keep her close to you

22 Sep

A friend of mine posted on Facebook today:  Fall is my fourth favorite season.

Amen!

I totally concur.

There is something about the Fall.

Homeschool planning and doing, atrium planning and doing, teaching for co-op planning and doing, trying to stay on top of the house projects, cleaning, cooking and the general daily grind in the midst of all the planning and doing.  Yes.  It is hard.

For our family, this is the hardest transition of the year.  It is always plagued with a hearty dose of spiritual warfare.  Doubts, concerns, anxiety (oh, the stupid anxiety) and the endless scrutiny over every last decision that we have made for the school year.

The worst week for us is always the first week of school.  While some are all, “Yippee!  School started!” We are over here saying, “remind me again why we are homeschooling because oh my gosh it would be so much easier to send them to school every day!”  All of that planning and doing (or at least 90% of it) would be gone.

By Friday of the first week of school, I was about to hang up the towel and call the local Montessori school and enroll the kids.  Well, not really, but the words did come out of my mouth—a few times.

My prayer that week (and in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the first week of school) was, “Lord, help me to know Your will for the kids and for myself and Jason.”  There is no doubt in Jason and I’s mind that we are called to homeschool.  But where I get all anxious and antsy is in the details—I scrutinize everything.  There are no quick decisions.  I’ve tried and those stress me out more than the time it takes to come up with a well-thought out and prayed through plan.

So, by the end of the first week of school, I was feeling tired and well, just tired in every aspect.  But our week ended, as it does most Fridays, with our enrichment co-op (where the kids are enrolled in a variety of electives such as theater, Spanish, gym, and art).  As I was leaving co-op that day, a seasoned homeschooling mom that I am just getting to know stopped me to tell how much she enjoyed having Annie in the art class.  She went on to say that she was touched by Annie’s thoughtfulness and her confidence and her kind soul.  I, of course, was really touched by her observations of Annie.  She went on to say that her oldest daughters (now college aged) were/are a lot like Annie.  She then told me, “I know you are not asking, but I just feel like I need to tell you this.  Keep her close to you.  The world is going to tell you to send her off and do all of these things.  But, keep her close to you, especially in these early years.”  She went on to tell me how there were different times as her oldest daughters were growing up that she gave in to the pressure to send them out and her daughters to this day still tell her that those were the worst years of their lives.  “So, please, just keep her close to you.  You won’t regret it.”

I seriously had to choke back tears and a “thank you.  It has been a crazy first week of school and, man, did I need to hear that.”

I can’t explain it beyond to say that the conversation brought me so much peace.  Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart.  We knew this and live this each day.  And in some seasons it is easy to grow weary from it all.  But I felt like God was making it very clear to me that we were doing His will.   Keep fighting the good fight.  Keep on track.  Keep them close.

Because, gosh, they are a gift.

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One Response to “keep her close to you”

  1. jessicaschaubbooks September 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    I love that advice – something that I can see more clearly now that ever. I have five short years before my oldest will be in college…cherish every moment (the good, bad, and extra-noisy) and keep them close. Yeah…good stuff. Thank you for sharing!

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