If you're just popping in, be sure to read pt 1 of the story: The Seven Year Prayer.
In January of this year, our small group at church began a video series by Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker. I was intrigued. The premise of the book is: Dream Big. Pray Hard. Think Long. Batterson talks about the story of Honi, a man who changed everything when he drew a circle around himself in the dirt, praying for rain, and refusing to leave the circle until the rains came. Guess what? They came.
The four week series drew me in, as he asked us "What's YOUR biggest dream? What's your Jericho?".
I thought long and hard over this, dumbfounded at the idea that my biggest dream could be, anything I wanted it to be. So often I've thought I needed to pray hard for others, for things needed. But to pray about something, I wanted? I felt selfish. Soon, I began to realize actually, God wants to hear about what we want. He wants to hear about our dreams.
Soon, my dream of homeschooling made it's way into my thoughts, quickly I brushed it away thinking, nah, it won't happen, there's no changing the fact that my husband's heart and mine aren't in the same place.
Boy was I wrong.
The Circle Maker inspired me. I began to believe, trust, hope. I prayed over Matthew 21:22, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." I circled it. Literally. I wrote it on the chalkboard wall, on post it notes. I told a few friends, my grandma, and asked for others to circle it too.
I did this every morning, as the sun was still sunken behind the hills, long before my babies would wake for school. I prayed, and I believed.
I told God, "I believe you'll do a great thing - but if this isn't what YOU want, please remove it from my heart, because to be honest, this is exhausting. Year after year, conversation after conversation. It's yours, not mine, it's not in my control, it's in Yours."
A few months later, I decided to have the conversation, prepared for the reply I'd gotten every year now. Instead, he listened, asked a few questions, voiced a few concerns, but said yes, he would pray about it.
He. Said. He. Would. Pray.
Internally I was screaming, outwardly, I was trying my best to put on a chill face. Not sure I accomplished that, but I did my best.
The following weeks I spent in great anticipation. I continued to circle the verse in Matthew, to wake before the sun, to pray over this. I'd made it this far, but there was still a lot of Jericho to go around.
The next conversation was rough. I felt defeated and discouraged. I wasn't sure how I would ever change his heart.
I forgot, it wasn't my job to be the heart changer, no, it was my job to be the prayer warrior.
Husband asked me to create a proposal. This is like asking a Panda if she wants to eat Bamboo. Um OKAY. I set to work, designing a gorgeously branded, nineteen-page, PDF to present to him. Yes, I know, I take things ten steps too far. Whatev.
Weeks I worked on this, researching, planning, praying. I poured myself into it. Finding local co-ops to join, planning activities and possibilities, and even making both personal and academic goals for each of our three children.
There was no stone un-turned, no page un-read. All the t's were crossed and i's dotted.
In the meantime, God was working in other ways:
- Left and right friends came to me, unknowing that this was brewing, to tell me they had decided to home school. In fact, two of these are two of my closest friends.
- The leader of a boys group our guys are joining soon, mentioned casually he and his wife just started homeschooling their little ones. WITH THE CHARTER WE ARE APPLYING TO.
- An old buddy of Justin's was now in touch with him, praising he and his wife's choice to home school. WITH THE CHARTER WE ARE APPLYING TO.
- Our basketball coach gladly agreed to let the boys play in his league regardless of where they attend school.
- Luke's teacher not only supports the idea, but has been one of the biggest encouragements, offering to help in any way we need in the coming year. (Have I mentioned how much I love her?)
I could go on and on, it seemed that daily, something happened, or fell into my lap. I could almost SEE the Lord smiling down upon me.
Then just as I was finishing the proposal, we had an eye opening appt with our oldest's therapist. An amazing, wonderful, Christian, man. Divine intervention if you will.
We're now in the process of a probable ADHD diagnosis. Which, if you've been through it, explains, everything. It's almost a feeling of, relief. So many mixed emotions.
His therapist then said the words that about made me cry, "it's too bad there isn't an educational option that would really allow him to learn the way he needs to learn best."
And with that, and half hour more of talking, our therapist told me that homeschooling could really benefit Danny right now, learning how he best learns - instilling the lost confidence, encouraging his wounded spirit, reminding him he is capable, intelligent, and worthy.
Needless to say, the following day, as I handed my lovely, brightly colored, proposal to my husband, I felt a peace beyond description.
I smiled, sat next to him, and watched God do a miracle.
When the words "I 100% support this, let's do it." came from my husband's mouth, I felt as though Heaven had nearly opened up and rained unicorns and rainbows upon me. Or endless iced coffees and gift cards to Target.
Tuesday April 12, 2016 I witnessed the biggest answer to prayer I've ever seen.
We're gonna homeschool.
We're gonna homeschool.
We're. Gonna. Homeschool.