Thursday, May 22, 2014

And Then God Shows Up: How Our First Homeschool Year is Concluding {and an encouragement for you}

Everyone who chooses to homeschool inevitably encounters that first year experience. The experience that says it was hard but it was worth it. Maybe I'm speaking for myself when I say that the hard in that first year is really in the pruning of the parent. Me.

The hardest points this year for me were when I most held on to control, expectation and fear in this new and uncertain endeavor. When I would not fully trust the direction God was taking us but rather, found myself bound by checklists and duty to a system–just another confining system. This will be your biggest challenge, too.

And the most growth that has taken place is when God has opened my eyes to a child not just a curriculum and a personality, learning style or bent not just a schedule. That will be your greatest freedom.

And truthfully, the only way that kind of freedom happens is through the breaking of those chains–those confining chains that are all in the name of the "best interest" of our children. Turns out, God knows that better than we do.

Burdens inevitably lie in the need to meet more or simply different varieties of our children's needs. And those burdens are heavy because we're human and because we deeply love these lives we've been entrusted–burdens for them, heavy enough that we seek and pray and lay those burdens at the foot of the cross.

And we press on and love them and persevere and there are wonderful moments and glimpses of the bigger picture in and through it all.

Make no mistake, though, there will be burden and brokenness in that first year of homeschool. Maybe there always will be. And shouldn't there be? Because that's where God shows up. I mean really shows up.

He clears the path where obstacles have lain. He opens doors where none were seen. He brings clarity where there has been confusion, provides rest where we've become weary, and offers hope in the face of despair.

God is so good. He is opening doors for next year in ways that only he can be glorified through it. Some things you just can't engineer through sheer will. People, schedules and needs don't always mesh but when God orchestrates something in your life, it just falls into place. 

What can I say, but our community of collaborators and resources are growing. We have all made new friends along with the old and I am so excited to see what God will continue to do as we seek him and entrust the lives of our children to him.

As homeschooling parents, we have got to have long-term vision, patience and perseverance. The first year may be the hardest, but God will surely bless those efforts and act of obedience. If we press on, we will see those seasons of harvest, as we continue to be molded by the Perfecters hands.  And we will witness that God clearly shows up to provide for every one of our needs.

We have concluded our year with a field trip back to Bradford Brinton Memorial and presenting memory work to Green House Living next week. We're concluding with much satisfaction and gratitude and so much more to look forward to. God is good.

I think I can really breathe now.
But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in Glory in Christ Jesus. –Phil 4:19

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