Faith Said, Take a Leap
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.
I love how Katie’s writing makes you feel like you are having a cup of coffee with her and jus having a conversation. What a bold and brave move but what an opportunity to lean on the Lord like never before. Proud of you, Katie! And I love your beautiful way with words.
Thank you Betsy! Would love to actually share that cup of coffee one day!
Thanks for this! I’m have been struggling with the decision to quit my job and stay home with my kids. It”s a different decision than yours, but the same fears, and the same persistent God! Thanks for showing us how you worked through it!
Thank you for sharing this. God is so good. He will lead you and all you have to do is follow. I know there can be so many gray areas, unknowns, fears, anxieties, but He has all of that! He knows YOU and he knows what you need. Please let us know what you decide! Praying with you and for you as you pray through this!
For those that are new – Katie was my closet mom friend in Atlanta before we moved. Our girls are very best friends and it has been pure joy and pain to watch her go through. I’ve never been more proud of my friend. We have texted and talked about 100 times on this topic and she’s always been real and honest with her fears and what she was hearing from God. She loves Him and her family so much and I cannot wait to watch the next year unfold. Obedience brings incredible unexpected blessings. I love you Katie – so excited for your kids. That means – see you in Orlando, right? Or meet ya at the beach?
Court! See you in ORLANDO and at the BEACH my sweet friend. Thank you for not hanging up every time I brought this up. Thank you for supporting me no matter what. Thankful for you. You are a gift.
Oh, sweet Katie…I can’t remember the last time that I sat weeping like this at my computer. Literally, weeping. Love the honesty. Thanks for showing how you wrestled with God’s call. Choosing the way of the Lord is not always easy, but it is always right. Thankful for your example…for fellow mothers, for the younger gals like me, and for your precious family…oh, those precious children of yours. You will be a rockstar teacher to them for however long the Lord has you fill that role. Praying big for you, my friend. Praying that confirmation will continue to come that you are RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS YOU TO BE!!
I felt those same fears when God called us to homeschooling… five years ago!! I felt like like Jacob wrestling with God for His blessing as I struggled to stay in the mainstream. But as I look back on our time together, I can say without a doubt that it was one of the BEST decisions we have made for our family. They are only young once, and I am able to enjoy every moment with my girls. We have a ball learning as we go throughput our day. And best of all, we are able to live a slower-paced life than if we had to constantly rush off to school, so I have TIME to teach character, service, and how to dive into God’s Word. There is time to focus their little hearts and minds on loving God and serving His people. God bless you in the coming year! Check out the homeschooling tab on my blog if you ever need ideas or encouragement along the way. It can be a bit unnerving at first, but it is so worth the effort!
Ashley, thank you! I am seriously clueless. TIME! That is what I crave more of regarding my children. The time between afternoon carpool and lights out is not enough. I will definitely need some inspiration and encouragement!
So proud of you Katie! I know how much you’ve struggled with this decision and it’s been so encouraging to me to watch how you’ve sought the Lord at every step. I love that you’re sharing your struggle with others and I know it’s going to help lots of other moms out there who are struggling with the same decision!
All I can say is, this message is so timely from the Lord. I am exactly where you are (with 2 first graders & a third grader) with this continuous prompting to step out on faith & trust him to homeschool my girls. There is a catch to mine that I also have to trust God with; my husband is the VPrincipal of the Christian private school where our daughters now attend. So many questions, what will the staff think, the other parents?? I know we live for an audience of ONE, but, we also feel called to the ministry at this school that reaches so many lost for Christ through education! Please pray for wisdom for my husband & I, to be unified together, but specifically to trust & obey Him!
Missi, That is tough for sure. Praying with you for wisdom as you decide which path to take. God knows where He is leading you. Often I am thankful that He DOES know even when I do not. An audience of ONE – I kept coming back to that. There were some tough conversations for sure – still are, but such relief has come since we said YES! You will know what He wants as you pray through it.
Sister. You are so brave and so strong and so wise and I cannot wait to play with you and all three of your babies through the next year! Praise Jesus for you and his unbelievable provision for us!!
I know your story. We made the obedient decision to homeschool when our son, who is now a freshman, was to enter K. It was never my idea or choice but God didn’t ask me to choose. Like I hear from you; I figured I couldn’t hurt him and we could always put him in school later. Here we are 10 years later and homeschooling all 3 of our children. It is tough but the blessing are much greater. I am fighter cancer and because of that a typical school day isn’t typical however my kids are learning to care for somebody else, prioritize, be flexible and cooking and caring for the family. Watch for how God blesses your school day; because He will. God Bless your journey.
This is amazing! Thank you for your encouragement. Praying for health and healing as you keep fighting. I am excited and nervous, and cannot wait to see how He delivers!
Amazing Katie, just amazing!! The lyrics “Never once did we ever walk alone. Never once did you leave us on our own. You are faithful, God” ring so true as I read your words. It’s pretty amazing and I’m grateful you would be so candid with the struggle. 🙂
Wow, I feel like I am reading about my life. Seriously I cried and laughed as I read this. I loved your comment about homework doing you in. I feel the same way 🙂 I have a son in first grade, a son in PreK and an almost 3 year old little girl. Since my oldest started kindergarten I have debated homeschooling. Like you I love his school and have loved his teachers. It would be an easy decision if I didn’t! However, every morning that he goes to school I get an uneasy feeling about it. I have tried to ignore it but it just won’t go away. Next year my second son will be in kindergarten and we are trying to decide to homeschool or send both boys to school. I have prayed about it so much and my poor husband is probably so sick of listening to me! One day I think God wants us to homeschool and the next day I think He wants us to send them to school. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your decision.