Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Looking Back to Look Ahead

Today, we are celebrating the 100th day of school milestone.  I surprised the kids with a banner that says, "You're no dummy. You're not an airhead.  You ARE 100 days smarter!" It was covered in airheads, dum-dum suckers, and smarties.  (The picture isn't so good since I took it in the dark as we put it out for the kids to see this morning.) Today we are also doing activities that highlight 100 and having 100 themed treats (100% juice, 100 calorie snack packs, 100 m&ms, etc...).  To be honest, this is the first year that we all actually knew when 100 days would come and go.  We've just not been as on track or organized in previous years.  :(

My thoughtful husband sent me a couple of messages of encouragement this morning and something he said got deep in my heart.

He reminded me of the original time we made the decision to home school.  We were living in Paragould, Arkansas and facing some difficulties that were weighing heavy on us.  (I've almost lost count, but I think we've moved 13 times in 17 years of marriage!).  He thanked me for committing my heart to home education WAY back then. Even though I didn't have full understanding of what that commitment meant.

It wasn't something I expected to EVER choose.  It most definitely wasn't something I expected to continue doing once we were able to provide other options or when we were in other school districts.  It WAS DEFINITELY not something I expected to do from beginning to end and with multiple children.


God knew. 

He placed that desire in our hearts and allowed it to passionately grow. He equipped when I didn't feel capable.  He allowed me to be knocked down a few notches when I thought I was "good" enough to operate under my own strengths.

That thought reminded me of how MANY times we struggle through things and have no idea what God is doing.  His timing doesn't always seem to match ours.  We sometimes go through trials that we don't understand.  Sometimes we go through strange circumstances that are out of our comfort zone or not what we expected. 

We just can't always see what He is doing in our lives. 

We may feel abandoned.  Though we aren't.
We may feel He is out of reach. Though He isn't.
We may not feel that His path is what we need.  Though it always is.

We had no idea what God had in store for us that first time we thought of home education 11 years ago. 

There have been difficulties we've faced that at the time we didn't understand and years down the road we saw reasons or saw what we gained.

There are things that we've never found answers for.  We will. 

There are things we are currently facing that make NO sense, but we can have confidence that it is in HIS plan.  There is a purpose.

We've learned enough about His faithfulness to know to hang on.  To walk in faith of our hearts even when circumstances don't make sense.  Definitely easier said than done at times, but possible because of the things He has already taught us. 

Today while looking at circumstances and obstacles that are overwhelming, we are hanging on to faith that is stronger. 

Just as Kevin's statement this morning made me look back and see how one commitment changed so much, God is soothing my heart and reminding me that He is still in control and holding us tight through some other circumstances that we don't understand.

He is also reminding me that we made a commitment all those years ago that required steps of faith.  Stepping out of our comfort zone and going against what most considered normal. It was new territory.  Yet, there was an extreme calling and leading in that direction.  It was in our hearts and grew into a passion.  We are in that stage again knowing He's placing a call on our lives to step out in faith in a different area.  Right now is just a waiting game---waiting for the details.  Where? When? How? What?  Many questions of:

Can we do this?
Are we ready?
How will it affect us or change us?
What will we have to sacrifice?
What do we need to learn to do the job ahead of us?

We asked those same questions before and He eventually made his paths known.  Today reminded me that He WILL do so again.  In His time! Our God is way bigger and WAY more powerful than the little box we wrongly put Him in.

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