The reason we sent Cadi to school is simple and complicated. Simply put, our life last year became way too busy, hurried, and chaotic. Habi was attending school over an hour away (one way), Jamesy had 3-4 therapy sessions in our home every week, we hosted small group, I homeschooled, and we were trying to manage through the first year of adjustment of bringing a child into our home - a teenage child and Jamesy's new diagnosis of Autism. Homework with an ESL student was consuming, and so was his grief. On top of everything, the Spirit was working very certainly in our hearts, and we knew that He was moving us on from our church and ministry. We were restless, confused, dazed, and exhausted. We were lonely and desperate for help. I was burned out. I was depressed. I was anxious. I couldn't do it all. I couldn't keep up, and my family suffered. My babies suffered. My hubby suffered. I suffered. We knew that Habi belonged in our home and in our family. God had done amazing things to get him to us, but our life was spinning wildly out of control.
I felt nothing but weariness every single day as I dragged myself out of bed, most nights only sleeping a few hours at best. Every time I pulled out our curriculum my body would tense - the joy was completely gone. And even now, looking back, my throat burns, I don't remember too much of the school year. I took too few photos, there were no fun crafts, the memories are more bitter than sweet. I knew that I couldn't go on one more year like that. My heart grew heavier as the days flew by. I felt like a failure, like I had zapped the joy right out of Cadi's education. I wasn't the same mommy as the year before or the three years before that. I felt the weight of her education on my shoulders, and I crumpled when it coupled with the other weights of last year. I cried and pleaded for help in our small group, but what it honestly came down to was me surrendering my Cadi to Him. I had to open my hands and release my control and truthfully idolatry. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I thought that I was a "life-time homeschooler". I had made so many arguments to that affect, but God made it very clear that I needed to trust Him enough with my daughter that I could send her off to school.
So I did. Last Wednesday, I kissed her sweet cheeks, prayed with her, and sent her off to third grade - without me.
In the meantime I am trusting Him to heal me. I have so many hurts from last year, and honestly am still so exhausted. But I am starting to see a ray of hope. We now live about 3 blocks from the school that my children attend. Scotty is home with me, and we are doing a very relaxed kindergarten, and so far it has been exactly what I need to remind myself again why I really do LOVE homeschooling. It has been so precious to spend some one-on-one time with my Scotty - something he has admittedly not gotten much of with the past few years of craziness. Jamesy is spending part of the morning with us - coloring, singing, and even picking up some letter sounds! The other time he is snug in the arms of his daddy. We only school for about 2 hours, and then the boys play together, and I am able to do laundry, meal plan, cook, bake, READ, and just enjoy breathing again. I can go for walks, sip coffee, linger over passages in the Bible - all things that had been sacrificed last year. My days are slower, calmer, and more peaceful. I finally feel as if my family is coming back together, and that I am being put back together. Every afternoon I am so anxious for my oldest two to be back with us, but I adore hearing their school stories and can see how good this is for them. We have a lovely school, and I am so thankful for that. God knew what He was doing. He always does. He always has our best in mind - even when it looks different than I imagined.
So that is that. I quit homeschooling, and I sent Cadi to school. This is our imperfect journey. It might look differently from your imperfect journey. Let's let that be okay. Let's just keep loving and passing around the candy bowls filled with sweet grace and mercy. Because I sure know that I could use some, and my guess is that so can you. I am still growing, changing, and learning, and striving to live ABUNDANTLY. And for now, that means, she goes to school.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. ~John 10:10