Every so often a gal needs a break. With the very busy and draining year we’ve had, leaving our home in Gainesville (which although so painful, was so our family could be together), moving half way across the country away from everything I know, and settling in a home/town that was more unfamiliar than any place I have ever been, it’s been hard to say the least. I am grateful for the strong connection to my family and friends that have stuck close and helped me through. When we moved into this house I was so grateful for the size, of the home and the yard, but now I am finding it to be overwhelming in terms of keeping up with housework. Also, while grateful for the opportunity to stay at home and care for Chris and the kids, which includes homeschooling, I have been questioning my ability to carry out the God-given design for my family. There have been several times in the first month of our 5th year of homeschooling that I have wanted to put one, or all, of my kids in the public school right up the road.
I know that when times get tough, we’re supposed to power through and keep the mandate to raise our children at home- again our family’s conviction, but I have never gone this long with the urge to enroll my kids in the public school system. I talked with one of my many trusted advisers last night about the very topic, aka: Mom, and she hated to hear me so stressed out and urged me to care for myself so I could better care for my family. And I completely agree. I am not in a good state of mind. One of the better things we are looking forward to as a family is homesteading. When Chis and I get back from the cruise we plan on turning our quarter acre backyard into a mini homestead, with fruit tree, a veggie garden, and chicks, complete with a hen house. I love stuff like that and it will be extremely therapeutic to be working hard outside in the fresh air growing my own food. I’m a little bit country deep down. So I know that we’ll get good quality, family time in the afternoon. It makes the argument for putting them in school even greater.
One of the joys of homeschooling is spending time with them. I enjoy being home with them. It’s just that they’ve begun to bicker with each other.all. the. time. It’s driving me mad. I have also began to see seeds of laziness and disrespect come up. It’s taken a toll on me and to be honest I am wondering if a teacher could handle this better than I could. One of the ideas thrown around last night was a temporary stint in school- what if I put them in for a semester or two, just to get a break? I stayed up until 2 am with the Lord and really soul searched and weighed the options. On the balance of life, they are almost neck and neck.
And so this is what I’ve come up with. I am counting on Christ. I am counting on Him coming through and providing me with more of Himself in the form of patience and joy as I take on the challenge of homeschooling my boys. I have never had boys this old before, obviously, and so I’ve never had to deal with attitudes like this on such a regular basis. As I think and turn to Christ in this decision I can not settle with the decision to take one or all to the school up the road. As I meditate on keeping them home, I feel a sense of peace. But, there is still the major problem of feeling burned out, uninspired, and tired. I know that is not what the Lord had in mind and I know that there is something much deeper going on here.
I am leaving for an eight day cruise to Belize, among other places, where I will zipling through the jungle and visit ancient Mayan ruins, and be with my favorite person on earth. It will be one of the best weeks of my life and I am so, so thankful for this gift. I feel like the luckiest woman on earth as I think about it. As my trusted mentor explained last night, the time away, the fun and freedom and peace, will bring clarity. It did last year. Chris and I took a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas and it was amazing. We came back a new couple and our marriage has been stronger ever since. This year, the trouble isn’t my marriage, but my homeschooling and so I am excited to see what the Lord does with my time away. One thing I have decided to do it go back to my reasons for homeschooling. Can I still accomplish the parenting goals set forth by the Lord if I were to put them in school for a year? Will the problems become worse if they attend the school based on what goes on in a school today? Will their laziness and disrespect towards me get better or worse? That’s what it comes down to. I need to take my written down philosophy/list with me on the ship, and once I am stress free and clear minded, look at the list and decide what’s best for our family, including me- because if I’m not well, the kids won’t benefit from being with me all day.
We’ll see what the Lord brings me over the next two weeks. I am more than open to whatever He has for me and okay with either decision, as long as it is well within my soul. I am leaving this with Him, with the commitment to finish out our semester that we’ve begun because the children are already so immersed in our current unit study and they seem to be enjoying it.