When 'No' Is Beautiful... And When God Changes It
- Friday, March 26, 2010
"No." That word can bring with it the sting of disappointment, or it can bring relief and joy. Take, for example, these questions: Is it malignant? Are we moving? Did the tests come back positive/negative? Is surgery needed? To each of these questions the word no may bring joy, comfort, abundant praise, or celebration. And yet, to other questions the word no could bring much sadness, heartache, confusion, or disappointment: Are we pregnant? Did you get the job? Is she going to make it? Can we keep the house? At times, the word no can bring peace. It solidly answers a question. When the answer is given, the finality of "no" can bring a nodding head and a willing, submissive heart.
In 2007 my husband and I moved our family from one church in our community to another church. When we arrived at this new-to-us church, we discovered that nearly every family had made the choice to homeschool their children. I had never been in an environment where homeschooling was the norm. While growing up, occasionally I had been exposed to a few families who homeschooled, and I found it odd. It was out of the norm to me. So, not surprisingly, this new atmosphere of homeschool families was very new to me.
I come from a teaching background. My grandmother was a teacher. My grandfather was a teacher. My father (not a teacher) holds a lifetime teaching credential. I, too, am a teacher. For five years I worked in public education full-time. At the time, homeschooling didn't make much sense to me. I was curious, but I wasn't quite sure it was a perfect fit for our home.
Over time I began to ask the Lord, "Dear Lord, what is Your posture and position for me? My children, at this present time, are slated to attend a local private Christian school. That is the plan my husband has laid out for our family. Dear Lord, where do You want my children?"
I don't know that I felt qualified to handle such an endeavor. Truly? Yes.
Yes, I had covered a full year of teaching 130 junior highers in rotating periods. Yes, I had taught reading recovery for grades 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Yes, I had taught a wide variety of curricula. Yes, I had studied principles and applications and methodologies of teaching. Yes, yes, and yes.
"But, Lord, do you know my children? I have three of them. Rachel is 5. Kohen is 3, and Reese is 1. Do You know Kohen, Lord? (slaps forehead with open palm) Um, of course You do!" The Lord was very familiar with the discussions I had with Him back in 2007.
I have an ongoing journal in which I record many of the curious adventures of my oldest son, Kohen. Like the time my sweet Kohen jumped the neighbor's fence to see if so-and-so could play. Mind you, our fences in California are 5 feet high. Or what about the time he hid under the bridge at the park for fifteen minutes? And there's the time he shot himself in the rear end on purpose with his epinephrine pen (peanut allergy). (The woman from Poison Control was magnificent, calling me back every few hours during the day to make sure he was doing just fine.) He wanted to know why he couldn't touch it, and now he knows why. Oh, and there's the time he threw the cat downstairs. The poor six-week-old kitten limped there for a bit—poor guy. Kohen has personally cut his own hair several times. Then he infamously broke one of the back windows in our home with his own foot while performing tumbling maneuvers on the couch. My own oversight left him with a magnificent opportunity to paint the kitchen table with red acrylic paint. My dining room furniture is beautifully decorated with the artistic expressions of our beautiful Kohen—black permanent marker. I praise God that we own a carpet cleaning company, because there's that time he painted the carpet with his own . . . I'll leave that word out.
I no longer ask the silly question:" Lord, do you know Kohen?" Yes, He does. God has fearfully and wonderfully designed Kohen for His great purposes. The awesome curiosity that he has will be used to bring God glory. I don't doubt this in the slightest. His quest to discover, explore, learn, search out, uncover, and examine will no doubt lead him to a solid faith in Jesus Christ; humbly I pray by God's amazing grace.
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