Hosting Round 2, Homeschooling Round 1

Hosting Round 2, Homeschooling Round 1

I finally decided to take the plunge. I am going to do it. I am going to do what I thought I could never do and do what is perhaps one of the most difficult, daunting tasks ever recorded in the history of mankind.

YES. I AM GOING TO HOMESCHOOL.

Whenever I tell people this news, the immediate reaction is almost always shock, followed by questions of why and what happened?

Why homeschool?? Did something bad happen? Is the local public school not good enough? Are they not learning anything in their class? Are they learning things you don’t want them to learn? Are you afraid your kids will get left out, bullied, or maybe even shot?

While all of those things are sadly possible in today’s public school system, homeschooling was probably an even greater fear in my mind than most of those things. Keep all the kids homes with me and go crazy together every single day? No, thank you! I also used to think people only homeschooled these days if they absolutely had to because of some problem.

Homeschooling, to me, has always sounded completely overwhelming and at best, foreign and outdated.

Growing up, I did not know a single person who was homeschooled. If I ever heard of such a kid, I automatically imagined them to look like the children on Little House on the Prairie. They just seemed… different… and yes, unsocialized. I think this is the popular belief.

Yet in the last few years as a stay-at-home-mom, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting more and more people from this crazy, “different” population of homeschooling families. Different, but kind, intelligent, fun, witty, and actually, they look a lot like me!

The parents definitely don’t have it all together and their kids struggle with the same kind of issues as any other “normal” kid does. Yet what is really “different” is something extraordinary I see taking place in their homes through this journey of schooling their own children.

This is what I have observed:

Homeschooling is rubbing on each other the wrong way, gritting your teeth through sounding out words, and then learning that life is more than spelling lists and word problems. Homeschooling is trying to teach your kids everything they possibly need to learn from math to reading to Bible verses to character building (not to mention health, physical education, and so on), feeling like a complete failure, and then being able to just ditch the lesson for a moment to hug or cry or eat icecream together while learning grace. Homeschooling is overcoming countless obstacles, experiencing those precious and monumental ah-ha moments, and growing together yet another year. Homeschooling is bold, it is brave, it is bed-heads and pajamas all day long, it is pure awesomeness.

While some of those things I can honestly do without, I’m willing to endure those more difficult moments when I think about the thing I am most excited about when it comes to homeschooling.

It is this–homeschooling gives you the most precious and priceless gift of time, to really and TRULY do life and even ministry together, day in and day out with your children.

Yes, I know this might sound like absolute madness, and I’m sure that many days it will be. But I also know it will be amazing and so completely worth it. The best things in life are, and today I got to see a glimpse of this dream playing out before me.

Today, we accepted our second hosting assignment and brought home another little boy who will be staying with us for a short period of time. He is so reminiscent of our first hosted boy, Rell. They are both 3 years old, boys, and mixed half white/half black. He came in March during a snowstorm, just like Rell did, and he is just as sweet, fierce, and rambunctious as Rell. And just like Rell, one of the first things he did when he came into our home today was play on the piano.

And my kids. Again, I was amazed at the vital role each one played in bringing this one in. Even my 2-year-old, Moses! Without Moses coming with us to meet the boy, playing with him and warming him up at the office with his charm and smile, I don’t think he would’ve ever come home with us as willingly and joyfully as he did. It would’ve been another soap opera in the parking lot like last year.

Then when we got home, the new boy got to meet our two older kids and they have also hit it off ever since, playing like they’ve been friends for years. It is a gift my children carry, the gift of friendship, and they each are moving mountains in the spirit through their ministry.

Our children. Ministering. Learning about the problem of pain in the world through children coming from broken families. Learning to receive and extend the healing light of Christ. And together, witnessing Christ’s transformative and redemptive work. WHENever and WHEREver we go throughout the day, this is what we will be learning.

There’s nothing more I want them to know in this life and we are going to learn it together right in our home. In between math, reading, science, and the like, we are going to learn Christ and be able to not only be at home, but together, we will go out into the world to love those in the darkest of places. It’s going to be crazy, messy, beautiful.

Now I can finally say that I am no longer timid or scared or wary about homeschooling, but I am absolutely ecstatic to begin the most honorable and gratifying job I know I’ll ever have–training up my children full-time as their teacher, in every sense of the word.

And don’t worry, I’ll make sure they have a social life ;).

While I am completely uncertain how long we will go or if we will even make it through one year of homeschooling, I’ll take any amount of time we get with them as a gift!

I am ready to begin.

Hosting round 2 has begun. Homeschooling round 1 to begin fall of 2018.

…pray for us.

“Train up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

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Her Last Breath

Her Last Breath

“To breathe your last” is an expression I heard many times before, but it only got real this past week when I saw my 94-year-old grandma passing before my eyes. I think we take breathing for granted because it is something so constant in our lives. Like grandmas who are always there and present and reliable without having to even think about it, so is our breath.

But then to see my grandma restless in her bed and working so hard to take in every breath of air for the last few moments of her life brought a whole newfound appreciation for the breath of life running through me.

And with each breath that she took, I wondered when her last would be. I knew it was coming soon, but when would it finally stop? I could not imagine something–someone–so constant and steady suddenly being gone.

Yet as I peered down into her casket today and stared at the still body that she left behind on this earth, I saw her breath was truly gone. In disbelief, I looked harder and waited and almost expected her to gasp for air as if she was actually still alive. It was so unreal. For even at the tailend of her life when I often found her sleeping during my visits, I could still always count on seeing the soft, gentle breath faithfully pumping in and out of her.

Today, however, there was no such thing. Her breath was gone and so is she. Life is but a breath, a vapor, a passing shadow. Quick, short, and gone before you know it.

Now to us who were left–her children, her many grandchildren, and even her great-grandchildren–we were able to gather together for her funeral to remember her and to see her one last time before she was buried. My two-year-old son kept waving to her from afar and wanting to give her a high five, and my four-year-old daughter kept asking to go up to see her. I wasn’t sure what was going through her mind, but I let her go as she wished.  

I always saw so much of my grandmother in my daughter. Even as a toddler, I remember bringing her to the nursing home and all the nurses would call her “Little Kap Soon!” It’s the eyes, the hairline, the cheeks, the nose.

Tonight, after she fell asleep from a long day with family, I went into her room a few extra times to check on her because looking at her gives me not only another glimpse of my grandmother, but seeing her is like seeing fullness of life. With her little body curled around her many pillows and blankets, I looked upon her in stark contrast to looking at my grandmother earlier today and saw her breath running through her warm, vibrant body. It is just the beginning for her.

I can still clearly remember the day she was born and the moment we heard her first cry as she took her first breath out in the open world. There was a day my grandmother, too, was a little wee baby, just beginning her life.

While it’s natural to distinguish and appreciate the very first breath as well as the last, it is however perhaps more amazing and noteworthy to think that in between those two breaths were millions and millions of other breaths that the Lord cared to give. To think, from beginning to end, it was the Lord that sustained her every breath. Every. Single. One of them.

He is truly the giver of life.

Yet the most amazing thing is that after that very last breath, which even Jesus experienced on the cross, Jesus conquered and overcame death in this life, so that we all in Christ may be raised and LIVE with Him forevermore.

Yes, my grandmother is alive. More alive than ever before. More alive than my daughter and more alive than all those moments we remember with her in this life. This is life abundant.

“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7