Friday, July 25, 2008

Changed...

The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 1 Samuel 10:5-7

Today I have done a bit of reflecting. I have given great thought to the person I was even five years ago and the person I am now. I would say that five years ago I knew about God, I didn't know Him. I had religion, but not a relationship. As I look back and think about the person I was during those times it is remarkable to me to compare the way I am turning out. It is funny really. Things I SWORE I would never do, I am finding myself doing.

Today after getting Ben down for his nap, I went outside to the garden Howard had planted to pick some of the veggies that were ready for harvest! As I was picking peppers with Luke I thought back to a conversation I had with a friend years ago. I remember the conversation vividly. She had asked if we planted a garden at our house, I replied with a chuckle and said "Isn't that why we have stores?" Why on earth would I want to work so hard for something I could go to the store and buy? It made no sense to me.

It is interesting to me that as I have become closer with God, I have taken delight in the miracle of planting a seed. As Luke and I picked the vegetables from the garden today we talked about how amazing it is that you plant a seed and you get such great vegetables. Luke was so excited about the garden he shook with glee. He had helped plant these things and was now reaping what he sowed. He proudly ate a pepper right off of the plant exclaiming how it was the best pepper he had ever eaten.

Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. Psalm 67:5-7


Our bountiful harvest

We are blessed. It was the coolest feeling to bring in armloads of food that we had grown for our family. It was amazing to behold the goodness of God. He had blessed us with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, banana peppers, and zucchini. I held the vegetables in my hand and marveled at the idea that this good food came from a simple seed, that God in all of his creativity had conjured up the idea that we would plant a seed in the ground, care for it and food would come from it! Amazing! God is so good and so present in everything!

Another change that I have found taking place in me this year is my thought on schooling. Don't get me wrong, I am a teacher, my husband is a teacher and I think education is SUPER important. Knowledge is vital. But as the year draws near for my own child to go to school I find myself questioning things I swore I would never question. I would NEVER be one of "those" moms. The kind who is over involved or picks her child's teacher or (gasp) home schools.

Luke will be 5 in August. Yes, he could go to Kindergarten this year, but we had decided long ago not to send him until he turned 6. He is a super smart kid and so capable of handling it, but I just see no hurry. As a teacher I could always tell which kids were the younger and though they were often very bright, it often caught up to them when adolescence hit. As far as I can see, it cannot hurt to keep Luke and enjoy him one more year. He will have 13 years to go to school.

I also always swore I would never be one of those "homeschooling moms" I worked in a public school, Howard works in a public school and it was good enough for both of us so it will certainly be good enough for our kids, and I am not saying that that home school is the path we are choosing, but as the time has come I completely see the appeal, I completely understand why it is so important to many families and I can fully appreciate that. I now can fully understand how when done right, homeschooling could be an amazing blessing for the entire family. What a rich experience that could be for all who are involved! That said, I also see immense importance in school.

I have wrestled for weeks about sending Luke to preschool. I know it is only preschool, but anymore it is about the same as choosing a college. :-) After much prayer and deliberation, I have decided at least for this year, Luke will be staying home. I will school him in whatever he needs here. He will get hands on life experience with me. We will still be able to live by our fly by the seat of our pants schedule and when the mood strikes we will up and go to the zoo or go play in a creek. We love that life, we love being together and I am coming to learn there is great value in that. Next year we will re-evaluate and see what we think is best for then.

I have already experienced other moms thinking I am nutty for skipping preschool, thinking I will put Luke at a disadvantage, my view is not really a popular one and I am okay with that. Kids just don't get to be kids anymore. I am certainly not saying preschool is a bad thing...I just don't think it is for us. I am not ready to share my Luke just yet. :-) I have some more equipping to do before I send him into the world! All families are different and no one knows what a child needs better than a parent, I need to learn to trust my instinct as a mom, we all make the decisions that are best for our own children and for some that is school and others maybe not.

I just think it is interesting that as I become more in tune to God's prompting and am going deeper in relationship with him that my thoughts and views are changing drastically, I am literally becoming a different person, a person I like a whole lot better. There is such beauty in growing a garden and growing children. They are both such gifts, such amazing miracles. I just want to revel in every moment, and enjoy the good gifts my Father has given.

15 comments:

M said...

I enjoy reading your blog! I have a July bday son and he too will wait till he is 6 to go to school. We only get this short time to spend with them... what is the rush to send them off in this wild world!?! I love to see another mom treasuring the time with their children... you have personally taught me to treasure each day I have. Thanks for sharing your story! I pray for you often.

Michelle
Houston, Tx

msharae said...

I for one do not think you're nutty. Most of the kids I know attend preschool, and I worry about them. They pick up things from other kids (germs, ugly words, hateful feelings) that I really wish they didn't have to deal with. Quinn will not go to preschool unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

Luke seems to be inquisitive enough to keep you on your toes at teaching him "real life stuff" and trying to stay a step ahead on teaching him the other things he'll need to jump-start his education.

Corie said...

Praying for your decisions. I understand the "never say never". Although my children go to school, I am constantly evaluating it. I would TOTALLY homeschool now. Yes, something I didn't think I would do. What hard decisions we make each day for our children. You are an excellent mom and I know God will lead you to what is right for your family.

Kristen, a.k.a. Frugal Girl said...

(hugs) I haven't put any of my four children in preschool at all, and they're all doing fine. And my four siblings and I never went to preschool, and we're all fine too! lol In fact, people lived for a LONG time without preschool, so don't feel bad about not sending him.

I was homeschooled all the way through high school and I'm homeschooling my kids too(my oldest two are 9 and 7..the younger two are 4 and 2 and not old enough for school yet!). I think it's such a wonderfully positive thing, and I just want to encourage you to never underestimate how important YOU are in your children's lives and how much benefit they can have from being around you more. If you have any questions or whatever, feel free to email me.

The VW's said...

Oh, the gifts our Father has given all of us!!! I'm right there with you, I have never been interested in gardening, but this week my boys and I have been doing just that! When we get done we feel such a sense of accomplishment and amazement in knowing that God gave us these wonderful creations!

It's so amazing what a deeper relationship with God can do to a person! It makes you think differently about EVERYTHING!

Luke will be so blessed to stay home with you this year and how ever many years you decide to teach him! He will learn so much and enjoy being with his momma, I'm sure!

God Bless you and your precious family!

Tanya said...

We went through the exact same questions when we ended up landing on home schooling. It is an amazing experience and I quit a high paying job to stay home to do it. Following God's prompting is usually unpopular amongst those around us (He calls us all to different things), but the peace in obeying Him is great. You have experienced this many times in your journeys with your boys. You are a great mom and you and your husband will know what God wants you to do. In the mean time, have a very blessed year with your sons!

Jennifer's Blog said...

"There is such beauty in growing a garden and growing children. They are both such gifts, such amazing miracles. I just want to revel in every moment, and enjoy the good gifts my Father has given."
This brought tears to my eyes. I've never heard someone put it so simple yet so true. This is how I feel as well and have never been able to say it so elequently. Thank you for the blessing of your blog!

Emily said...

You took the words right out of my heart, sister. :)

Jill said...

That was beautiful Kristy!

I love what you wrote!

You are going to find that as you draw closer to God the more people will have negative opinions about what you choose for your family.

God warns us of this and comforts us with those who love me I will draw near to me - those who love wisdom will gain understanding!

Your garden is the beginning of how that seed He plants in our heart is about to grow a bountiful harvest.

As you know we have 7 children. Four are homeschooled (ages 14, 7, 6 and pre-K almost 5). My husband was agains it for a while. Then as he got closer to God and really dove into His truths about us training them up as they should go - he came to me and said - please this year begin homeschooling. It has been the best blessing to me and our children. I am in control of what goes into their minds and can go off to any missions trip with them at any given moment. I get to use His word to teach them all day long in real life situations, like gardening.

Draw near to Him and continue to be amazed at how many things He will change that "you" swore were nevers in your mind. Oh His sense of humor is funny - look we have seven children and are praying on more - ONLY GOD could bring forth that harvest in us!

Hugs and love! It is wonderful to hear and see the life of Him in all your brokeness!!!
Jill

Mrs. MK said...

How I enjoyed your thoughts today!! While I have always known I was going to be (gasp) a homeschool mom, what I didn't know was how much I was going to love being a family with my boys. Your description of gardening is just how I feel, too. (side effect is teaching the boys to try new vegetables!!)

Don't feel bad for not always doing things the way everyone else does. Your the mommy, that's why!

Elena said...

I haven't read your blog for a little while and when I came back to check today you seem to be so much more at peace with things. I have a son that will be the same grade as your son and I hear you on the pre-school thing. I also chose not to send him. (A tough choice as EVERY other neighbor will be going.) But I see nothing wrong with keeping him home with me for one more year. I love to hear other mom's making that same choice.

Joanna said...

I have read your whole blog (this month :o)) and so many times I wanted to reply but chose not to. Tom and I sat on our bed and listened to your testimony ... and cried. We had a miscarriage almost three years ago and I can relate with your empty arms feeling. We also LOVED the paged idea and will be bringing it to the table at our church. ANYWAY ... THIS POST hit my heart in a major way. I sent Julianna to preschool at our church without any thought and she loved it but when it came to kindergarten God flipped my mind around and inside out and believe me I questioned His every prompt! I use to say I would NEVER homeschool and long story short (I would love to share it with you if you would like) I homeschooled her last year and it was AMAZING! I MEAN A PURE BLESSING BEYOND MEASURE for ALL of us. She got some super Daddy time that she would have never gotten had she been in school (he has a funny schedule) Tom and I agreed we would not make it a life commitment but a yearly evaluation and after this year I can't imagine sending her "away". God is good, Kristy! His plans are perfect and I chose to follow His plan and boy were we blessed. Try to put His hedge around your family and wipe away the outsiders trying to give you their opinion because when we were STILL and listened to HIM we were blessed! BTW one of our favorite things about summer is seeing Gods work in our garden...we have been planting for three years and it still is an indescribable feeling to see all that comes from a well cared for seed!

Anonymous said...

I have a late August son who we waited to send to kindergarten. It was the best decision we have ever made about his future. We didn't send either of our boys to pre-school. I did things with them at home and took them to the library story time etc. I will never regret the time I spent with them learning instead of giving the job away. Now my August son is a Junior in High school and we started homeschooling him last year (gasp!) my other son is starting high school this year in the public school. Do what the Lord leads you to do and ignore the others.
Kimberly

Stacy said...

Kristy-Your post was beautiful! I am still amazed how as we draw closer to God, He continually plants seeds (his seeds) in our hearts and then He takes the lens of our eyes and polishes them so we see more and more His hopes and dreams for our lives, our marriages and our children...

I never, ever intended to homeschool, but I also never intended to have 6 children :) But God had those plans for me. I know it is purely God who enables me, strengthens me, and helps me each and every day homeschool my children. There certainly are challenging days (most of last year as a matter of fact :), but God's blessings have been abundant and the joy in seeing your children learn and having them near each and every day....it is pure joy! I am actually lonely when I don't hear their voices going through the house.

If God desires you to homeschool...He will pave the way and it will be an easy decision, and maybe He has other plans in store? Keep drawing near to Him...oh that we all would continue to seek HIM!

Your words and heart for God are a blessing to me.

Love in Christ-Stacy

lindsey kate said...

You're not nutty. I'm a former public school teacher who looked down on homeschool families for years ... and now for the first time this fall I will be homeschooling one of my children. Yes, there will always be people who disagree with our choices, but I've found that the more attuned I have my ear to God's voice, the less the voices of others really matter.

Prayers for you, Kristy, as you make decisions regarding your boys!