Saturday, July 14, 2018

Going Public

The Firstborn is shopping for a truck.  He turns 16 in February and has been working hard to build a decent nest egg.  He's searched the Google exploring his options and, after hours of browsing, has narrowed it down to a black, V6, 5 speed, crew cab under 150K miles for dirt cheap.

Piece of cake.

Unfortunately (and not so surprising to those of us who reside in the real world) car lots, Craigslist, and FB Marketplace all appear to be sold out of that particular model.  So, as we have been continually hunting for this perfect ride, I have tried to *subtly* encourage him to adjust his requirements.  Possibly open himself up to the color red or, dare I say it, an automatic transmission!! Because in the end it doesn't matter.  It's a truck.  If it gets you from Point A to Point B in one piece, I would consider it a good buy.  So just pick something and drive already!

But he is determined.  It's his first truck and he wants it to be just like he's envisioning in his mind. Perfect.  The best.  

And I get it. 

As I see him wrestling through this,  I am reminded that as a mother I have had the exact same mindset when it comes to so many of the decisions I have made concerning my family:

                      Breast or bottle?
                                                                    Work or stay at home?

                                                  Cloth or disposable?                                           

          Children's Church or family worship?

                                                           Organic or Cheetos?


Can I get a witness?  Anybody else out there lose some sleep trying to navigate these waters?  

As I mature, I have stumbled upon a philosophy of parenting in regards to decision making that fits my temperament the best and also seems to be in step with Scripture.  

Ready for it?  Here goes: 

It. Doesn't. Matter.

It doesn't matter if you breast of bottle feed....just feed them however they best receive it.

It doesn't matter if you work or stay at home....just love your kids and Proverbs 31 the heck fire out of managing your family.

It doesn't matter where you are on the organic spectrum.  Just pick a conviction within your financial means and own it. 

It just doesn't matter.

In the book of Colossians, Paul is writing to a young church.  These guys were confused.  Their church consisted of people who grew up Jewish, with all their religious traditions, as well as those brought up in the Roman culture of pagan worship and mysticism.  To say there was some theological baggage would be an understatement. 

Paul does a great job laying out for them some truth by covering the essentials of the faith.  Then he goes on to encourage these folks on what the cadence of the Christian walk should look like....the things that every Christian should possess and be known for.

My Type A self loves a good list and this one Paul writes in Colossians 3 is an epic one.  Paul systematically lays out a "to-do" list that focuses not on religious practices, but on their hearts.  He pinpoints sin that we should be passionate to purge from our heart and zeros in on exactly the type of characteristics we should be desiring.  He speaks of humility and patience, kindness and forgiveness.  

Finally, he ends the chapter with these words: 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Col 3:17

Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people,
Col 3:23

Do you see the graciousness in all of it?  His parameters for a godly life are wide open.  He doesn't mandate the stay at home mom.  He doesn't gluten-shame bread lovers.  Paul is reminding us that Jesus cares about WHO WE ARE more than what we do.  When the heart of who we are is in alignment with God's, what we do will be in alignment with His desires for us.

And that guidance is how my family has come to decide to enter into public school this next year.  

I have absolutely loved being able to home school them the past 11 years.  I have had the biggest time getting to watch these clowns grow up and develop into wise and gracious people.  I would encourage everyone who has the desire and ability to be home with their kids to try it.  I've loved it.  It's basically like the Amazing Race on Bible steroids, with no cash prizes at the end and a little more cussing. 

But this is a new year with new family dynamics.  And after a ton of prayer and family discussions, we felt the doors were opening for us to try this new adventure.  

Because, again, we feel it doesn't matter.  Public education, private, Christian, homeschool, online.....it will be ok.  Just love your kids.  Pray for them.  Find the spot that best helps them flourish and go for it.  

I am so excited for my kids.  So ready to cheer for them as they step out to try new things.  But oh so sad.  I'm going to miss these yahoos like crazy.  They have filled up my days with so much goodness.  I'll miss my kitchen table being the cafeteria and the footsteps of recess being played throughout the halls of our home.  I'll remember with great fondness and thankfulness that their letters and phonics were learned in my lap in our rocking chair.  We learned so much together about love and life.  They have taught me well.

So here goes.  A new journey for a new school year.  This is us going public.

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