Early November 2015
It’s early November, the leaves are all but gone, the air is beginning to turn frigid and I’m running a solid 40 minutes late because I forgot how long it takes to get out of the house with a newborn. I send a text to let the girls know I’m on my way and they respond “no problem, we haven’t even started yet.”
I tuck the book we’ll be discussing, along with a couple of diapers and wipes, in my little yellow and gray chevron bag – a makeshift diaper bag. I could pull out my real diaper bag but Stella is only a bit over a week old and to be honest it hasn’t quite hit me yet that we are back in diaper-bag land. The book is Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross; I’m only a couple of chapters in but am in love with it all ready. Not only does the hardcover and slightly textured book jacket feel good in my hands after reading so many paperbacks in a row but the words have been speaking directly to my heart, forcing me to more deeply consider the Lord’s will for my life and our family….
“Although walking with God in faith can be a thrilling adventure, it also has some unsettling elements. If we truly allow him to guide our lives, we will be challenged to step out into the unknown, give up control, and rely more completely on him. And that is not something we easily do.” ~Edward Sri
We’ve been contemplating this decision for months, no….it’s been longer than that, much longer…years…our hearts already know the answer but our heads are hung up on the how. How would this possibly work? The logistics of it don’t make sense to me and yet each day the pull from my heart is stronger and stronger. We’ve talked to a few friends and family about it, but up until this point have been mostly cautious about saying too much—lest anyone think we’ve lost our mind—and I remind myself as I put the key in the ignition that this is not the place to bring up the discussion.
Mandi made muffins and coffee and as I settle in on the couch, baby in one arm and book in the other, we chat about a myriad of things: birth experiences, the age our babies crawled, and the local coffee shop before starting our book discussion. We keep an eye on the clock because most of us have preschoolers to pick up at 11, but we delve in.
“Kate, is there something you feel God is calling you to do?”
I berate myself before the words even come out of my mouth—Why am I such an open book?—but I blurt them out nonetheless: “I think God’s calling us to home school.” But I don’t stop there; I share it all, as I’m known to do, and tell them how I just don’t know how this would work. I’m not in a position to quit my job, how could I possibly handle both?
I look up and expect to see blank stares; these are, after all, mothers of my children’s classmates, but the reception my confession gets is the farthest thing from a blank stare.
“I’ve considered it.”
“I have neighbors that home school; it can be such a beautiful life.”
And it’s these words that will ring in my ears for the coming weeks: “God only asks us to take one step at a time.”
I had never considered it before, but those words made me realize that maybe, just maybe, if we are willing to take this step, God will open up doors for us, doors that seem impossible to imagine right now. Maybe even a door that would allow me to step back or out of work entirely. But, if we are unwilling to take this step, we’ll never know.
Late December 2015
It’s the week before Christmas and our house is twinkling with lights and there are carols being played over the TV: Channel 811, even the kids choose it over cartoons these days. I read the text and laugh a little because I can relate: “Can I drop this food off at your house? I’m afraid if we keep it much longer we’ll end up eating it.”
She leaves her car running as she runs to the door with a grocery bag full of food. In addition to the casserole she brought raviolis, cans of soup, and breakfast bars. It’s clear that her youngest is still under a year; she vividly remembers what moms of newborns need to have on hand: quick meals and snacks.
We try to keep the conversation short as my boys would like nothing more than for her kids to get out of the car and play, but I fill her in on where we are: We took the boys out of school for the 10 days leading up to Christmas break, a dry-run if you will. And inevitably the words come pouring out….I just don’t know how it will work.
Jess is a woman of faith, one who has leapt, even when she cannot see, and her words resonate with me: “Maybe he is asking you to take a leap of faith.”
A leap of faith. I contemplate this in the days to come. Where might this jump take us if only we are willing to say yes to the request?
January 6, 2016
The baby has just gone down for a nap, so we send the boys outside to play while Collin and I tear through the pantry: organizing food, wiping down shelves, cleaning drawers…deep-cleaning a room that has been neglected for way too long, and doing it as quickly as possible because nap time only lasts about three hours.
I didn’t hear it ring, but my phone lights up as the voicemail buzzes in. It’s Mandi and she wants to know if we are home, she has a package to drop off. I smile because it’s my birthday, and I know full well the “package” she speaks of is really a present.
When she arrives I invite her in, out of the January cold, and we talk for a bit. I tell her how it went, breaking the news with the boys’ teachers and principal. It has been two days since we officially pulled them out of school. In my eyes I can start to feel the tears welling up again, as they did just two days ago. We loved the kids’ school. We loved their teachers and classmates; we had no complaints, which makes explaining our decision to others even harder. There was nothing wrong with our current situation, per se, except that it wasn’t where we felt God was leading us. But we are far from having it all figured it, and every day I have to stop myself from being overwhelmed by the how. How will this possibly work when I have to return to work?
She hands me the gift bag that says “Party like it’s your Birthday!” and inside is a mug and journal. The mug is blue and it’s one of those shorter, rounder ones and I can imagine retiring with it at the end of the day, tea in hand. As I flip the journal over in my hands the read the inscription it takes my breath away, there on the cover is an ombre blue and teal tree with gold lettering, the word Faith stands out like a beacon.
“I will walk by Faith even when I cannot see.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7
I clutch it to my chest and tell her it is perfect.
It’s been over three months now and I’ve been back to work for over two. “How is this working?” my mom has asked me more than once. I laugh every time the question comes up because the truth is, three months in I still don’t really know how, but somehow it is. We take it day-by-day, moment-by-moment…..I pray, a lot. Haha, I often say that tongue-in-cheek, but I actually mean it quite literally. I frequently ask the Lord to give me the grace to make it through this moment, just this one… this moment, this circumstance and you know what… He has.
That being said, we’re about to have another transition as building season is upon us and Collin is gearing up for a busy summer. That’s wonderful! We are so grateful for the work, but it has had me wondering again, how will this work?
What I have come to realize is that I’m not supposed to know how; I’m simply supposed to trust that it will. I’m supposed to trust and walk by faith, even when I can not see.