I love in the Old Testament when God does a work and His people recognize and remember it by building altars or memorials. We don't often enough go out back, erect a big pile of rocks and say "Look what God did!" There is significance in tangible markers for us and our children to remember God's faithfulness and character.
I considered creating a large rock monument in my backyard this week but settled on this blog as a reminder and proclamation of God's faithfulness instead (I'm sure my landlords would thank me).
A year ago I knew what my choice was for my kids' education. I had home schooled for two years and while it suited our family in that season, I was asking God for a new season. With two little ones underfoot (one being a very busy two year old that had with her a social worker, mountain of paperwork, and pending adoption to focus on), with Sean's ministry and a lot of my own things to sort through, I knew I wouldn't be teaching well this year.
I visited Ebenezer Christian, a tiny little school built in the early 1900s on the north side of town, a hop and a skip from the Canadian border. It's surrounded by farmland and if you're a sucker for quiet, nostalgia, and deep roots, you'd be as enamored as I was. The academics are excellent, largely due to the small class size, family friendly atmosphere, and commitment to partnering with church and family to educate the whole child- spiritually, emotionally, and academically.
I was hopeful. Then we hit a series of snags last summer, the last one being financial impossibility. We wrote some checks to clear some debts and I cried, knowing the door to Ebenezer was closed. I also knew our own irresponsibility had put us in that position, so I released it knowing God could still use any form of education for my kids.
Then a friend jumped in and decided she was going to do all she could to rally for us. She spoke directly to my heart about my passion for education, my gut on what would be best for Darla and Hudson, and God's ability to overcome "impossible". I cried for the rest of the week, humbled by God's grace, while she rallied people, started an account, and watched God move until it was possible to add Darla and Hudson to the class lists.
Aside from finalizing Haley's adoption, Ebenezer Christian has been the biggest blessing of my year. Not only has it been a sweet time for me to focus on Everett and Haley at home and watch their relationship grow and change, but watching Hudson and Darla flourish in their classes makes me giddy.
Hudson grew from being a shaky reader and slightly discouraged to being on target with reading. He made good friends apart from Darla. He was required to do a lot of Scripture memorization and it was very challenging for him. I cringed the first couple months as we struggled through it at home. But his pliable mind is learning and memorizing is coming easier. Watching him push through the challenges and being able to come alongside instead of having to do all the teaching has strengthened our relationship.
Darla cried the last day of school because summer feels too long to be away from the 10 other second graders who she has grown close to. Academics come easily for Darla at this point and she loves the structure and social aspect school provides. Her relationship with Jesus has grown as she's learned about God in every subject and as her class takes time to pray over many requests. The last day of school she spent much time praying for every staff member she could recall and for her classmates.
All School picture after a rainy, sweaty jog-a-thon.
The school called this past week to confirm enrollment for next year and to ask if Everett would be joining the kindergarten class. "That is absolutely my hope and plan... we're praying and looking forward to seeing how God works it out."
Sean is speaking at numerous camps this summer and advertising to do dj jobs on the side. Project tuition is underway. But before we delve into how next year will work- I stop.
Today is a day for a big altar/memorial/monument of thanksgiving, of recognition, of "Look what God did here! Look at how God gives unexpected blessing and refreshment even when we see no way! See how He lavishes on the undeserving. Watch Him answer some desires of our hearts when we surrender them to Him."
Just throwing myself out there a bit...