My mother's heart was breaking for my eldest daughter as she sobbed, tears streaming down her face. I could see how unhappy she was and my deepest concern was that this could do her damage in the long term. In the recent weeks and months she had become withdrawn, wouldn't make eye contact with people and quiet (which was really saying a lot).
My daughter was struggling with anxiety. Most of that anxiety came from school. It was at the point where she would cry the night before school because she was so stressed about it. Then spend the whole morning crying. Her little body shadowed me, begging for me to do something about her pain.
It didn't take too many days of this extreme anxiety before I realised we needed to do something drastic. We had tried speaking to her teacher, we had tried cheering her up in other ways.
I admitted to her that I really wanted to help her but I had absolutely no idea how to make things better. She looked at me with those deep brown eyes and said "That's okay Mummy. You're going to home school me."
I'm not even sure where that came from. We have never discussed home schooling. The only thought I ever had about home schooling was the idea that maybe one day we would drive around Australia for a year and home-school the kids. When she first dropped this on us I immediately thought, "No way!"
I couldn't do home-school! I had a toddler at home, my first book was being released, I had a thriving blog, another child in the first grade and I was training for my first half marathon. How was I ever supposed to do it all? Or was I even supposed to do it all?
Have you ever felt like this? You have all your neat plans laid out and then something happens to change all that in an instant. I had not planned on this. My husband hadn't either. When I first mentioned the idea of homeschooling to him after school drop off, he wasn't keen. He actually thought the idea was terrible.
I should know by now that God has plans of His own for our lives. For us that often means a change in the road we thought we were taking. Our task is to be able to identify where God is leading us and adjust our journey to fit His plans.
For us, this time, the path opened straight up. The direction of our path was actually voiced to us by our 8 year old. I dropped her off at school that morning with my brain whirling from the thought of what might lie ahead. I promised her that I would pray, speak to daddy and at least consider the thought of home-school.
Within 4 hours, my husband and I went from being against home-school, to looking forward to this new season. We felt God's leading and a complete peace that it would work for us. The following day, I had a meeting with the school principal. We shared with him our concerns and what we were planning on doing. He was supportive of our decision and encouraged us to do whatever was best for our family. He also offered to help or support us in whatever we needed.
Less than a week later I was a home-school mum.
I learned a lot during that week.
1. God will often show up when you least expect it
It's often when you are busy in the daily grind that God will make a dent in your plans.
2. God will give you a peace for the new road
We felt peace about our decision to home-school even though it was something we hadn't wanted to do. God's peace is a way of telling which path it right. If you have a lot of turmoil about a decision, then chances are, it isn't from God.
3. God will handle the details
When God changes your direction He will also guide the way. For us, he had the principal on board, helped us get the supplies we needed and did everything fast. He completely changed our plans in less than a week flat.
4. God rewards obedience
Pushing through onto this new path did wonders for our family. My eldest daughter, Caitlin, became like a new child overnight. She was happy, enthusiastic and generally excited about our plans. She told me how much she loved me and I felt a new bond because I listened to what was important to her.
5. God will confirm your path
The day we were hit with the home-school bomb, my husband and I went shopping to see what supplies we needed if we took this path. While we were shopping, we bumped into a couple from church. It was a couple that I didn't know very well but their faces were very familiar and I knew we could trust them. I told them about our decision that day and they gave us comfort about our choices. They too had made this decision and they shared how much joy it had brought into their lives. Being able to speak with them, made us feel confident.
So now we find ourselves in a brand new season. A season hand-picked by God. I'm excited about where this season will take us as a family and what God will do in our lives. I pray that you are open to His guidance and direction in your life. Embrace the plan that He has for you