Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Road Less Traveled By

"Do you realize what you are doing?  You are going to ruin your child.  She is going to grow up without any real view of what the world is like!  She is going to be awkward and isolated because of what you are doing.  She is going to have difficulty fitting in, being happy, being loved, loving others. She is going to grow up not knowing what all the other kids know.  She is going to grow up not experiencing what all the other kids experience.  How cruel.  I can't believe you are going to subject her to that.  My heart breaks for her."

Those comments I have heard more than once, by more than one person.  Most don't bombard me with those things all at once but they do come.  I am a Christian.  I am also a Christian who has decided to homeschool.  And to some one those things is bad enough but to add the other means I must be some radical racist who must be hiding in my bunker just waiting for the end of the world.  I guess there is some tiny bit of truth mixed in that comment.

I am a Christian and I am radical... for the things of Christ, for my family, for people.  Christ loves us with such a radical love that he went all the way to the cross.  So I love Him regardless of the backlash I receive, even if it is from the very family I love so much.  I love my daughter so much that after she suffered abuse at the hands of another student (you know, that thing called bullying) repeatedly and suffered physical injury, and I watched her get terrible migraines at school whiles suffering emotional injury, and I watched her learning creep to a stop because of mental injury I could do nothing but remove her from that situation.

I didn't make this decision lightly, I did as much research as I ever have for anything I have ever done.  And if you know anything about me, then you know I tend to research something more than I probably need to. As I did my research all those comments listed above grew smaller and smaller and all the positive things that I found grew more an more.  See I didn't look into homeschooling because I was a Christian, though many Christians do homeschool.  I looked into it because I loved my daughter more than I love myself and though the thought of homeschooling terrified me and what that meant for the next who knows how many years I wanted what was best for her.

I saw the statistics and how most homeschoolers are much more well rounded relationally because they learn to talk to all walks of life and ages in everyday life.  They are not stuck in a classroom with a bunch of kids who are only their age.  They know how to deal with younger, same age and older people.  They have no fear of another age population which is sometimes rapid among kids.  I saw that their stress levels were much lower but their test scores were so much higher.  Their suicide levels, teen pregnancy levels,  drug abuse levels, as well as other risky behaviors were all much lower, because their families were a tighter unit, not because they didn't have the opportunity.

Since becoming a homeschooler I have seen that most are much more active in the community, in fun activities, in exciting opportunities most kids can't get because they are so busy with school and homework it leaves little time for anything else.  Most excitedly I see that they are free to explore their passions, become what they hope, dream and desire to be without being forced into a direction they would never desire to go.  

Just as Robert Frost did when he was homeschooled, he decided to follow the road less traveled and became an incredible poet, one of the countries most beloved.  And it was his homeschooling family, particularly his mother, Isabelle that inspired him to be a poet because of the rich literature they read on a daily basis in their homeschool environment.

I will continue to follow the road less traveled because I love my God and my family.  I am happy to hear those comments from others who don't understand and will always show them through actions that what they fear for my child, is what they will someday marvel at because they just did not understand the fruit that would come from the road less traveled.
(The above was written for Free Write Friday using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just write!,  [ Writing prompt ~ Talk about a time you took the road less traveled and the differences it made…] Please check out Kellie Elmore's blog  for more information on Free Write Friday's, twitter hashtag #FWF and join the fun!  Just write!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What Will You Do?

Tragedy struck today in a small town in Western Washington.  It was heartbreaking and made me reflect a great deal and think about my reaction to things around me.

As I made my way into town for a homeschool meeting, sitting on a mound in front of a public school was an elderly man.  I had seen this man before in the area and thought nothing of him really.  As I drove by him though, something was different, he was glaring at each and every car that drove by.  As we drove by he lifted his hands and pointed his fingers at us as if shooting a gun at us, silently moving his lips to mimic the sound of a gun as it is fired.

I was slightly disturbed and ask the Lord to help him but then moved on with my morning activities, not giving him another thought.  I mean, he was just an elderly man who probably had too much to drink or was just in a grumpy fowl mood.  He wasn't doing anything other than giving people dirty looks.

On my way home from my day's events I neared the school again, yet this time I was not allowed to pass.  I asked the man and police officer that was standing there on the side of the road if there had been an accident.  He replied that there was some old man running around with a gun shooting at people so the police had the area blocked off.

I was stunned and with my daughter in the back of the car I turned around to go the long way home and immediately began to pray.  I was praying for the safety of all involved and that the man would be stopped without anyone being harmed.  My mind was surely focused on this event and how close we came to being in harms way.

When I got home I decided to post about it on Facebook so that people would pray for the situation and quickly found out that the man had been killed because he had fired at the police and they had no choice but to fire back. 

My heart was broken.  It was broken for a man who had probably lived in his little house for that last 50 plus years with a wife and children.  Children that grew up and might have no longer visited because life is just too busy and dad is just too grumpy.  The thought of his death and what his family might be going through ate away at me and the thing that hurt most was that my spirit was convicted, deeply convicted.

How many times do we see or sense something is off and we move on without another thought, and if we do pray it is a quick cursory prayer that we did out duty.  It was a quick prayer so we weren't really bothered by it and the time it was take to really pray over the situation?  I was convicted.  This man was hurting and lost.  He was not in his right mind and I knew it and I had a bad feeling when I drove by him yet all I prayed for was that the Lord would help him.  Did I really mean that prayer?  Or did I say it out of that place inside that says, "I am supposed to pray!"  Not because my heart was moved to share my worries with the Father.

It was a great lesson to me.  It made me think of my everyday situations.  Do I ask the Holy Spirit to help me to know WHAT to pray?  Or do I just plow forth with no concern with what God wants?  If I had taken that time the Spirit might have touched me and asked me to pray for something very specific and it might have been something that would have made a difference.

I am not saying I am responsible for this man's death.  He died because of his choices and it is extremely sad.  But I am responsible to do exactly what the Lord calls me to do, and I think that would include praying for the lost and hurting, praying for this man.  The Lord LOVES HIM!  The Lord was grieved by this event today. 

What will you do next time you are given that check in your spirit that something isn't quite right?  Ignore it, throw a vague prayer out there, or turn to the Father, ask the Spirit to guide you and thank the Savior for giving you the ability to always have access to them for all your needs.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Long after the sun goes down I spend my time wandering, searching, looking for what always alludes me.  As I wander the voices keep coming, soft and gentle, luring me further in to the depths of the forest.  What do they want with me and why do they keep calling?  Why do I keep following?

Goodnight on Fairie Swamp Garden
Goodnight on Fairie Swamp Garden (Photo credit: echoroo)
I can hear them now, their sound so gentle it almost lures me into believing I am so safe and so loved that nothing else matters.  Warmth flows over me, filling me with just joy I can't believe there is anything sinister in their calling.  It is almost as if sweet romance is in the air, calling and beckoning me to take a leap of faith and just fall all in... all into the peace and serenity and soft comfort of their words.

But their words are not all that leads me deeper into the forest, but the words give light!  It is a pure light, one can not fully explain but one that can only be felt.  It is a light that gives warmth and satisfaction every time you glimpse it.  It is a light that gives hope in the midst of the darkness.  It is a light that makes you feel safe and whole and free, one that never leaves you alone or forsakes you.

As I go deeper, wandering into the forest I am greeted nightly by this beautiful light and melodic voice and each night the outcome is the same. I find myself lying softly in a bed of moss staring eagerly into the sky waiting for them, knowing they are there because they beckoned me there this night, just like every other night.  I close my eyes and they surround me filling me with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control... I have felt them before, and they are a welcome guest.

My spirit leaps with excitement and expectation, because they are there... bringing with them all I need and all I will ever want.  Without them I am nothing and never will be. Each night I go with expectation, and each night I am embarrassed because my expectation is never high enough to match the the moments that happen deep in the darkness of those woods.  My expectations are always so small compared to the gift lavished upon me.

Long after the sun goes down... the world quiets and only then am I free to go wandering, searching and looking for my true desires...  only then do I find them.

(The above was written for Free Write Friday using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just write!,  [ Writing prompt ~ It’s after midnight. You find yourself in an eerie yet, magical swamp. You hear whispering and see flashes of light…what happens? ] Please check out Kellie Elmore's blog  for more information on Free Write Friday's, twitter hashtag #FWF and join the fun!  Just write!)