Sometimes the needs of a large family just seem so diverse and vast that I’d like to hit a pause button somewhere just to slow things down a bit.
We had to make a few quick decisions for our oldest son, Andrew, this week. He is seventeen and in eleventh grade. As many of you know, we decided to homeschool again this year. While I have homeschooled before, the vast majority of Andrew’s education has been in Christian school.
When we took the kids out of school, he was the one I was most concerned about. He doesn’t really have an activity that he is really involved in outside of school, and he was active in drama and chess club in school. He’s not athletic, but is extremely intelligent, and tends to be an introvert. It wasn’t until last year that he really made some friends that extended beyond the school environment, and I was really concerned, that while the decision would work for the other kids, it was really a mistake for him.
The reason we didn’t take all the children out except for him was financial. Because our Christian school really discounts siblings, it just didn’t make sense financially to send some and homeschool some.
Andrew has done well academically in Homeschool, but so much just seemed to be missing in his life. There were just far too many hours that he was just sitting around while I tried to keep up with the younger children, their school work, the house, the laundry and food for the family, and while his Dad worked. Mark gets home from work late every night so it wasn’t a situation where Mark and the boys could work on projects together. Andrew just waited.
In addition, Andrew really wanted to go back to school. He missed his friends, and the life he had built there. It just became very evident that we had to send him back to school.
So, he will begin his second semester at Christian school on Monday which is really a great thing for Andrew, but I have to say the decision really has thrown me into a tail spin.
I now have another agenda to squeeze into our day, but I suppose knowing that Andrew is happy and that his needs are being met will be helpful, and having one less to add to the busyness of our homeschool will be helpful as well. However, financially, the decision really spreads us thinner. Deciding to send Andrew back now will mean that he will be there next year as well, for his senior year which is a rather large financial commitment at a time when we will be traveling to China for Bi Lu. And, because the school gives such significant discounts for the second, third, and forth child, and the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and so on are free, it really does not make sense financially to home school the other kids next year.
I really wanted to homeschool all of the children for so many reasons. We have just gotten involved again in an extracurricular activity that we all love and which is very consuming. My equilibrium is completely out of kilter, and financially, I feel like I am completely out of my league.
Honestly, I don’t know how people raise children without knowing God. If I didn’t know His peace and His promises, I’d be completely lost.
But I do know His promises. I know He has created the desire in our hearts to adopt Bi Lu in the midst of rearing this big family. I also know that just because I can’t see a way through the wilderness, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.
For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the works of your hand: he knows your walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing. ~ Deuteronomy 2:7
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:19
2 I will go before you
and will level the mountains[a];
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name. ~ Isaiah 45:2-3
And I also know that even when life feels like it is spiralling out of my center of control, God’s got it all safely in His hands making a way in the wasteland and streams in the desert.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. ~Phillippians 1:6