Friday, June 29, 2012

Only Love Can Deliver Truth Part 2

Don't have much time today but I'm hoping to hit a few points today.  This topic has been so thick in my head the last few days but it swirls around, comes and goes and many times I'm not able to write it down so I'm feeling it's really random.  Even my post yesterday felt random to me.  It's difficult to share and pull together in my own mind sometimes what brings me to these mental dissections.

I said I'm feeling called to be more bold.  I stated that I get concerned that my being bold will cause me to slip into some aggressive and ugly behavior toward others who do not have faith in Jesus.  It's easy to get someone to be a fan of Jesus, it's hard to get them to have faith in Jesus.  Being a fan just means you like who he is, or the idea of who he is, what he did, how loving he was etc.  You DON'T like words like sin, or repentance and the like.  This person is a fan but not a follower.  Following takes a decision to do the very thing Jesus actually did the most, empty out self.

That is where the pendulum in my mind swings back around to love.  Jesus did not come in his infinite wisdom to prove to us that we were messed up but to offer the solution (thus the verse in John 3:17 "God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world would be saved through him."). (Keep going to get my full thoughts here)  I want to think about this for a moment.  To know the attitude Jesus DID have, I want to understand the one he DID NOT have.


  • to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of; censure.
  • to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment: to condemn a murderer to life imprisonment.
  • to give grounds or reason for convicting or censuring: His acts condemn him.
  • to judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service: to condemn an old building.
The language here is harsh: "unfavorable", "disapproval", "guilty", "unfit".  Though many of those things were true of mankind, all the connotations are notably negative.  It's as if Jesus was acting in such perfect love of the Father that he came declaring the wonderful result of that love, his sacrifice resulting in salvation.  I know mans sin was glaring to God, for he even sent John The Baptist to "prepare the way" for Jesus by declaring "repent!"  Repentance means taking notice of a state of wrong, act of wrong, and turning away.  Biblical repentance means turning away from our sin and toward Jesus.  Of course Jesus wanted us to do this, John the Baptist wanted us to do this.  Why though did neither of them use condemning language?  Why did they not say things like: 
"You are SO off!"  
"You are filthy sinners!
"God disapproves of you!'
"You are unfit for the Kingdom of God!"  

Ironically, this is more of the language that Jesus uses toward the Pharisees.  I will get to more on that in a moment....

Though even John was saying "repent! for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" he was not speaking condemnation.  I think this is for one important reason:


It would be stating the obvious!  The whole OT was a tool to make it evident, so Jesus does not have to say much more on it!  It is still today.  Our struggles, our selfishness, our greed, our lust, our hatred, our is all evident to us.  It is not only evident to us as people, it is evident to us as a world of humanity.  We know our own state.  We may ignore it, paint rainbows in our minds around it, or far worse, compare ourselves to worse to convince us that it does not exist, but we KNOW.  

On that note, I believe the reason Jesus spoke so harshly to the Pharisees was because they did not see themselves as sinners because their pride in following the law had completely convinced them they were righteous.  They were more blind than the rest of humanity that Jesus had as an understanding "I get it" audience.  He had to remind them of who they really were.  That took some harsh language.  

I don't have much more time for today but I say all this to say (and I know I will continue this theme for a while) that I need to watch my speech and OH EVEN MORE, my quiet attitudes for tones of condemnation.    If I want to reflect the very heart of my Savior, the very sweetness paired perfectly with truth, then I have to be aware of prideful tones.  If Jesus, the very flesh form of GOD, who created each galaxy and complex beings had the hierarchy to condemn (I mean the platform to legitimately stand on and point the finger should he want) and found that NOT the right approach, then how.....HOW can I possible use that?  I have NO right to that spotless position.  Who am I to think I can either speak condemnation or even worse imply it with my attitudes and lack of graciousness and welcoming the lost into my life?  

It's very thought provoking stuff....and there is much more where this came from.  
If you did not catch my first post it's here. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Only Love Can Deliver Truth

I'm not sure why, but God has been convicting me on two themes: BE MORE BOLD and LOVE BETTER.

There is magic, or more biblically speaking (though don't you love how C.S. Lewis calls it the "deeper magic"!?  I desperately want to call it that too but I would really get kicked out of church), power, in this godly combination.  The problem is, we believers are not very good at it.  I know I struggle with it a great deal.  I am coming to realize that when we don't speak up, we are not loving, and when we do, we are proud.  The result is a bunch of people majorly turned off by God, Jesus and the whole story they are tired of hearing.

Of course, one has to recognize that part of that is rejection of truth and the fact that they are in spiritual darkness as it says in 1 Corinthians 10:14.  That does not mean that we are greater than they are though, or that we are higher evolved.  One does not gloat in his sight around a blind man and boast at what he can see and the blind man cannot.  He lovingly leads him to who can heal him, as he tells of what his sight has shown him out of love for that blind man to see it too.  Sometimes I don't think we see our own cruelty in gloating.

I propose that if we speak truth that is rejected, it better be for spiritual reasons ALONE and not for how we treat that person!  In fact, God's word says a great deal about our behavior winning what logic cannot in the hearts of people!  That should tell us something.

Our struggle is to start with a loving desire without fading off into pride and arrogance.  We become more concerned with being right than saving a soul from eternal peril.  We say we love the lost but we don't make them feel welcome when we are around them.  We are not interested in being their friends, getting to hear their stories, loving them.  Even within the church Christians struggle with shunning each other according to lifestyle choices each family has.  I guarantee you this happens.  Families avoid certain families because their kids don't act the way they want their kids to act, or their personalities rub the wrong way, or they let their kids watch Harry Potter (heavens!!!).  If it happens within the church, HOW IN THE WORLD will we reach out to those outside the church!?

I had a really good friend, in fact this person was my best friend for a time.  All of a sudden though this friend  stopped inviting us over and stopped calling.  I was very hurt.  I thought I'd done something but would come across as dramatic if I asked what was going on.  I sucked it up and sat in a state of mystery for many, many years.  Due to circumstances in our lives, I decided to finally ask this person if I had done something wrong at some point to deserve this rejection.  It was a scary thing to ask.  I have to say though, I thought perhaps I was making it all up in my mind.  I do tend to over analyze things as some may know. :)  However, when I got an answer it turned out that I was NOT making this up.  This person had truly avoided me and what I thought was our great friendship because their children had a hard time with my kids.  My kids are not tender footed conversationalists, they don't pad everything they say, AND they were VERY YOUNG children.  If I had known about this, I could have dealt with it.  More than that though, the rejection told me I was not a valued friend.  If I had been a valued friend, then dealing with this would have been worth it to this person to keep me as their friend.  It was easier to shun me, and my children.  My kids asked for years why their old friends did not talk to them anymore.  Oddly, though my children were accused of not being sensitive to the little feelings of these friends, I think they were more deeply hurt in the end by this act of rejection.  I know I was.  Thankfully, through asking and having this known to me, this person asked my forgiveness.  I asked for forgiveness as well in general because I could not possibly ask for forgiveness or have my kids do so for things that no one remembered anymore.  It will never be the same though and it will always be a hurt.
I just don't get things like this.
I don't think it should happen within the church and I think those that have that problem even in that arena, are REALLY not ready to witness to the world.  Heaven forbid if an unbeliever say something that hurts your feelings!  So, I speak of this because I think it's a glaring problem!  If you cannot handle dealing with tough conversations over who's kids said what to each other, how are you going to deal with it when you have to answer what God says about sin in our lives?

So, I say this to get back on track...I'm convicted.  I tend to want to really let people know I love them, and that diversity in individuals is important.  It bothers me that as we stand up for our beliefs and take our stand against the "no absolutes" mentality of our culture, we become absolutely unlovable.  Still, I need to say that I do believe in some absolutes that are absolutely serious and have serious consequences.     How do I fully love and fully speak what I'm convicted to be true!?  I will tell you!

IT'S A TIGHT ROPE that requires I fall at the feet of Jesus for help.  It requires that I focus on Him, and that I BALANCE obedience in both areas.  I obey in love, I obey in speaking truth.

So, today I'm talking about the love thing...tomorrow I want to talk more about the boldness thing.  So, come back if you want...or don't.  I still love you! LOL...(no, I really will, I'm not joking....but that was kind of funny)

Friday, June 15, 2012

I Just Don't Get It- A Thinking Post

NOTE: My thinking posts are based on my world view as a Christian.  More specifically, a believer in the redeeming work of Christ Jesus, his death and more importantly his resurrection.  This is important to note when reading these posts.  

I am convinced that I walk around oblivious to God's love for me.  I've been frustrated lately that my mind is like stone sometimes.  I feel numb, busy, distracted, and I hate that.  My mind falls into traps of emotional responses to people and over dissections of what they do or say.  This is a downward spiraling of doubt and frustration with myself ending with a state of great frustration on many levels from the simple to the complex.  From what I think to what I can't seem to get done.

I need my heart to explode.  I'm reminded that I'm indeed NOT oblivious to God's love.  That is not possible as the Holy Spirit is alive in me and making that known to me.  I do think that my physical brain forgets.  I also think I have a hard time wrapping my head around God's love for me.  The reason I know that I'm struggling in this area are because of the results in my behaviors and thoughts.

I truly believe that all responses to God, true responses (not responses to save our own skin, or responses of fear of flames), are grounded on capturing truths of His love for us.  I believe that when given the understanding (though this sounds complete and whole it's actually an on going understanding process that comes and goes) of God's love would compel a person to respond to Him fully.  It would compel such amazing acts of genuine faith and sacrifice, it would change anyone.

My problem is, the lingo doesn't work for me anymore.  The "Jesus loves me" phase is shallow.  I know that God's love is so massive and deep and I know it's far beyond the phrases of a Sunday school song, that I am overwhelmed as to how to "get it".  I'm lost as to how my brain can contain such greatness.  I know that "getting it" would change me in every way.  I just feel lost to absorb it.

Sometimes, as a believer, we are encouraged to start our day praying God's will for the day.  This is rightly so.  I feel so done with that though!  It's just not feeling like enough.  I feel like I'm not getting it.  I feel like I'm not understanding something that I've known the lingo on for years.  I know the facts, I am overwhelmed to absorb their meaning and application.  For truly, if I got this whole thing better, it would show more.  I feel if I "got" God's love for me, I would hardly have to ask his will for the day!  It would be a passionate response, it would be breathing!  Beyond the things I've always known (wrapped up in a sometimes twisted mess of human understanding, prone to prideful tainting and mens interpretations), is a REALITY.  I'm a realist, I seek that reality, I long for it.

In my mind, I am not a Christian for the sake of choosing a religion.  I am not one for the fear of saving my skin.  I'm not one for a formula of rules that make me look good or make my life appear so swell.  I am one because the reality around me presses me to be so.  I am one because the God has opened my eyes to this reality.  Once it's seen, there is no going back.  My problem is I can't seem to focus my eyes to see it clearly.  Perhaps it's me, that I'm not concentrating.  Perhaps it's just my finite mind, taking it all in from the vantage point of a kid on a merry go round, I don't know.  I do know that it's simplified my desire and my prayer.

Forget the religious mumbo jumbo I would say in a morning to have a great "christian day".  Screw that... LORD....

Help me GET IT.
Just that.

For I know, it's the one thing you helped me do from moment one, and it's what you can do to change every fiber of my humanity.  I don't want to be a good religious person, I want YOU.  I want to GET YOU.  I want to GET your love for me.  I don't want to miss out.

For in every little moment I get you, I feel my heart explode.  I can't help but worship you.  I can't help but hurt for the lost, to cry for the hurting, to feel compassion for those in darkness.  I can't help but want to love them.  I can't help but marvel at everything reflecting you.  It's a phase of euphoria my mind really can't seem to contain for too long.  I sure wish I could maintain it.  I wish I could ...

GET IT...and stay GETTING IT....

Monday, June 11, 2012

One Sexy Beverage

I seem to be on a kick of Mexican cuisine the last two weeks.  There is a lot to be learned in this small town.  There are many first generation Mexicans.  Where else would you have that advantage?  Ever lived next door to a first generation Egyptian?  Or African?  Have you ever lived up the road from someone fresh from Denmark?  Yet, we seem to be a little anoyed with Mexican food and culture around here.  I find the tone negative anyway.  Sometimes for some good reasons, there are some real political issues in regard to the country of Mexico.  Still, as a Christian, I have really had a burden to get to know the families around us, right where we are, and part of that is delighting in their culture and the pride they have in it.  Loving people means getting to know who they are.  The politicians may do their thing, and there will always be issues, but we can love the people and learn about them.  I love doing that.  On a culinary level, there is a lot more to them than bean burritos.  
As I mentioned in my last post on Poslole, we went to a celebration for my eldest's 8th grade class.  Around here, that means we were the only Caucasian family there.  Those who were Caucasian just dropped their kids off and left, which I found sad.  We may have not known what a lot of the conversation was but we went up and talked to people who we could talk to and got to know them.  There is so much to learn from eachother!

One thing I learned that evening was about Jamica.  Pronounced Ha-MIKE-ah.  The mom hosting had made a pitcher of this and I thought it was some cheap colored drink full of food coloring.  I graciously tasted it and asked about it.  In her very strong accented Spanish (which I love hearing), She told me it was made from a flower.  I found that very curious.  I had never heard of it.  She warned me it was tart, she was right!  I did not like it much.  It was at room temperature/warm and very sour.  
I did not think much of it after that.  Then, yesterday, when I was in the Mexican isle at Food For Less buying my dried chilies for the soup, I saw this large bin of very dark red dried flowers labled "Jamica".  


I immediately knew what they were. I was intrigued.  I stood there in the isle with my iphone and got on Safari looking up "Jamica Tea Recipe".  Gorgeous pictures of iced red beverages kissed with lime wedges popped up on Google.  I clicked and read that it was a simple infusion and sugar was added.  Ah, I think that was what they did not do, add sweetener.  I decided since I was making an authentic Mexican dinner, I would also grab some of these.  I had to ask a Mexican lady in the isle how I bought from the bins.  She graciously showed me the bags and ties and told me how to do it.  See, we can all learn things people lol! 
Well, I made it for everyone but did not remember to sweeten it.  I put out some agave nectar but I don't think anyone used it.  Let's just say, there was a lot left.  I also depended on my Pampered Chef pitcher with the plunger to filter out the flowers and that was not good enough.  Our guests were amused I think with the floating flowers in their drink...ah well.  I was rushed at the end ok!:)
Today however, I took the leftover tea and strained it, added sweetener and lime juice.  Then I poured it over LOTS of ice.  It was fabulous!  (Just google it in images and drool over refreshing red glasses much more glamorous than mine here!) It was still tart but much more enjoyable with a little sweet. I decided to find out more about this flower.  Here is what I learned: 

  • It is the Hibiscus flower! Oh, okay, I know what that is!  It is called many things in many different countries.  
  • It is VERY good for you! That is when it clicked in my head that this is in a lot of the herbal teas!  It's what turns them red, and gives them high tart levels and vitamin C.  
  • It lowers blood pressure.  
  • It is a natural diuretic detoxing your body (yippie!)
  • It is being used to replace red die in healthy versions of food (trust me, when you make it, you will see why!)
  • Tahitian women wear a flower (fresh, not dry lol) behind their ear to indicated availability for marriage.
  • Polynesians use the fibers from the stems (after letting them soak in the sea for the organic material rot away) to make grass skirts and wigs (the skirts I'm sure are way more sexy than the
  • The flowers are sometimes candied and used as a dessert garnish.  

I'm not sure why, I just found this all fasinating.  I also loved how cheap these flowers were at FFL.  They were four-something a lb. but you have to realize it takes a lot of flowers to make a lb.  They are fresh, and unpackaged, rustic and unprocessed.  What a great way to make a colorful refreshing drink.  I'm thinking with the color being so bright, this could be a fun healthy kids drink as well as a colorful Popsicle.  In Jamaica they add rum to it for an adult beverage.  I'm okay with it as it is, but it sounds fun!  I used sugar to sweeten this batch but I'd like to do honey next time.  I think the flavors in honey (especially a good honey)  would really go with the natural flavors of this tea.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mouth Travel: My Favorite Soup & An Awesome Blog Introduction!

Growing up I had an awesome best friend.  He grew up and married an awesome woman (of course he did).  She is an awesome cook (I've never tasted her stuff but her blog makes me drool).  But she is not just any cook, she is an Epicurean cook.  I think this makes me like her more.

See, I adore foreign food.  I wish I could eat it more.  Our food budget and the small area we live in keep me from perusing this love of mine. Erin keeps it interesting with choosing a country each week.  I love that she has her kids involved with the decision and the tasting.  My kids are fairly good at this too (some more than others) because we have insisted on tasting their whole lives.  Rick and I both love to mouth travel.  Well, we love to travel too but right now that is not possible and let's face it, you can reach more destinations with your mouth than you can with your pocketbook.

Just taking a look at what she makes on her blog is interesting/educational reading, especially for foodies.  You may not even like to cook foreign dishes, but you will find her blog fun.  She is also a talented photographer and does her own pics which I also find fabulous.

(Visit Epicurean Travels)  and/or follow Erin on Facebook

I'm hoping to chat for a few Fridays about food blogs btw, so come back for some other favs.

NOW!  For my own foodie moment!

I've been CRAVING this soup lately.  One benefit of living in this lovely mission town is the great population of authentic Mexican cooking women!  When my eldest started public school, her fifth grade teacher would hold these food sharing lunches on occasion for the class.  All the mama's brought amazing authentic fare and Posole soup was one of them.

My first reaction to this was secretly (oh, great a big pot of soup in a room full of kids, are you crazy?  will they even eat it? it looks so brothy...ew!) THEN...

I TASTED IT....and ....
tele-ported myself to Mexico.

I've blogged about Posole once before but I don't think the word got out there enough lol.  It's a soup that is very frugal (see, it's mouth travel that works for my budget), full of easy to find (well, where I live anyway) Mexican ingredients, and is a hit with the whole family.

I've made it myself and it was good, but the way these women around here do it is a little more refined and authentic.  From what they are telling me, this recipe seems to be it.
It reminds me of the idea of pho soup made by the Asians.  You have a base of soup and then toppings are added according to what you like.  When they are added while the soup is still hot, they just cook in the heat of the broth, leaving them crisp and yummy.  Traditionally, the soup is cooked with pigs foot too, which I did, but I did not feel it added more flavor.  I had a bone in my pork though so that may have been why.  The kids thought that was fun.  I made sure they saw me take it out.  It does add to the travel feel! I like to cut a lime in half, squeeze the juice in and cook it with half the  lime bobbing in there.  The flavors in the zest really come out.  I also don't use bay leaves, but perhaps that helps.

So, if you live around here, and wonder what all those red dry peppers are at Food For Less, this is what they use.  They soak them in some hot water and blend them up as a base in the broth.  That is what turns it this lovely red.  They promise me they are not hot.  It seems to be true as the soup is just right and they add hot sauce according to taste.  They also cook them in massive soup pots and invite everyone over, now that is what I call a party!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Why We Don't Homeschool

We've had this topic come up with some new people we have been meeting lately and I realized it would be good to post about.  Those who have known me for a while all ready know a lot of these details but I think it may be new to others.  There is a very long story of how God called us to put our kids in public school, I won't be telling that story again (I hear some of you saying "whew!").  It was a great story in our journey but it is long.   The purpose here is to tell some very practical reasons that honestly I could not even see at the time of His guiding us.  He could though!

I do want to preface this by saying two main things:  One, is that I highly support homeschooling.  It has it's positives and it's negatives, as does public school, but on the whole it is a wonderful option for many.  I want to be supportive of my homeschooling friends by acknowledging all they do and doing what I can to encourage them if I'm given the opportunity.  Secondly, I do believe that homeschooling is pushed as the "godly" way to proceed with Christian families and public school is characterized as selfish for the parents and damaging for the children.  This is somewhat of an unspoken conversation because I think if many came out and said, "It's more godly to homeschool", they would be shocked at themselves.  God is not in a box, he is using all of his people everywhere in many ways.   He will over expose and underexpose children for the armor they will need in the path He has for them.  I don't think some women, or even some Christian couples give themselves the freedom to realize this is an option for them anymore.  I know I didn't.  Public school was a bad word and an evil monster to me before. 

Here are the main reasons we don't homeschool, and I've put them in order of importance: 
  • God called us - Even though I won't get into the details, it is very true.  He called us into it vividly when our eldest was in kindergarten, and he called us out of it vividly at the end of her 4th grade year.  Does God do that?  Well, all I can say is what I know and that is that He did for us. To keep homeschooling would have been us not following His lead.
  • I secretly thought it made me more righteous-  That makes me cringe to even write, but I did.  I may be one of the few women in the Christian community who struggled with that, or dare admit it, but it did.  I thought I looked better in eyes of God by homeschooling.  Furthermore, I thought He was obligated to give me a good return on my sacrifices and the end result had to be good Christian kids. 
  • My marriage was being put second-  This is not biblical.  I was so exhausted from all the work of the house, the schooling, the socializing efforts etc, I had very little energy or time for my husband.  Not every one has this issue, but I sure did and I was putting the kids over my husband.  I would spend time after they all got to bed, getting ready for the next day's schooling and had no time for him.  I found it interesting at our recent marriage retreat, the speaker said that his biggest group of threatened marriages came from families who homeschooled and now had an empty nest.  That was where I was headed.  Thank you LORD for seeing that!  This does not mean that it will be that way for all couples, but it is a red flag I was ignoring.
  • Our children needed outside prodding-  God knew this and we did not at the time.  We had no idea how much our kids would blossom once we put them in school.  I'd like to break down now into each child and tell how it was His best for them: 
  1. Our Eldest- She was an easy child to school, the academic.  However, she had developed this sense that the world revolved around her and had no social or authoritative pressures to show her some reality on how this was so not true.  For her, the atmosphere at home fed this problem.  She was not getting challenged by the opinions of others, so hers was supreme.  She was not getting challenged by having to change and adapt to a team, and her agenda reigned.  It's not that I was giving into her at every turn, it was that she was at home so of course the schedule catered to her.  Her brother and sister did whatever she said so of course she had the last word....are you getting the idea?  She was the perfectionist who had to also learn that in reality, you won't be able to complete everything perfectly.  You do the best with the time you have.  Socially, she had to learn that not everyone was going to do or play what she wanted.  
  2. Our Middle- Oh, God had big things in mind for her.  She hated school at home with me.  She was in the shadow of a sister who was reading "The Chronicles of Narnia" in kindergarten and had convinced her self she was therefore stupid.  She was bored with worksheets and I had little time for travel or the kind of hands on, mess making learning she loved.  I had her older sister's lessons to do, and her little preschool brother to keep up with.  She was just a home school to do list and she knew it.  Once she entered school, she was amazed at how smart she was because she was in a room with kids her own age!  She loved having a teacher and meeting the challenges of leading in the classroom. She loved that the schedule was all for her the whole school day.  She did not have to go be busy till I could tend to her schooling.  She thrives on group feed back and had no opportunity for this at home.  It was amazing how she blossomed.   
  3. Our Third-  The only boy, he has never officially been home-schooled.  He struggles so  much with  structure of any kind and since the only one he knows is school, he dreams of homeschooling.  He has some fantasy idea that it means you get to play Lego's all day.  He needed to be out of the house of girls, and motivated more to get moving.  He is very much the timid boy in some respects.  He is not a wimp, but fits the baby of the family role well.  We are always having to challenge him to stop wining and get going.  School does that for him.  It also gives him time with other boys to be out from the "skirts" at home.  It holds him accountable to a standard of behavior where you cannot wiggle all day if you want to.  He is however, perhaps the one child who I've struggled with the most having in school.  Boys don't do well with that structure.  There have been times when we have prayed about him coming home but God has always encouraged us that this is good for him to learn.  He may get by on the skin of his teeth, and not bringing home all the perfect student awards his sisters are, but he is learning some great skills of hanging in there and being attentive. 
  • I needed to grow in my faith-   Faith in God, not myself.   I was holding on too tightly to my own formulas working for me and trying to work out something that the Lord did not have for me.  I was more determined to make good children if it killed me, than I was to trust the God who gave them to me.  Somewhere along the line from being called to homeschool, and struggling with it, I developed wrong motives to keep going.  I honestly did not give myself the option of not doing it anymore, I felt it was just sinful.  I'm very thankful God showed me I was wrong.  He had to show me my heart before I realized this though.  He had to show me my heart motives for having them home and they were not good.  I wanted trained monkeys who would make me proud, he wanted kingdom workers prepared for what He wanted of them.  When it came down to it, all my reasons to keep them home were fear driven. 
  • We were not a team-  Helping me in any way, either with planning or follow through, has never been my husbands gift.  I really think that the best homeschool families are the ones who's couples are on the same page and work together in some fashion.  Quite honestly, I think my husband would have been better at homeschooling the children than me.  He is the academic, but he has to have a job so that was not an option. Doing anything regarding homeschooling on top of work was never something that happened for us.  
  • We didn't have the ideal setting-  Now, I realize you can homeschool, anywhere and succeed if you are called to but for us, our situation was not ideal.  We live in a small modular park with a small yard not allowing much room for play.  We are not somewhere where we can let our children roam safely either.  We also live 15-30 minutes from most of the homeschool activities or social gatherings.  It became way to hard to get them out enough, even outside.  I did not want to have kids who were locked in with tv screens and dying of boredom just to have them homeschooled.  
  • I was becoming a bad mom-  At the end of the school day I did not want to talk to my kids.  I felt like I was showing them the hand the rest of the day.  I was spent!  I could not just be mom and chat, or be all cute and bake cookies.  Getting through the work was all I could do.  I spent many afternoons hiding in my room telling them to stay busy.  I realized that this one big hat was making me hate being a mom.  It broke my heart when I realized that I was robing them of a mom being so determined to be their teacher.  

So, I share all this to say that we all have to be open to what God has for us, as well as what he has for each child.  I have not closed the door, I have learned not to close doors anymore.  Right now these are the reasons we DON'T homeschool.  God could give us other ones any moment for going back into it for one of our kids.  He could do anything.  He should be heard, and I should not be afraid.  I have no idea what God is preparing my kids for through school.  I do know for me it's quite simple now (though it use to not be) that this is not for us right now.  
Whatever we do, I remember what a wise woman told me, we are still and always will be our children s teachers.  We are their disciple-rs.  Whether they sit in a desk at a school, or the table in our dining room, we are teaching them.  The bible says women are to be in the home teaching their children.  "Teacher's at home" it says in Titus.  This is a priority, but no where does it say what exactly we are to teach them as far as academics go.  It does say for us to teach them God's ways, his workings in history and our own lives.  What he has each of us teach beyond that may vary.  I just want to encourage others to listen to Him and follow His leading.  
More than anything, if you are struggling, or hurting, or feeling like you are a looser in this area.  Tell God that, and don't try to be what men tell you you should be, even Christian men.  Talk to your husband, get council and above all BE HONEST with yourself and God.  Being open to His will may not look like you thought it would look.  It may mean that you carry on in a different way, or with different motives.  It may mean that you choose other options. 

I read something back then that amazed me.  It amazed me how narrow my thinking and view of God had become it was this: 
 We want God to stay in schools, but we want all Christian kids out.

I wonder what He wants.....  

It's just something to think about......