Thursday, September 29, 2011

To Give and Take Away...


First week of homeschooling a Freshman- check. And it wasn't nearly as terrible as I thought it would be! I feel so blessed to have the chance to teach my girl again in a formal way. To do lesson after lesson and see her excel, it's going to be so cool. The talks we have are usually hilarious and always awesome.

This is what we came from-

We started homeschooling in second grade for Jasmine, and Jordan's fourth grade year.
Back then, we needed the classroom, books, globes and various paraphernalia that made me feel like I was not short-changing my kids from a quality education by trying to be their TEACHER. (THAT was a terrifying first week for this OCD mom.)

Pretty quickly, I realized how little they needed all the fluff, but how much I did. The organization and curriculum helped me be consistent, and helped them stay on track. But after a month or so, it just became so much FUN!

Now, we have really scaled down. Still love Abeka curriculum for High School, but the books and the kitchen table have replaced the classroom set up in the garage with all the goodies.

I had no idea how much homeschooling this year would mean to me. This last June found me not just losing the best friend I have had since first grade, but a dear sister. When she took herself out of our life, I truly felt such grief...like nothing I have ever felt. I spent the last few months filling my life with distractions and waking up nearly every morning in tears from horrible, vivid dreams that are filled with her. How pathetic is that? It was amazing that this week, I didn't wake up crying even once. I feel like God has healed my heart so I can finally hear, "I give and take away, and it is always for your good...and for My glory. Bless my name." And truly truly, I can say I want to praise Him. I want to praise Him for the heartache that is teaching me compassion. I want to praise Him for my amazing kids that teach me every day what love and persistence can do. I want to praise Him for my marriage that is a mess at times and always a blessing. I want to praise Him for the friendships and family I still have and cherish. And more than anything, I want to praise Him for the way He surprises me.

I've been reading in John again, knowing how much I need to see Jesus right now, and I found something in Chapter 16 that brought me such comfort. Check it out:
"Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." John 16:20-22

I just love that. Jesus was talking about when He would be taken away from the disciples, and trying to explain to them what was going to happen. But for me, what a comfort- to know that I will "see" Him again, see Him with my own eyes and I won't remember what this summer even represented. I seriously don't remember at all the pain of childbirth. I don't remember the 22 hours with Jordan, or the 45 minutes with Jasmine. They both are a blur, but I COMPLETELY remember the moment I saw them. Like it was yesterday. And I still rejoice.

How awesome is my God to write that passage in a way that makes sense to me? When is there ever NOT a time that He doesn't DESERVE my praise? I can't think of one hard thing that has touched my life that hasn't show up to be the road to an amazing blessing. Not one thing. Oh, how I love you, Jesus.

So as we start this new season with my amazing girl studying at home again, with hard work ahead and big goals of graduating with a high school and college degree at the same time in 4 years- I choose to say, "You give and take away, blessed be the name of the Lord!" No more being a big baby and complaining about what I have lost, but shouting out all that the Lord has given. Such a nice place to be.

(Just for fun, here's a picture Jazz took, she's got a really interesting perspective.)

4 comments:

abby anne:) said...

Love, love, LOVE! <3 <3 <3 <3 I remember that school room. (:

Minda said...

That's so cool! I had no idea that you home schooled! Your kids never went to a public high school?

Sounds like you are doing a great job though!

Nick said...

You're an amazing person. You and Steve both inspire me to keep my. eye's on Jesus and keep moving forward. I miss you and I know two precious babies that miss you too.

KEI said...

Wow! Renee, all I can say is Wow and Praise the Lord for you and your family! I love you friend and am so blessed to know you!