Sunday, October 17, 2010


I'd like to interrupt the HS decision stories with a lesson I learned this week.  I've been worried about how I can teach my children to develop characteristics that I don't have. How can I teach them organization when I am so scattered?  How can I teach them patience when so often I run out of it?  How can I teach them physical education when I am very very VERY uncoordinated?  Seriously, if it has a ball, I can't play it.

If you know me in real life, you will know that I am terrible at following through.  I get excited about something and lose interest half way because I get excited about something else.  For this reason, if you look carefully through my drawers and cupboards (please don't!), you might find:  Jewelry making supplies even though I only made one pair of earrings, artist chalk for that one drawing, a pilates video that made for a challenging workout...twice, half a crocheted potholder, an exercise ball that has become a favorite toy for B&J.....the list goes on....and on....and on.....

This summer, I bought the kids a wading pool.  It had a slipper slide and a dinosaur that sprays water through it's mouth.  B & J had great fun with this!  (four times)  Do you see a pattern here?  In my lack of following through, I drained the pool and let it sit on the deck until this week.  From July to October.  It was green, mossy, slimy, dirty, full of leaves.  All of me wanted to throw it out and forget about it.  The temptation was STRONG.  I looked at B and said, "What if we throw this out and get a different one next year?"  B said, "Mommy, I love it."

That is what I needed to hear.  If I threw it out, what would that teach B about being good stewards of what God has given us?  Aren't I always asking him to pick his toys up so they won't get ruined?  Then it hit me.  This is how I teach my children what I may not possess.  They will observe me dealing with the consequences.  I will learn these traits right along with them.

I explained to B that because I left the pool out to get yucky, it was my responsibility to scrub it clean.  I can not even begin to describe the look of satisfaction it gave him to realize Mommy makes mistakes...and that I had a punishment of sorts.  I scrubbed and sprayed and scrubbed and sprayed.  B and Jilly laughed hysterically when I dropped the sprayer on the ground as it continued to spray me in the face.  I tackled that dinosaur all the while wondering why I hadn't noticed the mocking smirk on its face in July.  It felt good, really good! to get that pool cleaned up and put away.  I didn't have the guilt of ruining their pool and taking the easy way out.

I can't wait to see all the lessons God has planned for my children and me.  Maybe we'll learn organization and patience.  I'm hoping to relearn geography and history.  I didn't pay too much attention the first time around.  You never know, perhaps someday soon I'll be able to throw the football with a perfect spiral...or at least not close my eyes when catching one.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homeschool Decision Part 2

This is going to sound like it has nothing to do with our decision, but I promise you, it does.  Randomness is my forte.  When I was pregnant with Jilly (2 years ago!) Erik was feeling a nudge to find a new church.  We visited a few but I was pregnant, emotional, and a little unstable.  During one church visit, I was hot, nauseous, and extremely tired.  I just knew that church was not a good fit for us.

 I loooooved the church we were already attending.  I consider the congregation my family.  The pastor had incredible messages every week.  I was involved in ministries.  How could we even think of changing churches?  I told Erik I couldn't do it.  We stayed.  Then a strange thing started to happen.  We slowly became less involved.  We seemed to never be able to go to small group.  We became a little distant with our loved ones there.  Our faith was suffering....really suffering.  We began hit or missing Sundays.

Finally, I realized what I think I knew deep down, all along.  God was calling Erik and I was holding us back.  Ouch.  I was trading comfort for God's plan for our lives.  I still love our old church and it's members.  I would recommend that church to anybody...but God wanted us somewhere else.

I had decided that whatever church Erik decided on was the one we would belong to.  I'm sure you can  guess which on he picked...the one I just knew wasn't a fit for our family.  What a blessing this decision has been!  Turns out pregnancy clouded my vision.  This church challenges me to delve deeper into God's word.  The pastor's messages are so full of truth and make me want to study more.  The people there inspire me with their own walks with God.

I was not letting Erik lead our family.  I was holding us back from living God's will.  For some reason, I tend to learn things the hard way.  I am so thankful our God is gracious and merciful.  That in spite of my disobedience, he continues to bless us.

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. - Ephesians 5:22-24

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Homeschool Decision Part I

A little over a year ago, Erik's cousin's were gracious enough to let us stay at their house and watched our children while we had a class.  Their family ties are undeniably strong...and so is their faith in God.  They and their children were so loving and patient with B.  They are a homeschooling family.  I remember sitting around the dinner table while they shared their homeschooling experience with us.  Something struck a chord with Erik and I was thinking, "Wow.  They seem to have it together, but this is NOT something I even remotely want to do."

On the drive home, Erik lay out all the reasons homeschooling would be beneficial.  I retorted with any argument I could come up with.  I dug my heels in and wouldn't budge.  How's that for a Godly wife?  Finally, I just said, "If this is something God wants us to do, He will have to change my heart."  (while thinking, yeah right, not gonna happen!)  I believe I even called up my brother, and my dad, and..... and gave every reason under the sun why I would never homeschool.

This was all before B's allergy diagnosis.  Yet, even after the diagnosis, I was not considering the option.  We moved to this side of town because I loved the school district.  I love the little elementary schools with the little desks and the alphabet on the walls.  I love the kindergarten circle time rug.  I love the teachers I worked with in the schools.  I love school.  There is a reason my degree is in education.

Erik was still feeling the pull to homeschool.  I prayed that God would change my heart.  I not so patiently waited as I looked online at private schools thinking we could come up with a good compromise.