Tuesday, March 10

Finishing Here

A year ago we were preparing to move. Trying to keep momentum in our schooling was difficult to say the least. First, we looked for months for a house over the river in our favorite city of Portland. Secondly, some vocational things came up that pulled on us emotionally. Thirdly, once we finally found a house to rent there was the disarray of packing and the distraction of getting it all done. And finally, I was deeply considering giving up homeschooling.

Somehow we muddled through all of that and ended up staying the course in our homeschooling. I have to say that I held it all very loosely and just waited for God to say, "Let go." But when our circumstances shook down, I didn't -- it seemed in the boys' best interest to continue for various reasons.

Now we're moving again. This one is bigger... it's not just over the river and there is a real sense of permanence in this move. This time we're leaving our favorite place and all of the support I've built around me. I've been doing this long enough to feel comfortable in my role as a mother-teacher. But am I too comfortable? A part of me thinks that so far I've done my sons a favor by keeping them home because moving around as much as we have would have wreaked havoc on traditional schooling. But how far will the favor take them?

We believe in living missionally... incarnationally. Will they learn to do this in a semi-sheltered setting? Will I be able to speak this greater message to them if they are dulled by my familiarity? Is looking down the road at "how they turn out" the correct perspective or should their transformational experiences of today be my focus? Will I ever be successful to teach that life isn't all about us if I continue to keep us all about US? The most inspiring family I know of runs a ministry here in Portland called Blanket Coverage. From the get-go, they had their kids out on the streets with them meeting the needs of the homeless. Because they didn't live in fear of the suffering that could come of that they now live with the knowledge that they taught the greater lessons of feeling compassion, taking courage, and treating all people with dignity and respect. I want to do that. My boys need me to do that or I've truly failed as their parent.

So, it seems, on several levels we are busy about finishing our life here. Here = Portland, evergreen (!), our co-ops, work, places we frequent, present relationships (which will continue tho the presence will be missed). But here also means what we do inside our family to build up young men who love others. I have no idea if I'm finished homeschooling though I hand-picked the school district we will be living in just in case. Again, I find myself holding this endeavor very loosely -- which we must learn to do with all things.

There will be tears (there already have been... are now). I can't tell you all the fabulous things I have gratefully and painfully learned at this precious stop in our journey. But I'm looking ahead to what things my boys need to learn and maybe the next chapter needs to me more about letting them experience lessons that, when left to me, I'd never have the courage to teach them.

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