Saturday, August 6, 2011

i'm baaaaaack..with a serious note from my heart to my family and friends...

well, i didn't quite make it to the end of summer before i came back did i?
i need to say something,
something that has been on my heart to say to all my friends and family that know me in real life.
i almost did this Christmas letter style, sending 'em out in snail mail, but i decided this was an easier alternative.
while i feel like i've said most of this in one way or another, now is the time to be vulnerable and lay it all out for you all.
here we go...

okay, so by now everyone knows we are homeschooling come Fall.
and i know everyone has their own opinions about this.
while i have not had anybody come right out and say it's a horrible idea,
the idea has been subtly conveyed.

i realize that not all of us are called to homeschool.
i realize this is not the only good option out there, and that it certainly has it's drawbacks.
but as i write this,
my prayer is that you will understand that i am called to do this.
this is what the Lord has very clearly written on my heart.
and this is going to be hard for me.
i have heard the murmurs,
taken the jokes and sarcasm,
 and bit my tongue in fear of bursting into tears or telling someone off.
this has not been easy.
for the first time in my entire life, i have wanted to run away.
take my family and move to a town where no one knows us.
now i say that, knowing i would never, and that in actuality i wouldn't even want to,
but this has all been a little much to handle.

as a family, we have our convictions on how the Lord has called us to raise our children.
Jerad and i firmly believe, that while we have a whole long way to go in this parenting thing,
that we are making the right choices for our kids.
i say this kindly, but the Lord has called US to raise our kids,
not you all.
we don't ask that you always agree with us.
we don't ask that you raise yours the same way.
what we do ask is that golden rule.
if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.

i have always been one to stand out in the crowd for my beliefs.
i've never been afraid of what others think.
i just always thought the 'others' would mean people in the world, not of our own faith or family.
and while i say this knowing full well that i am not in any way in the same class as the early church...
i always believed my persecution would come from the world,
not my family , friends and fellow believers in Christ.

while the 'persecutution' i speak of has been light, and indirect, i have felt it cut as deep as harsh words.
i can't tell you how i have let your insecurity in our choices wound me deeply.
i am confident in this decision.
but i am brought to tears by the weight of the judgement i feel from others.
i know this is going to be hard path.
i know i would have a lot more 'space' if they were in school.
i know that my kids need time away from home.
i know that i will have a lot on my plate.

tell me this:
who in the history of the world,
that has made a significant impact,
has walked the easy path?

my impact for this world is my children.
i am choosing a harder road.
i realize that.
but we don't get to many good places in life taking the easy way.

i am swimming a current that goes against most of you.
if you don't agree with our homeschooling,
our rules,
our lifestyle,
then by all means don't.

but please don't say things in front of our children that undermine our authority,
or pour doubts in their heads that we know the Lord's calling.

i say this not to any individual,
but to everyone:
support us.
and if you can't support us,
please keep your opinions silent.

if you don't trust us to make the right choices,
ask the Lord to direct us in His way,
and then let Him do his work in us.


eta:  i realize nobody has meant to be mean spirited or hurt me,
and i know that all the 'advice' is meant kindly,
it just isn't always as easy to feel it kindly ;)


Jayme said...

Good for you girl! Good for you! I'm behind you a hundred percent. The years I spent with Aaron remain the best memories of my life. Yes, there are time that are trying, but I think you are doing the right thing. Now, on a lighter note, I totally think you should get a jean jumper and some Keds. For real. : -) Be strong.

MamaMonki said...

Bravo! I think you are extremely brave to take the hard path. The struggles might be difficult - but the reward will be worth it. Stay strong and believe in yourself and your choices. I'll be saying a prayer for you as this school year gets off to a start.

Eunora said...

You did it! I think you said this pointedly yet graciously. Now rest in the peace of His plans for you. Chin up, and march on. =)

Amber said...

Good for you Mandy! Raising kids is heartbreakingly wonderful and difficult enough already isn't it? However different people's opinions might be, we all should pull for each other and respect each others choices and convictions when it comes to these things. A little grace and a little support can go a long way for a parent who is working hard to do their best for their kids- because really, aren't we all climbing that same daily uphill battle?

Virginia said...


Although I don't have the privilege on knowing you closely (in person) these days, let me tell you how impressed I am by you. You have a love and passion for your family, for the Lord...and for so many other things, too. You are gifted in your words and creative talents! It's clear to me, as a casual observer, that you are following God's will and will be blessed and a blessing to your family and others. Of course, it won't be easy--things of value rarely are.

I'm sorry you haven't felt the support as much as you'd like. So many people don't understand doing the hard things and making the sacrifice for the long term--even eternal--benefit of their family. Some people may make comments to make themselves feel better about their choices. That's sad for them...just do your best to not take them seriously. You're listening to the Holy Spirit and following Him! How cool is that?! You're an inspiration! :)

Tina Modotti said...

Hey there are good points and bad points to home schooling, but good luck! The first huge drawback I can see is growing up sheltered and without a foundation of experience for good decision making, but you can make up for that!

Tim and Kari O'Brien said...

Your convictions and commitment have already made you a homeschooling success. Enjoy, learn along with your children and be prepared for the amazing things you will accomplish together. ~ K.

Proverbial Homemaker said...

I know I'm a bit late on this discussion but I just stopped by and my heart was heavy as I read your post. I can imagine the emotions and thoughts you must have been having! I hope things have improved since then. You have so many great, encouraging comments here already but I just want to cheer you on as you follow God's leading. It's not always easy but it is ALWAYS the best route.

Kara said...

I am sure you have a month or so of school under your belt now and are (well most days) totally confirmed in your calling, let me encourage you by saying "way to go, way to be a disciple and follow Jesus and what He has called you to do! Way to take the narrow road, even when it is hard!"

Thank you for taking your faith seriously and following Him in WHATEVER (this is where homeschool falls in) He calls you too.

This is our first year but I am starting with K4, we decided pre kiddos to homeschool. It isn't necessary for salvation, or to be a good parent but we were called to it!

Keep on keeping on!

-- visiting from the homeschool hop --

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