Yesterday I shared with you part 1 of an autobiography a homeschooling mama sent to us earlier this week. I hope you enjoyed it and that you will enjoy part 2 of her story today and part 3 on Saturday. Before I share her story, I’d like to tell you about something I saw early last evening while Ray and I were on a drive to see the leaves.
In a park near our home, I saw a couple with two young children. They had found a parking lot with no vehicle but their own. The children had riding toys. From a distance, I saw one of the adults holding onto the back of a two-wheeler, helping the child learn to balance it. My first thoughts were of my own Daddy doing the same for me many years ago. Then I thought about the wonderful moment I was witnessing: parents honoring their children with their time and with assistance in learning to do something new.
As we read yesterday in “Janie’s” story, those are blessings that not all children receive from their parents. You bless your children in those ways every day. Thank you.
I decided to give “Janie” a pseudonym because a reader asked me to give her a pseudonym so she could use it when she prays for her. Today Janie tells us about a beloved aunt who blessed her when she was a child. I have named her “Aunt Marie.” And now, here’s more of “Janie’s” story.
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What a Journey, Part 2
By: “Janie,” A Homeschooling Mama
So, my homeschooling journey begins while I am still working. My Aunt Marie got sick and was in the hospital. To help you understand who Aunt Marie was: She is my daddy’s oldest sister. I loved her and her husband Lewis. She had a child who was stillborn in the 1960’s and she never had any other children. I remember telling her that I would be her kid. I loved my Aunt Marie! She taught me how to be a wife, she taught me how to be a mother, she taught me how to be a Christian and she did all this without even knowing it. She taught me thru her examples. I watched her work, I watched her love, I watched her worship, I watched her cry, I watched her and I learned!
Anyway . . . now I am teary eyed. She got sick. She passed away in November 2010. I remember longing to be with her in the hospital, but the duties of work held me back. My boss was great, and I was able to leave early a few days and took off a few days; but this was Aunt Marie and nobody understood that it was like my own mother dying.
After she passed away, nothing was ever the same. I remember falling into a very weird depression, after she passed away. I remember questioning everything. Why do I do what I do? What purpose does all this rat race serve? What happens once I get to the top of that corporate ladder? What is the meaning of life?
I began to realize all the trades I had made, and for the first time I saw that I had been burned—badly! I had traded all I held so dear for the almighty dollar. All my ambitions, wishes, desires, and dreams went up in smoke over the next few weeks. It was a huge turning point in my life. I had been so selfish! I wanted so much to make something of myself that I forsook all the good and simple that was right in front of my face. I had a freight train mentality, here I come, can’t stop, won’t stop! Well, my freight car was derailed, and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me! For real! For the first time in my life I could see clearly.
Over the next few weeks, I began to feel a nudging that the Lord was leading me home. Home? To do what? Lord, sure enough? Home? Lord, you know I got to work. You see, we got these bills, Lord, and if we don’t pay them, Lord, dude is going to come knocking at the door and his name is Mr. Repo. So Lord, I got to work, ok?
Time went on, and after much, much, much prayer and fasting, fasting and prayer, I turned my 2-week notice in. My employer was stunned, and just knew I was leaving them for a better position somewhere else. I assured them that I was leaving them to go home. Jaws dropped when I said that. Somebody even said, “Well, we will see how long that lasts.”
That was 10 years ago! But, that isn’t the best part of my story thus far! So, once it got out in the community and around church that I was quitting work to be a stay at home momma, a next question surfaced—a question that I hadn’t ever pondered in my life. People began to say and to ask, “Will you start homeschooling?” In my mind I was laughing hysterically, all while giving them a very sarcastic look! I would politely say, “No, I am not.”
You see, I was pro-public school! I was public schooled, and I turned out ok . . . . Well, um . . . anyway, I never gave it another thought after I politely told those people no. End of subject, right? Wrong!
So, we are now up to March of 2011. I have quit work, and I get to drive my precious [daughter] to school every morning, and I pick her up every evening like clockwork. I would take her into school, hang up her backpack, tell her I love her, and kiss and hug her every day. She was in Kindergarten. I was always there at school, front row—good momma! I participated in every school function they would allow me to. I was even a substitute teacher for her Kindergarten class. Oh yes, I was going to be one of those mommas!
Then that fateful spring morning came that changed everything! I can take you back and recall every detail of that 2 minutes of time. [Our daughter] and I pulled into the parking lot, and the first bell had just sounded. You had 5 minutes to get to class between those 2 bells. We get out of the car, and we start to walk across the parking lot. I just remembered I had left her lunch money lying in the front seat. I tell [our daughter] to go ahead and walk on into school, and I would be right there. I go back to the car and locate the lunch money; I get said money and I look up to see where [our daughter] is.
My mind goes back to a 4-foot-tall, light brown-haired doll walking into school. I had fixed her hair in pigtails that day, and she had shoes that would light up when she walked. She was bee-bopping into school with not a care in this world—her backpack on her shoulders, sweet, innocent, precious. I remember just capturing that scene in my mind for just a thought—and then the weight of the world fell on me. All this happened within a twinkling of an eye. The Lord of Heaven himself spoke to me, and I thought I was going to be sick! He said to me, “You’re sending my sheep off to the slaughter. Your sending my sheep off to the slaughter.” “No! No, Lord I’m not!”
I remember going into school that day to get [my daughter] settled, and I did not want to leave her. I did not want to leave! I was pale. The teacher even asked me if I was ok. I faked a smile and said, “Yeah, I’m ok.” I remember the 2nd bell rang, and I had to go; I had no choice.
I wandered down the hallway, took my sweet time, and a teacher was standing at the door waiting on me to leave, so she could lock it behind me. I couldn’t breathe! I thought I was going to fall out right in the hallway of my daughter’s school!
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Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of “Janie’s” story . . .
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.