Since giving birth to Caleb over six years ago, I have been a fairly neurotic mom when it comes to leaving my children in the care of others. I am not sure if this was a conviction from God (I think it mostly was/is) or me just being mistrusting of the world because I witnessed a lot of hurt at the hands of "trusted adults" (not to myself but to friends and those I've talked with during years of ministry). Either way, I have been very cautious with what I will allow my kids to do and not do.
Choosing to homeschool is a component of this, though not one of the top reasons. Guarding family time is a big reason, but not trusting the world is not as much. Regardless, I just have not allowed my kids to do just anything through the years. Fortunately, Brett and I have awesome family members, friends, and a couple of babysitters we trust wholeheartedly....so I definitely get breaks from my kids. I am not THAT neurotic :).
As my kids are getting older, though, I am feeling the nudge to loosen the reigns a bit. It started with Caleb getting invited to his first drop off party, which was at the house of one of my dearest friends. Then, he attended a boys Bible club at the same friends' house (she is an amazing mom and hosts a super cool club for a few boys...more on that later). This week, at the school Brett coaches at, the cheerleading squad hosted a cheer camp. The coach let Chloe come even though she was too young because Brett has shared with her Chloe's love for cheerleading. We signed her up before I had time to think through it.
I realized through these few things how much life and joy my kids have gotten from them! They have met new friends, enjoyed new activities, and grown up some because they're on their own.
In thinking about it, I realized that I don't want my own fear to keep my kids from enjoying life to the full. I do want to honor God's call for me to closely guard my family's time, values, energy, etc. But I want to also let them enjoy freedom to be away from our family and become their own person.
The world can be so dark and so ugly. Yet I know that it is God who is absolute control. No matter how much I protect my little flock, they are HIS children and HE is the only One who actually has any power to protect them. But I also realize that sheltering them from every single thing will not serve them well in life at all. The world is dark, and it is ugly....but they need to learn how to navigate through.
I do not have this figured out, obviously. But I am excited to tangibly feel God leading me into a different season with Caleb and Chloe. It is always reassuring to be entering a new season of life and feel God closely leading. I tend to think ahead to seasons I will be in one day and tend to freak out how I will make it through (the main one is how I will homeschool long term), yet this week I have been reminded that God supplies the grace on an as needed basis.
God is so good, isn't He?