleston. We considered Hotel Bella Grace, 86 Cannon, Zero George, and Hotel Bennett, but we ultimately decided on The Dewberry. Situated across from Marion Square, the hotel preserves the architectural integrity of the mid-century building. We chose The Dewberry for a variety of reasons, including complimentary bikes and house cars. The concierge team was the kindest and most capable team of individuals, and the valet was equally as helpful. If you’re looking for a great hotel centrally located in downtown Charleston with people who will make you feel at home, The Dewberry is it!

| EAT | 

HUSK
Read any Charleston dining review, and Husk will likely be on the list. And for good reason …  Husk sources local, heirloom ingredients, and the food is inventive with nuanced flavor. We started brunch with a wood-fired funnel cake topped with preserved strawberries, ricotta, black walnuts, and basil. I followed with an omelette filled with duck confit, while my husband had the French toast. Husk operates inside a historic, late-19th century home and is a stunning property inside and out.

THE OBSTINATE DAUGHTER
We hopped into The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island for lunch. Influenced by French, Italian, and Spanish cuisine, the restaurant has a refined beach vibe, and the food was decadent. We ordered pasta dishes that featured a richness balanced by bright flavors. The wood-fired pizzas looked mouth-watering.

MAISON
We had late-night dinner reservations at Maison on Friday. We started dinner with the spectacular Mussels Bourride with leek fondue and baguette. The fondue was so decadent, I was tempted to lick it right out of the bowl.

THE MACINTOSH
Being kid-free means we could eat a late dinner at The Macintosh, and it ended up being our favorite dinner spot. A farm-to-fork eatery, The Macintosh sources local Lowcountry ingredients from area farms and waterways. We started with the Local Lettuces, followed by Shrimp Tagliatelle for me and the Mac House Ground C.A.B Burger for the hubby.

CALLIE’S HOT LITTLE BISCUITS
Founded with the goal of keeping the Southern biscuit-making tradition alive, Callie’s serves up flaky, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits that practically melt in your mouth. The shop on upper King Street is tiny, and it gets busy fast. We managed to hop into line when it was short, but by the time we left, it snaked out the door. Get your breakfast to go and eat it on a park bench in Marion Square.

One note about dining in Charleston … restaurants book fast! So plan to make your dining reservations one month in advance.

| DO | 

Charleston traces its roots back to 1670. It was named Charles Town in honor of King Charles II, and rich history and time-honored culture abound. Several structures date back to pre-Revolutionary War days. St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, for example was built in 1761. And in 1776, a British fleet carrying 270 guns attacked Colonel William Moultrie’s palmetto fort on Sullivan’s Island. With such a storied history, we were excited to immerse ourselves in the past. 

BIKING
Our favorite thing to do was to experience the city at a slower pace on bikes. We loved meandering Church Street and exploring some of the beautiful, historical neighborhoods. As mentioned above, The Dewberry offers bikes free to guests, but if you choose to stay elsewhere, download the Holy Spokes app for access to bike rentals around the city.

CARRIAGE TOURS
Carriage tours are also a great way to see the city and hear about its storied past. We enjoyed an hour-long tour with Palmetto Carriage Works. Our guide was engaging and informative, sharing a wealth of historical info.

FORT MOULTRIE AND THE OLD EXCHANGE & PROVOST DUNGEONS
If you eat at The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island, plan a quick trip to Fort Moultrie. Erected during the Revolutionary War, it was used in that battle, as well as in the civil war and WWII. It’s a bit of a hike, but you can walk from the restaurant to the fort. History buffs will also enjoy a visit to the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeons (downtown). Built in 1771, this is where the British imprisoned American prisoners of war, where city leaders entertained President George Washington, and where South Carolina leaders ratified the U. S. Constitution.

| SHOP |

King’s Street boasts some of the city’s best shopping, and while we didn’t have time to do much browsing, we did pop into CandleFish. The store has a farmhouse-boho vide and sells beautiful candles, but don’t just stop there. If you have time, take one of their hands-on candle-making classes. A class was in session while we were there, and it looked fun.

| SEE |

On our third day, we headed out to Middleton Place. Built in 1775 and expanded throughout several generations, Middleton Place is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in America. The property features 110 acres and functions as a sort of living history museum. Spanish moss canvasses the trees and Live Oaks estimated to be nearly 1,000 years old dot the property. Had we had more time, we would have also hopped over to Drayton Hall, an original, preserved plantation home. I had also hoped to see the Charleston Tea Plantation, but time did not allow.

| SIP | 

LA PÂTISSERIE
This little gem of a coffee & pastry shop was our favorite place to grab a latte and croissant! Located on the ground floor of The Hotel Bennett, it feels casually Parisian. The staff was kind and the lattes were excellent. 

If you’ve been to Charleston and want to add some ideas, or if you have a question, drop them in the comments. (All images are mine except for hotel images 1, 2 and 4 (clockwise from top left), which are sourced from The Dewberry Instagram feed.)


Like what you see here? Then you’ll love my first-ever children’s book, Bruce the Brave. Available on Amazon! For more like this, connect with me on Facebook or Instagram! To receive more encouraging posts AND get a free printable, enter your e mail in the box to the sidebar at the right. Then just click “I want to Follow F&C!” Be sure to check your inbox for the confirmation and the link to your free printable. You can also follow F&C on BlogLovin’.

All content is ©Faith&Composition by Shalene Roberts, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. If you like F&C content, I’d be tickled pink if you would share!!! Just please include a link to the original post. Thank you!