Whether you’re just starting your journey at Cornerstone or almost near the finish line, it’s important to always remember the why that brought you here. Today, The Delaney family reminds us that this model of school is about so much more than education, and even on difficult days, it is worth it!
I've still got joy in chaos
I've got peace that makes no sense
I won't be going under
I'm not held by my own strength…
This is my internal soundtrack to our current season. This song, ‘Firm Foundation’, has been ruminating in my heart since our new school year began in August. You see, at times our house can feel very chaotic…busy. Ha! I need A-L-L the grace.
My husband Billy and I live in Marietta with our four children ranging in age from 2 to 12. Our children have attended Cornerstone off and on since 2016. Elijah is currently in 7th grade, Lucy Mae in 4th, Samuel in 1st, and a very clever and adored 2-year-old called Leo completes our crew. Billy is a detective with the City of Sandy Springs Police Department and along with being home with my littles, I run a freelance creative business called Hello Delaney. I am originally from Toronto, Ontario (Canada).
We are so thankful to have found Cornerstone, I have often said, “I feel like we get the best of both worlds - the benefits of public school (sports, classroom environment, academics) and the benefits of at-home days (flexibility, more parental involvement, more quality time)”. This school truly is a unicorn. From the community to the schedule, the Biblical worldview and emphasis on character, the extra time with our children, the amazing teachers and staff, did I mention the community?!
Our international friends remind us regularly how lucky we are to have this school as an option for our family. And I remind them that this model of schooling is not without its challenges, just like parenting is not for the faint of heart.
Of course, there are days when everything goes as planned. Then there are days (more than I would like to count) where I am juggling Superkids, 4th-grade math, a toddler that is climbing onto my fireplace mantel, and multi-million-dollar capital campaigns for non-profits.
I have had to practice continually leaning into Jesus as the truth is, in my own strength it’s just not possible to juggle my plates successfully. I am reminded daily of my need for Him, His wisdom, His patience, and His perspective. This year there are two things that have helped me on those long and hard school days, the ones where I want to throw in the towel and daydream about full-time school (I know I am not alone).
Remembering the why.
When I am struggling to get school finished and my kids are not staying on task. In fact, they appear to be competing to see how far one can lean back on a chair without falling. They need a snack, a drink, a rough house, more snacks, and they want to do everything except what they are supposed to be doing. In these moments I can feel the discouragement and frustration trying to set in. Whilst trying to manage my own feelings and reactions I take a moment with the Father and remind myself that this model of schooling is about so much more than education. It is about relationships. Our relationship with God, our relationship with our kids, their relationships with each other, and their relationships with the community around them. It’s about heart health and building a firm foundation in Jesus that my kids can stand on when the world around them is shaking.
This model of schooling is about so much more than education. It is about relationships. Our relationship with God, our relationship with our kids, their relationships with each other, and their relationships with the community around them.
It’s about staying connected to one another. Sure, there is a lot of apologizing and forgiving that must be done on any given school day, but we are establishing who we are as a family and what we value. Remembering why we have chosen this method fills me with the grace I need to keep going!
Heart connection before everything else.
This is one of our core values, and it has been crucial to our success this year. Being both teacher and parent to our kids can push all of our buttons. Waiting for your child to complete a two-minute task while they drag it out for a solid two hours can be excruciating. Frantically looking for uniform pieces while you are late running out the door, is also a rough way to start the day. It’s easy to lose our patience on the at-home days, after all, life is very busy. Over the years we have learned (sometimes the hard way) that the best teaching, discipling, and correcting happens after our children feel connected to us on a heart level and not before. Although it can feel challenging and time-consuming, pausing to connect with our children in a meaningful way helps everything else flow more smoothly. Especially in those moments when it is the last thing we want to do. Asking God for His perspective fills us with compassion and in turn, produces better listening and therefore better learning.
My prayer for you today is that you would know how deeply God loves your family. That you would find rest in knowing that his strength is made perfect in our weakness. I pray that you would be reminded of why you have chosen this model of schooling and be found by the grace of God in every challenge you face. I pray you would know that the time and effort you are investing now will reap an eternal reward. It is definitely worth it!
We enjoyed seeing so many of you at the Annual Parent’s Meeting last night. We were so encouraged when Mrs. Robbins reminded us that although partnering in your students' education to provide them with a biblical worldview can be challenging, it's worth it. Click here for the poem Mrs. Robbins shared last night.