Pieces of Amy

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Why We Chose To Go Back To Homeschooling

Back and forth. Back and forth. Do we homeschool again, do we go back to public school?

It’s that time of year, when we buy lists of supplies, new shoes and lunch boxes, and send our kids off to school. Normally. Mostly. But not all of us, I suppose. We’ve homeschooled since my 10 year old started preschool and it’s been the norm for us every year except the last one. Last year we ventured into the foreign land of “public school," and I must say, had a fantastic year. 

homeschool, homeschooling

The school was fantastic. The principal was amazing, and the teachers were the best I’ve known. If my son’s homeroom teacher had been moving up with them this year I may have reconsidered our decision (not really, but I did love her……). It was the best first public school experience we could have had. It was exactly the right decision for us for last year.

But this year? This year God has brought our hearts back to home. We’ve had many ask us why we chose to go back to homeschooling, and there isn’t really a “reason”. There was no definitive moment that made us think we should pull them out. The main reason, of course, is because it is the way we felt God was leading us, but also because we liked our family life so much better when we homeschooled. 

There was such a disconnect between my kids and myself last year. I spent all of my time immersed in the land of baby, and my older two were shuttled back and forth from school to church to sports. That was, literally, our life. It wasn’t a bad life, and it was necessary for the time, but it wasn’t our ideal. 

Researching curriculum, writing out schedules, and buying supplies all made me feel like me again. I feel like I’m back in my sweet spot and I’m ready for this year. I know that we’ll have ups and downs and that there will be days that I will wonder what in the world I was thinking, but anyone who home schools and tells you that they don’t have days like that is LYING. Straight through their teeth.

The answer for this year: Homeschooling. The reason: because God leads. Because we can. Because I like not having to count down my time left with my kids by how many summers we have left together. 

Or maybe I just wanted all day help with Walt. Meh.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ministry Wives:: The Genuine Struggle to Put Down Roots

As a minister’s wife my life has been very mobile. I’ve learned, over the years, not to be a pack rat. If it’s not worth wrapping, packing in a box, loading in a truck, and then spending precious time unwrapping then it has no place in my life. We’ve moved 14 times in 15 years and I hate the moving process so much that I will do just about anything to make it easier on myself.

Ministry, Minister's Wife, home, moving

BUT my desire to plant roots as I get older has expressed itself in curious ways. I find myself collecting things. For a girl who gave away her wedding crystal to a lady at a yard sale because she was tired of packing it, collecting anything at all is a little strange. I got rid of my crystal, but now I want all the globes I can get my hands on. I have more coffee mugs than I could ever drink from. I have books purchased just because they look old and they’re pretty. My former minimalist decor has morphed into adding anything that can make my house more “homey”. 

Oh, and I should mention, I really wish I still had that crystal. 

I want you to walk into my house without feeling the need to ring the doorbell and know that you can plop onto my couch and put your feet on the coffee table. To not feel the need to ask where the bathroom is because you’ve been here so many times that my home feels like yours. That’s what I want my home to be, and if one more coffee mug helps me meet that goal then I’ll just have to deal with the extra wrapping next time I move.

Not that I’m moving. Ever again. Lubbock may not have trees, but it’s currently where I keep my stuff and I’d like it to stay that way.

I've learned that ease doesn't necessarily bring quality of life. 

So come on over. If you come around 9 at night the house will be clean (mostly), but otherwise just step over the baby toys and shoes that everyone seems to refuse to put in the proper place, and make yourself at home.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Grace and Mystery


Such a loaded word. This one word can bring a flood of thoughts of freedom, thankfulness, happiness, confusion, forgiveness, loveliness, restfulness the list goes on and on.  

grace, rules, pharisee, Galatians 5:4

Were you surprised I included "confusion" in that list? I have my reasons....

Grace seems to be peppering every conversation I'm in lately. I am surrounded by it, can't get away from it. I see it everywhere, hear it everywhere, find a thousand reasons to think it through. All my thoughts come back to it, even my chores can lead to mental gymnastics about grace.  

Because I don't get it.  

Our culture doesn't get it (inside and outside the church, it seems). We speak of "falling from grace" when someone messes up and does something that is irredeemable - when Galatians 5:4 clearly speaks of falling from grace as falling back into living by rules and laws rather than freedom.  That person who messed up? - he is probably falling INTO grace while we throw darts. I, on the other hand, fall from grace on an hourly basis....

It's illusive, intangible and does not fit in my to-do list. There is no little box to check for grace. I like those little boxes, they fit my need to be a Pharisee.

That's right, I called myself a Pharisee. My heart is so drawn to LAW. My entire makeup screams for order and lists and the need to fit things in boxes. But one conversation around the dinner table about the eternal security of babies or remote tribes who've never heard the gospel reminds me that God does not fit in my box. God doesn't fit in any body's box.

God is mystery.

Pharisee's don't like mystery.  

My Bible reading program just took me on a journey through Job. I knew going into the book that I DID NOT want to read it, but my need to check off my little boxes would never allow me to skip.  I've read it before, several times. Never liked it. God makes no sense in this book.  God's mystery has fingerprints on every verse of this book, and I don't like the smudges they make. I don't like it. It doesn't fit into my God box. And then I get to a verse like this one:

And I take a deep breath, sigh, and say "No, I can't.  AND, I am so thankful I can't"

How my heart wrestles - I throw 2 year old tantrums about God not fitting in my box, and at the same time I am SO GRATEFUL  he doesn't.  

I would not want to worship a god who fits in my box. That god would not be GOD.  That god is me. How often do I worship my own boxed up version of who He is? Sadly, probably more than I like to admit.  

The older I get the more I do not understand God.  It's such a paradox with everything else in life.  With every other thing in life we devote time, money, and study to a subject and get better and more knowledgeable about it.

With God I get closer to Him and He get's more mysterious with every passing day.  

Confusing?  I think so.  

Confusing but beautiful.  The beautiful, grace-full mystery.  

Does God ever seem outside of your box?