Article for the On Faith column in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, Sat., July 18, 2020

Our story is not unique. Many are called. And many answer their calling. Some people enter the medical field, some the public education arena, some surrender to vocational ministry, and others to public service careers. Embracing our calling sets in motion God’s plan for His work on Earth to be accomplished.

Homeschooling was something my husband and I had discussed and prayed about for years. We knew it was a possibility for our family but didn’t feel the timing was right just yet. Three of our four children were in elementary school, and our youngest had just started pre-school. I had a few hours each week to myself for leisurely grocery shopping, running errands, and even sipping a cup of coffee without interruption. It was pretty wonderful.

Through a series of events and gentle nudges from the Holy Spirit, it became apparent in the Fall of 2003 that the call to homeschool was upon us. Visions danced around in my mind of what it would look like. I spent hours preparing lessons and was particularly excited about our history and geography study. Our first official day of homeschooling would be filled with maps and posters, finger puppets, and lots of “oooh’s and aah’s.” Surely my new students would be inquisitive, bubbling over with enthusiasm, and even appreciative of all the hard work I put into lesson planning. We finished the lesson in about 30 minutes, and they were ready for a snack break. So was I. Seriously. I was in trouble.

Juggling our new routine eventually became easier, and our days were filled to the brim with lessons, co-op, and extra-curricular activities. After about a year, though, I became discouraged and was ready to quit. Being responsible for my children’s education was a daunting task. I was feeling overwhelmed with both “mom” and “teacher” titles. And though it was several years down the road, I lay awake at night, pondering the challenges of homeschooling through high school.

My husband and I had a date night, and we ended up at Dairy Queen because Oreo Blizzards just make things better. A familiar-looking woman approached us and introduced herself. Her family had been involved with the local homeschool co-op group for many years. She had seen me at a meeting. God used this dear woman to encourage me, strengthen me, and love me. Her children were all home school graduates and doing well, all following the path God had laid out for them. This woman shared much wisdom with me, but the one golden nugget that has stayed with me, that I have seen play out repeatedly is this: God is faithful. When we are obedient to His call, He will bless His children in many unexpected ways. And, indeed, He has.

This wise woman also told me a few more truths. She said the first two years of homeschooling were the most difficult. And that I would spend hundreds of dollars on curriculum and never use half of it. Yep. She was right again.

As the years passed, I witnessed God’s faithfulness and grew more confident, not in my ability to teach my children, but more confident that our family was right in the center of His will. Our homeschool call was His plan all along.

In May 2018, we graduated our last student. It was a 15-year journey that has left me breathless. Breathless in awe and wonder. It brought me to my knees one moment and had me praising Him with lifted hands the next.

Was it a journey worth taking? Absolutely. Other than sharing Jesus with our children, homeschooling has been the greatest blessing for our family. It was hard sometimes, though, really hard. There were critics and nay-sayers, tense moments, and tears. But there was also joy and laughter, new friendships forged, and sweet surprises.

When God calls His children to walk a particular path, we do not journey alone. He walks with us and also sends other sojourners to join us. For our family, homeschooling was not merely a choice; it was, without a doubt, a calling. We had to surrender our wills, our ideas, and our plans to God and trust Him. It has been a path with many twists and turns and uneven ground along the way, but looking back, I see miles and miles of miracles and blessings. And I wouldn’t hesitate to make the trek all over again. It has been a road less traveled, and it has made all the difference.