Doesn’t Jesus Make All The Difference? Part II

…Recently, my little girl had a challenge I truly wanted her to avoid. It was unfair, quite frankly, and in a perfect world it wouldn’t have gone down that way. We were initially told she was registered for first grade, only to be told last minute her birthday fell just outside of the state deadline for first grade. They also wouldn’t let her test out of Kindergarten (which we homeschooled last year) before school started as they let my middle child do for 4th grade. She’d have to start in Kindergarten and try to “test out” of it within the first two weeks of school.

Worse still, she didn’t hear about the news from me. She heard about it in the middle of the school office waiting area, along with everyone else, as she overheard the school counselor inform me. I was furious, it was handled so unprofessionally. I looked over to see tears silently stream down her face.

Let me tell you what it took to prepare her for public school.  My sensitive little girl has always stuck to me like glue. She’s been that way from day one. As much as she thrives in group settings she dreads the thought of being away from me, so it took all summer to prepare her for the concept. And we prepared for 1st grade. We shopped for supplies and she was finally excited, only to have her first interaction with public school be a punch in the gut.

She cried and I cried. We talked and prayed and talked some more. I told her no matter how she does on that test, she’s the brightest kid I know and I’m proud of what we learned in our school. And yes, I meant every word!  More than that, Jesus is so very pleased with her, He’s on her side and if she depended on Him, He would help her pass the test and go on to first grade. That’s a lot for a 5-year-old to hang her hat on, but such is the faith of a little child. When tested, it springs forth and you get to see why Jesus said it’s the kind we all should have. The next morning she started confessing that Jesus is greater than that test and He WILL help her. Brought me to tears! I thought this was too much for her, but it gave a passion to her faith and prayer life that blew me away.  She started Kindergarten again with a great attitude, confident that when test time came, everything would work out!

I will always want to shield her; it’s my inclination as a mother, though a non-reality. This world is fallen and groaning all the more as it inflicts its sorrow on us. But Jesus…is greater and has overcome the world. He makes all the difference between being crushed by life and reigning in it (Romans 5: 17-21). No better time than the present for my kids to experience Jesus and be transformed!

By the way, my daughter did well on the test and has been in first grade about a week!  She’s LOVING it and thriving; go Jesus!

Great Potential For The Quickly Approaching School Year

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13

In a recent post, I mentioned transitioning our children from homeschooling to public school.  Our boys have attended public school before, but the experience will be totally new for our daughter entering 1st grade.  Well, school starts in a week and the journey to this point has been enlightening.

While I always knew we were only homeschooling for a season, I admit apprehension about how re-entry into the school system would all play out.  Are they prepared?  Did we cover enough material?  Will their teachers be invested in them as individuals or just their test grades? Will our children’s learning styles be accommodated to any degree?  Will I have to jump through hoops to register them?

I educated my children at home three years, the majority of the boys’ elementary years. Our school district gave me considerable autonomy in how I taught my children along with helpful guidance and support from my state homeschool coordinator.  Among her words of encouragement at our last meeting was a word of caution.  “The school won’t just take your word that they’re ready for promotion to the next grade, they’re probably going to test them like we would here.”  Up popped another concern, how would they test?

In light of the moving fiasco that mocked my natural bent towards feeling in control, discouragement and worry, on top of that, about the answers to these questions was the LAST thing any of us needed.  Quickly I submitted myself to the truth engrained in me during our homeschool season:  the Lord is good and He’s good to me and my family.  Another truth is I’m a role player, not the star.  I know the dreams I have for my children, but only God knows His good plans for them.  I merely join in where I already see Him working and follow His lead.  It’s amazing how the proper perspective relieves the pressure!

What did I do with my cares, you ask?  I covered them in prayer, prayer, and more prayer.  Nothing long or eloquent, I just prayed whenever questions raced through my mind tempting me to worry.  Prayer is spiritual and practical for me. When I pray I’m reminded who of the two of us is all-knowing and all-powerful, best able to carry and handle the burdens on my heart (certainly not I).  Did I mention the Lord is good?  He has already planned for their success.  Let me also add He loves my children more perfectly than I could hope to.  He’s promised to teach them and give them great peace.  He’s shaping and molding them into the people He created them to be, including and beyond academic achievement.  I decided it best to rest and let Him do His thing.

We’ve seen how He’s taken care of so many things we’ve prayed about.  From what I’ve heard and seen our children’s schools have positive learning environments with caring, passionate teachers.  Parental involvement is also encouraged to varying degrees, which is vitally important to us. Also the children are developing quality friendships we pray will have an “iron sharpens iron effect.”

There’s no such thing as a perfect school or schooling situation. This school year will be an adjustment for sure, but we believe we’ll see the Lord’s goodness to us every day.  We’re comforted and encouraged to know He’s gone ahead of us, the Good Shepherd, and prepared the way.  He’ll bless and protect our children while faithfully guiding us through any challenges and missteps. We’re looking forward to a great school year and you best believe this mama will continue to pray!

 

May your children have a wonderfully successful and safe school year!

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SOUL FOOD

Jeremiah 29:11
Isaiah 54:13
Psalm 139:16
Isaiah 30:15
Psalm 23