For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11
I'm a little disappointed this morning because I thought I had some pictures to post from our last day at St. Johns, but I guess I only took a video. On Feb 14, 2014 my children attended their last day at St. Johns. I picked them up at lunch time for our Cracker Barrel Celebration, but as I walked into Eli's classroom little did I know what was about to unfold! All the children were sitting on the classroom rug listening to a story. I watched. I love watching all their little faces. Little did I know the teacher had just told them it was Eli's last day right before she started the story. When she finished the book she had Eli come up and each child was welcome to come up and say good-bye to him. That's when it started...me NOT BEING PREPARED. They hugged him, they loved him, they expressed their sadness, "I'll miss you buddy" "you are my best friend Eli" lots of sad faces. My tears started to roll. Then some of the student's tears started to roll. I was caught off guard. By my tears and theirs! I'll never forget seeing one of Eli's best buddy's tears after he hugged him good-bye. It will forever be etched into my memory. My child had bonded with wonderful children, at a wonderful school and now we were closing that chapter. I was not prepared.
Sadness set in. I was expecting happiness (my own and well, everyone else's too. Reality check!!!!). We slowly left the classroom and loaded into the van (and I'm thinking Oh I get to do this again with Zahavah...Lord what are you doing here? This is painful!). But we didn't even make it to the K room, we made it to the van (K and 2nd are in two different buildings) and Eli busted into tears. Again NOT PREPARED! Tears rolled, second guesses set in. I heard, "Take me back in" "I change my mind" "Noooo please take me back in" Yikes! We had talked a lot about homeschooling. He wanted this, I wanted this, Daddy wanted this and most importantly God wanted this. "Oh no buddy, its ok to be sad, its ok to cry" I told him. I touched his little face, wiped his tears. "It is painful isn't it, I wasn't expecting that either" I explained to him. We talked for awhile in the van before driving over to get sister. And at this point I kinda wanted to crawl in my shell. I'm feeling like maybe I made a mistake, second guessing our decision and wiping away my own tears. Hello God?
I am happy to report that picking Z up was a breeze. She was her happy go lucky self. I'm pretty sure she was oblivious to what was actually happening. Her best buddies...Oh I want to name them but I'm sure I will miss some Ava, Claire, and Faith are deeply missed. She talks about them often, but the last day was definitely different for Eli than Zahavah. Its ok, Eli had 2 1/2 yrs with those awesome kids, Z had 6 months with them. We did make it to Cracker Barrel, we did stop shedding our tears, and smiles came back, especially when Daddy surprised us as we were leaving with Valentines Day goodies...a bouquet of flowers and little gifts for the kids.
We spent the rest of that day together as a family finding a deeper peace with our decision. Was it easy? No, it was not. I second guessed myself. I asked God again what happened? Why was I so not prepared for myself and my children!? I don't know if that's really important or not, nor do I believe you could ever prepare for such a thing. What I do know to be most important is that God laid it on our hearts. We prayed about it a lot, we talked about it a lot. And then we moved out of obedience to the Lord. And that...that obedience to obey and follow what the Lord has laid in front of you...that's most important. That is also what keeps me (us) going, on the hard homeschool days when I'm ready to pack their backpacks and send them back to St. Johns (come on let's be honest, not all homeschool days are peachy).
This was a life lesson for me on obeying the Lord when he lays something on your heart. It wasn't my first lesson and I'm sure it won't be my last. God has been so FAITHFUL in this journey. We LOVE homeschooling. My children LOVE being home and taught by us. We check in with them every once in awhile and they are happy and content right where they are at. They don't have a desire to go back, except to visit their friends from time to time...and I'll leave that for Part 4.