Monday, November 17, 2008

God's Amazing Plans

You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

God has important plans for all of us and our families. When we are confused about life and what our purpose is, we need to turn toward God and seek his plan. Oh the blessings we reap when we do this! In the book, Purpose for Everyday Living for Mothers, three important truths are listed to remind us that God does have purpose for our lives.

1. God has a plan for your life.
2. If you seek that plan sincerely and prayerfully, you will find it.
3. When you discover God's purpose for your life, you will experience abundance,peace, joy, and power- God's power.

Over the past couple of years, this reality has been very clear to me. It isn't always easy to discern God's plan, but I know in my heart that he does have a plan for me and my family. As I try to obey and go where God leads me, more peace and happiness comes to my life and to the life of my husband and children. Leaving my full-time job to go part-time and then eventually to leaving the teaching profession was done through many hours of prayer and discussions.

We have had less money, yet we have been given so much more. We have been focusing on simple living and relationships, and less on material things. This has brought an amazing amount of love and peace to our household. Leaving a full-time position, gave me the opportunity to grow as a Christian by building new relationships with other Christians, more time to volunteer and to serve others, and to grow in my relationship with Christ and family.

The new adventure that God has placed in our lives is homeschooling. I will start schooling my oldest daughter at home through Cyberschool. I started learning about homeschooling and praying about this shortly after my oldest left preschool. She had such a strong foundation from Christian preschool, so it bothered me to take Christian education away from her. At the time we didn't feel we had the financial resources to send her to a Christian School. She even said that this was one of the main things that she wanted to learn about in Kindergarten. She didn't understand why she wouldn't continue with a Christian curriculum in public school.

Even though my daughter had a wonderful and very supportive teacher last year, I continued to learn about and pray about this educational option. Especially since she was slowly being influenced more and more by the values of others than by the values being taught in her own home.

Even though in my heart, I felt that teaching her at home was the best option for our family right now, I sent her to first grade. I fought the idea because of my own insecurities and concerns for socialization. The more I fought the idea, the more God would whisper in my ear- You can do all things through me- I strengthen you . You are not in this alone. Over the past year, God has placed so many people in my life who are homeschooling or cyberschooling their children who have offered words of encouragement and inspiration.

Many think that I chose this path because I'm not pleased with her teacher this year. Her negative experiences have just pushed me in a direction that we were already heading. There are many reasons why I came to this decision with God's guidance which include my philosophy of education, opportunities for real-life learning vs. paper pencil tasks, my daughter's unique learning style, and individualized instruction. As a former educator, it was very difficult to sit back and watch a very curious, creative child be stifled by her current educational setting. After working countless hours to educate other people's children; with God's help, I'm willing to work as hard to provide the best educational and spiritual environment for my own children. I feel blessed that I have a supportive husband and the time and ability to do so.

"It's incredible to realize that what we do each day has meaning in the big picture of God's plan." Bill Hybels

Many blessings,


Preschool Playbook said...

I so admire your strength, courage, and faith! So many times I have been unhappy with our education system, but so fearful that I would never be able to educate my children correctly. I wish you great luck and joy with cyberschooling. Actually I have never heard of cyberschooling before.

Jen said...

I didn't know much about it either until I met a parent who was Cyberschooling her daughter. After meeting this woman, it peeked my own curiousity. I think that it is a happy medium between public education and homeschooling. This educational option has really grown in my state.
At this point in time, I felt it was best to have the structure and support that a Cyberschool would provide. They also schedule many social and educational trips for the children, which I feel is important.
Thank you for your kind words! Have a great day!!