Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Glasses That See God Move

They are essentially eyes of faith. When you step out into something scary, sometimes alone, with the insanity of a person trying to walk on water, you need your faith glasses. I've had mine on and they have allowed me to see God move and bless on this journey from homeschool to the public school. This post is for the purpose of testimony about those and a small update at the end.

Further Messages Changing My Life
Again, our family ministries director, Shane (shows our pastor first, then scroll down a bit) has been pumping out powerful messages still. I have wanted to highlight some of what has been profound to me but I'm not having as much blogging time lately. I referred to one a while back on this post. The next two were just as profound:
Wretched Sinners Living Righteously Galatians 3:1-5
Son's and Daughters of Almighty God Galatians 3:23- 4:7

These messages have been fertilizer to my spiritual growth and further love of God breaking the chains of works I put around myself for years. Further shattering of my "ME" idol, more blowing up how BIG God is and how fulfilling HIS will is.

A Joy Filled Friend
I have been paranoid about telling some people about our move into public school. I wasn't at first, I was overwhelmed with joy of the Lord that we were doing the right thing. Then I got a few reactions that were discouraging. It's okay, no one is obligated to make me feel better and it would actually be better for my faith that they all be negative in extreme so I can be stretched to put my hope in God's leading more and more. Once I realized that, I was overwhelmed by the joyful reaction of one dear lady at my church.
I was sitting in front of her and during meet and greet she asked how we were doing. If school was done and something about next year. I don't remember that part very well. I was afraid to tell her. Now, let me say, she is a wonderfully sweet lady. She does homeschool though and had been encouraging me to strike out independently next year despite the doom and gloom news in CA about homeschooling. So, I had convinced myself that she would be shocked by the change and not understand it.
I'll tell you, this is how you know someone has their eyes on God and what He can do instead of the opinions of man.
I told her and she was overwhelmed with joy for us! He face lit up and she lamented how awesome God is to show us all this! I was dumbfounded. It was like a big hug from God. I knew she really meant it. Even though she was choosing to homeschool herself, she was open to what God had for us and not threatened by it at all! It was a delight to my downhearted spirit.
When we have talked to people about this we have all kinds of reactions. Some positive, some hesitant. Yet, the one that is the hardest for me is the stand-offish response. The one that seems to doubt that God could possibly lead us into public school. The one that seems to say, "well, I'll just sit back and keep quiet, and we'll just see what kind of mess you end up with."
I was so blessed by this woman's love for what God could do! Because God does not lead us and then abandon us. I think Tami R. told me something like "God does not say 'thank you for obeying my leading, now I'm going to screw up your kids'". He is leading us for the purpose of our good and I thank this woman for rejoicing with us. It takes a pair of eyes fully on God to see HIS hand move, to truly rejoice with you rather than just be polite.
(I need to note too that I have had many friends very close to me have the same faith and joy as well, and I thank them, not for my sake, but I thank them for being prayerfully focused on God's will for our family)

A Note From A Friend
My friend Kristen sent me an email yesterday to link me to a brief article "I Praise God For the Public Schools". This was a love gift from God. What Kristen didn't know at the time was that this article was written by the wife of one of my dad's best friends. This friend was the one that took my dad out, feeble as he was, upon his request (my dad's request), to the shooting range two weeks before he passed away. This friend knew him since I was young. I was touched that God reached out through this friend's wife to encourage me.
Please read the article.
(NOTE: I want to say one little thing regarding the article. I do not believe in being motivated to put your kids in public for the sole purpose of them being little missionaries (another term would be so they can be salt and light) alone. It is an element of being in the public school, and a wonderful way for a christian family to minister, but the motivation should be the leading of God alone. For the same reason, you should never be motivated to homeschool for the sake of protecting your child. You should homeschool because you and your husband have prayed and God has led you there. Your child being guarded may be an element of being at home as a result of that decision, but it should never be a motivation. In that same sense, I am not motivated by wanting my children to be missionaries to the school. By the grace of God they will be, if it's his will that we can be, but it is not the reason we are going. The sole reason is that God has lead us there. Many, many purposes and reasons are being shown to us as we go along but they are not in and of themselves our motivations.)

So, On To The Latest
We went up yesterday to let the kids see the classrooms and meet the teachers. I ran into another old teacher of mine who is now the vice principle and we chatted for a while.
Superkid was very anxious to see the room. He was quite shy to talk to the teacher, but I'm sure that's normal. School is a whole new thing for him. He was excited to look around and see what was in the room.
Lilo had to have circled her classroom a dozen times. She said nothing, she just walked around absorbing while we talked to Miss Monarch (as I think we've dubbed her Karen:). She loved all the bug and butterfly stuff. She wanted to open the text books and look in them. She hovered over the craft table for a long time. Later I asked her what she liked about the room, she said everything. I asked if there was anything she didn't like and she said no.
Princess' teacher was way too busy when we stopped by. Evidently she was in a time crunch to get the yearbook in before school is done tomorrow. She greeted her and welcomed her to browse around the room but she had to get her stuff done. Rick and I were a little disappointed with this but we understood that we had popped in on her unannounced. When we spoke to us at open house she was very helpful. Princess browsed around the room. She said it was messy. (definite oldest child). I tried to remind her that school had just ended and the stuff was not cleaned up yet.
We went on to meet the sixth grade teacher too since she will be teaching Princess' math. She was lovely! Her room was much neater and had stuff that intrigued all the kids. She talked with us for a while. We really liked her and Princess was able to get to know her a bit. She has horses and Princess of course was delighted with that common love.
So, again every sense, Lilo asks me how many days till school starts. I reminded her that they have not even stopped quite yet!:)

Final Sharing
This morning I read what I thought to be a great thought provoker over at Life As Mom. I was overwhelmed with reflective thoughts from it.
Here is part of my comment and I'll end with this... I copied it because it was a dumping out of my heart and sometimes you can't say the same thing twice just as well.

God has taken my "mommy mold" that I long so desparately to fit into even when it's uncomfortable, an obvious "not fit", and shattered it completely. He has in essence said to me "you will stop being what you think you need to be and you will walk by faith!" To stop looking for formulas that define "fine accomplishment" and live for the image of Christ. I no longer want to be motivated by what I define as the perfect mom, I want to be motivated by the will of God, the yoke that is easy and the burden that is light, the life that reflects the Father because it is seeking Him for the next step in every way. The perfect mom mold can be a bad motivation, and it can become an idol, set up and worshiped. That is what I did. Praise God for stepping in in a loving and intimate way and throwing it to the floor! He is a jealous God and want's my heart seeking HIM, and I am so thankful. Now I am motivated by obeying His will which brings me joy that goes deeper than temporal performance satisfaction.

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-


tricia said...

Dear Friend,

My heart filled with joy as I read your testimony. My eyes filled with tears as I read the work God has done in you. I am so excited that the kids are looking forward to go to school next year.

what an awesome God!

tricia said...

I realized after I hit post I forgot to sign my comment. So I will sign it on this comment.


Christina said...

I read the article you linked to and your comments there. If you call the office of ABC they can give you the names and phone numbers of the ladies who run the local MOMS IN TOUCH groups. They get together to pray for their kids and the teachers in the public schools. I think you would find a lot of support there. Last I heard, one of the moms from PRBC was leading it. Lots of the kids from that church go to public school.

Alicia said...

thank you for the encouragement!

thank you for the help. I did not think of that. PRBC is familiar to me, perhaps I should even start there. I appreciate your info.

ewan&tate'smom said...

I have been sitting here for almost an hour reading all your posts from the past month or so. I cannot even begin to tell you how much you have ministered to me tonight.

I am about to put my first son in a public kindergarten and have been filled with fear about it, as you were. I taught elementary school at a private school for 4 years before having children, so I just assumed that this would be where I would have my kids go. However, the Lord has put me in a place where it is pretty much impossible to pay for private school right now, unless I go back to work full time, and put my 3 year old in full day preschool, which would obviously not be best. So, my options were either to homeschool or to put him in public school. Even though I am a credentialed teacher, I definitely did not feel that the Lord was leading me to do that with my son. I am not sure it would be an edifying experience for either of us! The Lord has given me an overwhelming sense of peace about the public school close to our house, and I even questioned that, thinking, "Lord, how could you possibly give me peace about PUBLIC SCHOOL?? Isn't there a verse somewhere about keeping Christian kids out of that wretched system??" :) Anyway, everything you have written and the immense wisdom given to you by your friend Tami in that very first post where she dissected your letter have just solidified in my mind and in my heart what I already knew the Lord was trying to show me. It really doesn't matter what we do to try to shelter our dear children. What they hear, learn and do is completely up to the Lord's sovereignty. How I would love to have control over every aspect of my sons' lives, but I am equally as thankful that I don't have that control, but the mighty, omnipotent Creator of the universe does!!

Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing your heart. I know this has been hard for you, but just reading about your intense search for the Lord's wisdom in this is such a testimony. Please know that you have greatly encouraged and blessed me. Tami's words have also given me great peace tonight.

I will pray for you as you embark on this new journey. What an exciting time for us to get to watch the Lord work in our family's lives!!

julie said...

oh alicia! can you believe it? your transparent posts about your journey have brought encouragement and wisdom to many others! keep holding HIS hand my friend!to GOD be the glory.
julie harris

Karen said...

Alicia, when we lived there, most of the kids mine went to SS with at CLC were public schooled. I promise there are groups and resources out there for you...He'll lead you to them! Sept 24th is SYATP...there will be a gathering at your can be looking forward to that with your kids. He'll show you that you guys aren't alone!

Alicia said...

My dear old pal...hi!
(boy, this is a lot more big time than cruzin' in beamers (sp?) and "My Sharona" days eh?:)
PRAISE GOD! And I thank HIM! He leads us so gently and lovingly and He will continue to bless you when you come to Him each step of the way. It is amazing how in the body of Christ we are meant to mutually benifit from God's powerful work and blessing (feel the breezes of eternity blowing...cause that's what they are). I have been blessed by His leading, which has encouraged your heart, which has blessed me to carry on (yes, there are times I get tired of being vulnerable and debate finding a rock to hide under), and blessed sisters seeing Him bless....we are all looking through that telescope that John Piper talks about that makes God so BIG! Cause that is what he is! HUGE! No limits defined by man.
It encourages me too that we jorney together. Your note made my heart swell! Thank you for letting me know.
Let's keep chatting!

I'm blessed by your encouragement, thank you! (I get my shoes on sunday, yeah)

I need to get plugged in it would seem. Like the kids I'll be pushing my comfort zones to meet new people, but it's so great! Rick was excited when we were up there the other day, there was a flyer on the gym door for a prayer event. I'm not sure if it was see you at the pole or not but he was glad to see it up.
Thanks! I'll keep you updated.:)

Karen said...

Right before we moved there was a extra cirricular group forming at your school called Youth with a Purpose (I'm hoping I remembered that name correctly)...and it was started by a young Christian boy from my church who was lead by God to chew thru the legal issues to start a formal group at the school. I was honored to have been part of the process as I was a school board member at the time and was able to help him thru the legal issues (along with the support of another Christian school board member). I'm not sure what happened with the group, but you saying that you saw that flyer made me hopeful that the group still exists and meets. Keep looking...I promise He is there!

Shari said...

Thanks for the encouraging note on my blog!--it was YOUR comment on Life as Mom that had prompted me to say what I said. I just really appreciate people's honesty and the freedom in Christ to follow Him, not looking to the right or left. Love your blog btw. So awesome that God used such a precious hymn (and a precious lady to burn it into our minds!) to minister to your dear father. That's so encouraging. I love that testimony of Darlene Rose. If my husband liked the name well enough I was going to try to work it into my daughter's name! But, it didn't fly. :) Maybe too old fashioned?? :)