At this very moment I want to say, I take back my "juggling" posts. I don't know how to juggle (literally or metaphorically) and I certainly don't think I am in a position to tell someone else how to do it. I only know to lean on Jesus and walk one step at a time. Neat and tidy tips are fun to write, and to make one feel as though one has it all together, but life is not always that neat, tidy and predictable is it?
If any of the tips I posted are helpful, great! If they are not that's fine too. :)
At this moment my family is in the midst of tremendous change. And big changes always cause me to question the nitty-gritty of how I "do life". Some of the recommendations I posted just a month ago don't make nearly as much sense today. You see, yesterday was my husband's first day as a Stay At Home, Home-school Dad (SAHHD). The impact of this incredible, amazing change are sure to unfold as time passes, but right now, I'm reeling a bit!
I am simultaneously elated and terrified. This choice is both the culmination of something we have wanted since before Silas was born, and something completely unforeseen. We always wanted to home-school. We always liked the idea of one parent stay home with our son, and made getting to that point financially our aim. We also always supposed that parent would be me.
I am thrilled because I truly believe this to be the very best way to educate our son (I definitely see advantages to home education for all children, but in this case I genuinely do mean OUR son specifically). I am scared because there is so much unknown ahead of us. We did not make this decision lightly and in fact, if I'm honest, I think our preconceived ideas, and expectations prevented us from making it sooner than we could have but I digress.
Neither of us were home-schooled. And while we have a tremendous support system of friends and family who have walked the road before us, it is an entirely new journey for our little family. Add to it the fact that while home-schooling is increasingly common, Stay At Home Dads are still somewhat rare, and Home-school Dads even rarer. And it begins to feel a bit like we are pioneers. Though I like to think of myself as one who goes against the flow and thinks for myself, my first born nature rears its norm-following head once in a while and surprises me! Being so "unique" is nerve wracking!
Are any of these things good reason not to proceed? Certainly not! But what a big step we're taking! I can only look around in awe and shake my head. I really feel like Columbus on the Nina... or perhaps Caspian on the Dawn Treader. Yes, that's it: something more romantic and Narnian than actual history. An adventurer setting out for new and foreign lands.
At the beginning of this year, I wrote in an email to a friend:
I am in such a strange frame of mind facing a new year. I always have a little vision/dream/snippet-
I guess it’s good. It all feels a little tenuous and disorienting. I keep trying to think of a word for the year ahead and the only one that comes to mind is precipice. More accurately, it's as though last year was the precipice. [...]So what does that make 2013? The abyss. No. That doesn't fit. It really sounds like it should be negative and scary, but it doesn’t feel negative or scary. It’s more like… the great unknown. I think I have always lived my life walking along IMAGINING what the road ahead would look like—and in the end of course, despite my imaginations life has unfolded. I have both trusted the Lord for His plans and not trusted Him, but life has unfolded nonetheless. "A man's heart plans his way…" I don’t know if it’s because so few of my plans have come to fruition, and the loss of them has hurt or if its because I really am actually believing the enduring goodness of the Lord more than ever before, or because I am living so far outside the life I imagined as a little girl but whatever the reason I don’t have a playbook and I am actually okay with it.
Little did I know that by mid-year so very much would have changed. There is such freedom in life unfolding in a completely unexpected way. It's so much easier to rely on the plans my heart lays when things tend to be moving in the general direction of those plans. It's another exercise entirely to set off into places I could have never imagined. It will be fun, it will be scary, it will build our faith and strengthen our character in ways we cannot, even now foresee. What a privelage!