It seems that often we must wait long periods of time to receive an answer from God to a prayer. Often the wait is what builds perseverance and trust and faith that God is in control. And, then, sometimes God answers a prayer before we have even spoken it. This is what He chose to do when we decided to homeschool.
I’ve talked about our decision to homeschool (here) before. It was not anything that had EVER been on mine or Andy’s radar…until God put it there when Addy was still quite young. We spent hours (and hours) which carried over into days and weeks and months and probably a good part of a year talking about every pro vs. con scenario to homeschooling. One of the “cons” we really struggled with was the inevitable isolation we would be placing upon our family. We could still have the same dear friends (and family), but it wouldn’t be the same as the years progressed and our family wasn’t a part of what all the other families were doing. We wouldn’t have our kids’ sports or school projects or their friends or field trips to talk about. We wouldn’t be able to relate to the accomplishment (and stress) of getting kids up and out the door by 7:30 AM and making it to all the activities on time. We wouldn’t watch our children get together and recite chants and cheers for the ol’ Cardinals with our friends’ children. In the same way they wouldn’t be able to relate to me being home 24/7 with the kids and the accomplishment (and stress) of entertaining Cora while teaching the older two. Our children would be “out of the loop” when getting together with other kids their age. Were we willing to do that? Would we really WANT to choose that for our family, for our kids?
Now, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t as though our lives would be so vastly different from our friends that we couldn’t still get together with them, as well as facilitate those friendships for our kiddos too. But, really, when you have 5-18 year old children, school is kind of a big part of the family’s life! At the time we didn’t know anyone nearby that homeschooled AND had children that we be comparable in age to our kids. So, the decision to homeschool kind of felt like a free fall. This is where God showed us grace and blessing while confirming our journey to homeschool.
Around the time Addy turned 3, we decided we would pursue homeschooling. Shortly after this, our church was without a pastor and were interviewing candidates. Of the three being interviewed, we found out that one couple would also be planning to homeschool their children. (They currently have 4 kiddos which are all close to my kids’ ages.) I was so happy when our church hired Josh and Rachael. It was a moment of “Thank you, God for bringing a family into our life that has also chosen this path. What a blessing to share it with someone!”
Then, a few months before we prepared to start Kindergarten, one of my dearest friends Andrea came to me to share that they were going to be homeschooling as well. Andrea is my little buddy Wastna’s, mommy and she and her family have been God-sends to us as we pursue adoption. She and I have not only been blessed to have long conversations about homeschooling the past 9 months, but she is a constant source of encouragement as we are at the beginning of the waiting stage for our child. Their son Was has been home (from Ethiopia) with them now for over a year, and he has 3 big sisters as well. Again, her younger kiddos are the same ages as Addy and Abe, and they also attend church and homeschool group with us.
Then about a month ago, I found out that another few of our sweetest friends had decided to start homeschooling next year. They live a few hours away, but we do our best to keep in touch with them and get together when we can. They have 3 girls and one boy, and guess what…..all close to our kids’ ages. We love getting together with their fun family, and will now be able to do that more as our schedules allow!
In addition to these families, we have had a few other very close friends tell us they are praying about God’s will for their own children’s education and what that might look like for them. Before we even spent time in prayer for God to bring us into fellowship with families who shared a similar lifestyle, He already had it under control.
He called us to this, He has equipped us for it, and He is blessing us through it.
So, what happens when you get 4 sets of homeschooling parents to leave their 4 kids each(3 for us, for now) at home and drive 2 hours to meet for dinner and a homeschool conference?
4 hours of incredibly loud gut-wrenching laughter and an unspeakable blessing.