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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Choices - part 3

Were we willing to lay it all on the line to follow and trust God? That sounds like such an easy question to answer, but honestly it is one of the most difficult. Our hearts say “YES! Let’s go!” But, our minds and earthly desires tend to take over and start clouding our judgment and our desire to follow the ONE who holds us in His hand. So, we walk through life, trying our best to follow but let’s face it, most of the time we end up leading and then stopping to ask for directions! Which, more often than not, requires us to backtrack and try again. I must admit, starting over frustrates me, but in recent years I have learned that starting over can refocus you, re-energize you and renew you. What a blessing those times have become to me.

When our family found out baby #3 was coming, they were not excited in the least. To say that was difficult is an understatement. We were thrilled that God was going to entrust us with a new life and most of our family couldn’t say anything nice. It was a time that I had to FULLY rely on God and His promises to me. He promised to be there when I fall and to love me unconditionally. That’s what I had to hold onto. At that time, I had a few friends that were happy for us, but worried at the same time since our 2nd and 3rd children would be less than 15 months apart. Now, believe me when I say…I TOO WAS WORRIED!! All of this happened about the time we were really talking seriously about homeschooling our children. How in the world was I going to be able to teach Tyler with 2 little ones running around? Again, I began doing research and reading all I could on the subject of homeschool and younger siblings. The more research I did, the more I realized that it’s just a learning process. We would just have to learn it all together and we would fail together and work through it. I was scared, but excited to see where God was going to take us in this journey. As Tyler was entering his 4th year of preschool, I began to notice little things that concerned me for his future in public school. I noticed that in large crowds he literally couldn’t handle himself. Now, you might say that is just a 4 year old boy. But, this mom knew better. He had absolutely no idea how to control himself. Call it immaturity, call it boy, call it ADD – whatever it was concerned me. Our nephew was in public school Kindergarten and I found out there were 28 kids in his class! 28 KINDERGARTENERS?!? Are you kidding me? How could they possibly learn anything? That poor teacher can not possibly have time for those who might need the extra attention. And, if she took that time she would be neglecting those who might not need as much attention, but they still needed some! This spurred me on to deep prayer about homeschooling our children. You see, at this point we had not yet decided what to do. I kept thinking that next year when I had 2 little ones at home, Tyler would be safely at school learning away. But, now I wasn’t so sure. I began talking to a very good friend of mine who had homeschooled her kids and it was very enlightening. After placing her kids in school that year, we had a lot to discuss. Then, in December 2009 my husband once again, lost his second job, which paid for our home & some other necessary expenses. This sent us both on a quest to FULLY and COMPLETELY trust God. Something that we always said we did, but soon realized we did not. We trusted Him with the little things and really trusted Him when all was well. But, now we found ourselves in a situation that could lead to the loss of our home and more. This quest has taken us through valleys and more valleys; some hills but most mostly valleys at this point. It has not been easy by any means, but let me honest in telling you I have never been more FULL OF JOY!! I was happy when things were going well, but I wasn’t full of joy; at least not the joy that comes from resting in the Lord daily. This was a new journey and the one I find most rewarding!! We are not rich by any means and we have made some HORRIBLE choices in our finances. Now, we are paying for those choices. We neither one had been taught to save money. I was single for nearly 8 years after high school, so I really had no worries. Jacob grew up more privileged than I, so he really never had to worry about money. Now we found ourselves short about $900 a month in income to live! Jacob immediately began searching for a 2nd job, but soon realized that finding one that worked around his overnight schedule was nearly impossible. Over the past 9 months he has interviewed for several full-time & part-time ministry opportunities, but none of them were where we felt God leading us. This literally threw my husband into a depression and he became a recluse. He shut me and everyone else out. But, during that time I felt God telling me to let him be. “I will take care of him. Trust me.” And, you know what? He was right! My husband began to really study the Word and read more books than I’ve seen him read since we graduated college! He was on a quest, a quest for TRUTH. It was amazing the transformation God did in my husband. In turn, I was once again rejuvenated in my faith. I could see God at work.

Our small group began doing some studies that really challenged our faith and made us rethink the “way we do church.” I saw a revival happening right before me! It was amazing!! We did studies on prayer and the Holy Spirit, which changed the way we think, pray and act. I began listening to that “still small voice” in my head. I soon realized it was more than just my conscience; it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to do things and say things I wouldn’t normally say and in some cases it told me to not speak. I have seen a difference in my marriage and relationship with my kids, which just amazes me. I’ve seen people change, but I’ve never been an active part of it. There are no words.

In February 2010, we celebrated Tucker’s 1st birthday!! What a joyous occasion it was! I was 7 months pregnant and I felt great!! And, in just 2 short months we were going to meet our 3rd child – a precious little girl. During the “2nd semester” of Tyler’s preschool was when we really started talking, praying harder and seeking God’s wisdom for his future education. We were running out of time and a decision needed to be made. We were really leaning towards homeschool, but in all honesty – I was scared I couldn’t do it. Kindergarten and first grade is when they learn to read. What if I couldn’t teach my child to read? I would have an illiterate child forever! I would be a failure!! And, once again, I heard the Lord say to me, “You will never be a failure as long as you rely on me.” WOW!! What freedom, what relief! In April, before I gave birth, we decided that homeschool was probably the way to go. So, I attended a Homeschool group meeting with a friend. That night, the leader spoke and I was blown away! I knew this was a Christian group, but the support was so much more than I expected. They were amazing!!! The leader said these words, which changed my life forever. “God granted these kids to us. He has entrusted them to us for a very specific reason. If you feel God has called you to homeschool your children, then you must do it. And, if you feel He has called you, why would you doubt He won’t be there to help you? He will give you the tools, resources, patience, words and abilities that you need.” W-O-W!!!! So powerful, yet so simple. I had been looking at it all wrong! I did truly believe homeschool was the best option for my son/children, but I was too scared. Now, I realized that God has placed that call on my heart and He would see me through! I cannot tell you the freedom I felt with those words. He had never let me down before, why would He do it now? When I left that meeting, I felt a complete peace about homeschooling my kids. I not only knew it was best for them, it was going to be amazing because God was going to be with me the entire time! He will guide my lessons, my thoughts, my steps and my teaching – all I have to do is ASK!!

On April 20th, we welcomed baby #3, Madalynn Belle into our family. To say we were overjoyed is an understatement. We were thrilled to have our 3rd child arrive healthy & safely. She was perfect. Now…it’s time for some truth…I wanted a girl for our 2nd child, but when Tucker came I couldn’t have been happier!! He is such a joy and full of life. I was thrilled with 2 boys! Then, when I found out #3 was a girl, I must say I was a little disappointed. I honestly wanted another boy! I thought it would be so cool to have 2 boys so close together. They would be BEST BUDS! Now, don’t get me wrong…I was excited for our daughter to arrive. I honestly never thought it would happen though, so I had resigned myself to having a house full of rambunctious boys! You see, my husband’s family only had 2 girls (before ours) in 100 years! So, I was convinced we were going to have all boys. When the first ultrasound showed girl, I was shocked! Jacob was a little skeptical, so we had a second one done. It too showed girl. Then, due to my c-sections & scaring, I had several more ultrasounds, so each time I made sure it was a girl. But, being the skeptic I was, I still did not believe it. It was surreal. I remember lying on the table during the delivery and Jacob (who is always more interested in the procedure than me) looked back over the curtain and said, “She’s here!” My reply? “Are you sure it’s a girl?” “Yes,” he said. “No, did you see her parts? Are you really sure?” I responded. He looked at me with this astonished face that said, ‘are you crazy?’ His actual reply, “Yes, I’m sure. I know the difference between boy & girl parts!” Everyone in the room just cracked up. And, while I’m being honest, I was still skeptical. I didn’t fully believe she was a girl until I changed her diaper and saw for myself. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true! Well, my recovery was more than rocky this time. We found out a week after my delivery that the anti-contraction medication I took during my pregnancy was actually masking my high blood pressure. So, when they abruptly stopped the medication, it threw me into a downward spiral. Once I was back on the right medication, I felt great again. I had energy and was ready to learn how to be a mother of three.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Following God is not always easy. They way you've been able to completely trust is inspiring.