when someone else's convictions are not my own,
when peace intercedes after the laying down of control...
when we are free to step onto another path with no regrets...
this is when we can turn around and look at the path we have trod, notice that it has become dark, overgrown with vines, the trail bogged in stagnate mud.
Our homeschool adventure changes now as we shift into a new chapter.
I don't regret any of our adventure because while it has not always been easy it has always been best. It has been ours, together.
When we began homeschooling we were fueled by conviction and for most of our journey that has been the driving force. The conviction that our children and their education are our responsibility. The conviction that it is the parents that ought to be teaching, guiding, rearing, disciplining, molding, encouraging, and raising their own children.
Another of my driving forces in this adventure has been fear (I'm just going to be honest here). I've seen the dark side of this world. I've seen sin, tasted it, battled it. And from the moment my children were born I set out to protect them, to shield them from darkness, fiercely. One way I have been able to protect them is through homeschooling, thus abating my fear. Fear is a terrible motive by the way.
I understand that there have been times during these past 10 years of homeschooling that I was fueled by pride alone. Sometimes when all other strengths failed me and I was sure we couldn't get through another week, it was that pride that picked me up, dusted me off, and proclaimed "you will go on!". Truth be told, pride should never be the driving force behind anything.
In the quiet of my own heart I have found within myself a great need for control. Control is my stability. Control makes sure that I am protected, that those around me are protected, that my walls are up and fortified. Control keeps everything at the end of my fingertips, right within reach should the need arise.
Control ran our homeschooling adventure for quite some time. With my children ever present I had the ability to control what they hear, what they see, what they read, what they say, when they eat. Can you say "MICROMANAGING"? When a parent micromanages a child, said child will not learn how to handle themselves outside of the parent's presence. Child stands up straight, behaves like an angel, when controlled. But when the controlling presence is gone, parent is out of the room, the child is like a loaded weapon, now given the control over the bullet but without the ability to know how to use the gun.
Yes, parents should exercise some control over their children, it is our responsibility. But micromanaging damages, leaving the child crippled, unable to know how to function if someone is not constantly controlling.
To peer into a world where my control is laid down is frightening. It's so much easier to just keep up the juggling game, keep my control where it has always been. But my children are at stake in my game. And it's time to lay it down.
From day one I've known that these children, they are not my own. These boys belong to God and He allowed us the privilege of being their parents and the responsibility of raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. When they were wee babes we dedicated them right back to Him, knowing that our time with them was short and promising every effort to raise them for Him.
A fork in the road has been reached. Just one of many we have faced in this journey of parenting. One road continues on in fear, pride, and control. The other road is new ground, requiring a complete trust in the ONE who loves our children more than we do.
And my mom heart cries. Worries overshadow. Pride creeps in. But I lay it down.
And I lay it down again. And again.
And next year one of my little birdies will go to high school full time. And my other little birdie will continue on with school at home. And our dynamics change.
And I reflect on how far we've come. And I see where we've learned, where we've stumbled. And it's okay. And I understand that a change is required here.
And control falls from my hands and lays at HIS feet.