Thursday, April 07, 2011

Stepping Out in Faith

As I grew up, there was a lady at my church whom I always considered a mentor of mine. She knew me well enough to know that I LOVE to read. A few years ago, while I was pregnant with Grace, we made sure to visit her and her family. Knowing that life was dwindling (she had cancer and had had it for some time) and that I loved education and dearly want to be a good mother and wife, she gave me a handful of her precious books. One of those books was "For the Children's Sake" by Susan Shaeffer Macauly.

As I read this book, I fell in love with Charlotte Mason's methods for schooling. I knew instantly that I wanted to employ her methods when I began to homeschool. I did much research on Charlotte Mason and landed on the website "Simply Charlotte Mason". I was attracted to them, and I even had the chance to attend a workshop with Miss Sonya Shafer. I loved the idea...but I was afraid. Simply Charlotte Mason doesn't "box" their stuff, so you have to put the puzzle pieces together for yourself. *Gulp* I'm not THAT organized. This is my children's education. What if I screw it up? I can't afford that. Thus, I chose to go with My Father's World instead.

As I have taught my daughter the past two years, I have had mixed emotions about My Father's World. I did convince myself I liked them, but still had fantasies of my confidence growing enough to switch over to Simply Charlotte Mason. I would occasionally go to their website and leave, in disgust with myself. I was thrilled when I found out that Sonya was going to be at the homeschool conference I was going to be attending and made sure that I would be attending her workshop on preschool. At one point, as I was meandering the vendor hall I just stopped and looked at all the product that she had to offer. One of the sellers helping her (I later found out that it was the co-owner's husband) asked if I had any questions and I told him that Simply Charlotte Mason was my ideal, but I didn't have the confidence to pull it off...and I walked away.

As I sat in the wrokshop with Sonya, I was amazed at the confidence she oozed. Her confidence made me feel capable. I walked out of the room on the verge of tears. I just wanted to find a quiet place to talk to God because now I was confused. I had already bought all of my 2nd grade curriculum...and now I was suddenly feeling like I NEEDED to swith to Simply Charlotte Mason? And, by the way, where do you find a "quiet" place amongst thousands of home schoolers? I finally found an area where there was no one in about 25 feet of me. I sat down and wrote a prayer out in my notebook. I still felt compelled that I needed to switch curriculums. So, I went back to her booth and waited patiently for Sonya to finish talking to the woman in front of me. Then, I told her my predicament. She helped me (in five minutes, of course) set out a course of curriculum and I walked away at peace.

Then, I realized that I didn't have the ticket I needed to go to the grand finale. It was back at the hotel...and we walked...a mile. Well, luckily, I had time to walk back to the hotel to get it, so off I went. Once, I left the downtown area, I realized how peaceful and QUIET it was. A perfect time to talk to God! I told him that I didn't feel confident doing this curriculum...he laughed at me. Yes, laughed at me! He told me it was good I didn't feel confident in myself because I was supposed to be dependent on him. Oh, well, yes, that makes sense. I did a lot of confessing and repenting on that walk. By the time I got back to the convention, I felt at peace. I was convinced that I was going to be the crazy person that sold off the curriculum that she never used and started from scratch. And, here I am. The 2nd grade My Father's World curriculum is paid for and being dropped in the mail tomorrow. And, as for my curriculum next year? Well, it' starting to come together. It's a good thing that school doesn't start for a few months. :) I'm stepping out in faith and trusting that God will carry me through...organized, or not!

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