Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Breaking the news

I have to admit that I don't really know exactly the reaction that I was expecting from people when we told them about our plans. I maybe thought I would have to give more defense. Or maybe feel like I needed to be a little apologetic. Or maybe people wouldn't understand. Or share our excitement. Or maybe think we were crazy? I'm not exactly sure...

I only know that whatever I was expecting is not what we have gotten. Almost every person that we have told has reacted with excitement, positive encouragement and joy. We've had people shed tears full of emotion with us. Our friends and family have been a source of ideas and refreshing encouragement. They have blessed the choices we are making. They have told us they can picture us doing this and that it's a good match for us.

It really has been uplifting to me to experience the "building-up" that others can provide. Sometimes in the 'busy-ness' of life there's no time to build up doubt or fear or insecurities, but when things are calm sometimes Satan's voice begins to speak about things we 'shouldn't' do, or things we 'can't' do...I believe the words of hope and of confidence and power that God has for me so that I can hide myself away from the evil one. In addition, I am so thankful for the body that He has provided us through the church and all of the ways that we can encourage, help, support and build each other up.

I have faith that God is leading us in this journey, and I know that He is the one I am to listen to and follow. I am thankful for his Word which gives me hope and confidence that He is who He says He is, and that He will do what He has said He will do!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Old School?

I am a product of several education systems. My mom stayed home with my brother and me and pre-schooled us up until it was time for us to go to Kindergarten. I spent grades K-3 in a private elementary school, and then grades 4-12 in our (very good) public school system. I then spent 5 years studying in a Christian university. (this one!) I loved school, honestly. I didn't like all the drama of (middle and high) school, but I loved getting good grades. I loved hanging out with my friends. I loved going to activities like dances and pep rallies and field trips and sports events. I loved school.

I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would question our cultural norm of sending my kids to school. It is so socially accepted that it must be THE right thing to do, right? I assumed so...until I had my own children, that is.

When I had Lawson, Jon and I agreed that I would stay home with him. Naturally, when Jordan came along Lawson and I just had another playmate at home. I'm not gonna lie, there are days when I feel like I am going crazy. There are days that I want to pull my hair out then go lay in my bed (where it's quiet) all day! But those days are infrequent and, for the most part, spending every day of my babies' lives with them has been one of life's biggest blessings for me.

I cannot even describe the feeling I have because I am privileged to see them grow and develop. I love to see their eyes light up when they discover something new or understand something they have been trying to learn. I love watching them play together and laugh with each other. It truly makes my day.

When Lawson turned 4, I started thinking about the day that he would one day go to Kindergarten. It kind of make me sick to my stomach! I hated the thought that he would (in less than 2 years) be spending the majority of his time with someone I didn't even know. Someone who could be the most fabulous teacher ever...or...someone who was waiting around for retirement. Someone who might like my child...or...not like my child, and definitely could not love my child the way Jon and I do. But definitely someone who would then have more time with, and also more influence on, my children.

At age 4 Lawson knew all his letters and numbers, colors; he could count and start telling me sounds. He loved to sing and knew Bible stories. He had tons of friends at church, and played with them just fine. He was already smart. For the first time ever, I began to think about keeping my kids home from school and home-schooling them. I mean, up until then, they had already been home-schooled, right? And of course, true to form with me, the doubt then started creeping in.

In our society, it seems that almost as soon as someone has a baby, they are immediately looking for some sort of daycare of mother's morning out or preschool, and inquiring about at what age they can start taking their child there. To put them in "school." To have a break. To get some of their "me" time back. So they can go to the grocery store alone. And even if parents don't utilize a preschool program, most moms long for the day their kids go to school.

I just never felt those things. Yes, there are days that I want a break, but Jon has always been so great about giving me chances to get out, and then he gets time to be with the kids too! I really feel that God has given these children to us to raise up in Him, and handing a 5-year-old over to a school system to raise just doesn't seem right to me.

Anyways, for the past 2 years, I have been in a mental battle trying to decide what the right schooling choice for our family would be. I didn't really want to home-school, but every time I tried to justify just sending him to school I couldn't. If I kept him home with me, would he feel like he was "missing out" on what the other kids do? Would I be cheating him out of something? I have been mulling over this for two years, without giving any thought to correlating it to our journey to the mission field. In fact, at that time we had only just begun to talk about talking about missions.

This summer was the time to make the decision. Time for Kindergarten. I had to choose between what I "wanted" to do, and what my heart just kept insisting was the right thing for our family to do. We chose to home-school. So far it is going great! Lawson and Jordan are both loving their schoolwork. We have been on a couple field trips with our home-school group. Our family schedule hasn't been disrupted.

Looking back, I can see how this whole thing was another way God was preparing me for the journey we are about to go on. While we are in Honduras, I will be home-schooling the kids so that when we return to the US they will still be on pace academically. Why not take this last year before we go to spend our time doing things we love to do as a family and not living the crazy schedule that is the life of "school"?

By now you are probably thinking, "When is she going to start learning the "Trust God" lesson? I'm working on, I tell you! For now, this is just one more thing for me to scribble in the "If you do what God's telling you to do, He will work things out for you" column!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


"But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through."

I have never read one of Francis Chan's books, but it seems like everyone else in the world has. I recently read this quote on a friend's blog, and it struck me. It has been rolling around in my head causing me to think. A lot.

I so agree with this statement, but I am also so afraid of the implications of agreeing with this statement. How, as a human being, do you get to the point that you can physically and mentally be 'unafraid' of being in uncomfortable situations? Situations where we have relinquished all control.

But in 'real' life, though, what do we really have control over? Is control just an illusion before us? Maybe the 'unafraid-ness' comes from just realizing or admitting that we never really had control over anything in the first place. When we come to that conclusion can we find a peace in letting go of all the stress and worry that goes along with trying to control it all.

I am resolved now to make a concerted effort to move forward in faith. Uncomfortable. Unafraid. Trusting Him Completely.

And I know He will come through.

For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Deuteronomy 20:4

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him... Psalm 37:7a