Okay, yeah, the snow didn’t really tell me to homeschool the kids. But, let me give a brief overview with my announcement on the blog for (almost) the first time — we have decided to homeschool the boys next year.
I hadn’t wanted to write about it on the blog yet until I felt pretty confident that we were going to go ahead with it. But, now that I feel excited and confident about our decision, I wanted to go ahead and share it.
Homeschooling is something that we have considered for a while, but I have always just put out of my mind. Before Noah was going to start kindergarten, I thought about it some more, but then went ahead and put him into public school. And, again when Jack was having so many problems in school, I thought about it, but, again, I set it aside.
It was brought to the front of my mind again several months ago when a woman that I didn’t know at church turned around at the end of Mass and said something along the lines of, “I know this might sound funny — but do you homeschool or have you considered it?” Seriously. Right there in the church. She told me later that she had not done that before, nor has she done it since. She just felt called to ask. It isn’t hard to imagine that the Holy Spirit was working through her.
She got me on an email list for a group of Catholic homeschoolers, but then I changed email addresses and forgot to grab her email address before deleting it. Then, a chance discussion with her sister-in-law ended up getting me back on the emailing list.
And, then many others “signs” seemed to indicate to me that I was being called to bring the children home for school.
Despite actually having two current teaching licenses, I told Eric one night, “I just don’t know that I feel qualified.” He laughed. But, then at Mass that week, in our associate pastor’s homily, he said that even if we don’t feel qualified for what God is calling us to do, if God is calling us, then it is what He wants for us. Seriously — no joke. I almost wanted to stand up and say, “Okay, God, I get it.” But, still, I said I was praying for a clearer sign. (This is the point at which Eric and I joked that at some point Jesus might come to our front door and say, “Really, Angie, I think I have been clear enough, haven’t I?”)
Finally, one day a couple of weeks ago, I opened the blinds as I put away dishes. This, I admit, is not something I do often. (The opening of blinds, not the dishes, which is done far too often for my liking.) There was snow on the ground, but it was not snowing. It was actually crystal clear outside.
I was busy thinking about what my boys had told me the day before about their discussion with the school OT (occupational therapist) about that we might homeschool. I silently kept saying, “I just don’t know. What should I do?”
At that moment, I looked up and snow was everywhere. It was coming down in huge snowflakes that were quickly swirling all around as far as I could see. It was then that I took a deep breath and had an argument with God.
argued talked for a couple of minutes. I kept saying that I just wasn’t sure. Would I do a good job? Would it all work out? Throughout this, I felt God’s gentle urging, “Just a year. Commit to a year for now. I’ll be with you.” All the while, the snow was flying through the air at a breakneck speed.
“Okay!” I shouted, all alone in the kitchen, but with my eyes gazing upward, knowing that I wasn’t really alone. “One year. I promise You, unless something happens between now and next school year that makes it impossible, I’ll commit to the year and see where it goes from there.”
And then, the snow stopped. Immediately and completely. And, I think I stopped breathing for a moment.
Then, I couldn’t help but say aloud, “You think You’re pretty funny, don’t You?”
I continued to put away my dishes and then thought to myself, “Huh. So, am I really going to do this?”
I looked up at the window, and then snowflakes started to fall again where there had been none just a moment before. I have to admit that at that point, I just laughed and shook my head. “Okay, okay. I get it. No more doubts for now,” I announced, standing at the sink, with a calm submission.
The snow, again, stopped. I went to the phone and called Eric at work, just to make sure it hadn’t only snowed in our backyard. (It hadn’t, by the way. It really had done this crazy sudden snow all around town, which stopped just as suddenly as it started.)
I shared this story with someone I know. She said, “I guess you must have started praying just before it started snowing.”
I guess it would be easy to believe that. Why would God take the time to talk to me that afternoon? Maybe it was just all a coincidence and a matter of good timing. Perhaps I am kooky to have seen more than just an unexpected weather pop-up.
My faith, however, tells me otherwise, and I know that I was not alone in the kitchen that afternoon.