Wednesday, March 23, 2011

His Hand

As we researched and prayed about homeschooling, God opened doors to give us the confidence we needed to make our decision in the end.  I want to remember how He led us in this process, have a record of it, for those days when I question it all.  

About two months had passed since T and I had begun to consider homeschooling again.  I was coming to the end of the women's Bible study I was involved in at church, Breaking Free.  As a result of the small group discussions in this study, a friend and I decided to be accountability partners over the issues from which we were each committing to "break free."  Jen also just so happened to be one of the homeschooling moms at church that with whom I had always been friendly.  As the weeks went on, Jen and I would communicate frequently as accountability partners and I also began to ask her about homeschooling, sharing with her why we were considering it again.  Jen is a wealth of homeschooling information and teaching is her passion so she was happy to share her experience and wisdom with me.  Best of all, she understood where I was coming from and never pushed homeschooling as the only way to educate our children.  Over the course of a few weeks, with prayer, Jen's guidance and input from several other homeschooling moms I respect, I came up with a plan I was excited about implementing.      

We hadn't told anyone in our families, assuming the reaction would be negative.  One evening, after a particularly long and teary homework session, I was on the phone with my mom lamenting about the situation as I stirred a pot of chili on the stove.  She listened and sympathized with me and then to my utter amazement, my mom asked if I would ever consider homeschooling.  I was literally dumbstruck.  All these weeks, I had been wanting to share this possibility and all my thoughts and research about homeschooling with my mom but had chosen not to yet.  I assumed her reaction would be negative and I did not want it to sway the process.  And then she goes and suggests it to me!  Of course, I shared with her that, yes, we were already considering it.

Not long after that conversation, my parents came for a visit and my dad asked about the homeschooling idea.  He was less enthusiastic than my mom but not adamantly opposed, either.  In the course of our conversation that afternoon, my mom offered to come one afternoon a week to stay with the kids while I took time for myself if we went ahead and home-schooled next year.  That simple offer of tangible support, whether she will actually be able to do it or not, was such an encouragement to me!

When T shared our decision with his sisters recently, one was encouraging while the other was less enthusiastic but not overtly negative.  This was similar to my own sister's reaction.  Our close friends have been supportive, even though to many, the idea of homeschooling is foreign.

Our boys are looking forward to it and our daughter is excited to start Kindergarten.  T has offered to teach the boys science!

I still have to speak to the administration at school to inform them of our decision.  It's silly but I am afraid to do it.  As I've shared, our school experience has been so positive that this last announcement will make it all final.  And, truth be told, it's a little frightening.  Like cutting the apron strings or something- lol!  But it would not be stepping out in trust if there were not an element or at least the perception of danger, would it?  So, very soon, I'll take a deep breath, put faith before fear and let the cat out of the bag at school!


Mary B said...

Isn't it SO VERY COOL when God sends a blessing like your Mom's question!?!? I am so thrilled for you that things are going as well as they are. I will continue to keep you, your family and this whole wild and wonderful situation in my prayers-especially as you prepare to tell the school. Natalie, the blessings we receive when we step out in FAITH cannot be numbered. Hold on, girl...your are in for blessings. There may be a couple of glitches along the way *wink* but blessings for sure!!
Love you, my friend!

Heidi... said...

Praying for peace and joy in the journey!


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