For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
This verse has been my favorite verse since the day I first read it. I love the hope contained in this verse. God's plans truly are greater than mine. I may not always agree with Him at the time, but I am beginning to not question His plans for me...well not as much as I used to!
When our oldest daughter was 5 and ready for school, we did what we thought you were supposed to do. We put her in kindergarten, mainly because that's where we went to school and as we thought; "look how good we turned out!" However, those were not exactly the plans that God had in store for us. You see there was another option for us, one that we adamantly refused to even consider...homeschooling. We didn't just refuse to consider it, we actually thought the idea was ludicrous. We were about as anti-homeschooling as you could get.
I'm not sure exactly how God changed our hearts so that we could more clearly see the plans he had for us, but I am so thankful that he did. You see as it turned out, homeschooling was exactly God's perfect plan for our family. Would our kids have done ok in the public school? I'm sure they would have...but we would have missed out on the plan God had for us. A plan that helped my children thrive, not just do ok.
In 1997, we began homeschooling Ashley, she was in third grade. We kept our daughter Abby in public school, because we wanted to ease into this unknown territory (perhaps we were still unsure if this really was God's plan). One year later our homeschool tripled in size as we brought Abby home and Caleb began his kindergarten year with us. Was it always easy? No! I was very overwhelmed at the beginning. I didn't know what I was doing, I didn't know my own kids learning styles and so we went through a few different approaches before we settled into a good routine. Did I ever make my kids cry? Yes. Did they ever make me cry? Yes. Would I change a thing about our experience? No.
God had a plan for this family and it was a homeschool we named the Goliath Academy. Why that name? Because in the Bible Goliath was huge and David was small, there was no way that David could conquer Him. However, through obedience to God's plan, David did defeat Goliath. So to us homeschooling was our Goliath, but with God's help and guidance we made it! The Goliath Academy has only one student left...he graduates on May 19th. These days I find myself looking back over the past 14 school years and marveling at where God has brought us.
I will miss this amazing homeschool experience. I will miss spending every day with my kids. I will miss the joy of new discovery in my home...even though these days my son is smarter than me and his new discoveries are actually over my head!! In the next few months there will be tears (mostly mine), I will have a lot of extra time on my hands. But Jeremiah 29:11 still rings true...God has plans for me, awesome plans. I just need to open my eyes and see what those plans are!
How about you? Are you allowing God's plans to direct your life? I am so glad my husband I and finally tuned in and allowed God to show us the best plan for our family. In the next few weeks, I will be reflecting back on this amazing homeschool journey of ours...I hope you come along for the ride!
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