The other day the kids and I all went to the Farmer's Market. All my kids enjoy this weekly outing in the summer. They especially look forward to the treat that comes at the end for good behavior -usually honey sticks, but last week, in the heat, we had "apple cider slushies" instead. YUM!
I saw a couple of old friends at the Farmers Market last week. One I hadn't seen in years, the other is a parishoner at the Church we were at before we switched when Night Owl started Highschool.
The first friend asked the kids what school they were going to in the fall. "We homeschool" was the reply. She looked at me like I was nuts and said "I don't know how you do it!"
"We just do", I replied, not knowing exactly what else to say. Later, the other friend approached and asked why she hadn't seen us in church. I explained that when Night Owl started highschool, we switched parishes so we could be a part of what goes on at the parish connected to his school.
She asked why we had decided to put him in school instead of continue homeschooling, and seemed very disappointed in our decision. This surprised me because she does not homeschool her children. Once again, I was unprepared for the question and gave a rather lame answer.
The real answer to both the comment and the question is "because we are called to it". God blesses us with the grace we need to do all that He calls us to do. I feel His grace every day, and I'm glad because I could not continue on without it. Eight years ago, when my husband suggested we homeschool, I thought he was crazy. I prayed desperately that he would have a change of heart. I did not want to be in opposition with my husband. The Lord changed my heart instead. I saw clearly that this is what God was calling us to do. I took a step in faith and He has blessed us tremendously. Homeschooling has become part of who we are. It just fits. The children are thriving and I have grown so much in my Faith.
So, when my husband came to me last year and said he felt that we should enroll Night Owl in the highschool, once again, I thought he was crazy. How could he even suggest it?! Things were going so well! I prayed. And, as before, the Lord helped me to see that I needed to step in faith, that He was with us, that He willed it. We made the step, and the blessings have been many.
This obedience, sometimes so scary at first, is the key to our peace. I saw it growing up when my own mother made decisions based on what the Lord called her to do - even though some people she knew thought she was crazy. I hate to think of the person I might have become if my mother had acted selfishly, based on what the world was telling her, instead of listening to the Lord. I want my own children to be raised under His watchfulness and care. I want to do all that He calls us to because I see the graces, even in the midst of hardship, when it comes. And it does come. A life of grace is not a life without hardship!
This obedience, this "doing what we are called to do" has also taught me that not everyone has the same calling. When a person asks me about homeschooling, in my exhuberance, I want to reply - "It's great. You should homeschool your kids!" But I don't. I know that God does not call everyone to this life. Without His call, and the grace that comes with it, I don't think it would be possible. Well, maybe possible, but not peaceful. I also know that His perfect will requires some parents (like my own) to work full time jobs, and some children to be in schools to "shine His light" there where it is so necessary.
I hope he calls us to continue homeschooling for a very long time because I have become passionate about this lifestyle. It works for us. It is peaceful. I find so much joy in it.
But, if He calls us to something different, I will be obedient. It might take some time to convince me, but I'll do it. Because, as I said in so many words above, it is in obedience to Him that we find our peace.