Earlier this month I began a series called What Will You Choose? that began chronicling how my choice this year to live in God’s fullness affected my everyday life during the last several very busy months. Today, I share with you the second big thing that happened.
In addition to working through the effects of Fear and Worry about my daughter attending high school this fall (see that post here), I also experienced their pull in determining what to do with my son’s education.
You see, Christopher too is home-schooled. He has been ever since the first grade. While Taylor was home-schooled from the middle of the fourth grade until high school, Christopher has been with me for all of his formative school years. Additionally, while I went back to work full-time just eleven weeks after Taylor was born, I have never worked outside of the home since giving birth to Christopher. He and I have had quite a different type of relationship.
So, amid all the praying and school visiting for Taylor, I also included prayers for what to do about Christopher. We have always given our children the choice about whether or not to attend school, and until this year both have chosen to remain at home. But, because his sister was going to school (and garnering a lot of attention because of it), Christopher decided he’d like to check it out for himself as well.
Attending a Christian school was out of the question because 1) all of the viable options were in the opposite direction of any school we looked at for Taylor, and 2) they were more expensive than home schooling him. So we visited the local public school. Having had a public education all my life, and having a been a teacher for ten years in one, I do not have the same reactions to public school as some home schooling parents. However, as we walked the halls, looked in on classes, and checked out curriculum, I noticed one HUGE area of concern: these kids were learning things Christopher had already mastered and moved on from. Fear and Worry pounced.
Fear: “What if you pushed Christopher too hard and now he’s too far ahead for any school?”
“What if he goes to school, is bored, and acts out? What will the teachers think of you then? What will they think of homeschooling families?”
Worry: “How will it be if he’s home by himself all year? You (meaning me) will have to entertain him all day.”
“How will you ever get anything done? “ “What if he never goes to school?”
As we left the public school that day I was most certainly on the edge of making the choice to give in to the demanding questions of Worry and Fear instead of choosing to live in the fullness of Christ that He says He came to give us in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Yep, there was that verse again (If you read the first post in this series you know that John 10:10 is the verse God has been using to bring me through several trials this year), popping up to remind me that Fear and Worry were about to take over if I gave them any more brain time.
Have you ever had conversations in your head like this?
It’s these conversations that Fear and Worry TRY to engage us in that signal the entrance of the thief. Too often in my life I have allowed the thief in to my detriment. This year, God has been reminding me of the thief’s constant attempts at stealing that fullness and whispering His Word in my ear in order to encourage me to trust Him more completely. I was trusting God with Taylor’s education. Couldn’t I trust Him for Christopher’s too?
Then came a sense of freedom. If Christopher went to school I would be free to use my time each day as I wanted! Oh, how I could do so much more for the ministry if I wasn’t a home schooling mom! My house would stay cleaner! I could meet with friends! I could meet Scott for lunch! I could work-out whenever I wanted!
Fear and Worry were hard at work using another tactic: infusing my thoughts with doubts that continuing to home school would get in the way of other priorities I had in my life.
And then another whisper… “I have a plan, Stephanie. Will you trust me in it? Will you remain true to living your life according to My priorities? This ministry is Mine. Will you let Me run it in My timing?
And the battle began…Would I choose to trust God or give in to Fear and Worry?
I prayed hourly. Scott and I discussed the issue at length. I called several of my home schooling friends and bounced ideas off of them. I talked with my ministry partners about what we could do with all the time I might have.
But, there was no peace in the decision to send him to school any way we looked at it. This year Christopher continues his home school education. And in that decision there is peace.
Peace has come in relinquishing my plan for this year and instead allowing God to write His, one day at a time. As I write this, Christopher is sitting across from me working on his poetry. He has needed my attention several times, so much so that writing this post has taken me almost 2 hours. We spend his breaks together playing ping-pong and taking our puppy for walks. Conscious of possible isolation (and my sanity), I have enrolled him in drum lessons and a home-school program once a week for computer training and a language class. I still take him to homeschooling taekwondo classes two times a week. We have a busy schedule.
Despite the busyness there have already been incredible blessings.
- I have been able to recognize that Christopher is way too easily distracted and needs almost continual encouragement, so we have been able to begin working on developing his independence and security in God.
- I have been able to stand my ground against the attempts of Worry and Fear that I am not getting enough done.
- I have been given all the time I need to get the shopping, house cleaning, and errands done without upsetting Christopher’s school routine.
- My husband is conspicuously more vocal about how nice the house looks each day when he comes home AND our friendship with one another is growing.
- My daughter is super confident in her new school so much so that she doesn’t even need me to remind her to do her homework…she just does it (add has an A average to boot!).
- New people have come into my life willing to help out with the growth of the ministry (that whole story will be in my next post!) and new speaking opportunities have all of a sudden come pouring in.
What decision are you struggling with? Where is your peace being stolen? Where in your life have the whispers of Worry and Fear taken over and stolen the fullness of life for which Christ died? My hope is that be seeing how the choice to follow God has brought peace and blessings into my life that you might be encouraged to do the same.
You, my sweet sister, ARE loved by God, who has plans far beyond what we could ever comprehend. Trusting him can be scary, but it is the ONLY way to live in the fullness of all He has given us.
I am praying for you!
You KNOW how I love music. Here’s a song to help you choose to ignore Fear and Worry and instead trust God today. One version included clips from Facing the Giants (I cried!) and the other is simply the song. Enjoy!
Looking for a dynamic, personable speaker for your next church retreat or ladies meeting ?
Look no further!
- No Leading Allowed
- The Next Book You Need to Read!
- Saying Good-by…for Now
- Making Space for God Link-Up: Worry-Free Parenting
- Already There
- Making Space for God Link-Up: Cultivating Wisdom
- Roller Coaster Faith
- Making Space for God Link-Up: Prioritizing Marriage
- Overcoming Doubt
- Making Space For God Link-Up: The Kindness Challenge