You can call me a control freak – it’s OK – I know I am one. Mind you if you saw my kitchen countertops you would never know it!! But I really am a control freak – especially when it comes to my kids’ educations. When I started homeschooling with Luke, he went to brick & mortar kindergarten in the morning, came home and did homeschool kindergarten with me! That poor kid!! I have definitely learned how to loosen that control some, but I am still very much involved and “push my agenda” you might say when it comes to my kids’ schooling.
It took until just a couple weeks ago before I could see how much Micah and Simon need to have an out from the stress in our home. But as soon as I allowed God to show me what is in His plan, my own stress level dropped considerably. We already had the works in place for Micah to go to Mahtomedi Middle School in the fall, so it was just moving into God’s plan of putting Simon in school too. Now, I feel more at ease thinking about all my kids in brick & mortar schools.
We’ve been looking at a house in Mahtomedi, because being the control freak I am, I had decided that would be THE school to put Simon in. Tim and I had talked about if we couldn’t find a house there, would there be any other district we felt comfortable with. We decided it might be OK to widen our house search to Stillwater, with a condition. See, there are two elementary schools in the Stillwater district that use an “open-environment philosophy” which in more easily understood terms means this: they group two grades together, put all the kids in one big open room and expect learning to happen. Now, I know there are many families that wholeheartedly support these schools and this philosophy and I know it works well for many kids. However, it doesn’t mesh with the educational philosophy that I have worked so hard over the past 8 years to instill in my own kids. Simply put – it may be a fit for some, but it isn’t a fit for Tim and me. There are other schools in the Stillwater district that use a more traditional approach to school. So, if we were to find a house in Stillwater, it would need to be closer to one of the other schools.
So, today, I sat down to do my daily Craig’s List search. And as I was starting, tears came to my eyes as I realized that I needed to just surrender everything to God. I cried out, “How much more do I need to give up, God? I’ve already given up homeschooling, I’ve given up my house, I’m giving up my husband – Can’t I keep something within my own control?” The quiet, still voice of course replied – Give it all to Me. So I did. I surrendered it all (at least I think it’s all). At least I surrendered all that God was asking for. I felt so empty. There’s nothing left in my own control. I don’t know where I’ll be living. I don’t know when we’re moving. I don’t know what school my kids will be going to. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have my spouse. But I do know that I have a faithful God that will care for every last detail for me.
So, on to my Craig’s List search. I started with Stillwater, as I certainly don’t expect much to show up in the highly sought after Mahtomedi area. Amazingly – there were 4 listings for us to seriously consider. One has a 5 square foot walk-in shower. One is handicapped accessible. One is on 5.4 acres of land. Then, I ran a search for Mahtomedi. Again, amazingly, there was one that had just been posted a few hours earlier. It is a townhome that has the same sq footage as our house, it is even closer to the schools than the first house, it has main floor space that can be turned into a bedroom for Tim. This afternoon, my niece drove me past all five options. I already have an appointment to see the townhome in Mahtomedi, and I will be setting up an appointment for one of the Stillwater townhomes as well.
To be sure, each of these homes will have its drawbacks to it, just as the first one did. I guess my lesson today isn’t so much about which house is perfect. It’s that I need to surrender to God in faith that He has it all under control. He knows what we need and I can trust in Him to provide that which will be best for every member of my family.
Please join me in thanking and praising God for helping me to realize the important lesson of surrender. Somehow, I think this lesson will be reviewed many times over the coming years. Hopefully, it will just be a brushing up of a lesson already learned instead of a complete re-teaching!!