Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Bus Stopped Here

I shared earlier that we decided to school Luke (2nd grade) and Ben (PreK) at home this year, so when I was getting breakfast on the table and the bus stopped and honked at the end of our driveway at 8:20 this morning my heart sunk and tears began to flow. The kids were getting dressed and making beds so they never saw it, but it literally brought me to my knees.

I have shared my intense fondness for our local elementary school and at first I thought these feelings were just my grief over not being a part of such a great school this year. Then, it hit me for the first time. If Isaac were still here...HE would be getting on that bus. He would be starting Kindergarten this year. Sometimes these milestones cause grief for days of anticipation leading up to the event and sometimes they seem to sneak in out of nowhere and suck the wind right from my lungs.

Today I felt as though I had been sucker punched. Yesterday was our first day of homeschooling (which isn't real homeschooling so I have been so kindly informed because it is cyber school that we are doing, and it isn't REAL public school as I have also been reminded because it is by and large ruining the public education system) I digress. The day was a whirlwind of activity. I felt like a pin ball being whacked from one side of the board to the other. Three different voices begging for my attention all at the same time. By the end of the day I was spent. I was fairly certain I had ruined my children and must have been out of my mind when I agreed to keep them all at home.

This was when Howard got home. Always the voice of reason and wisdom, Howard gently reminded me that this was in fact what we were called to do in this season and that I needed to remain firmly planted in His word. Always my reminder that attitude is everything he held his half full glass of water up and gave me the look. :) (sometimes it is superbly annoying how right he is and how great his perspective generally is. I may have wanted to knock the glass out of his hand.)

I woke up this morning and Howard had left each child a surprise and love note on the table reminding them of their weekly Bible verse and for me. He left my Bible OPEN on the counter. When I sent him a text this morning about Isaac he replied, "Good thing the Lord had better things in store for our boy.". At first I threw the phone down. SERIOUSLY? I had sent him the message knowing that he too would feel the pang of grief and yet he gave glory to the Lord...I'll be honest...sometimes it annoys the daylights out of me that he never seems to allow himself to succumb to the human side of this grief thing, but I am also awfully thankful he doesn't always indulge me in it.

I then came across this nugget of wisdom from Ann Voskamp this morning:

"Rejecting joy to stand in solidarity with the suffering doesn't rescue the suffering. The brave who focus on all things good,all things beautiful,all things true even in the small,who give thanks for it and discover joy even in the here and now,they are the change agents who bring fullest Light to all the world. When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places,let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows."

Lord, Please help me to focus on the good. Please help me to always see that glass in Howard's hand as half full. Help me to be thankful in all things and continue to send reminders to gently pull me back to gratitude when my heart begins to shift to self pity. Please help me to allow the joy to soak in to all of my brokenness.

Today we got through school and it was picturesque. We sat on a blanket under the tree and read, we finished all of our work before lunch and had a great day. Perhaps perspective and prayer really are the key to it all. When am I gonna learn?

(pictures of our "first day of school" to come as soon as I can figure out why my camera blinks red and refuses to upload to the computer when I plug it in.)


Jason and Vanessa said...

I was crying as I read this post. You are a home school Mom and no matter what remember God knew exactly how your day was going to go even if you didn't :)

I can't believe Isaac would have started kindergarten today. I'm sure that was so so hard for you. I am praying for you sweet friend!

Love you!

Penny said...

You are going to do an AWESOME job! I am a public school teacher and Christian parents are NOT what is ruining our system. It is government, school boards, and Christian teachers and parents that don't speak up when ONE mad atheist decides we don't need prayer. :( (Still don't get why atheists work so hard to keep something out of our school that they think doesn't exist! Ironic, isn't it?) I am thankful to say I work with AMAZING Christian ladies and administrators and we carry God with us into that building every day. A building is no more a "school" than it is a "church." The people are the school and the church. Sometimes, we need to remind ourselves of that.
I encourage Christian parents that feel called or led to homeschool to go for it. Following God is more important than worrying what anyone else thinks. My mission field is in my public school. That's were I feel led to teach. If someone were to tell me that I was not where I should be, I'd be offended. God calls us all to different ministries at different times. Your Howard is so wise. Enjoy this season! :)
Oh, and imagine the schooling Isaac is getting. I know you miss him and grieve him, but picturing him with HIM.... Wow! Just some sweet words a dear, departed gave me to help me cope with losing loved ones. Just to picture then being there, being whole, being in His presence. Very wise, precious lady. She would be tickled to know I'm passing her message on. God bless. :)

Mama10EE said...

My heart caught in my throat when I read your title, even before I got to your post. I can't imagine how that one horn honk totally dismantled your day....but I am so glad that you have Howard to get you through the rough times. It's hard to believe Isaac would have been in Kindergarten already.

As for schooling, you are doing the absolute best thing you feel you can for your children. We send our daughter to a private, Catholic school. Lots of people think we are stuck up and that we are shunning the public school system. We chose Catholic school for a lot of reasons, but not because we think the public schools are bad. In fact like in your area, they are really quite good. But people just think that because you are doing something different that you are wrong or stuck up. Keep on keeping on my friend. It will get you through the tough times. And good luck with school....I would strangle Morgan before the first day was out if I homeschooled! :)

Unknown said...

As always, beautiful.

Unknown said...

...and yes, laughing a bit about the Christian homeschool parents who are ruining the public education system...if only...

Unknown said...

While I don't know what it feels like to lose a child, I lost my husband seven years ago when we were both thirty-three. So, I can identify with grief that sneaks up and sucker punches you. Oh how my heart aches with you! I am also a homeschooling mom and I can identify with the doubt that creeps in at times and with those who are critical. Keep up your chin up! You are doing what the Lord has called you to do and He will sustain you!

Tori said...


Mindy said...

Wow... "not really homeschool" and "ruining the public school system"? From one cyber homeschooling family to another, you're doing a great job! :) How can removing children from public school seats and still paying taxes to fund that seat in the school ruin it? I look at it as helping the school system. :)

I know a little of that pang you felt. As of this year I no longer have anyone in the elementary school. I no longer need to visit there, drive by, put kids on that bus, etc. Change is sad at times for many reasons...