Monday, April 9, 2012

Rising up...

Well, today was our first official day of homeschooling.
We may just be fumbling our way through right now,
but I can tell you,
there is already a peace in our home
that is filling my heart with much joy and purpose.
These kids are worth it.
I believe this is going to be the best thing for our family,
and I find my excitement for this new adventure building by the day, by the hour.
This is catching me by pleasant surprise.
We began our day in prayer.
And the pledge of allegiance.
And a quick Bible lesson.
Why not start with the beginning;
the Creation story unfolded.
Darcy put together a lesson plan for me on Sunday night.
I'm so thankful he has a background in teaching and education.
These are not my gifts,
but they come easy to him.
This is a blessing.
Berlyn wanted to be in school too.
We haven't had any time to put together a classroom,
so we are winging it for now.
Soon, she shall have a desk too.
Silent reading.
what better place than your very own bedroom...
While I was working on lessons with Brayden,
Brooke went into her bedroom for her portion of silent reading.
It wasn't long before I heard loud giggles coming from down the hall.
It was distracting Brayden, so I went into her bedroom to calm down the noise and put a stop to it and this is what I found...
My two girls snuggled up in bed.
Berlyn "reading" to Brooke.
At first, I wanted to "set them straight" and quiet them down,
but there was too much endearment in the moment.
And I fully embraced it.
Moments like these don't happen on an ordinary Monday morning.
But we are redefining "ordinary" in our home.
I have entertained the thought of homeschooling for some time now,
but I never had the courage to go through with it. It was just too much change and too overwhelming for me to actually take the plunge.
Sometimes things happen in life and we are thrown into situations we feel we are not ready for. I've felt like God has wanted to do something "bigger" with all that's happened to our family. I've had the sense that He wants to use this experience, in a "bigger" way...and that perhaps writing, advocacy, and our faith journey are to be involved (book, webpage, some sort of way of reaching out to other sufferers of CVS/or other illness and their families and spreading Hope, pointing them closer to Him in the process?). I'm not sure what this looks like, and I have a lot of ideas swirling around in my head...I just know there are a lot of hurting people out there that need to know there is hope found in darkness. That He is our hope.
That circumstance will not defeat or define us, and that there is a God out there who is bigger than all of these things.
I would never have thought I would be "cut out" to be a homeschooling mom. I am not as adventurous or courageous as I'd like to be. I am not the greatest embracer of change. I like structure and routine. I am a rule follower. Too much time on my hands without a plan is not good. I have too many weaknesses and inadequacies that plague me. But God has really given me a peace about this decision. Each day, that peace seems more real, and defined and concrete.
My biggest struggle in being a mom has always been time. I feel like I am always rushed and never have enough time to do anything (clean, cook, spend quality time with my kids). And with that "rush" of life, I grow stressed and anxious and the "not so pretty" side of me comes out far too often (reminding me how desperate I am daily for His grace). We are often rushing to go here, and get there and I've personally struggled with feeling like I am not measuring up...that I am not being the mom that God is calling me to be. It's been a constant struggle for me for some time, and much of the reason I have "entertained" homeschooling in the past.
Perhaps that something "bigger" that God is calling me to starts right here within my very own home...beginning with my role as wife and mother.
I am resolved to throw my heart into these roles, determined to give God (and them) my very best.
The truth is,
I do not have it all together,
and I never will.
But I am OK with that.
Nobody will ever be reading my blog to find out how they can homeschool better,
and I will not strive to be "that" mom. There isn't peace in that type of pursuit.
But there is peace is knowing that you are following God's will for your life and working with the things He gives you to accomplish this will. Nothing more, nothing less.
So, that's what you'll get from me.
A mediocre homeschooling mom who loves God and loves her family.
My goal is to make this apparent.
I will not strive for perfection...
and in case you need proof,
check out the chaos that surrounds my house at this time:
Yep, these are our rooms.
All but one of them,
a total disaster.
Never before has this house looked like this...
There are bags, and piles, and junk, and more piles...
everywhere you look.
Some of it is because we spent 21 of 35 days in the hospital,
away from this home.
And some of it is just because I am a normal mom of three children,
doing her best
(amongst the mess).
But that's ok.
This experience has taught me a lot about what really matters in life.
(life's too short and too unpredictable to get caught up in those things that don't matter.)
I'd rather have a messy house than a messy heart.
It was the kids idea to have a picnic lunch at the park today.
So, we packed up and walked over there.
It was a bit chilly, and very windy.
But, it gave me a glimpse of what's to come.
Lunch, play, rolling carefree down a green grass hill in the middle of the day,
because you can.
I'm still scared,
and I know our days ahead will not all be filled with sunshine and rolling hills.
We have quite a mountain still to climb.
But I will take each day as it comes.

Today we met some friends at the park,
another homeschooling family
(that has been a great resource and encouragement to our family...we actually met with them tonight and spent hours going over the Classical Education curriculum. I'm so thankful that God has not left me here all alone. I've already a dear friend and great connection to this new side of the world. I find comfort in this. And my excitement builds.)
Tonight, my youngest, who I believe is suffering from a bit of separation-anxiety due to the absence of her mama from the past month, would not let me put her down.
Dinner was cooking; music was playing.
I picked that sweet thing up and danced the night away with her. Peace and joy washed over me. Where just a few days ago I felt a heaviness would never be lifted from my tainted heart, God is bringing it alive in new ways.
He's rising up
ashes into beauty.
I didn't choose this road for our family to walk.
This is not the journey of my choice.
But, God indeed is faithful, a Redeemer, the Giver of all things good.
A paver of ways.
I think He knows the issues that have been pulling on my heartstrings for some time.
I think He is using a dark journey to steer me on a path that is leading me into becoming the wife and mother that He has intended for me to be all along.
All that He wants me to be,
(and all that they deserve).
I'm rising up.
And rolling along...
moving forward.
eyes and heart turned upward.
steady and continuous.

We've been caused to move,
caused to change,
caused to face life in a different direction.

I have a feeling I'm really going to like this view.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of the earth will grow
strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."

(and what's not to like about that?)


  1. Best wishes to you on your homeschool journey. I, too, have been that homeschool mother (once by choice) and the second time by my son's illness when he was 12 years old (P.A.N.D.A.S. which cause physical and neurological issues that did not allow him to be able to function in school...and even now 6 years later is still causing him havoc, as we had a meltdown yesterday--and he is almost 19 years old.) There is new joy and freedom to be found in homeschooling as you learn about your children's learning styles and you can be free to support them in their discovery. My best words of wisdom to not try to "recreate a school environment" at home, just try to support their learning in a new way....some structure, yes, is important but so is spontaneity and adventure. Read to them...let them, read, read....they will do so well if they just read! Blessings to you. I am so sorry that you son is ill. I understand the struggle of having an ill child when there are so few answers as to what to do with a rare situation. Hang in there... Rose

  2. You are a great mom and I have no doubt you will be an amazing teacher to your kids. You already are. Every time I read your blog you inspire me. You inspire me to be a better mom and to have more faith in our Lord. So thank you.