When I was a teen, school was not important to me. I was a star student until I was in about 7th grade and then it all went down the tubes. When I was little my teachers were superstars in my eyes and several of them were my friends. I felt like I could trust them and I think they all liked me back. My Dad sees my kindergarten teacher once every ten years or so and he says that she still remembers me and asks about me. I loved school. All of the subjects were my favorite.
My parents said that they could see the change in my grades, in me, one year. It happened that fast. I remember that time. I remember feeling angry and desperate for attention and friends. I remember being in pain, and I kept it a secret. When I got to high school I did okay, despite the fact that I wasn’t trying very hard. But compared to getting straight A’s like I did my entire school career before that, it wasn’t so good. When I look back now I could kick myself, I would have gotten a scholarship to some university had I actually tried. Later, at the alternative school I went to, I aced every subject with flying colors… while I was a heroin addict. And then to top it off, I graduated high school right before I turned 17, still addicted to drugs. And I didn’t care.
I could have done anything. I could have been a doctor if I wanted to. But drugs stole that time from me. The good news? I would have never known the joy of being a Mom to the boys I have and a wife to my husband. I may not have met the Lord because I needed to be humbled and at rock bottom in order to know Him. I’m stubborn. I am very happy being a stay at home Mom. Sometimes it’s a lonely job and it can be overwhelming, but I feel like I was meant to do this.
I am excited because today because I have passion for my life. I hope that the intelligence I wasted as a youth has not gone anywhere because I need it to teach my kids. When the boys are older I plan on going back to school. My husband has said I could do anything I wanted to and he would support me emotionally and financially. Maybe I’ll get to that point and decide that I want to continue to stay home and run the household and (hopefully) the small homestead we’ll have. Maybe I’ll travel the homeschool convention circuit and be a speaker. Or maybe I’ll get to open a Home for Women… yeah, that’s probably it. The thing is, the future is mine and at one time it was not. There’s a verse in which God talks about restoring what the locusts have eaten after a plague. I think about that all the time. Christ has restored to me the life the locusts had eaten.
My children are as different from each other as people can be. Different natural intelligence, different temperaments, and different emotional needs. I used to think that my job as homeschool mom was to make sure that none of their intelligence was wasted. I needed to extract all I could from their minds and make sure they got scholarships to the colleges of their choice. And while that’s still important, that is no longer my goal or my reason for homeschooling. I want them to know the Lord. He has done more for me than intelligence ever could have. And by the way, I was intelligent, but not wise because wise people don’t put a highly addictive drug up their nostrils, so I am aware of the oxymoron here. Back to the kids, my goal is to shepherd them, to take note of their strengths and weaknesses and let them be who they are. The goal is also to expose them to some pretty great things. There have been a lot of school budget cut backs in recent years and the schools just don’t have the funding to do what we can do for them. In addition to that, Chris and I can lead them into knowing the Lord in an intimate way.
Intelligence has not much to do with where I got. And I am grateful that intelligence has nothing to do with our worth. My kids will have the opportunity to live up to their potential, but it’s not as important as I used to think it was. They’ll be exposed to the Lord, they’ll be exposed to art and music and helping the poor as a “class”. If they need to take time and go on some sort of Christ driven break from normal life(when they get to high school), I’ll allow it, because it wasn’t school that got me to where I am today. It was all the other stuff. I am homeschooling my kids, a little bit for the awesome education we are providing them, but also for the life they are getting outside of that.
A short paragraph with some practical examples… we have taken an entire day off to organize and clean our home. They have helped me to take on home projects and they are learning problem solving skills, like when we had to get the wide bed through the narrow hall out to the trash. Our solution? The chainsaw, it was very exciting for them. We have taken days off in order to help others. I was super sick for about a week last month and could not move off the couch except to use the restroom. It was the sickest I had ever been. I only took 2 showers the whole week. My husband was able to take off of work 1 day. My kids, especially my oldest had to run the household while I was down. Big Bird watched the kids, he’s 8, almost 9. He kept them entertained. The younger kids had to learn to solve their own problems because I could barely move even to take a sip of Gatorade. They learned more in that week than they would have in doing their “school” work, which by the way, they still did. I think, and I could be wrong, that those are the times in life that the Lord uses to shape us. Education and intelligence are very important to me because I don’t want the kids to have regrets because I failed to do my job, but I don’t discount the Wisdom that comes from problems and solutions. Christ is that wisdom because Christ is ALL things, and He can’t ever be discounted.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!