Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Here's My Heart

I think you all know that I've always homeschooled my kids...  and I have mentioned briefly that this past September, I put my two oldest in a Christian school - not because I really wanted to, but more because I felt like I needed to for a few reasons.  I was hoping it would bring me relief in the pressure I feel, but I just don't think that's possible with a family my size and with the ages of our children at the moment.  About a month ago, I put Sam in public school because I have felt for a few years now that he has special needs of some sort and this year, with the new baby coming, I wasn't able to give him my all and thought the public school system would have the resources to figure out what Sam needs.

And although I know all of this needed to happen this year - and I will always do what I feel best for my kids, even if it hurts my pride - I hate it.

Our homeschool is called Undivided Hearts Academy... I named it with the verse from Psalm 86:11 in mind... Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name....  In reference to our homeschool, this meant to me that we homeschool to learn HIS ways and that by learning His ways, we learn to rely on Him - and by relying on Him, we find that he is always faithful and we remain in Him and fear Him - and the Bible says that the beginning of WISDOM is the fear of the Lord.  And I homeschooled my kids so they would become wise.  Not just book smart.

Also in the heart of that name for me. was the idea that we would not be divided.  We would be together... together physically, but also on the same page spiritually. And even Rachel was one with us because in Christ nothing - not even death - can separate us.

Every day since September I have questioned my decision.  Every day I have regretted at least once that I wasn't able to make the vision I had for my family a reality for them... for us... for God...

This past few weeks I have really been seeking God on this.  I've talked to other homeschool moms of large families on how they did it - and even tested the waters with the kids on the topic of returning to homeschool next year, but I have asked God a million times what I should do.  I just don't want to have any regrets... The pros and cons list seems obvious - but there is a part of me that envisions next year being home with just Eden and fool myself into thinking that the ability to get my house clean and feel more "put together" or whatever would somehow fulfill me.  I've bought into some of the lies that I've heard along the way... the way the world/society wants us to feel... we aren't capable of teaching our kids... we aren't enough... I can't do right by them... that I am selling them short...

I can't say I won't mess up a hundred times a day.  But I can't say I don't with them IN school either.  All I know is that when they are all here, my heart feels right.  And when they aren't, it doesn't. I know that the things they come home telling me - almost every single day - are things that make my heart swell with concern for theirs.  I know that the one hope I had was that if we all had some time apart, our relationships would be better, is totally opposite of what has happened.  But on the flip side of that, I know that God sees what I can't and that He uses EVERYTHING.  I just need to trust Him when I don't know all the answers.

So today, all of my kids were sick - except Eden so far, thank God - They picked up this horrible cold that comes with high fevers and upper respiratory problems.  I spent the day cleaning, disinfecting, trying to get them to eat, and rotating Tylenol and Ibuprofen all day.  But they were all here and we were undivided... and we had an awesome day...  we connected.

A few weeks ago, I went out shopping on a night I was missing Rachel really bad and totally overwhelmed with Matt's work schedule leaving me home alone with all the responsibilities for 70 hours that week.  I picked up two Yankee Candles that were on sale to satisfy my attempt at retail therapy.  On the way to the checkout, I stopped to look at this "You are my sunshine" sign I saw and I dropped the "Sun and Sand" one and it shattered everywhere.  Everyone looked... and there I was - the exhausted, lonely, grieving mom... out late at night buying discount candles because the distance I feel within my family since Matt's new job started and the kids started school 6 weeks after that is excruciating and it was less painful to just be alone.

I was in my bathroom cleaning today and I had lit the other candle... I don't often light candles because with boys, it's not safe, but I was knee deep in laundry and cleaning pee off the toilet so I was in there awhile.  Like every other day, my mind was going over all the pros and cons of homeschool... how I could do this without failing them... wondering where on earth my confidence went with all of this...  praying that if I go ahead and do what I feel I'm supposed to do, rather than what sounds easier, that I won't mess them up forever - and really just trying to figure out if it's God telling me this - or just me having a hard time with my kids growing up....

I finished up (my bathroom looks *amazing* right now!) and went to blow out the candle and noticed a heart dancing around.  I did a double take to be sure I wasn't seeing things... I went to grab my camera, assuming it would be gone when I got back, but it  wasn't.  Sam came in and said "Hey look, there's a heart!" - we watched it together in awe - a moment I would have totally missed with him had he been in school today.

I don't know about you, but I've never seen a candle burn like that. This photo is not edited at all - except to add Rachel's name to it.  A heart?!  I watched it for quite awhile and as it separated and came back together, forming a perfect heart once more, I just wondered if I truly believe it when I say my God is faithful?  Do I believe it when I say He is more than enough?  Do I believe it when I say that Hope in Him anchors my soul?  Do I believe that if He calls me to something that He will equip me for it?  Do I believe He is still listening... still there... still working... even when I can't hear Him?  And do I trust Him enough to wait on Him?  Do I believe, that if God changes my role in the lives of my children, that even if it hurts, that He knows what He is doing?  Do I believe that He can cover all of my failures in their lives?

Today I read Proverbs 31 and was challenged by the verse that says she laughs at the days to come... in other words, she didn't fear the future. At all.  I want to be that part of the Proverbs 31 woman.  I want to pour myself into my home and the loves that fill it up so full and do everything I can to make this place a haven for them - to make sure they know that I love them and will take care of them...that they are safe with me... to show them how our Father in heaven loves us... without fear... and I don't think I can ever fully do that if I'm out of step with God's call on my life.

Now I need to just figure out if that call has changed... or if I'm just fighting it because somewhere deep down, I don't feel adequate for the position.  But I have this burning desire in my heart to be together - undivided - with God and with my children - here and in heaven.  I feel like I'm faking my way through this school bus mom role and my heart is just yearning for the old days... This doesn't feel like me.  It doesn't feel like what I was made to do....

I've been wandering, so uncertain of so much - and I just need more of God or I doubt anything will make sense any time soon.  I'm willing to do whatever He wants me to - I am just struggling to know what that is - in so many ways.

I stumbled upon this song tonight while looking for another song I heard on the radio.  I love Lauren Daigle... this song really got me - and of course the timing was perfect, as usual.

Here's my heart Lord, speak what is true.... drive out all the confusion and noise and speak clearly to me please... You're all I have - You're everything...  You are strong, sure, life, You endure. You are good. Always true.  You are light, breaking through...  You are more than enough... You are here, you are hope, love,grace...  Here's my heart, Lord... speak what is true...

1 comment:

We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes