Monday, September 1, 2008

Guilty?

Why do you suppose that I allow how others choose to mother make me doubt my own abilities? My decisions? The way I pray my prayers? I have been struggling with this (more than usual) since Elijah started school. Now let me start by reiterating that Jonathan and I both covered in prayer the options of where to send Elijah to school. Never requesting any specifics, but only for God to close any doors that needed to close and to give us wisdom to choose based on what was put before us. We prayed for his will, not our own. That's hard to do, scary even. But I am determined to pray God's will for my children. I will not stand in the way of what he desires for them. When we first toured the school he is at, we both left feeling that Elijah would truly fit in there. It felt good and promising, but it also felt like a long shot with the number of children applying versus the number they could accept. Still I prayed his will. I prayed for wisdom, guidance, understanding. And then, God clearly gave us his answer. His direction. His leading.

Knowing the prayers I lifted up. Knowing the answers given. Knowing the answers I continue to receive, why do I feel guilt over choices made? I know he's in the right place. I even know he has the teacher God chose for him, because my prayer was for the teacher he needed and not the one I heard we should request. He is happy there, although he doesn't always want to admit it. He is making friends and learning that he can venture out into the world without me and know, KNOW that God is with him always. He has met a dancing bird, loves to go to E.P. (what he calls PE), and is learning that obedience isn't always fun or easy, but is always worth it. He has heard me pray over him every school morning.

My guilt is not over choice of school. I know he's at the right school. Surprisingly enough my guilt is over choosing school at all. Now to all my homeschooling sisters and friends...know that you have not caused in any way my feelings of guilt. I do not judge homeschooling families in any way, but homeschooling has just never appealed to me. There was never a question in my mind about whether we would homeschool or attend school. It still doesn't appeal to me, except that Elijah would be with me. We struggle to get him to complete simple homework projects. All summer I tried to get him to sit and do some writing, cutting, categorizing, something. It did not happen. It would not work. So why the guilt? Never a thought about it until he started school and now I miss him. But still... why the guilt?

Jonathan is helping me to sift through these emotions. Is God urging me to homeschool? We don't think so. It is so obvious he led us to the school Elijah is at. But I tell myself I must not be a good mom if I don't have him here with me. If I can't make him want to sit and learn here with me. If I can't somehow figure out how to make it work with all that already goes undone around here and two other little ones underfoot. If I can't make it seem like something I even want to do, then I am not a good mother.

Last night Jonathan urged me to consider why I am heaping guilt on myself. It's no one else, just me. Questioning my intentions, abilities, decisions. But I just keep going back to all the prayer. God and I spent lots of time together over these choices. Never once did I hear from him to "keep Elijah at home." Not once. So, that leaves one option. Satan has seen this self doubt, this weakness, and how much I miss my child. He is filling my mind with lies about myself, my mothering, the way I love my children and the way I hear my God. This has happened to me many times before, and it always takes too long for me to find the accuser. He is so sly. He is so ugly, so hateful, so evil. I can't wait for him to be bound in hell.

Until then, I must keep praying, believing, trusting, searching, waiting, hearing and following God's leading...

Mother's love may sometimes fail. But God's love can use even the imperfect love of an imperfect mother to shape his perfect design in the life of her child.
Elisa Morgan from MOPS International
I will take Elijah to school in the morning after our prayer, and I will pray for him throughout the day. With God's grace I will trust that this is the path he is leading us on.

12 comments:

Heidi said...

Kristin, I know exactly how you feel. I too have had many feelings of doubt about Molly's schooling, both the school she is at and if we should have chosen homeschooling (which we did strongly consider.) After praying long and hard we realized that with Molly's speech she needs to be at the school she is at for this year at least to get the extra speech therapy. Now that she is in school I feel guilty and wonder if we really made the right decision. Like you I feel in my heart she must be in the right place but there are many times I doubt that. Like you said I know a lot of it comes from missing Molly so much when she is at school. I just keep praying that she is where she needs to be and that God will keep her safe and let His will be done.

Melissa said...

God gave us all different talents and abilities. You're not the only one that homeschooling doesn't appeal to. It's not for everyone. Know that your faith/example and prayers are the best thing a mom can give her child. Your diligence in prayer has inspired and impressed me. Hang in there. Missing Elijah will fade and you will truly understand why God put him there.

carrie said...

I have had this same feeling. Unfortunatley, some of my guilt was brought by homeschooling families. Since I am a certified teacher, they see it as me not using my talents for my own children. With that being said, this was how I got over that guilt.. 1). I also prayed for several years and realized that God was not calling me to homeschool Todd. I also prayed for His will and realized, for me, His will was to put him in school. 2). Todd needed the social aspects of school. He is a "momma's boy" and was an only child. He had to be shown those same skills of obeying even if it is not fun,following the simple everyday tasks of school. Todd does not like for me to "teach" him things. If I correct him, he becomes upset that I am criticizing who he is. That is the last feeling I want him to have from me. I do not want him to think that I only love him if he is learning what I want him to learn. 3). The school Todd is in is a safe, healthy environment. I feel that if as christians, we exclude ourselves from the world, we will never reach the lost. Now obviously, I would not put him in harms way for that, but even at 6 he is making an impact on non-christian people. Along those lines, eventually, he will have to go out from under my wing. I would rather him learn how to handle satan's attack with mine and Brad's help, than throw him into it at 18.

I do not judge anyone's decision on schooling. All I can say is that as long as we continue to pray for God'd will, how can we argue with that? His will looks different for each of us. We just need to cover one another in prayer and not fell guilt when our Will looks different. I am covering you and Jonathan in prayer as we speak that Satan will not bother you and you can feel that peace that you once felt on this decision! (Sorry this is so long. Hope it helps some).

Amanda G. said...

I too am not drawn to homeschooling for my sanity and own lack of discipline. Taylor also is a very social child and school will be best for his sanity instead of being with just me all day.

You know we have felt that school (especially public school) can be a mission field. If we take all Christian kids out of schools who will be an example to non believers? Just a thought.

I pray that the guilt the enemy has placed on you will be removed and that you will have that peace from God about Elijah's place in this world.

tamara said...

Oh, Kristin. You have such a sweet spirit, and reading your posts makes me feel inadequate sometimes. Your faith, your patience, your steadiness far surpass where I am. It does not matter what our decisions are or the intentions. Insecurity and guilt will always find a way inside to make us question what we have done. You can only be the mother that you are. And that is all our God expects you to do. Don't let the appearances of others make you question what you know is best for your family.

Rebecca said...

I read your post yesterday, and have been thinking about what I could say as a comfort to you. For some reason, we as humans always question things. I think even if God came to me in person and said, "Rebecca, this is the right choice for you...", somehow I would still wonder if I was making the right decision, even though deep down inside I would know it was. Just like what others have said, you have to decide what is right for you, and don't worry about anything else. You have been a wonderful example in prayer and putting your trust in God, and I know he is not going to lead you astray. I am praying for God's comfort and peace to fill your heart.

Gina said...

Kristin,
Stop beating yourself up! Have you been disobedient to God? Don't listen to any voice other than God's in this. Immerse yourself into His word, and read, read, read. By the way, I wonder if Hannah felt guilt over sending Samuel away? Here was this child she had begged God for, and did it make sense for her to give him to a priest at a young age? Just listen to God, as I have ALWAYS known you to do. Guilt does not come from God when we choose His path.
I love you.
-gts

Meme said...

Kristin, when you lace each day and decision with prayer, then you have to trust your decision is one which has been prompted by the Holy Spirit. As long and fervently as you and Jonathan prayed, then you must believe that God led you to this school, teacher, and its program---even if only for a season. God IS Not the author of confusion---it's the evil one. Don't let him (Satan) have the last laugh. You have the right and responsibility as a child of God to rebuke the evil one (even audibly)---trust me, I've done this many times before. I always seemed strengthened when I do so.

We, and especially our children, are changed by the people we meet. I believe this wholeheartedly. The people who stand in front of Elijah on a daily basis are helping to mold him into the fine man he will become. Yes, there will be some who don't stand for what we would like---and hopefully, these will be in Elijah's later school years after he has had time to mature and grow from his Christian upbringing and teachings. He can be sheltered at home, but what will happen when he reaches the time he leaves home? One day he will have to leave the safety of home and meet the world. Even Paul said that he had to be in the world, but not of the world.

I will always remember Elijah's Uncle Scott's remark one day when he was in college. I told him to remember and act like a Christian while on a state college campus. His reply was, "I don't have to act like a Christian. I made that decision long ago to be One!" All of your Christian examples and teaching will help to mold your children into the people God wants. I pray daily for my grandchildren to become Christians, have Godly friends, spouses, and career choices.

Who knows---even a little child can lead. Elijah has a tender heart---just like Sunday when he sided up to me and said his heart was selfish. I believe a child like that can be an example to lots of people, both young and old. So, I would relax, rebuke the devil, and put your trust and faith in God's answer. Don't let people shake your decision. Above all, let Elijah see you feeling positive and good about his school years. I see so many children (usually children from broken homes) who struggle with making the parents' lives secure---when it should be the other way around.

So, give him a hug tomorrow and pray over him and send him out the door with boldness! I know if I were his teacher he would bless my classroom. Let him go and bless his current teacher's life. She probably could use a blessing!I look for and need them daily in my classroom.

P.S. Think about how empty your life would be without all the many "personalities" you experienced here at our school!! You and Jonathan wouldn't be who you are today without some of the frustrations, fun, and faculty members you met along the way!! By the way, you might not even be married to Jonathan!

Anonymous said...

I may need to anchor the boat in front of your house so you can read its name.

Love,
Brown

Erika said...

I read a book one time, I cannot for the life of me remember the name, but it was fiction and about a spirtual war over a city in peril. The book contained guardians and demons. The guardian/angels watched over the humans, protecting them with their wings and the demons tried to stick their claws into the people, plaguing them with guilt, worry, lust, etc. Like, I think it was Jonathan's mom, said, rebuke these demons out loud if you have too. Right now, the demon of guilt is trying to get you and he needs to be told where to go!

I'm praying for you, my dear friend and like others said, I strive to have a relationship with God like you and Jonathan do. You guys are such an inspriration and I am so happy to have found you again.

Weezy said...

I often try to learn things FOR Kell. There's this misconception I have that if I can just talk to him enough about the right thing to do, give him enough examples/scenarios to drive home my point, that it will sink in. I am always tempted to hand him the answers instead of guiding him to them. This is just one reason why I have chosen not to home school. Every day I send him off to school where he has to make his own decisions, choose his own methods, solve his own problems. Knowing this constantly reminds me that I need to give him tools, not answers. At times it feels like a leap of faith to trust that we are giving him enough of these tools to not just get by but be successful. I constantly doubt myself and worry that I'm not doing enough or getting it right-hence the temptation to just TELL him what he should be doing. But God guides his heart, too. When he comes to his own conclusions, he often comes up with a different answer than I would have given-but just as good if not better! Remember that each loving parent experiences guilt and doubt. We all want what's best for our children even at the sacrifice of what's best for us. But a happy momma makes for a much happier family.

jduckbaker said...

Kristin-
Thanks for posting this. Even though ours are not ready for school, I am obsessing about school options/homeschool options/starting a school option.
Thank you for your transparency and trust in God and naming the Evil One. You have helped me see that I am being too self-reliant.

Praise God for you and your family.
Jenn Baker