One year ago I had a sweet Kindergartener who loved school, a crazy, curly headed 3-year-old girl and a 2-month-old baby boy. Days were long as we all can understand, but they were flying by. As school was wrapping up for the summer I was so excited. More excited than I had thought I would be. Thankful to be able to ditch the schedule, the carpool, the uniforms and oh the homework. It was just Kindergarten, but honestly, it kind of did me in! I was ready for sunscreen and laughter and swimming and lightening bugs.
Summer was a blast and as it came to an end I had this uneasy feeling about sending our oldest daughter back to school.
It was not the school. We LOVE this school. My sisters graduated from this wonderful place, our family has been invested for decades, really. It was a dream when we realized she was able to attend here. So I knew that was not what was causing my heart check. So what was it?
I tried to ignore it. For weeks. Months even. Until I realized I needed to really ask God what was going on. I was scared to ask Him honestly. I think I knew what His answer would be, and I didn’t want to hear it. I just didn’t. So I didn’t ask. I would talk about it to a few close friends and my husband and that was it. God would place people in my path that I just couldn’t ignore. People who would say a few things that I knew were from Him.
The thought never left my brain for long. That He has a plan for us. I wanted this tugging to quit. So finally I began praying. And God answered me right back. It was Him. I knew it was. He was telling me to consider homeschooling our children. What? No. God, I cannot do that. You know I cannot handle this. You know that is not the plan. Lord, you cannot be serious. I am so unorganized, impatient, selfish and crazy. Lord, please NO!
And He wouldn’t stop. The Holy Spirit was SO LOUD. In my head and heart every single day about this. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t stop thinking that we needed to do this. This was His plan. So I began to seek wise counsel. Moms, teachers, Emma Kate’s principal, guidance counselor. I heard a little bit of, “Oh honey, she is doing great in school. It will be a lot for you to take this on with two little ones in addition to teaching.” Oh didn’t I know it! That’s why I was screaming NO!!! But more often, from mothers of grown children I was hearing, “Katie, this is an opportunity from the Lord. That is the Holy Spirit talking to you and you need to listen. She will only be six once. He is giving you time with your children. To love them and hold them. To get to know them even better, to find what makes them tick. To teach them to pray. To teach them to learn. This is from Him. And you need to listen.” And we would be teary and have a moment. And I would say, “thank you”.
And then I would say YES! But then I would say NO! Because I remember the fact that I cannot do this. There is just no way. Lord, give me another way.
So, somehow we landed on the idea that Emma Kate, whose birthday is August 29, could just repeat first grade. Just to give her some time to grow up a little. To put her with some children more her age. At six and a half, she is the youngest in her grade right now. So maybe if she could be a little older, she would mature, become more of a leader, it sounded like a great idea! And it felt good for a week or so. And the deadline came to re-enroll. So we did. And it felt awful. God, please! Leave it alone! She will repeat a grade. That alone is weird. That is different. Can’t we be different for you in that way? Can’t that be enough? Please?
But the fact was that I was ignoring Him.
Logic said leave her in school. Faith said take a leap.
We were up against a deadline. And from carpool I called Art, who had just re-enrolled our girl and even signed up our little one for pre-K and I said, “Art, we are making a mistake. I cannot send her here next year. Its not what He is saying.” And friends, my sweet husband, poor thing. He loves Jesus and he loves me, but this was hard on him. He wants a sane wife. And he wants to follow Christ. These two do not seem to go hand in hand this time.
Well, that day we said to heck with logic, I never liked it anyway. And we took a leap of faith. And I am terrified. I do not know WHY I have to do this, but I have to. And I do not know HOW to do this, but I will figure it out. And thankfully I will not be doing this alone.
This entire journey, God has been saying to me so loudly and clearly, “Katie, if you will do this, you will see the WHY! And you will see the HOW! I am for you. This is for you. Blessings will come from this year. Daughter, I made you who you are and I am calling you to this. You see mystery and have so much fear and doubt. Please hear my voice and follow me and you will not be disappointed. I’ve got this”
Well, if YOU have this, then I am with You.
Our plan is to enjoy this year. Teach Emma Kate first and second grade material for a year, Harper will get a little pre-k in there and William will likely destroy the entire house. And it will be hard. And there will be doubt. And I will cry. And be so afraid. But because I am listening to our great GOD and because I know who HE is, I know this year will come with so much excitement and blessing and triumph and that is what I am clinging to.
I am so afraid. Every other day I call Art to say we have made a mistake. And he gently leads me back to where we landed a few weeks ago. We are doing this. There is no going back.
And this is our decision for this year. Next year we plan to send them back to school. This is just a wonderful opportunity and seemingly perfect timing to make this change. What the future really holds, I have no idea, but that in our little plan, for now.