Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fragile Vulnerability.

I feel like I should have a big orange sign around my neck that reads, "Construction Zone."  I recently began reading this book, and if my world wasn't already rocking steadily, the opening chapter would have set things in motion without a doubt.  I'm swallowing quotes such as, "Was I going to obey Jesus?  My biggest fear, even now, is that I will hear Jesus' words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to him.  In other words, my biggest fear is that I will do exactly what most people did when they encountered Jesus in the first century."  Um.... did David Platt just slip into my subconscious and pluck out my own fears?  I'm chewing on an entire side note of loving pretty things all around me vs. giving all I've got for Jesus.  It's scaring the life out of me because I have no idea where it's taking me... and yet I'm afraid I do know... 
Then there's this... the biggest decision of our entire parenthood to date.  The question: to continue home schooling next year... or embrace public school for the first time in our kids' lives.  The fear feels like a vise around my heart.  I have these moments of messy daily life every morning until about 1 or 2 o'clock.  Could I part with it?  Is it time?  Are they ready?  Am I ready? We are feeling the pull of a change in the wind, and I'm so afraid of what people are going to think and say.  And I don't want to care because it doesn't matter what anyone thinks or says... but still...
Those special needs that I struggle to facilitate... can I trust them to someone else?  I've been slowly drowning over the past two years and we're no longer in a state of moving forward anymore.  I need help, and I haven't known where to go to get the kind I need... though I've gotten tremendous support and encouragement from my home school peeps and home school coordinator, along the way.  (Girls, if it wasn't for you, I'd be a mess!)
Adrain and I are considering having one of our children repeat a grade... we are feeling like we jumped the gun and put one in too early... academically it's not an issue at all, but it's all the other stuff. And then I worry that since the academic part isn't the issue, there might be a lack of challenge, and boredom might ensue, thus causing a bigger mess altogether. I fight feelings of failure alongside fear.  Perhaps if I hadn't been so overwhelmed by what I didn't know back then, I'd have had a clearer head and vision for the future.  Did I screw up everything for my child?  I'm so afraid I did.

So I'm chewing... chewing on life and feeling awfully fragile right now. 

48 comments:

  1. that is a lot to think about...without knowing all the details i'd say just pray God gives you straight up answers. and i'm certain you haven't messed up your kids...i think we all have THAT thought.

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  2. sasha,

    i really think you will end up doing the right thing. whether that's sending them to public school or not. i can completely relate with the fear. we started homeschooling after having my two oldest in public school. we just had a bad experience there and were advised not to send any of our kids back. it's still scary, thinking that i'm the sole supporter of my kids' education.

    i'll be praying for you.

    just remember that god has all of you in his hands, and that his plan for your family isn't always obvious or easy but god is at work!

    ~tiff

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  3. You did not mention one single fear that I have not felt on a recurring basis. I cling to the knowledge that the greater the fear, the greater power the Lord can display in that area when it is submitted to Him. Hsing is such a scary thing, but I can't think of anything God has called us to do that hasn't felt scary. In fact we placed our 3 oldest in ps after a year of fear and doubt. In our case Jesus used that experience to confirm His call for us to bring them home. I cannot tell you what you should do, but I want to encourage you that the only One who loves your children more than you do is the One who has given them into your keeping for a time. He has entrusted them to you and will provide what you need to raise them. His word says, '...the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.' If you succeed in raising up godly children, then everything else is icing.

    I will be praying for Him to make your way clear.

    If you are interested, I wrote about our experience here http://www.stuff-and-nonsense.net/p/homeschooling.html

    Blessings,

    Alison

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  4. oh sasha, i wish i could give you a big hug and tell you everything will be alright! I think because you are worried/sacred concerned - all those things - means you ARE doing a good job and remember there is GRACE - let your heart and God lead you to the answer about public v. home school - let your heart lead you about what grade to put your child(ren) in and be strong and KNOW its right - as long as you feel good about it -then everyone else will. and if they don't too bad its NOT their decision to make!

    Keep on keeping on like you do, you are an awesome women who desires to hear the Lord speak to her and to be a GOOD momma! I love that about you!

    xoTiffany

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  5. oh and pray for ears to hear when He does speak to you. That seems to be my constant prayer lately please Lord give me ears to hear You!

    xoTiffany

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  6. Sasha.. don't feel like you have failed..if they need to repeat a grade it is whats best. I have two children that suffer from severe ADHD and I fought long and hard for my kids that I would not fail them and get them the assistance they need. This year my daughter is spiral downhill academically and been fighting this year to put on academic assistance for the extra touch she needs in the class room. We had to do some changes and we sign the papers on January 31st in which I am celebrating cause this kid was easy compared fighting for my son. Everytime I fought and the school was dragging their feet, I felt I was failing him but it was the school that was failing him, and yes he had to repeat a grade cause he just was not ready. Your blog has help me relate to different situation and I feel sometimes we are in the same boat together. I think every parent has felt like they have failed their child in one way or another. I keep you in my prayers, I know you are in the Pacific Northwest and I am in measly Ohio(near Lake Erie) but I imagine you close to my heart everytime I read your posts. Take Care for now and God Bless!!!

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  7. What's amazing is that in those moments of feeling our most vulnerable, God takes care of us! I hope and pray that everything gets worked out with the home schooling issue. My husband was home schooled and I've heard some stories of how that went in her experience and I'm sure she was stressed about whether she was doing the best she could. Come now, Jeremy is one of the smartest people I know!

    I'll pray for your family and the situation!

    Warm Regards,
    Nicole

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  8. Wow, that is a lot! I don't have a child of school age yet, but we talk about the home school v public school decision regularly. I have a ton of friend who home school, every thing you mentioned, every fear, they have the same struggles and fears. I have one friend who had a similar type issue with a child, they didn't know if they should hold them back or not, the kid was extremely smart, but a bit behind on the maturity side. They chose to do independent studies through the public school. It took the stress off of mom, the kids still went to school one day a week and had a teacher they could contact for issues that came up, had the interaction with kids their age, and they were still home doing school. They felt it was the best of both worlds. I won't claim to know the answer, I'm not there, but maybe this kind of option would work for you, I don't know. When I think of home schooling it freaks me out, its a lot to ask a mother to be mom, teacher, wife, housekeeper, etc. there is going to be somethings that don't get done, some things or someone's that get overlooked, we can't do it all. I admire your decision, I admire your willingness to "do it all", I cannot imagine how hard it is.

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  9. I hate change.

    Almost the word alone paralyzes me.

    Even in instances when the decision to be made is an apparent "no brainer" - I struggle.

    I often times wonder if this means that I am not trusting God. I beat myself up thinking that I, obviously, am doing something wrong, making the wrong decisions or am not 'good' enough....and then I read your blog and I leave feeling as if I am not alone.

    And that means a lot.

    JJ isn't alone either, regardless of your decision.

    Decisions can be made - and most can be un-made. Very few things in life are permanent...

    As a complete stranger I can see how much you love your children, and want the best for them. I have no doubt that they, too, know this...

    Breathe. Pray. And Relax.

    You aren't alone....it was you that helped me realize that I wasn't either.

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  10. oh sasha sasha sasha. You jumped into MY head, only in reverse. we have loved public school. but now i wonder if i should start homeschooling. i have no idea what to do. i am always wondering if i hear God's voice or my own. and i'm the same way...what will people think? then i don't care. but i do. and HOW would i school 4 kids at home without loosing my already unstable mind? and do i put my 4 year old (5 in june) in school this year, or next?! Anyhow, so ya, i get it. if the lord says something straight to my heart and says "oh ya, and tell sasha this, " i'll hop right on it;) blessings, mandy

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  11. praying for you Sasha...we go through the same thing every year too...especially as they're getting older. I know that God will give you the right answer. *hugs*

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  12. Oh my Sasha, you have a heary heart.
    I have been where you are. We finally made the break from homeschooling when our eldest was a sophomore in high school and our son was in eighth grade. For us, homeschooling was for a season, not all the way till graduation. I felt as they entered high school they needed transcripts and to be challenged more and to have the opportunity for things we couldn't provide homeschooling.
    Pray my friend. Don't worry what others think. You are doing what you think is best for your children.
    i will be praying for you as well.
    Hugs.

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  13. Prayers for wisdom, Sasha! We all want what's best for our kids, but knowing what that looks like all the time isn't so easy. Whatever decisions you make don't have to dictate forever if things aren't what you thought they would be or if the kids don't adapt as you had hoped. Prayers for wisdom, friend. Breathe and listen--He will speak to you: )

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  14. Ugh. I'm right there with you girlfriend. It's so very hard to know what is best for your kiddos without that crystal ball that doesn't exist. We just have to have faith and pray for discernment and direction and then take a leap of faith. It's awful and difficult and I'm feeling fragile in this same area as well.

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  15. I so relate to everything you said! I stressed and mulled and talked for an entire year as I tried to decide whether or not to have my oldest repeat a grade, and whether or not to homeschool. One week after I made the choice to hs (it was mid-summer for goodness' sake!), we discovered our oldest was blind in one eye - amblyopia. She is in therapy now, doing great, but homeschool has been a Godsend for us - for this specific time. Let God show you what road to take next. He is always faithful!

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  16. Praying for you sweet Sasha! Our youth pastor recommended that book. I need to get it. Keep the Faith and He will show you the way. Hugs!

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  17. Hang in there sweets! You'll be blessed and you'll KNOW what to do. You're a phenomenal mama. Our kids turn out amazing despite our mistakes as parents - thank goodness :-).

    Just keep praying and it will all work out :-).

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  18. It's so normal to feel like you haven't done all of the things that your kids need perfectly. Que sera sera. Whatever will be, will be. As much as you can control, you can't control everything. The kids of good parents (like yourself) tend to make it out of childhood however well they were going to make it out regardless of how much you stress about their outcomes.

    Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works out well for all of you.

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  19. Praying for you for wisdom from the Lord and that he give you the strength to not doubt his answers. Praying for strength from the Lord for you are waiting for his wisdom.

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  20. Hi Sasha! I've been following your blog for awhile now :) I heard David Platt speak at a conference for Pastors that my husband and I were attending. He is such a soft spoken man who says really thought provoking and convicting things! My husband loves "Radical" I'm still not brave enough to read it! I also wanted to let you know that although I wasn't home-schooled, I did go into Kindergarten when I was 4. There were sometimes looking back that I can see that I was a "late-bloomer" but I also feel like it kept me out of trouble in some ways too. It's a tough call but I turned out fine and didn't really feel all that different when I was a kid, I just think upon reflection, I can say yes, I was a late bloomer.

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  21. so CurlyGirly (my sister in law) and I were on the phone today and told me she saw Radical on your blog....I gave it to my small group leader/pastor to read because if has moved me so much, include in your list Crazy Love, and Forgotten God, both by Francis Chan. You won't be the same after. I was lucky enough to see Francis speak at a conference and I couldn't stop crying. I want to hear what you think of the book keep filling us in. Hopefully you don't mind if I post about the book also :)

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  22. that sounds like a big ol decision and a radical book! God will lead you in the right direction.

    such a generic comment but it's all I can come up with at the moment...

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  23. Father, wrap your warm arms of soft peace around Sasha, tonight. Let her sleep. Guide her step by step, one at a time. In Jesus's name, Amen.

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  24. Wow . . . we are reading that book in our Bible Study right now and I will say that I am super convicted as well. I will also say that I think that sometimes you have to consider the audience Jesus was speaking to (his disciples) when He was saying things like "leave everything and follow Me". I really love the book and I have a lot of thinking and praying to do.
    As far as homeschooling, it. is. hard. (I did it for only one year and I just felt guilty all the time like I wasn't giving/being enough for my daughter.) I will pray that you find peace with your decision (whatever that will be) and I will also pray that you will NOT REGRET anything that you have already done. You are doing and have done everything that you think/thought is best for your children. Hindsight is always 20/20 and of course you would do things differently if you could go back. . .
    I am confident that everything will work out for the best because you are obviously seeking God's will in it all. He is in control and He will guide you. He will.
    I just got finished reading the Book of Ruth just tonight and I am reminded of how God provided for Ruth and Naomi in their season of hardship. He led them to Boaz's field and everything changed for them . . . He will lead you to where He wants you to be . . . I know He will.

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  25. I repeated a grade with my wee Sammy... he did first grade twice... taking him from the youngest in his grade to the oldest... I struggle with some of those feelings too... Sammy has unique special needs and I know he would not do well in public school (or private) ... but... we do attend a public school Home school program... where he takes classes and I stay in the class with him... it is a wonderful addition to my home schoolin... and the program is a huge support/resource for me!! anyway... ours is called Olympia Regional Learning Academy.. I know there are more in the State... =) ps... more than half of the families are of the same faith !! =) Blessing!! I am guilty of not praying enough... but with that said... Pray.. Peace will settle in.. ;)

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  26. Darlingest,

    You are FREE in Christ!
    Don't forget that. Just worship Him today in the moments you soar,
    and in the moments you sink.
    He wants your heart, and I think He has it.
    So keep seeking Him, and I know He'll make Himself known to you and scoot you right along in the direction that will glorify Him most in YOUR life!

    Love to you <3

    And I just LOVE to see that kitchen look so LIVED in for a change! ;-)

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  27. oh... repeating a grade was the BEST thing I could have done for Sammy... scary at the time... NO regrets now.. =)

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  28. what an incredible mom you are... your kids are beyond blessed to have parents as concerned as you! praying for you as these aren't easy decisions to make! (side note... i just finished reading that same book... and even though i don't *know* you... i totally thought of you! random!!!)

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  29. Regretting mistake is denying who you are and who you have become. We put so much pressure on ourselves as parents and don't want to fail at that job. I don't know you personally, but have followed you blog for a long time. No way have you messed up your kids. I contemplated homeschooling before my eldest started and we ended up choosing public for various reasons. Have I thought sometimes that I made a mistake, you bet. As humans, it is our nature to think about what we didn't to or didn't choose--when really, it is all a life lesson along the journey. You know the power of prayer, so I am confident that you will find peace in that. And...I will say a little prayer for ya too:)

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  30. i have been a teacher, & i think i can safely assure you, you did not mess up you kids! what makes me confident saying that is how much you THINK about it. if you didn't care so much & didn't give it so much thought, then that would concern me. i have no idea what the right course from here on out is b/c i don't know your situation at all or you or your kids, but i know our God, and He will guide you. remember that the spirit of fear you have right now is not from Him [2 tim. 1:7], and He will give you peace as you pray [phil. 4:6-7]. i will be praying for you, too. it is indeed scary to follow Him, isn't it? i'm glad i'm not the only one with that particular fear...

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  31. que the crying. Sasha, first of all, if it wasn't for your story of your sweet little boy, i would have never been strong enough to have my own son tested. for that you are my blessing from God at a time when i didn't know which way was up or down anymore. hubby and i were at eachother's throats, you could see the dark cloud of tension. we are in month 2 of therapy once a week and already see big changes in him, as well as big setbacks in other areas. it is going to be a constant struggle probably every day of our lives. once we work past one issue, another will rear its ugly head. every choice you have made for your children has been from your heart (which is where my mom always said God speaks the loudest.) you can't go backwards pondering the "what if's" as it will consume your every being. all you can do is take a deep breath, keep your head up, and put one foot in front of the other. you have a great head on your shoulders and nobody knows what your family needs more than you. keep breathing and it will come to you. write it down and give it to God. get it out of your head and keep pushing forward...the clouds will clear. you are always in my thoughts!

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  32. i have a little boy turning 8 soon who has some of the same struggles as your son. we have been doing public school for 3 years and he has fallen behind and we are working hard to try and catch up. just last night i started talking about homeschooling again (all night while i couldn't sleep), for him and our other son after my kindergartner was sent to get writing help yesterday. these choices are so difficult to make! i have heard though that repeating a grade can make all the difference in the world for many children and the benefits usually far outweigh the drawbacks.
    i wish you blessings and peace as you sort out the best route for your family!
    olivia

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  33. What is so funny or ironic...is that when I started reading your blog...I think "maybe I should homeschool"...I think NO matter where you are...you look to the other side.

    School is a constant question...all the time! It's a hard decision.

    sandy toe

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  34. Praying for you. Heavy thoughts and decisions... Take comfort in God's grace and that He knows your heart. You love your kids, you want good things for them. God knows, Adrian knows and your kids know- that's all that matters. Let's schedule another coffee date!

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  35. I will be praying for you Sasha. I go through this every year with my son. I struggle with all the what ifs and what will people think and how will I handle it. I always do what I think God wants me to do and I am always scared, but I trust Him and he always shows me I had nothing to worry about after all. He takes care of everything...but I know you know that already. :)

    xo,
    Adrienne

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  36. I have to tell you I peek at your blog from time to time and today my heart just new I had to share with you. I also have a daughter who is special needs academicly. She has such similar needs as your son. Her official dx is Auditory processing disorder, and ADD. Her symptoms mimic yours sons greatly. She is also the happiest heart you will ever meet. People have nicknamed her sunshine girl. A word of encouragement, she has been in the public school system because I have not known any other way to help her. It has been a blessing beyond measure. To have a team of people helping her is something I don't know how to describe. When we meet for our IEP meetings to go over our goals for her, I am always brought to tears. There are at least 6 people on her team and they all know her so well. To listen to them talk about her, her strengths and weaknesses and how we will work together to meet her goals is a huge blessing. So continue to pray and listen closely to His guiding. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and that our decision for public school and all the resources that it provides for my little sunshine girl is a prayer answered.

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  37. Our minister preached about decision making. Choose the answer that brings peace to you heart. That doesn't mean it's the easy decision, but it's the God-decision. Those times we home-schooled, well, we were fired up and we had peace. When it came time to put them in school, well, immense frustration set in - and when we made the decision, we had peace. It was the same with our move. I didn't want to move, fought it, but when I agreed I had peace.

    Choose Peace - LOL - And never think you did the wrong thing if you sought God in the decision. If God gave you peace, in that decision, don't fall into the trap and beat yourself up!

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  38. That was a heavy load, you just laid out there. We had a special needs grand child that was the "facilitator" of our home school decision. Feeling inadequate is a constant battle when we home school. The one thing you bring to the table is more love and more commitment than any one else or agency ever will. When I used to feel like this I'd sit down with my husband and make a pro and con list. We always stayed with the home schooling, for us because our grand daughter really didn't fit anywhere in school. She couldn't be main streamed and she was too bright for special ed. IF I had to do anything over it wouldn't have anything to do with my home schooling. What I wish I would have done different is to limit her time with the "techno" world. I let computers baby sit to give me a much needed break. That was a mistake and she spent to much time in her fantasy world. The main thing is God is sovereign and He chose you apart from every other woman in this universe to be the mother of your children, because He knew you would be the best one for them. The wonderful thing about home schooling is you can make it be whatever you want it to be.
    Finding out your children's learning style and enriching their lives with real life experiences can bring a whole new break through and much joy.
    Keep praying, God will let you know what to do, and that path has his peace stamped on it.
    A friend of mine read that book and she and her 7 children are going to move to Swaziland in 3 years when her husband is eligible for retirement. WOW.

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  39. wowza girl...so much going on. so much to think about and pray about. you just have to what's best for your family and not care what anybody else thinks period. HE will give you peace about what you're supposed to do.

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  40. My friend and I were just talking about that book yesterday. She said it changed her world. I guess I need to read it now (scared though) I'm also wanting to read Crazy Love. My heart and prayers go out to you girlfriend~

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  41. I have absolutely no idea where you should go from here but I am positive you didn't mess up your childrens lives. having a mom like you is a blessing. period.

    If you ever want to chat you have my number- I'm here for you girl!

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  42. I am praying that you'll get the answers and peace that you need in light of all of this doubt. Be kind to yourself and know that you have done the best you can and that everything has been in the best interest of your children.

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  43. Bless your heart!
    I have been in your shoes, as we just took our girls out of their private Christian school for public shool this year, thinking we would NEVER do such a thing. (Especially in middle school, have mercy!)

    Obviously I have no idea what is best for your family, but I want to encourage you that no matter what, it will be ok. Trust God and the voice He is whispering in, and allow your husband to lead you. It was not easy, and I cried many, menay tears of doubt and questioning, but God met and surpassed my hopes by calming my heart and then growing our faith by leaps and bounds.
    When you trust and step out blindly, He seems to open the blinders on entirely other matters and bless your socks off! Hugs to you. I empathize with the terror that grips your heart, thinking you have irrevocably altered your child's course, but God covers all our gaps. He is so big.
    I'll be praying for you.

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  44. wow... you sweet thing, you are definitely in my prayers. whatever you decide, let the Lord lead your thoughts. be still and listen to Him, let Him lead you and then when you have made your decision, know that He is in control and that He has laid the path before you. whether you continue to homeschool or not, God will put the right people in your life to lead you and He will not leave you hangin'. i always tend to forget that and then He does something and pretty much smacks me upside the head. i'm praying for you family. thank you for sharing this with us so that we can walk alongside you in prayer. even though i don't know you in person, i'm pretty certain by the joy and light we can see in your children's eyes that you have NOT messed up your kids. xo

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  45. Dearest Sasha.
    I wish so much that I could just reach through the computer, give you a hug, look you in the eye and tell you how much I understand. I have homeschooled for over 10 years now and remember so well, what that all feels like. In some way, I want to tell you that it settles down with time, but truthfully, it was my insecurities that the Lord used to keep me close to Him. Like a thorn in the flesh sort of thing. :o) And believe me ... His grace truly is sufficient! :o)
    Seriously, if you would like to talk, cry, laugh at ourselves, etc. Please let me know and we can exchange telephone numbers. :o)
    In the mean time, I am here praying for you and the decision that you are facing. No matter what, including your own fears, listen for the Lord to show you what steps to take, don't sweat the small stuff and don't worry about what others think or say, you just stick to your convictions and move where He says and you will be right where you need to be. :o)
    Sincerely, Trish

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  46. Sasha, I just finished reading "Radical" myself...and I'm with ya, it's gut-wrenching but well worth it in the long run! I am still struggling over how much we should lower our standard of living (stuff) so others' standard of living (food/water/shelter/medicine/etc) can be raised. After all, God made me liking cute stuff for my house and cute clothes to cover this body of mine/His. Yet, He also has given us this money to manage to take care of those who are not blessed in such a way as we are. So, really, it does come down to obedience. I keep trying to focus on what I'll be thinking when I get on that side of eternity and how much my home/clothes/cars/eating out will mean. There-in lies my answer.

    With our last child just graduating last school year and both of our children always having attended public school, I have looked back over their childhood years and wished I could go back and change at least one thing: have our children "homeschooled"! We have many friends who are homeschooling their children and I keep applauding them. It is hard work...but oh so well worth it in the long run...in my humble opinion.

    You just gotta listen to what God is asking y'all to do...and then, obey Him. He'll give y'all exactly what you need in order to do what He's asking of you.

    Thanks for sharing with us so candidly!

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  47. Sasha, I "got" this whole post. The same fears are swirling around my heart too. We've recently stepped out in faith on some things and I've had to reassess what's important, needs vs. wants, and taking God's commands as seriously as His promises. This--"loving pretty things all around me vs. giving all I've got for Jesus"--this is what I'm struggling with. What I'm scared of. But then I get frustrated with myself. I see needs all over my community and abroad and I think, "I'm really worried about trading professional hair coloring for some dear child in Tanzania to have a bible, a warm breakfast and medical care? please, get over yourself!".
    Sigh. I'm a work in progress. And God is def doing some work in me. It's beautiful. And I love watching God work through you. You're an inspiration. These tender posts of yours bless me because I realize I'm not the only one that begs God to use me and then freaks out when He calls on me!
    As best as a blog-reader can know, I know that you are a wonderful mother and Christian. Just meditate on Proverbs 3:5-6 and know that you have tons of people praying for you!

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  48. I am so glad that I read "old lemonade" from time to time. Been going through this lately in my own life...
    Thanks for sharing this.

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