Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Cheese Keeps Moving

Just a word of warning this is probably going to be a rather long post. I really don’t intend to be so wordy but sometimes I just have a lot to share….so if you would rather skip the details, here is the condensed version…Beginning in August, I will be entering the working world, the kids will be going back to school full-time and life is going to be beyond crazy. There you have it and if you want the expanded version you can read on…….

The winds of change are blowing once again through the life of our family. Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like change? Well, I don’t….not one bit but for some reason God just continues to “move my cheese”. Most of you who know us and/or read this blog know that 2 years ago, my husband sold his law practice, retired at the age of 49 and we packed up our family and moved across the country. These 2 years have been full of physical, emotional and spiritual ups and downs. I have felt like I am on one of those heart stopping roller coasters most of the time. I have had such a difficult time settling into my new surroundings and new way of living and I stand in amazement of all of you military wives who do this type of thing every 2-3 years. Anyway, one of the decisions we made when moved was to begin homeschooling Cody and Grace. It was something I had said I could NEVER do yet at the time I felt a strong “calling” to give it a try. If you are interested you can read my post about it here. So, shortly after leaving everything I knew and loved, arriving in a place where I knew nothing about my surroundings and only knowing enough people to count on one hand, I began this thing called homeschooling. I embarked on this new endeavor with excitement, energy and determination that I would prove myself wrong in that I COULD do this. In my heart and mind I knew that I was doing what God wanted me to do, I had read everything I could get my hands on and was convinced that this was going to be life changing for my kids and family. Little did I know what was in awaiting me. Without boring you with the details may I just simply say that after the first year, I was spent. Exhausted beyond imagination, frustrated, grumpy, wrought with guilt over what I had failed to accomplished and in all honesty, fighting what I am sure was mild depression. I was lonely and my kiddos were not at all the picture of the close knit family that I had read about in the homeschooling books and magazines. All the things I had dreamed that homeschooling would be had not come to fruition. In all of my efforts something got lost along the way. It just wasn’t working….but why? It seemed to work beautifully for all those around me. I was doing what I thought God had called me to do and trying REALLY hard but I just felt like a square peg in a round hole. So we tweaked the plan a bit and enrolled the kids in a part-time school thinking that it would make the whole experience better. We quickly discovered that while it didn’t make my experience better our kids loved the “real school” days. They made friends quickly, loved their teachers and began to thrive in that environment. Their days at school were great while the days at home were miserable ….they wanted to go to school. LIGHT BULB moment! Our kids needed full-time school but what about all the stuff that I had read about how homeschooled kids are so much better adjusted, protecting them from negative exposure they get in the school environment is the best thing a parent can do as well as the argument that you can do twice as much at home as they do in full-time school. Coupled with the statement that “giving the gift of homeschooling to your kids is the greatest thing you can give them”. I mulled over these things and many more, prayed like I had never before and heaped on some more guilt over my failure. Oh yes, that ulgy guilt thing….we mom’s do guilt well and I was totally consumed by it. That is until God impressed upon my heart that while this lifestyle may be perfect for others it wasn’t for me. I read this passage and was overwhelmed with the fact that we are all created differently and for different purposes as they relate to the Body of Christ. My kiddo’s needed me to just be their MOM, not their teacher and I needed to listen. We had done what we needed to do to give them an easy transition into our new life and it was now time to move on. And I needed to be ok with moving on. Admitting without guilt that I had tried, done the best I could with what I had and trust that God would redeem that which had been lost over the past 2 years. God has equipped some wonderful men and women with the gifts and abilities not to mention a love for teaching kids and allowing those people to give my kids what I could not was something that I needed to trust God to do. It was past the time for me to do what I do best….be a MOM! I LOVE being a mom and for me having to wear the hat of teacher somehow caused me to lose this love. So the decision was made that the kids would go back to school full-time.
In an effort to achieve the best situation for the kids I will be giving up my status as a “stay at home mom” and entering the world of working moms. I have just accepted a part-time office position at the school where we wanted the kids to attend. We feel in love with this particular school and it’s educational philosphy and because of the long wait lists the only way to enroll them was for me to work there. I am very thankful to have been offered a job that is #1 part-time, #2 in the same place where my kids will be and #3 with some really nice people with whom I get work. I am quite anxious as I embark on this new lifestyle wondering how in the world will I do it all….work, taxi service, cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands. ….and not to mention having our little guy come home from China right in the midst of it all. I know it won’t be easy but my current thoughts are it has to be better than shouldering the responsibility of educating 3 kids all by myself. So here we go….I am preparing for some bumps in the road but praying to be pleasantly surprised by smooth sailing. If you think of it and would be willing to pray for us as we begin this new endeavor here are some specifics:

• Pray for Grace and her ability to catch up with lightening speed. She is about a year behind and really struggling with reading. We cannot allow her to repeat 1st grade because of her age so she is going to have a really tough year academically. I pray that her self-confidence will stay strong and that she will make lots of new friends and that God will give her a teacher that can come along beside her and birth in her a love for learning, a love that I think I have squashed.

• Pray for Cody and his adjustment into Junior High. Academically he will do fine but I pray that God will place some really nice friends who are kind and helpful in his life right away. I pray that he can stay focused and organized, be able to change classes, keep up with his “stuff”, manage his diabetes while at school and just keep a tight reign on his emotions which sometimes go a little hay wire when he is anxious.

• Emily, pray that she will have a great beginning to her school and not miss her mama too much.

• Me, well that I can be a good time manager and not get overwhelmed with what I know will be one crazy life. Just keeping my head above water is my greatest hope.

• And Mike, pray that God will equip him with the knowledge, insight and willingness to fill in the gaps that are left by my not being able to manage our home and family full-time.

Thanks so much for praying for our family during this transitional time. There is lots of excitement and some fear as well but I am confident that we are doing the right thing for our family.


Football & Fried Rice said...

You didn't mention your Plus One that needs prayer this coming fall as well ;) to add to the excitement - JRM is coming home!! I love you and I love that God keeps moving your cheese - it means He is growing you and you are doing something right!

KT said...

LOVE your honesty! We have walked such similar paths! Praying for you!

Leslie B. Shoemaker said...

Oh Coley! I am praying for you guys and for the changes that are coming! As a working mom most of Ryan's life and a mom that will be re-entering the workforce soon, I assure you that as scared as you are God has His hand around your family. He's guiding you through all of this. And just think, the house will be empty 8 hours a day or so and that's 8 hours less for the kiddos to make messes! I leave you with this, "What time I am afraid, I will put my trust in Thee. " Psalms 56:3. I love you!