Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Making a big decision can sometimes paralyze us with the fear of making the wrong one.

We labor over what we should do, think about it when we should be sleeping, weigh out pros and cons, and get advice from everyone we know.

AND, if we are Christians, we have the added component of "the will of God." So we pray to know God's will, hoping that God will reply through some sort of cosmic email. And we read the Bible taking all kinds of verses out of context and wondering if they apply to our situation. We've all been there.

It's a stressful place to be. And the more significant and life-changing the decision, the more stress it seems to create.

  • What college should I attend?
  • What career path should I take?
  • Should I continue pursuing this relationship toward marriage?
  • Is it the right timing to start a family/ add another child?
  • Should we make this huge move across the country?
  • and on and on and on...
We recently made a big decision for our that I never thought we would make. A decision that I labored over and prayed through for about a year. We decided to homeschool Caedmon, at least for the time being. 

So I will be busting out the long denim skirts, start wearing my hair in a bun, and begin building a bomb shelter under our house. Just so I can fit in with all the other homeschoolers, you know. :-)

There are a ton of factors in this decision for our family. This blog will never be about trying to convince the world that everyone needs to homeschool their kids. Andy & I just came to a place where we felt about 70% sure that this is the right move for us and for Caedmon.

Seventy percent? 

That doesn't sound very convincing. 

No it doesn't, but that's about where I land on most decisions in life. Most of the time I don't get to 100% certainty until I can look at it from hindsight. I think it's part of how God grows our faith. 

When I'm making a huge decision like this, one that I'm confident God has an opinion on, I do several things.
  1. Pray. Sometimes I fast. I write in my journal. I literally get on my knees. I tell God that I just want to do His will, whatever that is. And I ask people to pray for me.
  2. Look for guidance in the Bible. It's dangerous to start jumping all over the Bible to random verses and claiming them for your situation. But if you will hold the course and continue studying whatever Bible reading plan you were currently studying, I believe the Holy Spirit can illuminate the Scripture to give you guidance. 
  3. Research. I try to get all the facts surrounding the decision so I can make a well informed pros/cons list. I put a lot of time into researching schools in our area before making this decision.
  4. Seek counsel. Everyone seems to have an opinion, so you might as well hear it. Don't let yourself feel obligated to do whatever they suggest, but their thoughts may help you see things from a different perspective. Counsel is best sought from godly people who know you and have your best interest at heart. 
  5. Trust. This is the most important one for me. This is what keeps my anxiety to a minimum. I trust that God's Sovereignty is bigger than my poor decision making skills. If I make a wrong move, God can reveal that to me, help get me back on course, and work it all together for my good. I also trust that God is not going to let me walk off a cliff if I am truly seeking Him with all my heart and want more than anything to do His will. Even when I don't feel a lot of clear direction, I trust that He's guiding my steps as I seek Him.
One verse that God kept bringing to my mind in this decision regarding Caedmon's education was:
 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

In my mind that verse doesn't mean that if I delight myself in God, He'll give me whatever I want. I understand that verse to mean that as I delight myself in Him (by pursuing Him, obeying Him, serving Him) He will literally give me (place inside my heart) certain desires. His desires. He transforms what I want as I worship Him.

The reason, I believe, that God kept bringing this verse to mind is because of what a drastic change in desire I experienced. If you were to ask me 2 years ago if I would ever homeschool my kids, I would have said, "Absolutely not." I had no interest in it and I was a big proponent of public schools. Andy & I both grew up in public schools, it's a great way to connect with people in the community, and it allows kids to learn how to be a light in a dark world. Homeschool? No thank you.

But the more I prayed and the more I researched, God began to change my heart. One day I realized that I kinda wanted to give homeschool a shot. See what it's like. Get that extra one-on-one time with Caedmon. That's when God dropped Psalm 37:4 in my mind and whispered, "I changed your desires. That is your cosmic email." 

So here we go, Folks. We are taking the plunge into the world of home education. Please feel free to notify us if we begin growing exceeding weird. 

If you are making a huge decision right now, trust that God is big enough to direct you without you even knowing it. He's got ALL THINGS under His control. Sure, you can choose to rebel against Him. But if you are earnestly seeking Him, do not fear! He will direct your path. 


Cindy Gomez said...

Thank you for sharing, Stacy. I myself have a huge decision making in my life. Honestly, I've been a bit impatient and stressed in the fact that I can't see His plan for me yet. As I read your blog I was once again reminded to keep trusting and seeking Him. Thank God put this in your heart to share. Also, you truly are a genuine loving godly pastor's wife.

Blessed beyond measures,

Gennie said...

Stacie, I was wondering what kind of curriculum you were going to use. There is also an alternative to strictly you homeschooling, it's called virtual public schools. It's like homeschooling because it's at home, but it's also got everything given to you so that you don't have to come up with the curriculum and show/prove everything you have done to the state. I'm sure you will make an excellent teacher, you already have been.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stacie, I've been homeschooling for 12 yrs and I'd do it all over again! My oldest is 23 and in college and my youngest is 16. We use the A Beka DVD program and love it! I know you'll do great and I think Caedmon will do well with the one on one instruction. Will be praying for you. Blessings to you and your family, Lisa

Stacie said...

Gennie, I'm still a little up in the air on curriculum but I'm leaning towards "My Father's World" as our main curriculum base and then using Math U See and a Spanish curriculum to supplement. We'll see how it goes. We're actually connected to the public school system through a charter school called Ocean Grove. They don't pick out the curriculum for us, but they provide $900 per semester per student for families to use toward anything educational. Really cool program and I'm so glad someone told me about it!