I guess you could say I conceded, submitted, committed to homeschooling. Before I made the choice, I wrestled and battled, knowing this was not one simple choice but a lifestyle change. Once the decision was made, I threw myself into it, knowing the great sacrifice it would take to plan, teach, and discipline. I accepted the loss of all the things I had newly gained over the last couple of years when I left the workforce. I even grieved, realizing the path that I am taking would not allow for some of the freedoms and joy I had found.
God is so much bigger than my small-minded ideas.
My lamenting heart had already counted lost my time in Bible studies, prayer group, and discipleship with other women. (All things I had time for while the big boys were in school.) I assumed this new way of life meant these life-giving engagements were simply casualties of this decision. As I tackled a new routine and strained to hold my own with the “firehose of information” that is homeschooling, I felt dejected by the loss of freedom. I don’t remember from what particular gathering or event I was leaving, but I could feel the revelation wash over me in a slow wave. Driving home in my Honda Pilot (I don’t care if I’m a homeschooler- I will fight to not have a minivan) all at once I could see how God was providing for me all those specific things.
I was completely heartbroken to think I could not continue with my Moms In Prayer group. Availability of moms with kids in school is much different than that of homeschool moms. Instead of losing this ministry, God laid it on my heart to start a new group within my homeschool community.
Not only did He fill this need for me, but for several of my new mama friends who were also longing for meaningful, devoted prayer time.
Disappointment weighed heavy in my soul, knowing I could not fit the women’s Thursday morning Bible study I had been spiritually fed by for the last year and a half into my schedule. I had grown to love these women, and I treasured the wise words they poured into me each week. Although it is not the same group or the same study, I now get to learn and grow with some amazing women within my own church.
Besides learning and tackling scripture daily, I am strengthening relationships and bonds in my church family.
Even before the journey had begun, I was exhausted merely thinking about homeschool life. I knew that it would be a worthwhile sacrifice to pour into my children for this season. I figured all my needs, wants, and certainly dreams were pretty much on hold. However, El Roi, The God Who Sees, has opened the door to a whole wide “buffet” of new friendships. We have had park dates and activities- precious time for me to get to know the hearts of other mamas who love the Lord.
He has provided friendships for me I didn’t know I needed!
Because of the pandemic, Stefan is working from home everyday. Although I am the one educating the boys, I know he is only a few feet away in the other room if I need him. Loneliness or feeling abandoned isn’t an issue because he is right there with me. I never thought I would homeschool. For a long time, it appeared I would never get to be home with my boys full time. I ached, yearned for more time with them. He is not only faithful, but He knows better than I do what is best for my family.
He knew that I would never make the decision to homeschool, so He used a terrible situation like a global pandemic to soften my heart to the idea.
Because I am with them everyday and teaching them, I can see how God is growing each of my boys in character, knowledge, and faith. As my dear friend Jenn Scott pointed out to me before I ever started homeschooling, the kids are like holy sandpaper: refining me and exposing all my shortcomings. The areas of my life where I need growth are quickly laid bare simply by teaching my own children.
My actions, reactions, and daily life choices are constantly on display in front of them.
Things are not perfect. I grapple with my own emotions, need for silence/alone time, impatience, and exhaustion. We are all still adjusting to this new life. Though I may be weary, busy, and some days losing my mind, I see how faithful God is. He knows all the ways I will be tested and depleted, but also all my longings and dreams. He is able and willing to sustain me, to give me joy today in this season.
I don’t have to wait for the next phase of my life to be satisfied. I can have joy now, trusting all He has for me.
Even when my circumstances don’t look the way I expect, I know He has plans for me now, today. I know He will satisfy my heart and fulfill my longings because He is all that I need. I thought I was giving up everything to homeschool, but what I am gaining is invaluable. I have the privilege of a front row seat to their daily growth. And those places I was feeling loss? God, in his grace, has answered every one with something beautiful. Whether this journey is for one year or twelve, I know God can and will use it all for His glory. And when He is glorified, I am fulfilled.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NLT