Almost two years ago, I was out of state for a work meeting, when I received a phone call from my husband. He was trying to get our kids off to school, but one of our children wouldn’t go. This child typically loved school, he’d be completely ready to head out the door, way ahead of time. Lately, though, he was having panic attacks about going and this morning was no different.
I remember being over 600 miles away, in the lobby of the hotel where my conference was, and feeling completely helpless. I was trying to calm him down enough to go to school and luckily, he finally did go, but my mama’s heart was worried for the rest of the day and night.
One word kept running through my head.
Immediately I’d shut it down and say, “There’s no way I can do that.” And so, I closed the door on that idea.
Or so I thought.
The next week I went to the school and spoke with my son’s teacher. While I was there, in my gut, I felt that nothing would really change, although she said she’d help him out. So, we kept him in school, prayed and just wished for the best. Things got better, but not much. I was just grateful that the school year was almost over, so we could move on.
Fast forward a year.
Nothing specifically bad was going on with any of my children in school. Both of my boys were at the top of their classes academically and were doing pretty well. They had many friends. They weren’t in the Principal’s office or in detention, so I thought things were going well.
But then I’d hear stories from my kids, other kids, or adults, about things that happened at school.
Bullying. Bad language. Porn. Physical abuse or threatenings. Kids spending a lot of time on the screen. Shortened recesses. More homework.
With each and every story, I’d stress and debate, all the while that one word would pop back in my head.
But I’d stuff it down again and again.
I’d justify it because really, these are all things that happen in pretty much every single school across America. I am not pointing at our school district and saying it was because of them because it wasn’t. We live in a small town with an overall great school district. We have teachers and administrators that care for the kids. So when people ask me what I have against our district, my answer is NOTHING. They did nothing wrong. In my opinion, the school wasn’t failing my child, the government and society were failing our schools and our kids. Correct values and principles were not allowed to be taught.In my opinion, the school wasn't failing my child, the government was failing our schools. Click To Tweet
I realized that I was depending on the school to help me raise my kids while they were out of my home. I’d hear the stories and tell myself that this is just what my kids were facing nowadays. That was the way life was and I’d have to teach them better when they were home. But how could I when the only time I saw them was for about 6 hours each day. The rest of the time was spent sleeping, or in school. How could I teach them all they needed, if I rarely saw them?? I couldn’t. And that is why I was relying on the school to do it for me.
I mean, they say it takes a village to raise a child, so I thought we had to be part of that village.It takes a village to raise a child. -African Proverb Click To Tweet
God finally hit me over the head and helped me realize that my kids needed a different type of village than the one they currently had. I was able to admit that the only way I could teach them the principles I wanted my kids to learn, was if I did it. I would be the village they needed. Their Dad would be their village. Their siblings would be their village. Homeschool groups would be their village. Church groups would be their village. And a mighty village we would be.
But I was scared. I felt inadequate. How in the world could I do this? I don’t have a teaching degree! Oh yeah, and did I mention I was pregnant with child number 5 at this moment?! How would I handle a NEW baby and having all 4 kids home, where I was the main provider of their education?
The truth was, I couldn’t handle it. At least not alone. I knew I needed God to guide me. I knew that I needed to trust Him. These were his children too and all he wants is for them to be happy and successful and to live with him again someday. He knew that this was what my kids (and I) needed. I’ve come to learn that God sees the whole movie, while we just see one scene at a time. We can’t figure out how or why something is happening, but that’s because we’re just 5 minutes into a 2-hour long movie. We can’t jump ahead and see the ending, but if we could, we’d never bat an eye. We’d be following Him and what he says to do without hesitation.
We’ve now been homeschooling for 1.5 years and it has been the most challenging and yet the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my entire life.
God asked me to do something I didn’t want to do. Something I wasn’t sure I could do. And because I (finally) listened, our lives have been all the better. Our family is closer. My kids are excelling and thriving even more than I could have ever imagined. I know my kids on a much, much, much deeper level. I know their weakness, strengths, dreams, and fears…and they know mine too. Our days have not been perfect, but we’ve gotten through each day with a lesson learned, and it wasn’t always about math or spelling. Instead, it was about faith, trust, kindness, morality, honesty or forgiveness and in many of those cases, I was the student just as much as my kids were.
So, what do you do when God asks you to do something that you don’t want to do???