Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do You Like Your Friends?

I have always encouraged my children to be wise in their choice of friends. That being said, I also encouraged them to be friendly to all. Too many times, I have seen people treated different or not as well due to many things beyond their control. Some of these being, but not limited to, the way they look, the type of clothes they wear, where they live, where they work, who their family is, their financial status, etc.... Some may respond, "...but that is high school behavior..." Is it really? I'm sad to report that I have been guilty at times of discriminating behavior. Ouch!

The world we live in is full of anti-discrimination rules and laws. However, it is still a very big discriminatory world. When I discriminate against someone, I have basically taken the place of God and put myself above that person. I have seen too many times where people are treated differently because they may not attend the same type of church we do, or wear the same type and/or brand of clothing, they do not raise their children the same, etc.... I think it's time we band together and say "ENOUGH!" We have all been created in God's image. When I discriminate, I am saying that God's creation is less than perfect. Yes, we are all less than perfect thus the reason Christ's blood was shed, but I have not been given the authority to be the one to judge. My husband often says, "I have had two very big revelations in my life: 1) There is only one God 2) I am not it." That basically sums it up!

This does NOT mean that I cannot encourage my children to make wise choices when it comes to choosing friends. If you ask my children what I say about the way we should relate to other people, they will tell you that Mom says, "You don't have to like them, but you have to love them." I'm SUPER happy about this, because there's some people that no matter how hard I try, I just can't like! However, I can love them. I want my children to make good choices in their friends. I also want them to befriend those who may be different. A little love can go a long way.

I am not a big advocate of having a "best" friend. I like having several close friends. I think friends should help balance you as a person. I don't want a friend who is exactly like me. I want friends who help me to be a better me. I also want to BE a good friend. The Scriptures tell us "...a man that hath friends must first show himself friendly." This will never fail to be true. This is something I have talked about with my daughter often. Girls are emotional and need emotional ties to people. I don't want her to put all of her confidence in one "friend". Guess what? People are human! The only place I want her full confidence is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only one that will NEVER let her down in her life. I want to be remembered as one that had many friends and one that showed myself friendly.

I would consider my husband to be my best friend here on earth (yes I know I said I'm not an advocate of best friends, but this is different!). He is the one that I share everything with. Not talking about him, I got thinking today about my friends. I asked myself "do I like the people I choose to spend my time with?" The answer is definitely Yes. I hope that others can say the same about me!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Life

Wow. There's a lot of meaning in that small word. Our life has totally and completely changed these past few weeks. Although I had a peace about our decision, I was still apprehensive about what the future would hold with enrolling our children in school.

The first day or two was tough for me. It was the first time I let go of totally controlling their education and entrusting them to someone else. It's the first time my babies have been gone from me everyday for ALL day. The Lord really blessed us through a friend to confirm our decision. This friend said one night he felt to pray for our family really hard and to focus especially on our children. Upon praying, he said that he was impressed by the Lord that we made the right decision and that if we would continue to teach our values to our children at home, all would be fine. What a blessing! This touched Martin and I so much and just further confirmed our decision.

Victoria is thriving. She is my social butterfly. She loves to be out and to be busy. She loves her teacher and the business of school. She is part of Service Squad at her school which has enabled her to feel like she belongs and has a place right away.

David is doing amazingly well. I prayed that he would be given the right teacher. Guess what!?! I couldn't have picked a better teacher for him if I had handpicked her myself! She is totally perfect for David. He is doing exceptionally well. The structure of school is proving to be very beneficial for our son. He is excited and is doing great.

I sit back and watch in awe. It's amazing how God can change the course of our path so quickly. What's more amazing is that He knows exactly what we need! This is turning out to be the very best decision for our family. It has helped to teach me another lesson in following the Lord's leading even when I don't understand it. It reminds me of the beginning of a song that I love...

Oh rejoice in the Lord
He makes no mistakes
He knoweth the end
Of the path that I must take...

In closing, I encourage each of you to follow what the Lord is leading you to do. There is no greater path in life that we can trod.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm Going To Be A Mom!

Ok, I know I'm already a Mom. No, we are not adding another little Andrews to our family! I am now just going to be Mom and not teacher to my children. It still sounds so strange to me. I'm getting excited about the future.

It's amazing to me how God can change our perspective and hearts. As you know, our son has many challenges that he and our family faces each day. He has ADHD, OCD, and ODD. These three combined together makes for a very eventful home. The Lord has given us the strength to face each day and succeed the very best we can. It has been challenging to say the least. It's so tough as a parent when you do all you know to do and it still seems like it isn't enough. Thankfully, I know the ONE who is enough. He has always held me in the palm of His hand and recharged me. For this, I am so grateful.

As the mother of a son with these challenges, I feel like a huge weight is being lifted off of me. We knew that we had to try the school option. It's a wonderful feeling to know that I'm going to have help! I'm so excited about being able to be just my children's Mom now and not their teacher too. I haven't experienced that in a long time and it's so exciting to me. I don't know how long it will last. We have committed to the full school year and we will reassess after that. I just wanted to express my joy at this new phase in our life.

At first, I felt like a failure when we decided to enroll our children. I had a peace, but I still felt like I had failed. God has helped me to see that I have not failed.

I have been successful and He has changed the course that we are to trod. I am still a very strong advocate of homeschooling. However, that doesn't mean that everyone should homeschool. Every family dynamic is different. I see that as parents we can place guilt on other parents with our opinions. Homeschoolers may make non-homeschoolers feel guilty that they don't homeschool. Also, non-homeschoolers can make homeschoolers feel guilty about homeschooling. It's actually a vicious circle. Let's respect one another's decisions. It's amazing to me how many people will give their unsolicited opinions in life. I know I have been very guilty of this. I am learning to keep my thoughts and opinions to myself unless I'm asked about them. Just because I may not agree with a decision that someone makes, it doesn't mean their decision is wrong. I love the saying... "Opinions are like belly buttons. Everyone has one!"

So, let's band together as parents no matter what your schooling set up is. I need you to survive. Each of us have been enabled with our own experiences and challenges so that we may lend our love and support to others. I know I will be looking for some support from some of you as we take this new journey. The journey of me becoming "just a Mom!" I'm going to be busy making those after school snacks and loving every moment of it!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Big Changes Are Coming!

What a busy summer we have had! It's hard to believe that it is almost coming to a close and another school year is upon us. We are going to be experiencing a huge change in our family this year.

We have always reassessed our children's educational arrangement each summer. We would discuss the pros and cons and pray about whether we were to keep homeschooling or not. Prior to this year, the answer had always been "Yes". This year, it was different. As you know, our son has some challenges that we face as a family. It was a rough summer for us. After much prayer, we decided to enroll our children in school this year. It was a very hard decision for us to make. For the first time in their lives, I am giving up the control of my children's education. I know I can be part of it, but I will not be the one directing it. That's scary to me!

I was very emotional after our decision. I felt peace, but I also felt other emotions. I am so very thankful to say that the Lord has helped me to come to a place of pure peace and excitement! I'm seeing that so many positives may come out of this new journey we are about to take. I am still a huge advocate of homeschooling. However, I was never one that held the belief that homeschooling is the only right option. The education of our children is such a personal decision to be made within each home by the mother and father. No one else knows our children like we do. God has entrusted them to us to raise them to the very best of our ability.

I am asking each one of you that read this if you would take a few moments to pray for our family as we enter this new phase of our life. Our circumstances have changed, but I'm so thankful that my Creator NEVER changes. I have full confidence that He will continue to lead us and direct us as we look to Him.