Wednesday, July 13, 2005

From Honeymoons to Happy Homes (3)

This is a series on our marriage testimony. Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 2b .

Giving up control of certain areas would have been easy even desirable. But God didn't ask me to give up control over what to have for dinner or whether or not to do laundry. It was homeschooling that God was after. Steve and I were both convicted to homeschool. But all the decisions about HOW to homeschool were mine. I had not intended to leave my husband out. Steve was busy with school and then his new career and I spent my time reading and studying how I wanted to go about teaching the children. It was through the reading and the conferences that I had developed an image of what the "perfect" homeschool family was like. And that image was becoming more than God intended. It was becoming my idol.

It was spring and all school was set aside. It was fairly easy to do really. I was nearly done with most of the projects and the weather was warming up. So we spent most of our days enjoying the Michigan sunshine and relaxing. By mid summer I was getting a little uneasy. I wanted to go to a few curriculum fairs and order some things from catalogs for the fall. Should I go ahead? Steve didn't say anything about them. I waited. A small dent in the idol.

Fall began with the usual chatter from friends about school and what their families were doing. I just listened and hoped nobody asked what we were doing. Because quite frankly I didn't really know. And I was growing concerned that Steve didn't either. Or so I thought. The few friends I had already told about what God was doing looked at me with odd stares. I decided to just be quiet and wait. Another dent.

By early Decemeber I was running out of patience. How long was I going to wait? God couldn't, wouldn't, shouldnt' make me wait this long. A whole 6 months. And what about the children. They seemed to be doing fine. They were learning but not in ways I had planned. I confronted my husband. Just what are you thinking I asked. He calmly said, "God told you to wait. Please be patient." A big crack.

When his father asked him about what was going on Steve replied firmly, "Dad, you raised your children the best way you thought, now give me the chance to do the same." Steve had a boldness in his voice that I had not seen before. I admired and respected him and I continued to wait. A few more cracks.

Around January he set a time for us to talk about things to do for the new year. Yippee! Progress. The man was finally moving forward. ! I got out the catalogs and made a list of all the things I wanted to do. I didn't even get the chance. He told me that we were going to remodel the basement. Yeah, right! I was thinking Latin grammar and he was thinking manual labor. This is not what I thought was going to happen. But this was no longer just about me and what I wanted. Did I really think that it ever was?

We finished the basement by late spring and I can say by that time not just the basement had been remodeled. God had slowly remodeled our family. And somewhere along the route my son's anger was hardly apparent. When did that change? Why did that change? I think I know the answer but never would have guessed it the year before.

Steve was also becoming a much different man. He had a new confidence and a renewed vision. Along with remodeling the basement we also received a Civil War Diary from his great great grandfather. It was all encoded. He spent many nights with the boys breaking the code. That is how my son Joshua learned to read and how both my boys learned to really love their dad. The false image of my family that I had created in my mind did not compare to the priceless image God was creating.

Soon, my husband was talking about quitting corporate life and starting a home business. Was this the same man? Thankfully no. But I was no longer the same wife either. He even got me to go camping. And not just modern camping. Civil war camping. Complete with corsets, campfires, and cast iron. So much for my vacations at the Hilton. But I was loving it. And the way God were shaping our family. Eighteen months later, the idol was shattered.

Part Four the final post in this series.
Final post

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