Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Home's Cool, Schools Drool...

Pretty tacky title, huh? This is an email I wrote for a friend regarding Home Schooling. I just want to be able to find it later. Feel free to read...

My mother was a home schooling pioneer. My sister was the first 'Home schooled' to be accepted into college in VA, back in '80-something. My mom has been doing it for over 23 years (the youngest 2 are still at home).
SHOULD YOU- Only if you feel like God has called you to. Don't do it because your friends pressure you. Never because you just miss your kids. Never out of guilt. It is so much work. It's a whole new level of parental responsibility. Every decision you make and every word from your mouth has the potential to 'bless or curse' their education, self-esteem and future. I've seen absolutely amazing things come from it. I’ve also seen some situations that I wish I could forget.
SOCIALIZATION- This is the first thing that people are usually concerned with. When I was home schooled, not even half of what is available now was around. Many times I had to explain to people what home schooled meant! I was better socialized than ANY of my friends because my parents were able to chose healthy situations for me to be in. As adults, we don't get to just 'socialize' all the time. Not many of us see our best friend every day. I feel like letting that be a priority can set up an unrealistic expectation of adulthood. Think about it. Why are so many '20-somethings' hesitant to get a real job, start a family, make a commitment, etc. It's the same thing as a youth group mentality to me. If the youth groups main focus is fun instead of learning about God, then what teen is going to like the transition into sitting in a 1 hour service where you are learning about your Heavenly Father (instead of having candy thrown out into the crowd, or playing games). There is a place for the fun and socialization. Just like in adult life, it should come second.
EDUCATION- I think the hardest thing as a home-schooled mom is keeping your perspective on what your involvement in the education should be. It's your job to show them God’s love, first and foremost. If it's too stressful for you to have them 24/7, they should be in school or you should have other moms to share teaching with. At the very least, have a day when they are in some other classes so you can regroup and refocus. If there is a subject that you cannot give them what they need, FIND A SUB. Find other moms and use each other's strengths. We went to a friend’s house to learn Spanish and they came to our house for hands on chem. lab. Find a coop.

FINANCES- Don't do it if you can't afford unless you have resources already available. It's not cheap. You have to be willing to sacrifice for it, just like if you were paying for private school. They still have to learn, even things you don't have the knowledge to teach. It's your responsibility to get that to them.
My parents made many mistakes teaching us, and they do affect my every day. BUT not anywhere near how much the good has made me who I am.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

When I Grow Up

I wanted to be everything. I still do! Maybe that's my problem.
I wanted to be a dancer until I was 11. They my dad lost his job and we couldn't afford the classes. I started my period and gained 30 lbs. The outcome is obvious there..
At 12 I wanted to be a missionary. I lived on books about Gladys Alyward, Amy Charmicael... any single missionary woman that worked with children. I tried to learn Spanish on my own. Then I discovered boys...
AT 13 I wanted to be a Mom. I wanted to not even kiss until my wedding day. I wanted to have 8 kids, all home births. I wanted to homeschool them all. I even named them. Selah, Luci, Keziah, Lydia Jacob, Louis, Charles, Samuel.
At 15 I discovered my passion for writing, and what I THOUGHT was my huge talent for it. It helped me through the bad times. I have pages of pathetic prose dedicated to all my teenage angst.
Three days before my 16th birthday, we moved to Atlanta and I met Travis the next week. The writing lasted until my first year of college at 17. I was the youngest staff writer ever for the school paper. I got a D in English 101 and was devestated. Apparently the new ciriculum confused Englosh 101 with Polictically Correct 101. I quit college over it. What 17 year old should be living on her own working 2 jobs and going to college anyway? I haven't written since.
At 19, after 3 1/2 years dating, he broke up with me on the phone at 7:30 in the morning. I was on the cordless, looking at my wedding dress at the time. I asked him what he expected me to do with the dress and he said he didn't know. It was Friday, June 13th.
A few weeks later I decided that I should park my 74 VW Beetle at the bottom of the Chatahoochee in the Damn wedding dress. My period was late, and I couldn't face my weakness at giving in. An old friend called and I already had the dress on. WHe asked me to come spend the night and go to church with her, which sounded like a better idea. God touched my heart. I found out I wasn't pregnant that week.As a result, I quit my cosmotology apprenticeship and decided to persue the missionary plan. I spent a year waiting tables and working at my church. I told God that my husband had to take me to dinner at this restaurant the night he proposed. I worked hard to immagine it, knowing that Travis was gone.
The next August (1998) I left for Bolivia and my whole life changed. It was a dream come true. I did it! I loved it! I learned to speak Spanish. I was there for 9 amazing months, loving on street kids.I want to go back...
I came back and there was a new sound director at my church. It was 2 years since I hung up the phone and closed the closet so I wouldn't have to see the wedding dress we bought together. I loved my church. I could have left but he WAS my best friend for those 3 1/2 years. Meybe I could have that back.
Then I had to dance. I learned Salsa and Swing, not the original plan of a ballerina, but I loved it! I was thin for the first time since I was 12. A true size 6! Yes, that is WITHOUT the usual '1' in front of it. I went out with a couple of guys. Only the ones who liked to dance. Looking back, I'm pretty sure they were gay. Travis said I was crazy and that would never dance.
In Febuary a year later(2000), we decided to go 'hang out as friends'. I paid for my dinner and we went in MY car with ME driving. It was great. I missed him. On the way back to drop him off Travis said "I have to tell you something." I kinda got a weird feeling about it and told him maybe he shouldn't. Of course, he did anyway. "I've been praying a long time about this, and God has given me permission to persue you as my wife again." I responded immediately. "That's nice, but I didn't so don't". We saw each other every couple of weeks after that. At lunch on Easter Sunday he asked if we could call this one a date, and I finally said yes. I loved it.
In June I panicked and took a job offer in North Carolina, 5 hours away. I knew that God could make it last if it was His idea, but I couldn't survive in Atlanta again if it didn't. I came back every other weekend because I missed him so much.
He proposed on August 26th. We were sitting on 'Our park table' that we had carved our initials in when we were 18. No one knew about the restaurant, but somehow he took me there for dinner. He had gotten on the internet and figured out how to ask in SPanish. How did he know that was the second most important thing to me? I'd never told a soul. Somehow he knew my soul.
On April 28, 2001. I put on the wedding dress that my mom had protected from my destructive depression. I walked down the aisle towards the most amazing man I've ever met...Jesus was there...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

If I could only Breath...

I'm spent... I'm tired...I'm sick.. and I just don't know how much longer I can live this way. For every one step towards hope I take, there are 5 more personal or financial disasters to put me back in my place and I find myself ashamed of even having hope.
I can't find the emotional energy to pray, and the words are just stuck somehow. I know that God is out there holding me. I just wish I could feel his arms.
Every time something happens, I think it's the last straw. I think I'm losing my mind. I tell myself that this must be rock bottom and the only way now is up. It's just not working. I struggle to fegain a positive outlook and as soon as I get back up something else happens. I'm actually making some money now, and it's pretty great money. But the car breaks domn and costs $900 and Jacob needs allergy testing at $200.... Everything is gone before we can do anything with it.
I don't have hot water in the kitchen. I can't mow my lawn because the mower was stolen. I can't cook because the gas is turned off. I can't make sales calls because the car broke down again (regardless of damn $900 we spent on it LESS THAN A MONTK AGO!). And that's just the Passat. They timing belt went out on the Rodeo, and it looks like the whole engine is blown. We jsut paid the last payment on in in November..So both cars are dead and we are sharing the Volvo that we had to borrow $2500 to buy last month.
I can't get the physical therapy that I need for my back because it's $25 a visit, I need to go twice a week, I can't get there without a car and I can't take 2 kids with me.
Feeding Jacob with all of his allergies costs as much as our grocery budget to feed the rest of us every week. I nursed him for the last time yesterday. I feel like a failure for not having the strength so 'Suck it up' and contunue breastfeeding with all of the restrictions. I just couldn't handle it. I nevcer claimed to be as amazing as other people who were able to deal with that. Why can't everyone stop comparing me to it? I don't care if it worked for some moms to cut out dairy. Did they cut out wheat, soy, yeast, baking soda, rye and tomoatoes? Everything I eat is like kryptonite to him, and I just couldn't do it.
I spent over a year and a half dedicating the majority of my free time to my church. We even moved from Marietta to live near the church so that I could do this. I was so shure that it was what God wanted. I've always believed that if you give of yourself, and trust the Lord, he will take care of you. But he didn't, and he hasn't and he STILL ISN'T. I feel like every decision that we've made has been a mistake. God has brought good from a lot of it, but I just don't feel like it's enough.
My house is like a war zone. I'm so ashamed. I don't know if I've ever even SEEN a house this messy in my life! It is absolutely unliveable. I just can't seem to win.
I have all these new people in my life who didn't know me before 2 years ago. I feel like a shell of what I used to be. I don't want people to know me like this. I've become unreliable, unpredictable, depressed, negative. I can't seem to have a conversation without it coming back to my pathetic life, and I feel like all I ever do is complain and vent. I'm sick of every conversation, every decision coming back to how rediculously broke we are. I'm sick of explaining that yes, Travis is making good money at his new job and yes, I'm doing better than I ever expected with Arbonne. But somehow, we are worse off than when we started.
It just can't get any worse. I don't think I can take another hit. What do I do? And no one can save me. It's not your job. I think I'm going to be sick. I'm so alone. I keep waiting for God to peek his head in like the Dr in the examining room and at least say, " I know you feel aweful. Just one more minute. I'll be there and we'll figure out how to make you better." Just some sort of hope. I have no idea if this will ever end. I'm still waiting.