Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Change, change, and more change

I have been feeling like I needed to sit down and type out a post for the blog, but I would always find myself doing something else.  My mind has so many things bouncing around in it. UGH!!!  An over active brain means not much rest for me.  I wake up at night with all of these thoughts swirling around.  Hang on to your hats, because I have no clue where this post will go. :o)

The past two and a half years have been FULL of changes for our family.  In August 2011, I put the four oldest kids in public school.  I say I did it, because Mike was against it.  To say I was burnt out is an understatement.  I felt like I was drowning.  I was stressed out beyond measure.  You get the picture.  It wasn't that I hated being at home with my family.  I have always known that my calling was to be at home with the kids, but I felt like I was failing everyone.  I didn't think I could talk to Mike about my feelings and shortcomings, because I didn't want him to see me as the failure I thought I was.  See how the devil works those things?!  It was a major adjustment to public school life, but the kids adjusted.  I missed them terribly, but they were doing well.  I told myself that I had done the "right" thing.  Then came a little tug at my heart.

At the beginning of this past school year, I started feeling God trying to get my attention.  I felt a longing to have the kids back home.  Let me say this first.  We love the elementary school that our little ones attend.  The teachers and staff have been nothing but wonderful to our family.  We don't have any complaints about them.  Mike and I both feel like the school is the best around here.  We have had wonderful communication with the teachers and knew they would help in any way needed to help the kids succeed.  Now back to my thought.  I started noticing all the teachable moments we were having with the kids in school seven hours a day.  The little ones started forgetting how to relate to one another.  They would spend seven hours a day in a class with other kids their age.  When they would get home, I would hear a lot of bickering.  They would yell that a younger sibling was "annoying" them when all the little one really wanted was to spend some time with the older sibling.  I'm not trying to say that homeschooled school children don't bicker.  I have refereed some knock down drag outs here in the past.  But they were forgetting the importance of family.  They cared more about what friends thought than what family thought.  I also noticed their world view changing.  It scared the bejeezees outta me.  I want my kids to base their life decisions on what the Bible says and not on what the world feels is important.  The kids had also forgotten what it takes for a family to function.  I heard all the time "That isn't mine!" or "I didn't do that!"  Ummm... I don't eat all the food or wear all the clothes, but I still cook the meals and wash the laundry.   

God started opening my eyes to my views as well.  He showed me that when I was feeling like a failure, it was because I was basing my views on what the world's definition of success.  I was overwhelmed, because I had taken my eyes off of Him.  I started praying that God would use whatever it took to bring our family back to Him.  Guess what happened.  We had sickness after sickness for MONTHS.  When the kids were home sick, I was at peace because I knew they were where they were suppose to be.  Yes, I was exhausted from being up most of the nights with high fevers, vomiting, etc.  As much as I knew God was showing me where they needed to be, I was scared to death to bring up the subject to Mike.  I started praying about it.  I prayed that if we were suppose to bring the little kids back home that God would work out the details.  You know what happened?!  He did!!!  While I was recovering from flu B and developing bronchitis, Mike called me while he was out getting lunch on his lunch break.  He told me he really wanted to bring the kids back home for school.  God had been dealing with his heart on the issue.

Over the past few years, Mike has been VERY stressed about work.  I won't go into details, but I know several people that will understand the situation.  When that stress starts coming home, it is time for a change.  I missed my husband.  The man that came home each day was NOT the man I married.  Remember that prayer that I was praying about bringing our family back to God?  Yep, God was answering that prayer.  God used that stress to light a fire in Mike.  He started listening to sermons on the way to work and praying again.  I started noticing changes in Mike.  My hubby was coming back to me. :o)  You know what else happened?!  Doors starting opening on the job front.  After almost 19 years at one company, Mike left that company for a better opportunity.  He is having to learn a new job with more responsibility, but he is enjoying it.  He is a foreman at his new job.  It is making him stretch beyond his comfort zone.  I see him growing as a person.  Thank you God for answering prayers.

Now, don't take this as I am exactly where I am suppose to be spiritually.  I still fall short every day.  I still get those taps on the shoulder that I am doing something that is not in God's will for my life.  But I am seeking His will a lot more than I was in the past.  I know that I will have difficult days while homeschooling the 5 youngest Hillians, but my focus will be different.  If I am given the choice of my children going to Heaven or going to Harvard,  I will choose Heaven EVERY time.  Yes, I will teach my children what they need to know to be very successful adults, but I will not base our success on worldly views.  We will let God lead our homeschool.  I am sure we will catch grief about our decision, but I will politely tell those people to take it up with God. :o)

Okay, I told you I didn't know where this post would go.  Hopefully I haven't completely confused you.  I want my life to reflect God.  I want to bring Him honor in everything that I do.  I am sure as we begin this homeschooling journey again, I will have plenty of stories to share to make you laugh.  Like the fact that Jonathan came into the dining room this afternoon with chocolate syrup running out of his nose.  I thought he had a nose bleed until he got closer to me.  How do you have chocolate coming out of your nose?!  I am sure I don't want to know the answer. 

Until next time..... Love you bunches!   


Iva Floyd said...

So glad you feel like you're doing what God wants. I understand that peace that comes from finally listening to Him (I, too, understand the brick/2x4 moments God uses to get our attention). May this school year be very productive and may it bring your family full circle to where God wants it to be :)

Janet Stewart said...

Charity, you are such an inspiration to me. Thank you for taking time to share your struggles and joys. Your family is beautiful and so are you!!

Alicia said...

That is so exciting. God does work all things for good. Being where God wants you is the best. I love your Harvard comment. :)

Sarah said...

Such a joy when we step into all God has for us.

Delighted to meet you. I hope you don't mind if I splash around to get to know you a bit more. This looks like a refreshing place to dip into some goodness.

I'm also on the hunt for ideas to splatter some joy into our summer. I would love to hear your ideas. Come splash with us!