Passions: Part 2

     As Brendan and Ryan grew, they both went to a wonderful preschool and I felt led to send Brendan to a private Christian school once he started kindergarten.  Again, God provided the means for us to send Brendan to his school and he flourished.  As Ryan turned five, we decided to send him to the same school for junior kindergarten due to his late birthday.  He also flourished and enjoyed school. 

     Now we were paying for two private school tuitions and it was not cheap!  I had several friends who homeschooled their children.  Occasionally one of them would mention homeschooling to me, but I just brushed them off…I was doing the “right” thing in my mind by sending the boys to a Christian school. Besides, there was NO WAY that I could (or even wanted to) teach my kids all day, every day!  I needed “my” time and had things that I wanted to do!

     Eventually, an opportunity arose at work where I was able to work 20-25 hours per week and send the boys to an afterschool program (at their school).  We decided that it would be helpful to have some extra income.  I enjoyed being back in the workplace.  I felt fulfilled and “professional”.  The only downside was that I didn’t get to spend much time with my kids.  By the time I picked them up from aftercare, fed them dinner, and helped with homework, it was time to get ready for bed.  We stuck with this schedule for a year, but when Ryan finished kindergarten and Brendan finished third grade, Justin felt that the tuition was just too costly.  Reluctantly, I agreed to try public school but only if I quit my 25 hours a week.  I wanted to be home to get the kids off the bus, help them with their homework, volunteer as room mother, etc.  We adjusted to the new schedule and I stayed very involved with the school.  We never had any major issues with the teachers or anything and the boys were doing fine, but something still didn’t feel right. 

     As Brendan entered the fifth grade, I couldn’t get the idea of homeschooling out of my head.  I started researching the different options, philosophies, benefits, and curriculum choices.  I began to talk to Justin about the possibility of teaching Brendan at home and he was very supportive.  I began  attending a local Christian homeschool support group and they encouraged me, prayed for our family, and answered my MANY questions.  I read lots of books about homeschooling and with every book that I read, it began to dawn on me that maybe God really was calling me to bring Brendan home.  The more I studied scripture, the more my eyes were opened to the possibility.

to be continued…

Friday:

Our first week in China has gone by sooooo fast!  I am exhausted, so I’ll just share our pictures from this morning.  I’ll try to post Passions: Part 2 in the next few days.  Have a GREAT weekend :)!

Verse of the Day: 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Passions: Part 1

     On the ride home from church last night, Brendan explained that the youth group was learning  about “passions”.  He shared that he “really enjoys working with little kids.”  This was somewhat of a surprise to me, until I started thinking…Brendan has helped me with Children’s Church in the past, he is a fantastic big brother, he’s kind and caring, he makes people laugh, he is learning to have a heart for God, and he has been touched recently as we have learned about how many people in our world are lost.  How exciting that God has given Brendan a love for children!  We talked about how God gives us all different “passions” and that if we follow His leading, God can do amazing things through us!  I am excited to see how God uses Brendan’s passions for His glory!

     Well, that conversation got me thinking.  It’s amazing to look back at my life and see how God has guided me to where I am today.  I never dreamed that I would have such a wonderful husband, two precious sons, the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, a part-time job that I love, a beautiful home, an amazing church family, and many more blessings than I could ever deserve.  As I think back over the years, I can truly see how God is working in my life. 

     As a teenager, I worked with infants in a daycare center for over five years.  Although I loved working with the babies, I realized how quickly those little ones changed and grew, and I knew that I never wanted to miss seeing my babies grow.  I decided then and there that I would do whatever I could do to never put my children in daycare – I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom!   

     I left for college at age 17 and changed my major many times, not really knowing what I wanted to “be when I grew up”.  I knew that an office job was not for me and decided to try my hand at nursing.  I was accepted into MCV’s School of Nursing and very quickly realized that nursing was not for me either!  At that time I had moved back home, quit nursing school, and was mourning the loss of a long-term relationship.  I felt lost and didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my life!

     Before I had been accepted into nursing school, my grandfather had suffered a stroke.  He entered rehab, began to regain some of the life skills that he had lost, and he loved working with his recreation therapist. Papa’s therapist helped him redevelop his motor skills by playing games, taught him how to drive his lawn mower again, and helped him maintain a good quality of life.  Hmmm…I thought, “I could do that!  I’d still get to be in the medical field, I’d still get to work with people, and I still wouldn’t have to sit in a boring office all day!”  I began to take classes, felt like this was where God wanted me to be, and guess who else was a recreation therapy student???  My future husband :)!  Justin and I were “friends” for a while, dated, fell in love, graduated college, got married, and in 1999 were thrilled to be pregnant with our first child!

     I worked full-time until Brendan was born and then put in my notice at work.  Money was TIGHT, but we were determined that I would stay at home to care for our son.  God helped us through those first years and we LOVED being a family of three.  In 2001, we were blessed to be expecting our second child.  God had given us so much more that we could’ve ever hoped for!

to be continued…

 

China Bound!

Ni Hao!  We are super excited to be visiting China for the next two weeks.  Today’s fun activities included learning how to play Chinese Checkers and trying to eat with chopsticks :).  We finished our Amy Carmichael biography, reviewed and copied a new Bible verse, read about Christianity in China, learned how animals have adapted to living in towns and cities with people, completed eight workboxes, and got to help arrange some music at guitar lessons.

Verse of the Day:

   

This slideshow requires JavaScript.