Signing Day

Exactly five years ago, Ryan took an oath and joined the United States Army. Around that same time that Ryan was signing away his life for God and country, I felt God nudging me to sign mine over to become my kids’ primary teacher.

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He was asking me to set aside my prejudices about homeschooling, much of my “me time,” and many of my own interests in exchange for a new job as the head-mistress of the Wood Academy of Christian Kids. I won’t say I didn’t go kicking and screaming, but I submitted myself to the task and now here we are about to end our fifth year of learning at home.

The other day I was reflecting about the many ways this school year hasn’t lived up to my expectations and I ran across a blog post from my old, private family blog. It was a post around this time five years ago when I did a trial run of homeschooling on my kids’ spring break from public school and preschool.

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The very fact that I did a “trial run” is both ludicrous and hilarious to me. Oh brother! But what I discovered when I went back to that post and read my words hit me like a backpack full of library books a stack of bricks. It was true in March of 2011 and it is still true today, in March of 2016.

Here’s what I wrote:

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I’ve been asking the kids all week what they think about this homeschooling business. Their replies have varied. I think they enjoy aspects of it. But I know that they also enjoy aspects of real school too.

I am really asking the Lord to show me His will in this area.
I want Him to help me see what my true motivations are for even considering this.

Is this something that I’m doing for what feels best or safest for me?
Or am I motivated by what is truly best for our children?

I know the big answer is, ‘whatever we decide will be fine.’
Our children will do well no matter the schooling option we choose.
No choice is perfect. No choice is without its pros and cons.

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I’ve got all of this curriculum.
I’ll keep plugging away at mapping it out for the kids for next year.
I’ll keep looking into what I can find out about Texas schools.

I’ll keep tossing it all around in my head.
To Ryan.
To my family and friends.
On this blog.

I’ll keep praying.
I’ll keep praying.
Oh, I’ll keep praying.

I told Ryan the other day that you think the “hard part” of parenting is when your children are newborns and infants.  Little sleep, exhaustion, feeding issues…the hard work is physically draining.

But I’m learning that parenting is a job that continues to offer challenges with each new stage or age you greet with your kids.

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You don’t want to mess up.
You don’t want to choose the wrong way.
You want what is best for your children.

And sometimes in our choosing, we don’t often see the immediate results.
Sometimes it’s months, years, or even decades down the road when we see the outcome of our choices.

And then it’s too late to go back and choose something else.
Something that may have led to a different end.

So it is here that the Lord gently reminds me of His truth.
He reminds me that these children we have aren’t really ours, but His.
That their lives, their destinies, their futures are in His hands, not mine.
That His predestined, ordered path for their lives is already in place.
That He already knows, ‘even the very number of hairs on [their] head.’ {Matt. 10:30}

He knows who they will become.
He knows how they will turn-out.
He knows their very hearts.

He trusts me (and Ryan) to give them day-to-day care, but ultimately their care is in His hands; not mine. Ultimately their education is in His hands; not mine. 

‘I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.’ {I Samuel 1: 27-28}

Oh the adventures we have had in our five years of homeschooling. I’m grateful for every day, even when those days feel long, and the fruit is hard to spot. I’m grateful for perspective, for provision, and for this needed reminder!

 

 

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