I've received a few emails lately asking where I've been. First, I'd like that to say, thanks for asking. It tickles me still that anyone would want to come read these ramblings of mine.
Second, I'd like to tell you a story.
In April, after the Tornado, I started to feel an overwhelming desire to homeschool my boys. I kind of chalked it up as a natural response to the loss of their best friends. I felt a similar desire to keep them near after the Sandy Hook tragedy. This was different though. It wouldn't go away.
I talked to their dad. I talked to Jeremiah. I talked to my friends that homeschool. And I talked myself right out of it.
I wasn't ready. They needed school. I couldn't do it. I'm too busy. Too unorganized. Too impatient.
But the feeling.....it just didn't go away.
Sometime in July, I messaged my friend Debbie. I asked her to pray about me homeschooling my kids. She did, and she responded to me, "I feel like God is saying He is going to make a way..."
I chalked this up to "at some point in the future" and went on with our public school plans.
We bought the supply list. Gammy came and got the boys new tennis shoes and backpacks and lunch boxes. We were prepared. Excited even.
Two days before school started, I was running errands and getting ready for class orientation that night when I received a phone call. It was the transportation department head for Vilonia Public School district returning my call from almost a week before. I had agreed to let the kids ride the school bus home in the afternoons. They'd never ridden the bus before and were really excited about it. But when the lady called me back to answer my questions about the bus route and heard my address, she paused.
"That's not in our district," she said.
Of course, I assumed, there was a mistake. They registered us. I'd called before we even moved. I was told Vilonia Elementary so as soon as summer registration opened, I took their information and our proof of address up to the school. They were in classes. We bought the supply list! We bought Ninja Turtle lunch boxes! What did she mean....not in the district?
We weren't in the district. The assistant super intendant called me from her personal line and apologized. They'd made a mistake. And I'd missed the deadline to file for an exception. Even though we live only 6 miles from Vilonia Elementary, we are in a rare pocket of country addresses zoned for Mayflower schools. A 30 minute drive one way on country roads.
I felt sick. How could I drive my kids that far and back twice a day every day? I'd be in the car two hours a day. And the bus picked up at our house at 6:40 in the morning! I barely slept. I kept praying, asking God what to do.
And I kept hearing the same thing.
I argued. Yes, with God.
It's kind of something I've been known to do now and again.
I told Him all the reasons why I couldn't. But I kept hearing the same thing.
I got mad. Frustrated. Why had I called about the darn bus? Why didn't I just pick them up like I always had? Then no one would have known! Why did that lady have to call me back. Just a few more days and they would have started. But I kept coming back to it.
By morning, I was frustrated and tired. I woke up, went to my computer and typed in "Homeschool in Arkansas". That day, Friday, was the deadline to turn in the Intent to Homeschool form for the 2014-2015 school year. Of course it was.
I called my friend and we prayed. And then I called the boys' dad and I asked him to trust me because I felt like this was what God wanted. He gave his blessing.
And without a plan, without even giving myself time to change my mind, I turned in the form.
It's been about a month since then and as is usually is when God is leading you to something, I've found that we were made for this life. Homeschool is more fun, more rewarding, more totally worth it than I could have ever imagined.
My kids are so....smart! I've always known that. They get good grades. They test well. Their teachers have always loved them. But I was prepared for just how smart they are. They are so curious, just soaking in everything I put in front of them. They want to dig deeper. They catch on so fast. They already know so much.
Just in the last month, I've watched their imaginations take off in a way they never have. They are reading for fun. For fun! My kids! They are inquisitive. It feels like the possibilities are endless on what we can learn together.
I am so thankful. I am thankful at the support I have and the opportunities. And I'm thankful that when I tell God no, sometimes He just says yes and that is that.
Because if He listened to me, I wouldn't be a homeschooler. And although I joke that I came across this option on accident, it wasn't. Nothing really is. I was made for this, and He knows that. Because He made me.