The Art of Keeping

The Art of Keeping

As we focus on SCHOLE this month, it is beneficial to look at the various aspects of schole to discover, or be reminded of, their significance and their importance to a well nourished mind. 

The sChole in schole is for Commonplace and Keeping, and this "keeping" is an art that mothers can develop in no matter their natural propensities or preferences.

 So, what is it and why SHOULD each mother adopt it as an art, a habit, and a way of life? 

What is Keeping? 

My definition for Keeping is: 

The act and art of pausing all that one is DOING, in order to contribute to whom one is BECOMING, through the pausing and pondering of all that has been gained, taking possession of knowledge and ideas. 

Practically speaking, this means that we stop in the middle of our restful learning in order to make the ideas we are encountering there our own by the keeping of various notebooks. 

When we read, study, and create (all good things that we should do), we are DOING. We are engaging with ideas, but we aren't actually taking possession of them.

When I first began understanding schole, I thought that copying out quotes from books was a colossal waste of time. It was after forming a habit of doing so that I realized that I had never actually OWNED the ideas from the hundreds of books that I had read before that point. And, if I had never actually OWNED the ideas, I certainly had not been formed and made by those ideas. It was a pivotal moment for me in understanding the difference between encountering something and taking possession of it.  

Reading is interacting and an encounter, but it is not ownership. In a book, we can only pass through the territory of ideas, but they do not become our own by simply reading (especially fast or binge reading). To make ideas our own possession, and a part of our very being, we must keep them in some way. This can be through narration and discussion, but it is most profoundly accomplished through physically keeping a record of them. 

For Keeping, there are a few notebooks that I call the "Big Three", that I believe it is beneficial for every single mom to keep, and absolutely worth her precious time to do so. 

These are the Commonplace Book, the Nature Journal, and the Book of Centuries

(Other types of Keeping that I personally do are: Scripture Writing, Writing Journal, Reading Journal, Theology Binder and Poetry Journal)

A Commonplace Book, simply, is a record of passages from your reading. It isn't a creative journal or diary, but rather a humble keeping of the great ideas of great minds other than your own. 

A Nature Journal is a record of observations of the natural world. It is not an art project or a painting portfolio, but rather a detailed and accurate (but simple!) record of what is observed in nature. 

A Book of Centuries is a record of historical events and lives in each century. It is personal, rather than a pre-fabricated timeline, and it is a record of what and whom impacts you most from history. 

The imperfect, yet faithful, keeping of these notebooks has awakened my mind in a way that I can't quite describe and that I think all description fails unless you've experienced it. I was academic before I began to make schole a way of life, but I wasn't actually a learner.  Facts and ideas are two very different things, and  I became a learner when I learned to take possession of the latter. 

Every mom can be a restful learner, and every mom's mind is in need of the nourishment of ideas. The more that you make ideas your own possession, and the more that you are formed by them, the more that you will find yourself pouring forth those ideas from a place of overflow. 

What kind of Keeping do you do, which is your favorite, and which challenges you most? 

**Be sure to keep an eye out for the February Release of the Delightfully Feasting Keeping Journal, where you will be able to keep your Commonplace, Book of Centuries, and Nature Journal all in one place with simple guidance and lots of flexibility! 

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