Ever since our children were school age, every summer we always examined where we were and what God wanted us to do for them school-wise during the next year. For many years we homeschooled, not having any ideas of what private schools were out there. After we found Heritage Baptist and made it our home church, we discovered there were many other homeschooling families that attended, as well as the Christian school the church provided. Since we had so many children, sending them to the private school was not an option financially so we did not consider it at the time.
Two years ago Pastor approached us and gave us the opportunity to attend the school if I agreed to help them out in the afternoons with aftercare. We sought the Lord's guidance on this and felt He was giving us the go ahead to make the change. For the first time in six years we let the homeschooling title go and our children began private school. Having been a homeschool graduate myself, I had always thought I would be homeschooling my children forever. That was not God's plan for those two years. The truth was I needed a break so I could get refreshed from the burnout I had. I did struggle a bit with the fear that I was not doing what was right for my children, but over time the Lord gave me peace and brought me through an amazing time of growing bolder, more confident in Him (and myself) and nurturing wonderful relationships. I even taught for three months and realized I could do it again (teach, that is) with the Lord's help and strength.
It is summer once again. As always we look at the year ahead of us and wonder what God has in mind for our children. A few weeks ago I began thinking about homeschooling again. I began to pray about it, not sure if it was something we should even consider. Usually if it is of the Lord, the thought will not go away. I figured it was just the same usual argument I have with myself that eventually works itself out and fades into the distance. Not this time. I could not get the idea out of my head. I approached Joe and told him of my thoughts. I asked him to pray about it and see what he got from the Lord. We went away on our trip to PA and talked for quite some time about it. He was also getting the same idea and could not shake it. For days I agonized over the decision - homeschool or Heritage. I love the staff there. I have made friends with the other teachers and feel like I am a part of the family. I know my children love their teachers. Caleb especially loved his teacher. The gentleman was good for him and I know he will miss his wit and knowledge. Besides, Caleb has only one year left before junior high and youth group. Do I honestly think I will be able to prepare him for the challenges that no doubt lie ahead for him? Alaina and Susy loved their teacher too, and will no doubt miss their girl friends from school. Benny loved his classmates and teacher. His buddy is going to be going full time - how can I think about taking him from his friends? JJ struggled with seventh grade, but now that he is going into eighth things would probably get better. He would not be alone since his friend, who is going into seventh would help keep things interesting upstairs.
Over and over I argued, weighing this matter against that matter. We even talked to the principal and he told us he would support us in either choice God called us to follow. He is my son's youth pastor and loves him. He wants the best for him. We do too. We also want to do God's will. Still, the feeling would not go away. We made our decision the other night. We both have peace about our decision. We do not know why God is calling us down this road this year, but we believe we are to homeschool the children again. It may be that the Lord sees something big in front of us and knows we need this time to prepare us. Prepare us for what? I have no idea. Maybe it is simply because He wants us to become stronger as a family. Maybe He wants to see if we are listening to His voice so He can direct us to something bigger in the future. Maybe it is because there have been people praying (my oldest son included) for us to homeschool once again and God is answering prayers. If the only reason we homeschool is so one day my son can look back and see how much the Lord loves him and made Himself real to him, making a difference in whether he chooses the world or God's way, then it will be all worth it. I have no idea and neither does my husband. I do get a sense it will be only for this year. Highschool years will be different and I want JJ to get the firm hand of all the men teachers at the school, and benefit from their example. Yet, for now we do know this: it is God's choosing and we can only be safe in His will, no matter how hard it may seem, or how tough it may get. 1Th 5:24 "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."
I believe He will see us through every step of the way.
To hear with my heart,
To see with my soul,
To be guided by a hand I cannot hold,
To trust in a way that I cannot see,
That's what faith must be.
P.S. Heritage staff, we love you and will miss you!