The tender feelings of a mother's heart....
My Dearest Children,
I've spent the last few weeks avoiding my blog, knowing that I wanted to sit and write to you, but unsure if I'd be able to find the words adequate to explain my heart.
All of my life there were 2 things that I swore I'd never do. Well, I guess there were lots of things I swore I'd never do - like drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, try drugs, etc. I have NEVER tried any of those and simply never will. But these 2 things....well, there is NOTHING bad about them. I just simply assumed they were not for me. Let's take a look at the first one. I swore I'd never drive a mini-van. Why? I don't know. I guess they didn't look cool....and for a really long time in my life I cared more about "looking cool" and less about functionality and what would work best for our little family. Obviously, I caved and I couldn't be happier about that decision. I LOVE our van. It's fun to listen to you boys talk about how your dream cars are either a convertible mustang or a mini-van....but that you'd choose a mini-van to hold all of your children. THAT makes my heart smile! The second thing I swore I'd never do is homeschool. (You have no idea how hard it was for me to just write that sentence). Homeschool. Wow! For months and months, thoughts and feelings have consumed my body and mind. I simply tried all I could to push those thoughts away. I'd think, "Homeschool is definitely not for me. How could I possibly teach you guys everything you need to know? How could I find the time and energy to be the kind of teacher that you deserve?" I'd sweep my feelings under a rug and continue on with daily life. Then I'd run into someone who homeschooled or I'd happen across a blog of a family who homeschooled. Tears would often spring to the surface and I'd feel that tug at my heart, that feeling like it was something I was supposed to do. I longed to have more time with you and hated having to send you off to spend most of your days with someone else. But I still felt like there was no way I could do it.
After months and months of this I decided to pray...to see if this truly was something I was supposed to do. For weeks, the tears were always there, just waiting for a moment to be set free. But I held them back like a champ. That is until I felt that burning deep inside that this was definitely what our little family needed. I've never doubted my abilities as a mother and teacher as much as I have these past 3 weeks or so. I absolutely, without a doubt, knew that I needed to proceed. I spoke with other mothers who homeschooled, I went to some homes and looked through curriculums, took notes, asked questions, attended homeschool meetings and felt a deep peace. But that self-doubt was still there. How could I possibly teach you everything you need to know? What if I turned you into unsocialized human beings? What if you felt someday that I'd sheltered you to much? Or kept you from experiencing the "school scene"? My mind was filled with what-if's and feelings of total and complete inadequacy. My heart was constantly full of prayer, asking for reassurance and peace. One day, it flooded through me, and my sweet children, I'd like to share that experience with you:
One day after my usual workout at the gym, I had showered and brushed out my hair. I had checked on you, Little Miss and Chubs, as you played together in the family room. The boys were at school. All was well. Well, everything except my heart. I went back into my bathroom and started to blow-dry my hair. I was making plans for the rest of the day in my mind - planning meals and thinking about what I'd buy at the grocery store. Instantly, it was as if I were reading my patriarchal blessing. Like it was right there in front of me. "You will excel in helping students study and acquire knowledge." That picture was instantly followed by the thought, "The students are your children." I put down my blow-dryer and cried and cried. Grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who would send a sweet answer to my humble and sincere prayer. Grateful to a Heavenly Father who has faith enough in me to tell me that I will EXCEL in helping them. I NEEDED that experience and I'm certain I will rely on it many times to help me through this time!
Thursday after school, Daddy and I met you outside your classrooms and spoke with your teachers about our decision and told them your last day at school would be the following day. 2 of the 3 teachers, cried with us and offered all of their support and encouragement. I am grateful for that!
Friday was much harder that I'd expected. As Daddy and I met you outside your classrooms again, with flowers for your teachers and to help you clean out your desks....there were a lot of tears. We stood together outside the classroom, holding instruments, and pencil boxes, lunch bags, and art projects - we hugged and cried. We just hugged and cried.
So, here we go on this new adventure! I'm trying to be brave and to do what Heavenly Father wants me to do. It's so hard! I promise to do everything I can to give you the education you deserve. I hope I can be what is best for you. I look forward to understanding and knowing you better that I do now. Someday I'm sure you'll be able to understand the weight that I feel. The UNCONDITIONAL LOVE THAT I FEEL FOR YOU! I can't wait to explore and learn right along with you! I have so many questions that I don't have any answers to right now, but I'm praying that Heavenly Father will send me those answers and guide me every single day.
Although those feelings of self-doubt are still there, I'm grateful that Heavenly Father continues to reach out and show his love to me. As I stood with the women of the church on Saturday evening at the General Relief Society Broadcast, we sang "How Firm A Foundation". My thoughts wandered and I felt, "How on earth can I do this?" My mind was dwelling on those thoughts until the third verse came:
Fear not, I am with thee oh be not dismayed
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand.
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
So I'm relying on the Lord more than I ever have in my life. Without the Spirit, I don't think I could be what you deserve. I love you, my dearest children, more than words could ever say. I hope you can feel the tender feelings of my heart!!!