Yes, I’m alive and, weeeeell… alive (lol). August was a month beyond me, full of God encounters, meetings, teachings… just GOD. Had to be Him because I have NO strength left in me now!
Through a series of fortunate events and really just the move of God, I was blessed on three different occasions to share with familiar and unfamiliar groups things God has placed on my heart over the last few months. I was able to share my testimony with a group of freshly-graduated high school girls, sharing with them my walk from a Girl Gone Wild to a Girl Gone Wise. Later, I was asked to teach a workshop on identity to middle and high school girls at a back-to-school conference. I believed I learned more about ME in preparing for that one! Finally, I facilitated a workshop on Biblical Parenting at my church. It was amazing and I really feel the fire that burns in me to walk this out and with others (parents, mentors, etc.) If you know me, BOY… do you know ALL of this HAD to be God because I would much rather be on the receiving/listening end versus standing in front of people. Teach Language Arts to middle school students? No biggie. Teach God’s Word to varied age groups? Uuuhhmm.
After August, I have such a huge appreciation for Pastors and those leaders who have to teach often. The fear of the Lord gripped me everytime as I sought to say what He wanted me to say and not what I thought was fun, relevant or interesting. That was nerve-wracking in and of itself, on top of having to teach people who were not middle school students (what I’m used to lol)
So imagine, while praying, fasting and preparing for all of these things, doing fundraisers for my trip to Kenya THEN hosting a Paint Night, I was also beginning our first year of HOMESCHOOL. My “Oh, this won’t be so bad; I’ll just have to facilitate here and do a little there” crashed and burned to the ground the very first day as I realized what I had gotten myself into. From making sure they had chairs and a table to sit at to figuring out how to preoccupy a 10 month old while reviewing letter sounds… yeah, I almost went stir-crazy. Cra-zy. I barely remembered my birthday was this month if it weren’t for my husband so graciously reminding me of being in the “30+ club”. How sweet.
I probably should’ve thought about everything that was going on beforehand. I thought I did. I thought I could handle it. But, in one moment, I realized I couldn’t. That I was in over my head. That homeschooling was a greater responsibility than I bargained for, requiring more of my time being sacrificed for a greater good I would feel guilty for not serving. “I don’t do well with little kids, God. Babies? Yes, I can do them. Older than that, it gets tricky, especially from K5-6th. C’mon God!” Yes… I was referring to my own children. I have… experiences (LOL). I still love them though. Don’t get it twisted. Even in that moment though, God of course kinda yells this at me:
“Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.” Mark 9:36-37
Well geez God. I was just (kinda) joking (say I to the one who knows my heart).
I know without a doubt this is what God asked me to do, but I was seriously doubting if that message came through clearly. Maybe He meant co-op or someone else homeschooling them?
Nope, Not at all. Nadda.
And the crazy thing about all of this is that now? I don’t think I’d change my decision if I could (although I probably WOULD like an affordable, Christian half-day daycare for baby boy lol). Watching the boys learn, write in cursive, recite new verses… I just don’t know if I could say the initial stress and headaches weren’t worth it, because they were. They are. Homeschooling is NOT for everyone and I’m learning with each new note in the homeschool group just how much sacrifice and focus is required. Some people get highly detailed (and stressed) with making sure the school environment is set in their homes while others do the minimal and neglect the adequate time, preparation, and investment that is needed to REALLY teach their children (ESPECIALLY if they are learning the fundamentals of reading, etc.) I think I underestimated my role, but I’m beginning to see this is way bigger, especially considering I’m homeschooling a 5 and 3 year old. I canNOT be lax in the time I give to teach them properly. Just imagine… once they learn how to read and understand how numbers touch everything in a different way, they’ll be able to read the stories and legacy of Jesus Christ in the Bible. THAT makes EVERYTHING worth it!
So, from my “what just happened?!” August, walking into September, I know a few things for sure: 1) the power and necessity of prayer, 2) the need to FIGHT for devotional time above all else needing to be done in the day, 3) the need for a schedule (because the house DOES have to get cleaned and clothes washed at SOME point amid homeschool duties + a crawling baby), 4) prayers for perseverance and creative play times and 5) the power and need to REST… no thoughts, no actions, no phone… just going dumb for an hour as I say. With the hubby or without (because I usually fall asleep lol).
There’s probably more I could say in this blog, but really??? My eyelids have been fighting to meet each other since the 3rd paragraph (it’s amazing how much you can type with your eyes closed). Truth be told even more, there are dishes in the sink, towels on top of the washer to be washed and papers disheveled in my corner chair. School is tomorrow and the week’s work still needs to be prepped. And you know what?
All of that will remain exactly the same until the morning. Another thing I know for sure?
Some things just aren’t that serious. See you in September *Initiating dumb time a.k.a. sleep.*