Reflections On My Rookie Year

 our first-year homeschool room

our first-year homeschool room

My first year of homeschooling is behind me and I feel a little sad to let it go. So much has changed in our lives this year that my head is spinning just thinking about it all. I’ve enjoyed my first year…immensely. Some days are hard and frustrating but the joy is still present…a living joy. Finally, I am where I am supposed to be…peace follows the realization of these words. Peace that endures. All my life I have felt out of step…like I did not belong to the place or moment in which I existed. Funny that I find such focus in my soul and life as my physical eye sight fades…(I need a large print Bible).

Spiritually, I felt a bit lost as last summer ended. My home church had become unsafe for one of my children. I was stunned and deeply discouraged by some members’ reactions to my child’s suffering. It hurts to be ostracized by the people you love…tons. Looking for a new church home was hard and some days I just wanted to give up on organized fellowship altogether. Anxiety gets the best of me sometimes and I stayed home those Sunday mornings. Eventually we did find a church home…just not the community I expected Jesus to place us. We are all happy in this new church…and safe. Adjusting to this new place was for me far harder than embracing the home learning lifestyle.

For the kids accepting the homeschooling way of life was challenging. The older two had been in public school and missed their friend and the rhythms of life associated with the lifestyle. They missed their friends from their old church as well and that made the transition a little more challenging than it should have been. Oldest had trouble slowing down…he was used to being hurried all the time. I still have to remind him that we make our own schedule and times now. He needs to take the time to ponder and learn…it seems the public school model takes the wonder and curiosity out of childhood. He also distrusts children his own age and barely associates with them…I am saddened over this because I know what a lonely childhood feels like. Sparkles spent the first part of the year regaining her self confidence…something so vital she was stripped of in public school. She excels now…in everything. JR completed both Kindergarten and first grade! I’ve struggled over the accelerated pace of his schooling. The second grade workload he is plowing through now is sometimes too much for a six-year-old. I forget sometimes and have to remind myself to let him be a little boy. Littlest is simply being raised in a learning environment and it shows…he does not understand a day off from school. I love teaching my children…this lifestyle feels natural and so very Biblical.

As each year goes by I feel closer to my husband but even more so this past year. Taking on the responsibility of educating our children has deepened our bond to each other as well as with our children. He is my knight in shining armor and I love him. I know he loves me and in the past couple of years I have come to feel less of a burden to him…more of a partner and a helper. I have found the more I embrace the model of Biblical marriage the deeper our marriage grows. My husband is amazing and I could not imagine life without him.

I thought about writing this post when I first started homeschooling. I expected it to be about curriculum choices, learning styles and co-ops. For our family becoming homeschoolers is more about seeking and embracing a lifestyle…a Biblical lifestyle. Not what I expected to write about.

God is good…fantastically good.

 

Exercise, Bacon and the Proverbs 31 Woman

My thoughts while exercising

My thoughts while exercising

I started one of my goals for the year this week…exercising. Now I know that traditionally I should have started in January but…well…I have no excuse. Exercising is not one of my favorite things to start. I am fine once I get started and am always glad for having done so afterward…the getting started part is just hard. Why? Because I have to get out of bed before everyone else…I really like to sleep…sigh. 

Truth is I may have not got around to exercising at all if it wasn’t for my friend who is about to start a Proverbs 31 study. I would love to go to her study but my priorities and schedule don’t always mix with my wants. So I decided to read about the noble Proverbs 31 woman. She is amazing and I fall very short of her example…like…not even on the wagon. Verse fifteen says she gets up while it is still dark. She is prepared to take care of her family…this woman has her priorities straight. After reading that line I told Jesus it would have hurt a lot less if He had hit me with an iron skillet…

I’ve been struggling on working exercise into my day…well…struggle would imply some kind of actual attempt that failed. So…I’ve thought about working exercise into my day but have found it hard to find a good consistent time. Excuses, excuses, excuses… So after pouting about getting up early with Jesus for a few days I managed to get up early this week and exercise, shower, and have coffee with the Word all before my household woke and needed me. The three days I managed to accomplish this were really good days.

One Word

The past few days I’ve read about others choosing a word for the coming year. A word to focus on to see them through their well-chosen resolutions…a word with spiritual meaning… a word to bring them closer in relation to The Word.

I want this coming year to be a good year…a year of grace and mercy. Honestly, I do not feel optimistic about the future to come. I am…uneasy. In all honesty, I feel these are the days of Noah. I do not say that lightly or believe it with open arms. The America I love is fading before my eyes. Freedom slipping away. The world seems to be in anticipation of some subtle calamity to come

All my worries aside…I choose hope. My word for 2013 is hope. Despite my fear of this bleak unknown I choose to live in hope. In Jesus I will place my trust. He is my hope and joy.