I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how this chapter was going to go. I’m not convinced that I’ve ever heard a specific calling from God for me to do anything. I wonder sometimes if I don’t listen carefully enough or if I just don’t know what I’m supposed to be hearing. I believe, though, that my career trajectory happened the way that it did for a reason. That reason is so that I would be in a position to homeschool my children when they needed it.
If I had made it on the tenure-track somewhere, I would not have been able to take the time that Katie needed for her recovery. I would not have been able to slow down and design the way I want my career to blend with my home life. I do believe that what happens in my home is one of the most important things that happens in my day each day. My connections to my children and what they learn from me about the world, about God, and about His place in their life cannot be replicated elsewhere. If I had made it on the tenure-track there is a very good chance that Katie would have to have a second surgery just before she turned five, but because I homeschool, because I chose differently, throughout my career trajectory, she gets an extra year. It allows me to make a curriculum that interests and intrigues my son and find resources that teach my daughter at the speed she is capable of.
I know that part of my resistance to this chapter is the sense of submission which is a hard word for me to accept intellectually. This is an area that I struggle with daily: the notion of submission to God’s will and accepting that he has a plan for my life that may not look like my plan. Of course, I’m a lousy planner, so some divine guidance would really be appreciated. I have found that choosing this path is seen as criticism of other paths that I didn’t choose. It can be challenging to cope with that, at times, but that’s where I lean on the rock and hope that I answer graciously and kindly.
I think what sticks with me most from this chapter: “The biggest sacrifice for me has been in the areas of relationships and harmony” (Clarkson, 2009, p. 50).
Following this path has led to strain in some relationships. It has caused some disharmony where harmony previously existed. We don’t quite fit in anywhere anymore and, for me, that’s okay if a little sad. I feel for the kids, though, when the inevitable school discussions happen and they say they homeschool. Most kids either don’t know what that means or think that they do and offer up their interpretation of what the kids do. It’s usually not accurate and we have to have conversations about others’ assumptions afterward.
All that said, I love this path. I love this life. It’s hard. It takes time, dedication, and sacrifice, but I wouldn’t change it. Not for a second.
If you’re interested in others’ reactions to this chapter, please go check out this link.