Do you ever get those timehop/memory reminders that transport you straight back to a moment, flooding you with the same feelings like a wave crashing on the shore?
This morning, as I logged into my Facebook account, I was hit hard by a memory from 2 years ago – a photo of my oldest, all ready to start kindergarten. Take a look at this adorable picture for some context:
As I gaze upon this photo, memories of the entire 8 months leading up to that moment come flooding back. My husband and I had numerous conversations about kindergarten, and I found myself uncertain about what path to take. He thought it was just my emotions acting up, but deep down, I sensed that God was stirring something inside me. You know how He works; He wants us to be patient and wait on Him. Well, that’s exactly what He had in store for me!
For months before my oldest was supposed to start school, I felt sick to my stomach. Emotionally, mentally, and in my heart, I was stirred up, but I couldn’t grasp the reason why.
I explored all the local Christian schools and played through a million scenarios in my head – juggling drive time, daily activities, and caring for my two younger ones. How would it all fit together?
Seeing this photo now, I remember the moment when the reality hit me – I was going to miss having my kid around during the day, and this would be the “new normal” for the next 12 years.
Eventually, we settled on enrolling her in a Catholic school nearby. We had submitted the registration and were about to be charged for the first semester when we received an email from the school.
My stomach sank, and my chest heated up to the point of discomfort. It was a mix of feelings and emotions I had never experienced before. I immediately screenshot the email and forwarded it to my husband, who promptly called me back. We decided that if they insisted on implementing masking for the children, we wouldn’t proceed with registration. I respectfully sent an email expressing our family’s stance against masking, with a clear message – “Do not charge our account on Thursday if this is the schools final decision.”
Earlier that year, God had introduced me to a wonderful lady – a mother of five, deeply devoted to Christ, and possessing the same personality traits as mine. We clicked instantly and became fast friends. Little did I know, God had placed her in my life for this exact moment of uncertainty. Though I can’t recall the exact details, I remember getting on a phone call with her and sharing what had just happened with the school.
To my surprise, as my friend suggested we chat at swim practice (our kids swim together), my heart was filled with trepidation at the mention of homeschooling. You see, I had envisioned myself as the ultimate PTA president, a beloved mom who would actively walk the school halls, eagerly involved in every single one of my children’s activities. The very thought of homeschooling seemed like an upheaval of all those grand plans I had so carefully constructed.
In my mind’s eye, I saw myself cheering from the sidelines at school sports events, organizing and participating in school fundraisers, and bonding with other parents over bake sales and school functions. I had imagined forging deep connections with my children’s teachers and being an integral part of the school community. Homeschooling, on the other hand, felt like a complete departure from the conventional path.
However, as I conversed with my friend about homeschooling, I started to glimpse a new vision – one that challenged my preconceived notions. She shared her experiences, her children’s love for learning, and the unique opportunities they had in their homeschooling journey. She spoke about the flexibility it offered and the chance to customize their curriculum based on each child’s interests and learning style.
At that moment, I began to consider the possibilities that homeschooling could unlock for my own family. Instead of being confined by rigid school schedules and standardized curriculum, we could embark on an adventure where learning was a joyous exploration of the world around us. I imagined engaging discussions around the dining table, reading books together under the shade of a tree in our yard, and witnessing the sparkle of curiosity in my children’s eyes as they discovered new ideas.
As the days went by, I delved deeper into the concept of homeschooling. I researched various approaches, curriculum options, and the experiences of other homeschooling families. The more I learned, the more I felt a stirring in my heart – a growing excitement for the educational possibilities that lay ahead.
I began to realize that homeschooling wasn’t about abandoning my involvement in my children’s lives; it was about embracing a different kind of involvement – one that would allow me to be their primary educator, mentor, and companion on their educational journey. It meant stepping out of my comfort zone and surrendering to God’s plan, trusting that He had a unique path designed for our family.
As my perspective shifted, I envisioned myself not just as a homeschooling mom but as a guide, a nurturer of knowledge, and a facilitator of their passions. I saw the potential for instilling not only academic excellence but also strong moral values and a deep-rooted faith.
In the end, my fear of homeschooling transformed into a sense of empowerment. I understood that I had the opportunity to create an environment where my children could thrive academically, emotionally, and spiritually. Homeschooling, far from being an obstacle to my dreams, became the gateway to a richer, more fulfilling journey – one where the cherished moments of learning and growing together would become the bedrock of our family’s story.
So, as I stood at the crossroads, I chose to follow the uncharted path of homeschooling. And in doing so, I embraced a vision that extended beyond the confines of a traditional classroom – a vision filled with the boundless potential of love, laughter, and learning, all blossoming within the embrace of our Christian home.
As you know, God’s plans always surpass our own. He brought this sweet friend into my life to be the rock I needed at that moment. She showed me that there’s more to educating our kids than sending them away for hours each day, week after week, year after year. All too often, we end up regretting not having more time with our children.
In my school days, I was always in trouble for thinking outside the box. My education felt like a constant cycle of failing classes, minimal effort, and being told to do things the standard way. I knew I wanted something different for my own kids – an educational experience that would nurture their growth, be enjoyable, and instill a love for learning.
If you, like me, have felt that inner wrestle in your chest, know that there is a different way. The plans that “culture” has taught us aren’t the only options. If you desire more for your home life, your kids’ education, and more quality time with them, I’m here to tell you that it’s possible. I’ll say a prayer for you too, because God doesn’t let us wrestle with things without a reason. Lean on Him, ask for guidance, and trust that He’ll bring the right people into your life to point you in the direction He has in store for you.
As I reflect on my journey, I see all the little signs God placed before me. The opportunities, the people He brought into my life – when we give our struggles to Him, He makes our next steps crystal clear.
So, if you find yourself at a crossroads, remember that embracing the unexpected can lead to the most beautiful adventures. In the end, it’s all part of God’s amazing plan for us.