Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Life After Homeschool

Artie asked me to post this writing I did a couple of days ago, so here it is...

Today is May 27, 2008. There are seven school days left in this school year. (okay, now there is only 1/2 a day left in school...)

There are 85 days until the new school year begins. (79 days!)

Now, I know, most mothers aren't already counting down until the next school year starts; but this is going to be an amazing year for me.
We have been a homeschooling family (on & off w/ different children on different years), but always someone for the past 16 years.

August 18, 2008 will be the first time in 16 years I've been alone in my house with no children (aside from a very rare day - that off the top of my head - I can't even recall). All my children will be entering public school. It is a long time coming family decision, today I am just going to be focusing on the results in my life and not all the whys we have wrestled with.
I am going to be alone 5 days a week from 7:00 to 2:30. Again, let me state the fact - I haven't been alone in 16 years!!!

It is like this incredible gift of time I've been given and now it's up to me to decide how I am going to spend it. My mind is racing with the possibilities.

I will have time to invest in my homemaking. It has come along way, but still have such a long way to go. With six children in the house, there is more work to be done than with the average family. Add to that, our house turned 100 years old last year - there are too many needed projects to list, especially those concerning painting.

There is also cooking to think about. I cook a lot, but most of the time it is a rushed meal, not served with beauty. I love the idea of a beautifully prepared table and hot dinner waiting on Artie when he gets home from a long day at work. With all the practice I've had, I've learned to make it very tasty. I'm just looking forward to serving it as nice as it taste.

There is going to be time for longer Bible study and prayer. When I was in college, I studied so much - deep and long. When I began having babies, that all changed. A woman in my church explained seasons of life to me. There would be time again for deep study of God's Word, but now was time to put into practice all that He had been storing up inside of me.

You know it's pretty funny I thought I was such a good person until I had children. That is when I realized just how sinful I was. Selfish, lazy, spoiled. I had to learn how to share my time (time awake and time I was suppose to be asleep), share my drinks and food off my plate, share my solitary moments during the day that I had always taken for granted. I needed God more than ever.

My deep study time was replaced with hymns sung while rocking babies. There Is Just Something About That Name by the Gaithers was my all time favorite. We also rocked to The Old Rugged Cross and Amazing Grace (with a little of You Are My Sunshine thrown in for good memories of my Papa Troy). It was also replaced with tears, realizing my own inadequacies and total dependence on Jesus. There were talks with God at the clothesline (guess that one will still be a keeper for many years to come) and at the kitchen sink (even though I never enjoyed the sink as much as I did the clothesline).

There has been much learning as the girls have gotten older and we've been studying of God's purposes and plans for women. Why did I never study that in college or hear it preached in church?

There will be time to pray and plan - alone in the quiet. Will the quiet be deafening or will I be able to soak in God's voice?

I'm looking forward to having some private time with Artie. The first day of school he is taking off work. After all the children get on the bus, we are getting back under the cover to snuggle and sleep as long as we want. When we get up, we are taking a picnic and spending the day at the lake. It has been YEARS since we've been alone and in a quiet place. We've had date night where we've been to the movies or out to dinner, but never a day alone without children. There will be days where I can ride to Charlotte and have a lunch with Artie. I think in the eight years he's been working in Charlotte - the girls and I went up for lunch once! There will also be a special day here and there where he can go in a couple of hours late, and give us some nice time alone and I think everyone couple of months he will be able to take a personal day or afternoon off.

There are some other people I'm looking forward to spending time with. Both Mimi & Granddaddy and Bobbie I get to see now, but don't get to help them like I would like. I miss Gwyn who will have a couple of weeks in town before thy set out for the DR. I might have to ride out to the mall and visit my friend Sandy. But, the two ladies I've missed the most over the years are my Aunt Bonnie (my mama's cousin, close like her sister) and my papa's Carolyn (the woman he dated the last 10 years of his life). I NEVER see them, but love them so. Maybe my house will be presentable enough that I can have them over for lunch or drive to Spartanburg and visit with them there.

So, when I've cleaned my house, cooked dinner, read my Bible and done a little visiting - then what am I going to do?

This is when my mind begins to wander. I keep telling Artie "you know I'm having issues don't you?" Nothing bad, just dealing with big change!!

Last night we were watching a movie an I explained it to him like this...
Our money has always been stretched tightly (just like my time). Now imagine on August 18 from 7:00 until 2:30 - you had all the money you wanted - to do the best with it for the whole school year. I want to be a good steward and not waste a single minute.
The opportunities just seem huge to me.

There sill still be exercising and gardening and then all the normal trips to the doctor, dentist, field days and award days at school just as now.

Shopping will be able to be done in the day time instead of rushing around during out home school time or after dinners and Saturdays - when there is always something going on.

Christmas shopping sounds more fun and less of a hassle to find time. It's stressful to Christmas shop at midnight!!! :-)

Life will continue to run as usual, I just might have more moments to stop and appreciate the beauty of it all.

God has been so good to me over these past 16 years. I have been blessed to have a husband who values a wife and mother's place in the home. I got to be here with my children as they were growing up. I was the one when they skint a knee or had a boo-boo. I was the one who got to see their first steps, hear their first words and watch them experience each new food. I believe all my children with Artie have grown up confident in our love for them. They have been secure and provided for. God has always been faithful!!

So after all this long writing, I opened up my Bible to today's Proverb - 27:1.

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth."
Am I boasting? I don't think so, but I will do my best to live in today. To get the most we can out of these last 7 days of home school. And to enjoy each and every day of summer break when I have six of the children here with me every day - all day!! :-)

We've got lots of fun plans...

~ day trips with the church
Linville Falls/Caverns

~movies and popcorn

~swimming lessons

~boys' birthday party


~summer jobs

~beach trips

~trips to the lake for more swimming and fishing


~playing in the new alligator pool (which is on back order - they are really messing with me now!! It's almost birthday time!! )
~riding bikes and jumping ramps

~wrestling practices



~tomato sandwiches from our garden

Here I am off in the future again.

Seven more days of school - extra work on handwriting and math, preparing for next year's schooling!!!

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