In my prayers, I started to ask God to show me what to do; where to look. I was not satisfied with what He spoke back to my heart. So I ignored that answer...yes you heard right, I pushed His soft answer to my stubborn heart on the back burner and continued to pray for a 'better' answer to my question of "Where do I look Lord? Where is the balance of home life for our family (proximity of Jon's job) and education for my children (school district)?"
His answer did not change. Though His answer was still gentle to my heart (enough that I tried to act like I didn't hear it), His voice over the matter became more frequent. Soon, this answer of His was keeping me up at night.
Why? And an even better question was "HOW?" I am a product of a public school and I am a fine, well rounded, educated individual (if I do say so myself). My major in college was elementary education. I loved the planning, teaching and creating manipulative's to help find new ways to connect with a young mind, yet when it came to doing my field work, I decided a room full of 2nd graders was not what I wanted to face everyday. And so, a whiny "whyyyyyyy?" filled my prayers.
I remembered a Bible study I had done titled "Called to be a Keeper." It said that if you run an idea by your husband, and he is not on the same page, then do not take action, just continue to pray. This was my "out." I knew this crazy idea wouldn't fly with my man.
One night while Jon was folding laundry on our bed, I said, "I want to talk to you about something." I had his undivided attention. "Its kinda crazy, but what do you think about homeschooling the kids?" I had not even said 'homeschool' out loud yet. It felt weird coming across my lips. Not bad, just foreign. Jon said "I think that might be a good fit for our family." My heart beat faster. I sighed in my spirit and decided in that moment to surrender to the call to homeschool our kids.
Here is where we skip forward a few months....
Jon did not get the job in Omaha. It was a surprise to both of us. We hit the 'refresh' button on our plans and continued to wait. But at this point, my heart was sold on homeschool. Over the last few months, I had been researching curriculum and co-ops, schedules, ideas, reading books, etc. What a change had taken place in my heart!! I told Jon I was actually disappointed at the thought of losing that opportunity with the kids. Being a man of few words that he is, he said "If it was right for our family in Omaha, why not in Chickasha?" It was what I wanted to hear, but it didn't settle it for me. Why the struggle to decide now that we are not moving? The idea of homeschool was easier to accept if were starting over. Now what?
This was my list of why it felt complicated:
- We love Price's current school. He loves his school.
- There is a waiting list to transfer from our school district to where Price goes.
- We know a lot of teachers there; and they are wonderful.
- I would still need to keep my 20 hour a week job....and homeschool.
- Some things would have to give (meaning, I will have to drop some plates to keep the most important ones spinning, which would pretty much be work and homeschool)
- Then there is the whole "what will other people think?" issue....God dealt with me swiftly on that matter, and I thank Him for it.
- "I am so inadequate for this job!" Not the teaching part, but the being at home...all the time...with both my children. A precious friend reminded me that "God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called." Thank you Molly.
But, as I said before, I had done a lot of research on homeschool. The most important research was when I studied God's word.
" Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much revenue comes from the strength of the ox." Proverbs 14:4
Weird verse, I know, but it spoke so deeply to my OCD. My house, won't look like a magazine. It won't. Not with school taking place at the kitchen table. Not with children literally in house 7 days a week. But in that comes the trade off of strengthening my children in their relationships with each other and Jesus all while getting a home grown education. I am trusting God will make good on the return!
"4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord! 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 Keep these words in your heart that I am telling you today. 7 Do your best to teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as something special to see on your hand and on your forehead. 9 Write them beside the door of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
Every time after God says to follow these commandments, he also says that in doing so, you will be blessed. Not monetary blessing, but the blessing that comes from children who learn to fear the Lord. Psalm 128:1-4
Now, that being said, this is where I lose some listeners. I am not saying that homeschool is the only way to teach your children about God! Not everyone is called to full time paid ministry; but that doesn't mean the rest of us can't minister. Some people are called to be nurses or doctors, and that is a wonderful profession, but just because it is an admirable profession, doesn't mean everyone should pursue a career in medicine. Homeshooling is a personal decision. It is not for everyone. It is a calling, and we as a family are going to answer it. It may or may not be a permanent one. Truly only God knows.
God knew how much (more) I would resist homeschooling had he not put Omaha in our sights.
He knows how difficult this undertaking is, but he calms my soul when I get all 'Jonah' about it (and sometimes I still feel like running from it). He knows the blessing he has for our family by spending this time together. He knows what this will mean and what seeds will be planted and watered during this time when my children are young. It is time I can't get back. The slower pace is just what my family needs (young children and time constraints don't mix well). The rat race made for one grumpy Momma at times. No more looking into my children's eyes via the rear view mirror as I shuffle them from one activity to another, hoping this time in the car will meet the requirement of interaction they need and want from me.
Down time, learning together, playing together, crafting, experimenting, cooking, living and loving together is just what God ordered. Sounds like a Johnson and Johnson commercial, right? Ha! I know there will be times when I wonder where God is taking us on this journey, but I will not question the call to participate in it.