Friday, May 19, 2006

Living with and praying through the tension

I am really struggling with living within the tension between homeschooling my kids and the financial struggle that screams at me that I should/could put them in school and get a job. I worked for years before we got married (I was not a YOUNG bride). I went back to finish my college degree after we married and my son was one when I graduated. I've been a stay-at-home mom ever since. My poor hubby has worked so hard to allow me to do that and I adore him for it. I love raising my kids. I dreamed of being a mom for a long time and enjoy making a home for my hubby and kids.

My kids did attend public school for a short while and it was OK. We got "pushed into" homeschooling when the school my kids were attending became too crowded to allow my kids to continue there (it's a long story). I didn't want to do it. My hubby wasn't all that excited about it either. We never dreamed it would be such a blessing and that we would now feel so loathe to stop doing it. I wanted to stay home when they were little because I didn't want to miss those "first steps," etc. I'm so glad I got to experience those things, but they don't end when the kids hit 5 or 6! In fact, they increase. What can replace the day your child first "gets" multiplication or long division? Figures out what a square root is? Reads his/her first book? Learns how to write his/her name in cursive? I want to be there when the "lightbulbs" go on and celebrate with them. My son has some learning differences (?) and it has been such a big plus to have one on one learning for him. My kids and I both love it. Don't get me wrong, it isn't perfect. I am not perfect. I flub up a lot. There are days when we all think we want it the other way, but most days, we know this is so right for our family.

We didn't EVER foresee or plan to move so much, but, so far, it's been a part of our journey. (Hopefully that won't be our whole journey!) The flexibility and stability that homeschooling has provided for us has been perfect. When my hubby is working odd hours, it allows us to still spend time with him when he is off and work when he works.

BUT, (you knew there was a "but" coming!) we are financially strapped right now and my guilt at watching my hubby work so hard while I stay home and school our kids is overwhelming. I know I could contribute to the family income if I would put the kids in school next year and get a job. Hubby never makes me feel guilt. He LOVES me homeschooling and wants me to continue. I just feel so self-indulgent! I can't imagine not doing this with my kids. It hurts to think of that, but it also hurts to know that we need the money and I could help. Yikes!!

Ok, so that's the tension I live with and will be praying about this summer. Maybe financially things will improve (not at all unlikely) and it will all seem more sane soon. I imagine the tension will always be there (unless we win the lottery, which isn't likely since we don't play!), but maybe it doesn't have to be quite this TIGHT!! Until I get an answer from God, I will continue to live with and pray through the tension.


At June 19, 2006 2:25 PM, Blogger 5 Johnson Kids said...

Ok, I know I'm busy responding to your posts today, but each one says something to my heart.

I know the tension you speak of. I feel it, too, especially the year Mike was delivering appliances. I cook up all sorts of schemes for making money, finding a job, working from home, etc. and in the long run I'm still at home schooling the kids.

I wish money weren't an issue. I hate feeling controlled by money, not wishing I had LOTS of money, but just hoping I have enough to pay the bills without going further into debt. I get the impression once in a while from certain church people that I should not worry, not be anxious, never get affected by the realities of bills and debt but rather be content and deal with it in "faith."

Maybe there is some truth in all of that, but there is also truth of raising 5 kids and feeding them! My goal is not to live a luxurious life (not on a pastors salary!) but to be steady with finances and be able to not pass on the same money anxieties I grew up with! You mention praying through the tension, and I think that hits it. The tension doesn't go away, but rather we endure it in and with Christ.


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