I am, I ought, I can, I will.

This is a statement I have learned over the last couple of years through our schooling life and reading of Charlotte Mason.  This is her motto that applies in all education realms… from toddlers to the aged. We are all in a stage of learning for it truly is a lifelong experience that we are blessed to have as persons created by God.  So what does she mean?  Below is her explanation.

I am . . . a child of God, a gift to my parents and my country. I’m a person of great value because God made me.

I can . . . do all things through Christ who strengthens me. God has made me able to do everything required of me.

I ought . . . to do my duty to obey God, to submit to my parents and everyone in authority over me, to be of service to others, and to keep myself healthy with proper food and rest so my body is ready to serve.

I will . . . resolve to keep a watch over my thoughts and choose what’s right even if it’s not what I want.

I am in complete agreement with all of these statements and we as a family our doing our best to implement this philosophy into our lives… BUT, I must admit, that the most difficult (as I’m sure many would agree) is that last one “I will.” For it is usually easy to know that we are, that we should and that we can do whatever it may be we know we ought… it is the will that causes such struggle within ourselves and sadly shows easily to our children when it is even obvious to them what we (as parents, adults, etc) ought to do. Ought to do with what you may ask? Our time, our money, our gifts, our lives… the list is endless and can be changed moment by moment in whatever situation we face throughout our day (i.e. the 3 year old just threw a fit on the floor and is trying to hit me… what ought I do and will I do it?).

This brings me to a place of recognizing my need for God, for I am weak in my will so often. I take heart in Paul’s words:

…but He [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I pray for Christ’s strength to do as I ought and power to say with joy, “I will.”

4 Responses to I am, I ought, I can, I will.

  • ianr says:

    I know that I ought to finish up and get to bed early, so that I can get up early and spend time with God, but will I?

  • Tava Sofsky says:

    Carolyn, I am loving reading your blog updates. I am doing my own research on homeschooling (in case that is what the Lord leads us to do) and I went to your blog site to get the link for C. Mason- and found your wonderful recent updates. I feel like I’m just right there beside you, hearing your thoughts, your words, your concerns and your joy. Keep it up girlfriend. I love you, Tave

  • carolyn says:

    Thank you Tava! I appreciate your words and I am blessed to be able to share all that God is teaching me right now… If you ever want to discuss Homeschool questions or ideas, please feel free to call me or email me… I miss you dear friend!


  • greta says:

    Great post! That scripture is typed out and in front of me in 2 different places in my home….I need Him every day for His presence but also in order to display Him through me!!! :)

    Your mom did an awesome devotion today at MOPS using her Green Bible…..I told her I read your blog and read all about it. :)