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May 25, 2007

An open letter to Rick

Rick,

First I must apologize. The Jello remark was uncalled for and completely unkind. I am sorry for being petty and ask for your forgiveness.

As an explanation, but in no way an excuse, I would like to take a few moments and clarify my position and perhaps give insight into this discussion. You have made some heady accusations about my personal state of being as you have called my behavior “arrogant”, challenged my freedom to express a strongly held personal conviction and accused me of being the type of person who drives unbelievers away from the Lord. You have said I “live in fear” and hate the world. Apparently, when you speak of “world” you mean the persons for whom Yeshua came to save.

Harsh statements.

Those are serious claims. To me. Foundational claims. Personal claims. They tend to generate a defensive posture which in turn can create a hostile atmosphere. That is neither my intent nor is it my heart’s desire for this blog and our interaction.

However, Rick, I am compelled to respond to your most recent comment. After this I will do my best to refrain from the dialogue as it has ceased to become productive.

Firstly, I don’t understand how you can come to the conclusions you have while absorbing the same information I am both reading and presenting. Certainly there are many of us who believe strongly homeschooling is important and vital. Because we believe so strongly about it, we think everyone should enjoy the blessing and privilege we enjoy. Yes, Farmer Tom’s comment is strong. Last time I checked we were still free to say those things. Would you rather have a friend who speaks strongly and believes passionately about the life they’ve been given or a friend who waffles on every subject and changes his mind at the drop of a hat? I am absolutely captivated by G-dly conviction and the expression thereof. Even if the zeal outweighs the wisdom. 🙂 (not that I believe Farmer’s statement was without wisdom.. .just sayin’)

I wrote plainly I have a friend who sent her children to public school and I support her. I didn’t make that up for a clever sound bite. I have many friends and family members who send their children to public school. I love each and every one of them and pray for them. I believe the public school environment is a freaky weird place! So, I seek to cover them with prayer and support at every opportunity. I hope and pray they do the same for me. They have wonderful children and are doing an amazing job in an environment which despises them.

When I asked “why” it was in reference to the previous statement in which I stated “Any family can do these things whether or not they homeschool. It’s a matter of finding WHEN if you don’t have your children with you as much as I do. The average family in todays typical environment, spends 20-30 minutes a day with each other. That’s barely enough time to settle into “hi, how are you!”. I admire the families that are able to be successful parents in that type of circumstance. I really do. That is far harder than what I do. To rebuild your children on a regular basis requires a level of diligence and perseverance which is unusual and extraordinary.”

To clarify myself further. Any family can spend time with, spiritualyl encourage and build up their children. Any family can do all the things I do through homeschooling and light years beyond. I’m not an exceptional teacher, I’m kind of the poster child for screwing up and repenting, to be honest. I’m the last person to tell you how to homeschool. Everything I do is because of grace. Everything my children learn is because of Mercy. Every day. My heart is heavy for these families who spend so little time together but are still desperately trying to do It All. That’s excruciatingly hard! I admire the one’s who are able to do so. I truly do. (Again, I’m sincere, this is not a sound bite). I believe what they do is FAR HARDER than what I do as a homeschooling parent. My question is “why the extraordinarily hard work if you don’t have to?” That’s the why. Not “why don’t you live like me”. G-d forbid you live like me. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. Seriously! My hope is that I might offer an alternative to anyone who may wish to listen.

Am I completely convinced that this method of raising up my children is fabulous and wonderful and full of blessing and encouraging and life-changing? With. No. Hesitation.

I am 100% behind what I do.

As should be every parent out there doing what they believe G-d has asked them to do. If you can’t say with 100% conviction you are doing what you believe G-d has asked you? Then, by all means, SEEK HIM and OBEY!

Humilty is defined as the lack of false pride. Abasement and self-deprecating it is not. I can, in complete humility, state that I believe homeschooling is a far superior method of raising children. It’s not superior because I do it. Whether or not I participated in this the data states it is superior. Numbers don’t lie. I couldn’t, in complete humility, say I am the best homeschooler out there. That is a lie. In fact, many days I feel like an absolute failure. My 7 year old struggles badly with reading and I lose my temper frequently. We don’t always work well together and our “schedules” are helter-skelter most days. They probably would get a better education at the elementary school ½ a mile away. But when I look at their sweet faces and hear them praying over their friends and each other I am reminded why I do this. I am inspired for one more day. Or two.

I’m not afraid of the world around us. We are not given a “spirit of fear”. However, we are told to “gentle as doves and wise as serpents”. I see a hazard. I see an unnecessary risk for my child. I choose not to place him in a situation in which I see harm.

I don’t expect everyone to see it that way. I’m not a socialist. I am a strong proponent of free-will.

There were so many other points I wanted to get to but I lack the time.

In conclusion. Rick, it is obvious to me there are things you don’t understand about the homeschool environment. Every house is different, every home is different, every school is different. I wouldn’t be a proponent of homeschooling if I truly believed every person ought to teach their children as I do. That’s the belief system of the public education system. Every child testing at the same level according to age bracket, every child reading the same books, learning the same information on the same day. I believe the mandate G-d has given you is different from the mandate He gave me. And I would support your decisions to parent wholeheartedly, if I were a part of your life and able to be an encouragement to you. Your boys are unique and valuable not because of the environment in which they have been placed but because of the spark of divine light which rests within them. They are created in the image of G-d, therefore they are treasure. This is what I believe about every person on the planet. I don’t hate humanity. Quite the opposite. I am completely aware though, that unredeemed humanity hates me and is actively seeking my destruction. That’s the nature of their father. As loving and serving them is the nature of mine.

I don’t pretend to understand G-d. Yet, I can honestly say there are things I know about Him and things I don’t. I am committed and dedicated to diligently serving Him without hesitation on those things which I do know while anticipating discernment and wisdom for those things which I don’t. Isn’t that what we are all called to do?

Blessings to you.

Heidi