Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making a Hard Decision: the road to ending our homeschool journey

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(Cayden, being completely honest with her situation during Monopoly)
On the other side this big decision I realize that pulling back from the normal for a bit helped me to realize that change was needed.  Drastic change.  That long Christmas break we took from school provided some clarity that I would not have had otherwise.
This school thing has helped me to sort out how to make a tough call, and how to determine if a big change is needed.
The first step for me was taking a break from the situation.
Sometimes when we’re making big deal decisions we have to pull back from the situation we are in.  Taking a break is vital.  It’s like backing way up to get a better view of a landscape, up close you can get lost in the details, but from a distance you can see the whole thing.  I needed distance on this one. 
Bathe the process in prayer.
And in the process we prayed.  Lots.  And cried lots too.  That’s part of dealing with emotions isn’t it?  Someone mentioned to me somewhere along the way that you cannot base decisions on how you feel, or you can’t let emotions guide you. But I don’t really know if that’s always the case.  I think God gives us emotions for a reason, and often they serve as an indicator of what’s going on in our lives.  My constant feelings of dread concerning school, feeling overwhelmed by school, feeling unable to emotionally attach to anything (especially my kids) all provided some clues that something needed to change.  For me the tipping point was someone at church asking me if I could help her one afternoon with a decorating project.  She was asking for a couple of hours.  And her request left me in tears, so I had to ask myself why.  And that slowly led to me realizing that this wasn’t a case of simply toughing it out, or bucking up and wearing big girl panties to get through the day.  I firmly believe that God’s spirit placed those feelings in me to indicate that a change was needed.  I don’t understand all the whys of that need for change but I do trust God’s sovereignty and leading.  I could only come to realize all of that through prayer.  My connection to God was a life line through all this.  So was my other rock, my husband.
Get an outside opinion.
My husband was vital in this, and he loved me enough to fire me.  Yes, he fired me from the job of teacher because he knew that something wasn’t working in our house.  That something was me, his wife.  I hate to use that old standby, “If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”  But there’s truth in that, I think it applies to fathers as well.  I’ve been a red hot mess, and that was affecting my family.  He lovingly and graciously helped me to see that continuing in this path was really unhealthy for us, our marriage, our household, our family.  So I took his advice.  It wasn’t easy, but it was sound and godly and right.  I trust his opinion because I know he hears from God. 
Walk in peace.
And in the end, we made our decision and now we get to walk in freedom because we know God is in it.  At this point I will look the other way when people look at me, shocked that I would do something so terrible as enroll our kids in public school.  (Really and yes, that has happened.)  I will go back to the fact that I know God has made his path clear to us and at the end of the day, I trust him.  I won’t lie and say this is easy as can be, it’s hard and I’ve got mixed up feelings about it.  But over it all, I’m trusting and confident and at peace.  And I think that’s the biggest indication that the decision was the right one, I have peace.  I’ve not had peace concerning homeschooling in a very long time. 
It’s been a journey and a process.  I’m grateful for it because it’s helped me relearn how to hear from God.  And at the beginning of a season of restoration I’m anxious to see what else he is up to.  I’m eager to get back in touch with God, with my husband, and with my kids.  I’m excited to be able to have time to connect with friends.  I’m looking forward to wearing only the mom hat around here.  I think it’ll fit me really well.

9 comments:

  1. Gina, all I can say is ... walk in what God is showing you for today. Take it one year at a time even. I can so relate to all that you're feeling because I have been there myself. I homeschooled my boys for a couple of years and had great hopes for all the we would accomplish together, the better education I felt they would receive, etc. It was hard to let all of that go when the decision was made to put them in public school. But we prayed about it a lot and felt the "ok" and honestly, things have been fine. I do get to wear just the mom hat and it has taken a lot of pressure and stress off of me. And someone told me that I needed to trust God with my children because He loves them more than I do and would provide them with the strength and covering that they needed. They are definitely forced to "grow up" a lot faster than I would personally like for them to being in public school - it definitely has not been a "perfect" experience, but God has been faithful and my boys have learned some really important life lessons through it too. Like being a leader and not following the herd, showing respect and kindness to others even when you're dealing with a difficult person, having to be responsible for turning in homework and studying for tests, etc. God knows where you're at and what you can handle right now - do not feel guilty for "giving in" to public school. You are not a failure for switching gears. God is just up to something new.

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    1. I know Kristen, it's a matter of trust. God wants what is best for my kids even more than I do, and there's probably not a perfect schooling situation out there. The bottom line is that if it's what God wants then it will work, he'll provide the covering they need and the wisdom we need as parents. I sure don't feel guilty at all, though I did at first. I know they're in a good place, and others will think whatever they like. It's our family and therefore our decision. I'm excited for the new that God is doing in our family.

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  2. May the Lord bless you. May He cause His face to shine upon you and give you rest!

    Get excited about how the Lord is going to use your children to further His Kingdom in and through some great relationships and opportunities.

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    1. Thank you Camilla! I'm excited for how God will use us and our kids...it will be a good season for sure!

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  3. you've got to go with that peace! this home schooling mom 100% supports you. i'm sorry for some of the responses you have gotten from others (been there). that peace from God is what should lead your family. never winning the approval of men! God obviously wants your kids in traditional school now. He WILL go before them, beside them, behind them. He has this far, and He WILL ABSOLUTELY continue. my prayer is that you ALL see Him in this new phase of your journeys! see him clearly at work, leading, teaching, being glorified, providing, growing, shaping & molding, and that that gives you continued peace. i also pray that you have grace for yourself. this mom gig is hard! no beating your self up over woulda-shoulda-coulda's (i should take my own advice), just living in grace that God in his generosity allowed you to be with your children home schooling for a time and in his mercy and plan has moved them on to traditional school.
    i'm excited for you all!

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    1. thanks so much Denise! I love and appreciate your prayers and your mother's heart....I know already that we have seen God going before us...it's going to be good!

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  4. I have been where you are, and when it is time for a change, it is time. My children adjusted well, my son had excellent grades, and did so well, even through college. You are blessed to have such a supportive husband. Looking forward to hearing more about your journey.
    Jackie

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    1. Thank you Jackie! Your comment is an encouragement, I'm glad to know of others who've made that transition and done well. It's a huge step, but also exciting!

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  5. Wow.. that is a big move, Gina. But, so good that you made your decision prayerfully. That gives peace knowing that God has big plans for you and your kids.

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