Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hard and Holy.

The last couple of posts I've written have been about how homeschooling is filling my heart and home right up. Without a doubt, that is true. What's happening in our lives as a family right now go far beyond the comprehension my mind will ever be able to fully grasp. But I never want to paint a picture of all good things. As a Christian, I know of course that nothing on this Earth is all good, all the time. I know His love, mercy, and His grace are what's good and can be handed to me in the roughest of times making seemingly overwhelming situations become good. But folks, this field of work I've chosen, the shepherding of hearts, is in no fact an easy, glorified job. It is hard and holy work. I don't write much about Jonathan's job here, but back in April he went from working 5 normal shifts, to 6 days a week, averaging around 70 hrs a week away from us. Not to mention, the commute hours, times stuck in traffic, times he had to stay far longer to help the job move along. So, back in April I felt tremendous pressure to enroll the kids back in school. I told myself everyday that homeschooling was looking like an impossible feat in front of me. Long, long weeks are what I had geared myself up for, and yet still I was surprised at how much of our life here at home I was carrying on my shoulders. No amount of planning or preparing could have gotten me ready for that. Months went by, Jonathan sometimes working 80 hours a week, and I still had this tug, more like a pull at that time, to homeschool. I knew at that point it was no longer I, but God who was asking this of me.

Over the summer I was struck with insomnia. I was not getting the sleep I needed to take on this roll and when I shared with people the true, nitty gritty details of my life at that time, I'm sure people thought I was nuts when I would say, "but I still think we are going to homeschool." Actually, nuts sounds about right. Due to all the radiation I had back when I had cancer I also suffer from menopause. This I've had for four years now. Also, I don't talk about this much because, why? Why would I? It's embarrassing, exposing, and a reminder of how hard I had to fight to be here. What I suffer from daily, is worse than menopause though, being thrust into it from the cancer treatment, my dr. describes what I experience is about 6 times as difficult as anyone else who is in menopause. But I'm alive, Amen? This is not to share about my menopause, this is to share about hard and holy things.

There is also being home all day with small children who have demands that would fill the largest piece of paper only amplified by sleeplessness, a husband who is gone most of the time, hormonal imbalances, PET SCANS to schedule, lessons to be taught, co-ops to get to, life to be led, and at the end you would wonder, why, oh WHY would I choose homeschooling? The only answer I can come up with is that I didn't choose homeschooling. It chose me. I look back on my cancer diagnosis and I think about the timing of that. Really, the worst timing ever. A four year old and two 10 month old baby boys, and CANCER. NOT good timing. I think about being 23 and finding out I was pregnant. I was so young and not married. NOT good timing. I think about when Jonathan and I separated and I became a single mother for a year, in Florida, recovering from cancer. NOT good timing. I think about homeschooling with a husband who works long days, and children who are young, and menopause symptoms that would make the most patient, gentle woman in the world turn into a beast of a human being, and I think, NOT good timing. But when I look back on my life, there is a really obvious point to all of it, that with all the bad timings, God does great, wonderful transformations with it. He does beautiful things. I think of one of my favorite quotes by Ann Voskamp where she wrote once, "the world has enough women who know how to do hair, the world needs women who can do hard and holy things." With hot flashes and impatience as the backdrop to my stage, where labels like cancer survivor, out of wed lock, young and naive, PET SCANS, insomnia linger, He sets the stage. I step out to comb my daughters hair, and drive her to do violin. I step out to help two little boys learn to ride bikes, I step out to draw baths and make sure their laundry is clean and put away, that the house smells good, and where we can come together to pray. I step out to have my husband come home tired and fling my arms around him when he has made it home safe again, and again, and again. And now I step out to teach. I step out to bend down, to wipe tears, to encourage and cheer on. I step out in bad timing, because He says the timing is NOW. That life is for the living, and your living is now. That timing is only everything, because He is controlling it like He was then, like He is now, like He will again tomorrow. Actually, the timing seems like good timing after all.

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