Live and Learn and Giving my Life to God

I wrote this a little bit ago- as I worked to process a lot of incoherent emotions and difficulty in myself while I tried to begin needed work for Nathanael. For me, senior year is difficult. One, we cast a wide net as far as college searching goes- and it is a very uncertain time for our family. Even though I am doing things differently with Nathanael- there is still a lot of uncertainty.  Two, it is a very difficult balance and dance with an almost young adult child and student. I think I wish there were clear answers and a defined path- but for us, so far, really there has not been. And there are a lot of hard decisions. All the time.  So, now- for the post I wrote:

It is not amiss to say that I have been having some post-traumatic stress responses as I face a senior year again so soon after Micah’s.

I have some resources/a link I want to share with dear readers and friends- so I am working to unearth some of the swirl of challenge in my soul to write this post.

I have passionately and vehemently proclaimed a motto of “Live and Learn” in response to my experience reaching graduation and homeschooling to college. My family knows it well. My students (children) have been recipients of said proclamation. I have made several adjustments to our home school based on what I have learned through my experience with my two oldest sons (one graduated and one now! a senior)- and I am working on implementing them immediately.

One area I have been struggling with is remorse and regret. While Micah is off to the college of his choice, a Honors Program participant, and a (large) Scholarship recipient, it is very clear to me (in retrospect) some areas where I should have done better in the application and record keeping process. And not only that, but also in our academic journey. I have made immediate changes for 2018-19 with my high school students- and potentially- my seventh grader. All of that said, I have been struggling manfully to move forward and do some things differently starting immediately with Nathanael’s college journey. I become entangled in my spun web of remorse and regret- and guilt.  Micah’s horizon is golden (thank You, Lord) but there is some financial stress and hardship that breaks my heart. The only thing I can do is continue forward into each day “living and learning” in the Lord.

My whole heart, soul, sweat, blood, and tears are wrapped up in last year. It is hard to move forward in the wake of it all. But, I must. And, I am. I have to leave that part behind and move on and move in and move forward. I have a brown-eyed blessing looking to me- for more than courses, credits, and transcripts. For Life. For the Lord. For God’s Love. For Stability and yes, for all. the. things (scholarship applications, essays, records, recommendation letters, college visits, college interviews and on, on).

With that said, I have to trust that I did the best I could with what I had- and in the areas that I didn’t (because there was an area I actively resisted- and O! I regret it!) , God’s grace is more than sufficient. And this is where I give the whole of my life to God… successes, failures, decisions, dreams. I give all into His Hand. I release it all and continue to move forward into each day with the best (Lord willing) that I have. I need to actively choose to trust His provision in the life of each of my children- individually- as I continue to do my (insufficient) best by them. But where I am insufficient- HE is sufficient- and this is where I am struggling to rest.

One of the areas that I am doing differently (and that might benefit someone out there) is in the area of home school record keeping and transcripts for high school. This was a little tricky for me with Micah because we are in a diploma program and I did not fully understand- but- now, I do. I took our diploma program credential as sufficient accreditation and proof of the integrity of our learning program- when, in reality, our studies went far, far beyond their basic requirements- and it would have been much, much better if I would have provided the full scope of my student’s learning through a Comprehensive Record File.

Note: I did provide the Official Transcript, School Profile, Counselor Letter, Recommenders, Essays, Writing Samples (where needed/requested), ACT and SAT scores and more.

Sometimes, I struggle to give the time needed to all the details, paperwork, and record keeping that makes up a well-documented home school (I wonder: is this really needed? Isn’t there someone else who could do this? Shouldn’t my student be doing this? How do I spend the time on this? I have also questioned how to figure out where my child should apply to college, what colleges, Christian or secular, commuter or residential… And the questioning can swirl on and on- effectively making me inert when I should be in active, directed motion)

– but I have learned that it is a wise and needed investment to dig in and work on this needed, detailed paperwork. I have also learned that it is a worthy life work and the end result- a comprehensive record is a worthy testimony and document of a journey well- lived. It is also a gift to my student- who will have documentation, work samples, and a reflection of these very special years to carry forward into their adult life. With Google Drive and other Cloud Applications, it is easy to upload such records for safe keeping and no clutter. Ready right at the fingertips whenever needed.

So, with those thoughts unearthed and uncovered, dear friends, I would like to recommend (with absolutely no affiliation or benefit to myself)

Lee Binz’s Comprehensive Record Solution and Total Transcript Solution.

I attended a Free Webinar called Super Scholarships for Humble Homeschoolers and was able to access a special for the Record Solution with the Total Transcript a free bonus.  These resources have everything I needed last year (for Micah) and didn’t have. Templates and examples right at the fingertips. I googled many things (last year) like Activities Resume, School Profile examples, Counselor Letters, and so on. And I do suggest research- but having all this right at hand is SO helpful.

I do not know if compiling a comprehensive record for Nathanael will open a greater pathway for financial provision for him- as Micah did get right to the full tuition interview at Messiah and alternate for another full scholarship- but at least I will have the confidence, peace, and security of knowing that I did all needed. Nathanael is also going to apply for a selective scholarship that Micah did not apply for- that will need all of these details- so I must trust this is the Lord’s timing. I learned a lot- and I am going forward in the living.

Lord, let me see Your goodness in the Land of the Living. Increase our trust in You. Forgive me.

Friends, I pray you are blessed in your journey- wherever that may be and how the Lord leads you.

For His excellent greatness (Psalm 150:2)

Rebecca

Hidden, quiet- but still real

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My words have been hidden in the quiet. Caught and streaked across smudged pages. Typed hurriedly into a notebook app. A haphazard collecting of a scattering of days.

The water flows under the bridge. On, on. This life streams forward, too.

I have words to share here: writing words, and educating words; family words, and beauty words; truth-seeking words, and gratitude.

Writing is a path for me to reach my own longed-for destination.

Mostly, I want to find myself cupping full each day. Cupping faces and rubbing backs. Reading words that fill heart and mind. And more, and more. And this is just stream of consciousness and my mind’s eye and a deep breath:

We have seen “beavers” (ground hogs) munching grass, and chipmunks scurry with pointed tail, we are the happy home of one delightful, young wild brown rabbit- whom we have watched grow from wee, little baby to bounding youth; there was the drive home with the twin, dappled fawns staggering on their baby legs across the dimpled road- while the twins in my car squealed with delight – and the wise teenager next to me offered insight; there were butterfly winged- girls stretching out on the paved path; there was the happy accomplishment of  better tended geraniums; there was the Chesapeake Bay awash in rain; there were days swimming and soaking up sun, and then coming home for tortilla pizza; there was the “309” with my Dad at the diner; and a carefully prepared flute song for a birthday gift; there were Irish fiddle tunes, and cello tunes; there were stories cuddled up in the black leather chair; there was perfect, hot, salted kettle popcorn made just for me; and Orange Ginger Mint tea.  There were days upon days of Algebra 1, and a blue ballet wrap skirt twirling with the grace of my girl, there was a concerted effort to “train” for soccer; there was an Indonesian chair and music streaming from a grand piano; there was Sandymount in the rain; there was my bedroom alight with white candles- and my recognition that it was just like I thought it would be; firefly catching, and sparklers; there were (several) white knuckled drives, and a flood…

Our grass is long, and our house is in disarray. There is tending here, repair there, and organization needed. And without taking this time- it is enough to sink me low.  In fact it does, and I am.

But there is that Maryland sky- stretching above, streaking hope and glory- on the most unlikely of days. Todd called me out the other day. And I didn’t go. Craving just those few minutes alone, along to get work done on the computer. It was satisfying to make that small headway. It was regretful to miss those glory moments. But in my mind’s eye, I was there.  How do I know what to choose, and what I need? I did need those moments alone.  And I still feel the peace from that headway made…

The light has started to change. The earth shifts. My whole self feels it. I sense the early darkness- on its way.

It is a time of great transition for me. But it is also a time of staying true. Returning to beginnings. Practicing faithfulness.

It is time to get ready for school.

Up next, something I wrote a week ago or so…

~Rebecca