Lesson 1. Don’t ever tell God to yell so you will hear Him. That story in the Bible where it’s the whisper passing by…dude, that is all you need. Trust me.
We have been a homeschooling family for 8 years now and I love it. Homeschooling for me conjures up so many great images of cocoa by the fire, picnics in the back yard on a blanket on a spring day, Shakespeare, late-night chats about politics, daily mass, freedom to explore and serve. That being said, homeschooling also leads me to put those things first and leave off the dinner prep, laundry, house cleaning, doctor calls, etc that are necessary to keep a family of ten up and going.
In the Fall, we noticed that our dream of homeschooling wasn’t lining up with the reality of what was actually happening in our home. Kids were not so motivated, arguments were becoming too common, motivated learners were having to wait while I took doctor calls, cleaned up the latest mess from the mighty three “smalls”, settled disputes, re-ran the load of laundry in the washer that I forgot about, etc. Homeschooling did not meet our family goals at that time. We prayerfully considered our options and asked God to lead the way. After many discussions with those close to us and a few visits to local schools, we decided to enroll in our local Catholic school.
I remember saying to the Lord that He was going to have to yell loudly and consistently if it was His will for us to make this transition as my mother’s heart was going to cling to the dream-like memories of homeschooling. (Which are real memories but do not incorporate the daily grind of life.) The transition from homeschooling to a brick and mortar school for a big family is like trying to turn an aircraft carrier in your nearby river, but we are managing. Here is what I am learning; Education is not one size fits all. Each of my children come to learning with such different approaches and traditional education might not be the right fit for all of them but is definitely the right fit for some. Wow, how they have soared; and boom how some have fallen. I use the flying analogy because those who are doing well are truly elated and their spirits are lifted. I say “fallen” because those for whom this environment might not be the right fit seem as if their wings have been cut; and clipping someone’s wings, denies them of their ability to fly their own course and so we make adjustments.
But I digress from the whisper…
As we made this transition, I struggled with doubts but I placed my trust in God. In prayer I would say, I have walked with you so long, and I know you always provide for us. I know you will show me the path of life, the path you want me to travel now, but I am scared. I wish you would just tell me.
Flash forward two weeks to a morning where I find myself rushing my just turned 42-year old extremely active, healthy, fit husband to the hospital for what I thought was a routine kidney stone and ended up being kidney failure. Our life has taken a new path as we navigate doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and new diet changes. The lord always takes care of us. He is so good. He prepares a way and lights our path. For me, He is saying, I want you to care for this man. He needs you.
I recently listened to a podcast where the couple was speaking of the need to remember that you were married before you became parents. A mother is always serving. She gives of her time, her talents, her heart so deeply every minute of every day and most frequently I found that the giving was for my children. God is calling me back and reminding me of my first vocation of being a wife and I am so grateful.
As I lay my head to sleep, I am thankful for the shepherd and gentle father my Lord is. How His hand guides our educational decisions, and how He prepared such a way that my path and direction my family needed to take was clear. God is good. All the time.