Monday, August 22, 2011
I decided to share the story of our homeschooling journey - you know, how I got to this point - actually blogging about it. Not because I wanted to bore you with the story of my life, but because I believe that our testimony is not a testimony until we share it with someone else. It is my prayer that, as I open the windows to my family, someone will somehow be encouraged or inspired to either start their journey, resume their journey or continue their journey. That journey doesn't have to be homeschooling; it's whatever God has called you to do or be.
Our homeschooling journey began 5 years ago when my sons were entering the 4th and 2nd grades. I had become frustrated with their public school experience as a whole (even though they had some great teachers and experiences that they will never forget) and the Lord had begun to convict my heart about taking more responsibility for the training of our children.
Slightly intimidated by the call, long story short (this part of the story anyway), I prayed about it and proceeded forth. Three weeks after I made one of the most important decisions of my life, I became extremely overwhelmed! Yes, it had only been three weeks and I hadn't even gotten started! In fact, the kids still had about 9 more weeks before they'd be out of school!
What happened, you say? Well, I found out that I was pregnant (with my now 4 year old daughter)and immediately thought, "Lord, HOW am I going to do THIS?!" Start homeschooling AND have a baby (my son would be 8 by the time the baby was born and I would be 37 - that's 3 years from 40 people!)? I wondered if maybe my "timing" was off, but nevertheless, I took hold of my FAITH, upheld my commitment and proceeded forth. I am so glad I did!
Things always work out for good, when they are purposed for God and I'll tell you why. I'll try to keep it short without baffling you in by briefness. My pregnancy was challenging in the beginning and it was nice to have the flexibility of homeschooling, especially after the baby was born - no need to drag the baby to the drop-off/pick-up line at the school - Now THAT'S a blessing - taking a newborn baby in and out of an elementary school isn't my idea of giving kids a head start.
As if a challenging pregnancy weren't enough, during my pregnancy, my mom (my BFF and poster child for FAITH) began to have some health challenges and when my daughter was only 3 months old, she suddenly (as in had a massive heart attack in our kitchen) went home to be with the Lord. Did I mention that I was homeschooling at the time?
It was homeschooling that enabled us the opportunity to deal with our loss without the added pressure of having to "get it together," because the kids had to go to school. It was homeschooling that allowed my kids to have even more quality time with their Granny during what would be her last year with us (in the flesh, that is). It was homeschooling that allowed my mom to actively participate in their education (she enjoyed the fun stuff we did). It was homeschooling that allowed our family to grieve without guidelines (you know you can only miss so many days of school when you lose a loved one); we were able to take some time and digest it all (I think we're still digesting it all). It was homeschooling that allowed me to see that even in the middle of great sorrow, God's grace really is sufficient.
I'm sure that you can see how God has extended His grace on our family and wrapped us in His loving care. I didn't even bother to mention that my daughter was diagnosed with a (curable, In Jesus' name) heart condition, when she was only 2 months old, which we're still believing God for a healing - all in the midst of homeschooling!
Our journey continued and a year after my mom's passing, we relocated out of state. And again...homeschooling made the transition a whole lot easier! It's so nice to be obedient to God, even when we don't quite understand the call and even when "life" (or death) happens. When we're obedient, we can rest assured that His promises for our lives will be fulfilled.
It has taken me 5 years to TOTALLY embrace the freedom that comes with homeschooling. Freedom from being locked in a box - my Thinking, my Actions, my Spirit and ultimately my Kids! Being in that box was making motherhood (AND marriage) a TASK that at times I didn't think I could handle. Heck, some days I didn't even WANT to tackle the task, because it had become just that, a TASK!
My brain (and spirit) was becoming blocked in a box - limited by past experiences (how I was raised, educated, relationships, etc.); what I've heard (people's opinions and observations); and what I was feeling (overwhelmed, frustrated, discouraged, etc.). I needed to break out of that "box," so that God could build me into the woman that He created me to be, which is an ongoing process.
I had to be reminded that in order for me to successfully walk in purpose, it was going to take Bold, Outrageous FAITH! It has NOTHING to do with what I know (or think I know), how I feel or what I see, but EVERYTHING to do with what I believe.
I now realize (even more) that homeschooling is not just about training and educating our children. It's about preparing and positioning our family (as a unit)for purpose, which ultimately brings honor and glory to God. I like to think of our journey as Family-Schooling. We're all learning; We're all growing. All to the glory of God!
My dear Friend in FAITH, embrace YOUR journey! There may be detours, road blocks and bumpy roads along the way, but stay the course! Stay focused on your destination, knowing that God is with you every step of the way!