I don’t feel like I’ve made lots of MAJOR decisions in my life with much angst. I mean, I knew what I wanted to do in college, went to where I could afford. I prayed hard about the man I would marry, when I met Dave, it was not much of a hard decision, more of a no brainer… and a GREAT choice!
Then I had kids. Decisions, decisions, decisions! Bottle feed, or breastfeed? Sleep train or let them decide the schedule? Daycare or stay home? The decisions were happening on a regular basis. I found when I became a mother, my prayer life improved drastically. However, for me, nothing was more grueling than making the decision to home school or not.
I’d always wanted to, but when I was actually at the point where I had to decide, I went back and forth. I was terrified I’d be a horrible teacher, that they’d not learn anything. That I wasn’t smart enough to teach them. That it really wasn’t the BEST choice of education. I agonized over the decision. I researched, I prayed, I questioned, I cried! One week I’d say to myself, “They’ll be homeschooled”. I’d maul over that for a bit. Think of everything that could go wrong (the list was long), pray over each one, sit in a puddle of terrified tears, then say, “I’m committed to one year, then I can change my mind.” The next week I’d say to myself, “They’ll go to the public school”. I tried to live with this decision for the week. I thought of all that I didn’t like about it, all I did (having a little less chaos is a plus). And I prayed… I walked up the street stared at the school building and prayed… The decision was made. My life would never be the same. I was going to be a home school mom. The weight was lifted, the decision was made. This does not mean i was not still fearful. But I KNEW that I was to make this choice for my family. (Dave was involved in all of this!). I still was not done praying. I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to teach them how to read, how to add, to subtract, to be social. I knew I could just learn science and social studies right along with them, but reading was fundamental and HAD to be taught to ensure a good education.
I read every book I had on the subject (I did go to school to be a teacher). I prayed, I stayed committed to my decision and we pressed on. This morning my son, my first home schooler, who is in 2nd grade, read me a chapter from a 4th grade reading book. He did not struggle through even one word. He read with such great inflection, drama, and enthusiasm. He acted out parts as he read and when he finished his chapter, he begged to read one more!
When my daughter was 4 she sat with her brother at the home school table and did things right along with him. Many times answering the math problems before him. I had to decide whether to begin Kindergarten with her a year early, or hold her back until she was 5. I prayed, sought advice from many… teachers, home schoolers, family members… but when I prayed God made it clear to me that my committment to homeschooling was a long-term committment and grade levels weren’t as important as education. She had a rocky start, at the midway point I thought maybe she’d redo the Kindy work, but then things just clicked and she was clearly grasping every concept her brother had done the year before. Today, sitting next to me a young 1st grader (still only 5) she read to me a book considered at the end of 2nd grade level. She struggles with wanting to read quickly, so she skips over words, but has learned to go back and reread until it makes sense. She reads most of the time, knows how to find her favorite books in the library, and has made great friends with the head librarian (her social skills at work!). I no longer even question whether I’ve made the right decision for my family. We have our struggles, but I am confident we’ll overcome them!
I share all this to say, decisions can be a hard time in life. We all have to make them… but when God is in the equation, He will guide you. And once you’ve committed to following the decision God wants you to make, the rewards are too numerous to count! There is nothing more joyous as knowing you’ve made the right choice. And then to sit back and let God bless you for obeying Him. I’m not saying Homeschooling is all rainbows and white shimmery linen (one of my happy thoughts), it has some MASSIVE stresses, and frustrations (try teaching a distracted boy how to multiply while the 2-year-old pours a box of cereal all over the floor, and your 1-year-old is screaming because he’s not getting every bit of mom’s attention… oh and there’s that other kid that excels at math and makes sure her big brother knows it!!!) But I know at the end of the day, that I’m right where God needs me to be. The frustrations, stresses, fears (yes, they are still there) are all ways God points me back to himself. I can’t do any of it alone. And neither can you. Life changing decisions are not only made with God through prayer, but the committment also involves maintaining an active prayer life.
What are you facing today? Are you adding God to the decision-making process? He’ll make all the difference! Can I pray with you? Leave me a message (click on the blue box at the title of this “Decisions, Decisions, Decisions”)