As I look back, I think that God has had me on a journey to bring me to homeschooling for quite a long time…
- When I was in elementary and junior high, my answer to the what do I want to be when I grow up question was always “teacher”. Somewhere along the way, I felt less and less qualified to do this and many life-changing events steered me in a different direction.
- As I was entering high school, I felt like God was calling me into ministry. I've pursued that path through to now: college, seminary, working on staff at a church, etc. I continue to pursue that calling, the specific direction has changed or, shall I say, become clearer over time.
- Josh and I began dating in high school. I was 17; he was 16. We talked a lot at that point about our dreams, goals, and vision for our lives. We were very candid and up front about a lot. Neither of us wanted to continue a dating relationship without marriage as the end goal. We were very careful to get to know each other's expectations early in our relationship. One of Josh's dreams was to have children, have his wife at home, and have his children homeschooled if appropriate. I laughed a little. I was open to it, but I had plenty of things to do between now and then. I didn't feel qualified at that point either (or now!). If that was truly Josh's desire and best for our family, I fully committed to submit. I knew that God would shape me and mold me if necessary. I figured I cross that hurdle when it came… And now here it is.
- Funny story: I attended Faith Church in Anderson, IN while I was in college. When I was first introduced to Pastor Walt, he asked me what my major was and before I could answer he said, “Elementary education, right?” I laughed at him. I said no and explained that I was a Bible major. He and I have always laughed about that story, but now as I think back, it was just another point along the way that God was preparing me for today.
- I went on to seminary at Talbot School of Theology. I can remember crying to Josh just weeks before starting school. We weren't in a position to get married for a couple of years. Continuing my education while I had the opportunity seemed to be the best option, but I was concerned about the money. I made it through undergrad on scholarships and student loans and that was the only way that I was going to make it through seminary. I didn't want to go further into debt for an education that I would never get to use. Josh assured me that he also felt that going to seminary was a good decision. I didn't want him to be responsible for my school debt, but I came away from the conversation with an important attitude: I want to be ready for whatever God has for me. I have the opportunity to go to seminary now. I may not be able to use it formally until I'm done raising my kids, if ever. But, I will also be happy if I'm able to use my education to do nothing more that teach my children to follow God.
- Fast forward through 7 years of marriage, the birth of my first son, and now awaiting the birth of my second son… God has given me experiences to soften me and prepare me to homeschool. It still feels crazy. But, as I watch Jonathan and his learning style, I don't want him to get lost in public school. I also want to make sure that his environment is filled with getting to know God and developing godly character. I want him to pursue his interests and strengths, not be put in a box by what a particular public school thinks he should be.
So, that's the story. That's how I've gone from “no way” to “let's get started”!