Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Alicia, I'ts Time To Start Sharing!"

The more I write down this journey, the more God is pushing me to share. I told you a few post ago that Rick and I needed prayer for a big decision. We do. I did not want to share at first for prideful reasons. This direction He is sending us in was first shocking, then humbling, then scary, then amazing, then joyfully shocking, joyfully scary (yes there is such a thing), joyfully humbling, joyfully God working! So, the more I write it down, the more I realize that although it makes me vulnerable, the fact is that God's testimony to his great power need to be shared. I don't know why he wants me to do this, it's not to my benefit socially speaking.
I did not want to share at first because I feared the opinion of the christian community. I had no idea why God was changing course for me into something I originally was totally against. Turns out, I was against it for the wrong reasons. He has searched me, known my anxious thoughts, and shown me the wicked way in me and I feel awesome because of it! I'm ready to jump off the cliff Lord! So here we go.

The Lord is leading us toward public school. (I can feel the wind hitting my face even now) Gasp! Gasp again! Gasp until you are choking cause that's what I did at first. Funny, because it was the same reaction I had when he led me to home school. "No way God, that's so scary!" "I really want this to work out Lord (the public school thing), I don't want to home school!". Now this is me" Now way God, that's so scary!" "I really want this to work out Lord (home school), I don't want to put my kids in school!" I have learned that this is how God works.... pushing me toward one thing FAITH!! And, without faith, I cannot please God! I can work my plan till I'm blue in the face but HIS plan is the plan of faith.
Now, I have to say, this will come in pieces. So, don't feel like it doesn't make sense, there is so much testimony to share. I have been trying to write it down in secret. It's amazing. Just yesterday I was reading on the Internet all the opinion on schooling. I actually googled something like "support for christian parents in the public school" and there was NADA. It all came up with godly opinion against. I read a lot of it. I read opinion spoken that it was actually sinful. The amazing thing, was that though this made me turn to God and say "are you sure?" he gave me total peace and assurance of his intimate guidance. He gave me joy.

The fact is though, that our children are not being made aware of this. The reason? We are still in deep prayer and seeking council and the Lord. We don't want to send them around any emotional bushes until we are sure. We covet your prayers. It all seems so upside down from where we were headed. We want to protect them from this roller coaster especially if the Lord just leads us to the fact that He wanted to show us something about or motivations alone. He wanted us to just let go but not jump. We don't know yet. We are being led, but we are not sure where yet. So, if you know me, I ask that you keep this to yourself. I know most of us don't have kids who read blogs, but if you do, this is an important point. Thank you.

Here is phase one of my journaling. Grab some coffee or tea...you'll need it...

The legal system was putting up a threat a few months ago to homeschoolers. There was a case in the state of CA that brought up legislation to make homeschooling illegal for anyone who does not have a credential. I was alarmed. I do think that most of my alarm was for our rights being taken away. However, I received a letter from Tami Rutledge where she asked me to tell her under what conditions I WOULD feel comfortable sending my child to public school. Little did I know that God was using Tami to get me to think about some of my core motivations. Here is some of our correspondence:
(I originally sent out a note to all contacts of my email about he UN threat to the rights of the parent)
Me:
Please take the time to check out this website. It is really important that as many people as possible join this campaign by signing their petition. ParentalRights.org brings together everyone who agrees that the vital role of parents in the lives of children should not be undermined by government action or policy. I'm standing with them and you should too! http://www.parentalrights.org
Tami:
I am so glad that our God is bigger than the U.N.!!

Do not be anxious or afraid, rather rejoice, God is on our side. if God is for us who can be against us. This doesn't mean everything goes well according to us, this means God is in control. His ways are higher than ours. Rejoice!

Lamentations 3: 37 Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? 38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?

Psalm 27: 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me,even then will I be confident.


Lead the way to peace!


Then came the alert to the homeschool threat. I sent out another note. I don’t have a copy of it.. but here is our conversations from there:
Tami:
Alicia....

If you have the time could you answer a few questions for me and please be very honest...

what scenario would make you feel at peace about sending your child to public school...

come up with something no matter how ridiculous it sounds...

for example....

"if I or my husband could be with them all day every day..."

"If we could choose the curriculum"

"if we could choose what they hear or see"

if we knew they had a good friend who would be with them all the time"

come up with something that would make you feel comfortable and as worry free as you would be about your children being at home with you.


thank you..

I wasn’t sure where she was going with all this… but I LOVE when people want me to think out my reasons for things so I was anxious to reply!

Me:
I would be comfortable with public school if I knew for certain that my children would not learn about sex, especially homosexual behavior/choices, before I had the chance to introduce these concepts to them myself first under the guidance of the word of God. I would be comfortable if Christianity was as welcome as the respect they have for Muslim children to have the freedom to bow to Mecca at the appropriate time each day because that is their religion. I would feel comfortable if I knew they would not be called a bad person(i.e.some kind of bigot) for believing that a family should be a mom and dad, or that God created the world.

I have no problem dropping them off, having them presented with evolution or novels that I don't like. All these would be fine at the appropriate ages as long as there was a mutual respect for a Christian world view on these issues. If I knew they could have the freedom to disagree and voice it or write it in their composition w/o being told they were needing to be seen by the school counselor.

Does that make sense?
What are you up to my friend:)?

Tami:
I am so excited you wrote back to me!

I would like to have the honor of your honesty with something.

If you would .... I would like you to help me with something... but you must try very hard to not agree with me...

I would like you to be defensive and defend home schooling tooth and nail so to speak....

I will tell you right up front what I am up to and I want to "argue" with you. I would love you to discuss this with your husband too of course.

I believe that Satan - the great deceiver who masquerades as an angel of light has found the most sneaky way to get our eyes off of Christ. It is through our children. We as believers love our children and want the very best for them. this is so passionate to us that in many ways the Christian culture and godly leaders have come up with a seemingly wonderful way to protect our children from the evils of this world with the goal of raising strong Christians. Home schooling (home school in itself is not wrong or bad our thought process is)

we have looked at schooling and leaning on our own understanding have decided as a whole that schools can be rated as such...

best home school - this is how I can best accomplish my goal of raising a godly child.

next best - private school - If I must put them in school this option will be the most conducive to me` raising a godly child and protecting them from bad influences.

and worst - public school tries to undermine everything I am trying to build in my child. basically they are out to brain wash my child - this represents danger for my child and God's best for them would not be realized.

our choices are based on fear we think they are based on wisdom but you know of they are based on fear simply by this one test...

tell a` parent they might lose their right to home school and if that causes fear instead of joy then their choices are based in fear.


fear negates who God is...

If we truly understood the power of God and remembered that our number one goal is not to protect our children but to glorify God then we would begin to see why God's command to rejoice and give thanks in EVERYTHING is so key.

This that is happening with the home schooling is not an attack on home school it is God calling out to His Children to remember His attributes... to rest in Him... signing a petition is fine but fear and anxiety are not.

God wants us to rest and rejoice

If we understood his power and his love and Prov 3: 5-8 and that his ways are higher we would see that with God.... Home School, Private, Public ... they are all on one level with Him... the best is simply where He says they should be.

If we simply understood God's power we would drop our children off at a public school in san francisco with peace and joy.

It is that we have a small view of Him and a big view of our understanding that is why we lose peace and reap fear.

But we call our fear wisdom. The problem with our wisdom is that it doesn't lead us to joy or a gentle and quiet spirit.




you said..

I would be comfortable with public school if I knew for certain that my children would not learn about sex, especially homosexual behavior/choices, before I had the chance to introduce these concepts to them myself first under the guidance of the word of God.


is it possible for your child to hear anything before God's appointed time. How powerful is He. Can he close ears?



I would be comfortable if Christianity was as welcome as the respect they have for Muslim children to have the freedom to bow to Mecca at the appropriate time each day because that is their religion.

1 Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I would feel comfortable if I knew they would not be called a bad person(i.e.some kind of bigot) for believing that a family should be a mom and dad, or that God created the world.


Acts 5:41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.


I have no problem dropping them off, having them presented with evolution or novels that I don't like. All these would be fine at the appropriate ages as long as there was a mutual respect for a Christian world view on these issues. If I knew they could have the freedom to disagree and voice it or write it in their composition w/o being told they were needing to be seen by the school counselor.

Matthew 10:38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

Would you feel comfortable dropping them off if you knew that God alone decided what response would come to whatever the did or said and that the response was a part of His loving design to mature them and draw them into a deeper love relationship with Him

If the God of this universe promised to stay with them and that in His sovereign love He would design everything that happened in their day and if He promised that good or bad it was all a part of doing the work that He promised to do in them would you feel comfortable.

or would you say.... "well God, that is nice of you to offer, but I would feel more comfortable if I could design their days so I will keep them at home, but thanks for the offer?"

my point simply being... I think home school is wonderful, but I think wherever My lord ants His child is fine with me. I am content with His choice. one is neither better or safer than the other. And actually for training purposes I consider public school to be one of the best ways to prepare my child for service as a soldier, and when He called us to put 2 of our kids there we did it with joy and peace. And when He called them out we did it with joy and peace.

I am not called to protect my child, I am called to train them up. If God can call Samuel to live with Eli (bad dorm parent) then I believe he can protect my child.


this home school thing is a cry to rally in Joy around our God who is worthy of our trust....

John 14:26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.


I have more to say... but lets start here....

Tami

read psalm 37 and understand that the desire of your heart is that you might be strong in faith so that you might glorify Him more

blessings of joy and peace to you my friend



Honestly, I was taken back by Tami’s letter. First of all my pride was hurt that she took my answer and picked it apart. God is so good! We should never say anything that we are not willing to take back down into pieces and examine truth, His Word, and how that relates to what we say and our motivations. I know that now, because this experience humbled me. I did not know it then and I was upset at Tami for a while (LOL Tami! I know you can handle me sharing this after the journeys we have been on together). My pride….oh, my pride. I did not, because of the block of my pride, get what she was trying to say for a long time. My life got busy and I failed to even get back to this letter and respond. God knew that, and he was not done with me yet. When I talk about this and think back on it, it excites me to extreme that God is so gently working the future when I am too finite to see.

I did think about the letter, but not often.

In the back of my mind somewhere however I began to ask myself what my motivations were for homeschool in the first place. As I thought more and more ahead to the next year, I began to wonder what the right thing was to do. Every day of schooling got harder and harder. I seemed to run out of steam. I think the past two years I have been running on adrenaline and it just seemed to have stopped this spring. I was not doing a good job of mothering let alone schooling. We felt like we were just surviving all the time. Through this time I would think that maybe I was supposed to put the kids in school and ever time I thought that, I would criticize myself for being selfish and giving up. I told myself I had to pray more, try harder. I reminded myself of the thing that I’d heard so many times that the worst day with me was better than the best day at school. I didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t think or pray about it. I was sure that homeschooling was the righteous answer and I pressed on to plan for next year. I did tell myself that this year was my last good hard try. This whole time I am ashamed to say that I was not seeking God’s will. I just assumed that since I was pressing on to do something that the church community defined as “better” that I did not need to check with God on what was stirring in my heart.
Sigh. Deep, deep sigh.

Then, the day came last week when he decided to wake me up.

11 comments:

Tami Rutledge said...

Alicia, tears are running down my cheeks. I am so touched with how big our God is. Be prepared for support and for attacks. But know this my friend, every single response you get has already been through God's fingers, they come to you specifically designed to draw you closer to His side!
God will never put to shame those who trust in Him.

Romans 10:11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

He is big enough to lead us where He wants us to go. If it were reliant on me reading His leading we would be in trouble, but the truth is God is so big He made our minds, He doesn't pace back and forth wondering how to get through to us. nothing is impossible with Him. Walk with Him, as your husband directs! God is mighty!

Proverbs 3: 5Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

(Don't lean on man's wisdom.)

6In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

(This is a promise)

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.

(this is a comparison between worry anxiety fear and PEACE!)

Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God."

NOTHING!! If you are misreading his will He is able to direct you in the right path! YEAH YEAH YEAH GOD!

Psalm 33:13 From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth-
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.

Joan said...

Alicia - I'm glad to hear you guys are really thinking and praying things through! I will look forward to more of your thoughts, and just know that we will not condemn your final decision! We are not "homeschool-only" and firmly believe that each family must follow God's leading for them. We love you all so much! Joan

tricia said...

Alicia,

I will continue to pray for you on this decision. It is so exciting to see God working on you. I have had similiar situation when God has lead me in the complete opposite direction from what I was doing. By following God my faith and joy has increased so much. Continue to lean on God and look for Him to direct your step. Thank you for sharing.

julie said...

hang in there. going against "the flow" can be hard. i know this. your heart and mind are in the right place.....conforming and reforming both heart and mind to His heart. that's the only one that matters. love,julie

Kristen Borland said...

this is huge!

first of all, hasn't God blessed Tami with such wisdom?

second, i firmly believe that our children belong exactly where God wants them, and for each child that is different, and for each it could mean public, private, or home school, or a combination of all over their school years.

public school IS scary, but it isn't without God, and, heck, I went to public school and feel God used it in mighty ways!

excited to read more on your thoughts!

i love what Tami said about God telling us to TRAIN our children, not PROTECT them. Whoa! that hit me hard!!

Zimms Zoo said...

Wow. I am not sure what to say. Mainly because I am not in complete agreement with your friends responses.
I will say this though I do not judge you at all for considering public school or even going ahead and doing it. We have had several friends that have done that, for many of the same reasons that you are considering it.
But I am going to digest some of the things your friend said and think about them some more.

Karen said...

{{PRAYERS}} and {{HUGS}} your way from mine!

Oh and btw...cliffhangers aren't very nice *wink*.

Alicia said...

Thank you all for your comments. I am so thrilled that you felt free to share.
Christy, I especially love your gentle honesty. Thank you for sharing. It is a lot to digest. It took me a while. Perhaps further posts of the full story will help sort some of this out. If not, I want you to feel free, all of you, to post questions. We do not have to keep anything to ourselves, God want's us to come to Him in our thinking so no question is the wrong question. I'm still digesting myself!
karen- are you refering to my not telling for a bit?:) Sorry, i't did not last as long as I had thought it would.... does that make you feel better?:)

Alicia said...

Thank you all for your comments. I am so thrilled that you felt free to share.
Christy, I especially love your gentle honesty. Thank you for sharing. It is a lot to digest. It took me a while. Perhaps further posts of the full story will help sort some of this out. If not, I want you to feel free, all of you, to post questions. We do not have to keep anything to ourselves, God want's us to come to Him in our thinking so no question is the wrong question. I'm still digesting myself!
karen- are you refering to my not telling for a bit?:) Sorry, i't did not last as long as I had thought it would.... does that make you feel better?:)

Alicia said...

ooops, for some reson my comment posted twice!

Karen said...

Oooh no! You share what you want to share when you want to share! I was just meaning that you left part one of your post as a cliffhanger and I was eagerly awaiting more to the story!