Up late last night, wrestling and searching and thinking long past a decent bedtime. My mind is going in a million different directions after spending an evening with dear friends, and homeschooling buddies, as we talked about next year, possible changes, definite changes, and how best to guide our growing children…how to teach them in a way that is best for them and their ever-changing needs, how to not lose focus of what is most important in their education~pointing them to Christ, living in a God-glorifying way that allows them to walk in deeper relationship with their Creator…how to have the best support systems in place for ourselves and our kids as new babies enter families (my girlfriend due in July) and new children come onto the “school scene” (my boy beginning Kindergarten).
Thinking ahead to co-op choices, and if they are “right” for our families or not. All the while, deep in my heart, fear is welling–what if they go a different direction than we do? The thought of losing the support system I’ve gained in being able to journey along with this precious family who has multiple, same-age children–this mom~now a close friend~who shares convictions and philosophies and has been my closest “kindred spirit” since I’ve begun this homeschooling journey, and our children who have all grown so close~I feel almost frantic with fear when I imagine any of it changing.
So many questions.
What if God leads their family on a different path than ours? As we each consider our various options, there is no guarantee that we’ll end up together, or that our kids will always grow side by side as they have all this past year.
We each have to search on our own, seek the Lord for our own families first, and trust the Lord for where He leads, even if it means our paths don’t look exactly the same.
Things change, I know that.
Each family has to go where they sense God leading.
Seasons come and go, I get it. So why am I clinging so tightly to this one, fearful of anything that may disrupt the good things I feel we have going?
My mind swirls back around to the same questions– if they join such and such group and we don’t, how will we still be able to see them each week? Should I join too? And is it really feasible for us to join something that has a significant cost involved, and would steal away yet another day, and give us less time at home? Already, we have a day out each Monday, serving together at the Nursing Home, and usually a trip to the Library same day….in Winter there is gymnastics once a week as well. But the homeschooling highlight of our year has really been getting together most Thursdays for a day spent doing History or Science activities, or going on a field trip together with these friends.
What if we can’t do that anymore?
But if I act impulsively and join a co-op I wasn’t necessarily looking for, just to keep my kids in certain relationships, I’m not honestly sure I will be able to fit everything else in once I commit to yet another day out of the house.
These days, being home–staying home–has become such a huge priority for me.
This year has been a year of being on the home front more than ever before, and there are so many good things that have come of it~better homeschool routines and daily schedules, better habits being developed by the children and me, and more time for arts, crafts or to have free exploration and playtime together with the kids.
Being home more has allowed us to more fully enjoy this limited but blessed space where we are raising our kids–making the most each day of the beautiful woods surrounding our home, building forts and teepees, clearing away brush (and inevitably getting poison ivy) to set up new campsites that can be enjoyed the rest of summer. The nature walks we take every day we’re able–these things all take time~time at home to do.
This year, I have embraced the small yard the Lord has blessed us with and we have set up a beautiful little garden space, combining efforts with willing neighbors to make it happen. So much planning and building and filling of beds and digging of earth and planting of seeds and tiny plants…this has taken so much being home to do. All these things can’t just be put off until the weekends or added to my husband’s sky-high list of jobs that need done around the house. So I do what I can with my kids, and turns out, I can do a lot! I find satisfaction getting my hands dirty as we haul soil together and dig out the slope together, and run to the garden center together. We clear the woods, pulling weeds and moving branches. Is it hassle-free? …no. Have I ever wondered how much faster I could work if I didn’t have four young children to work around? …yes.
But they are the motivation for it all, and so really, I wouldn’t want to be without them. Ok, maybe for a few blissful hours each Saturday morning as the husband takes them away a bit so I can breathe, but Monday-Friday, I am happy to be here in and around our little home, WITH my children, being productive and growing together.
And yet as they grow, so often I feel pulled, pressured– to be away more and more…
Actually, Eden, like me, seems very contented to be here, enjoying free time after her school work, being out in nature, and having 1 on 1 time with me while the little boys nap each day, I’ve noticed that the boys are always excited to be out and about, doing whatever activity I happen to offer. They are the ones who ask what we’re doing each day…where we’re going and who we’re seeing.
And I wonder–do I need to do more for the boys?
Choices stand before us. What is best for my children and will it really be GOOD for them, or just result in more running around and leaving mama exhausted and away from the home front too much?
There is so much to do each day here, just in daily cleaning and cooking for the family that I often feel exhausted just in those responsibilities.
Do I have to add anything else?
Ultimately, I know I am seeking for that “perfect” solution… seeking to know the future and be prepared for it so I don’t make any mistakes and my kids are placed into the ideal relationships and situations. I want to be in control. In my flesh, I don’t want to have to trust the Lord for tomorrow.
So I confess it, and I ask Him to give me grace for today–to trust Him for today’s needs and know that tomorrow’s worries will care for themselves.
I ask Him to gently guide, for He knows the needs of my children’s hearts better than I do. He knows what friends they need and when. He knows who we are supposed to journey with for the next part of the road. He know what activities are meaningful and good for them and which are of little value. He has prepared a path for us in advance, and He desires to lead us along, step by step. He asks only that we trust Him, seek Him.
So I look to you Lord.
I make my lists and contemplate curriculum and choices and possible directions, but I wait for you to lead us, Eternal King! I confess my fears and my lack of trust.
“Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief!” I pray.
For You know better than I.