…she is going to want some Irish Breakfast Tea to go with it. When she makes the tea, she will think about where it was imported from and research the geography. While researching about Ireland, she will get sidetracked to tell the children about St. Patrick… St. Patrick will make her think about the Irish Potato Famine, leading to pondering cooking some traditional Irish dishes…
But one day she will be retiring from her lifelong career as a homeschool mom and will need someplace to channel all of that energy…
…Especially when her children range in age from 15 to 35 and homeschooling and mothering has been her life. Especially when she starts having yard sales to get rid of all of the extra homeschool curriculum. Especially when the educational toys and games and science kits, and microscopes all are placed into the hands of a younger homeschool mom with kids at her knees. Especially knowing how many years of long hours and overtime a devoted husband and father worked to provide all of those homeschool needs.
We have had thousands of books – thousands. We still have a gazillion.
…Especially knowing that the children are now in the hands of God – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, as adults. Some of them even have their own children to fret over – ten grandchildren now read many of the books I once read to children who were snuggled up next to me.
My adult life…
It’s all I’ve ever known,
and sacrificed for.
It’s always a bit of a shocker to me when people assume because we have always been a single income family we were well off. Quite the contrary – we always did and gave out of our need, not our abundance.
Only because I happen to be married to the most self-less man I have ever known. Hands down. He has never spent more than $2,000 on a car for himself, and he drives them into the ground. I have never known him to shop for clothes for himself in 33 years, and he only buys new shoes when I drag him.
It’s all he’s ever known,
and sacrificed for.
Adding to our already large family by international adoption. He drove a 900 dollar car then, Sam is our $24 carrot kid. Cars or kids. Dave is selfless.
Over the years a number of people have come to visit, and ended up staying a while. They found “Papa” Grubb to be accommodating, and our home a place that welcomed those in need of place to find some love and hope.
It was our dream, some day, semi-retirement property. My father had helped us buy it. He planned to move in with us. A gentleman’s farm where we could feed our children, and eventually make a small profit to supplement the little retirement we would get from a failing IBM. Thanks to my fathers generosity combined with David’s selflessness, I had a horse of my own for the first time in forty years, the girls had ponies. We had finally achieved the life we had always dreamed of, even if most of the kids were in their teens by then. Dave still drove old cars. My father died three days before he moved up.
Then IBM began the layoffs and life changed for us – starting over – again -like so many others who have been hit by a failing economy. No more retirement – we used that to feed the kids and farm animals.
No social security for me – I never worked long enough outside the home. I was too busy with volunteer work, 4-H, ministry…
It’s a different life we are leading now – empty nest – empty barn – empty pockets – and sometimes, broken hearts.
Broken but never empty.
Our hearts are somewhat broken with a brokenness I don’t regret, but they are also very full. Full of love. Full of children, full of grandchildren. We have so much to be thankful for. We have so many rich blessings.
With brokenness comes an appreciation for life, love, and God that cannot be attained any other way.
My hope sometimes falters as I channel all that homeschool energy and love into trying to build a ministry to help others who are in pain – locally, in Haiti, in the Philippines, in India – wherever I have been asked to go.
It’s such a big task and it is out there.
It is not in here with my children snuggled next to me.
It’s a bit scary out there teaching, speaking, training, and deploying to foreign countries to help others.
Courage is not the absence of fear, courage is stepping out to do the things you are most afraid of but the most needful.
It is me at God’s knee – a child again – with no choice but to trust walking along a new path. A path that has been carved out by many years of testing, accepting, changing, and trusting. A path that calls me to follow my Father as His adopted child and let him hold me. A path that lets go of the years I have held my own children. A path that learns goodbyes are never forever,
and forever is eternal.
If you show a homeschool Mom where there is suffering, she is going to end up a Missionary Chaplain. As a Chaplain, she is going to want to an airline ticket to go to where the suffering is. To get there, she will need to buy an airline ticket. Needing an airline ticket will inspire her to sell her homeschool things. Selling her homeschool things will remind her that everthing comes with a price.
Thinking of the price will remind of Jesus and how great His love for us is.
His love will remind her that it’s time to put away the cookies; true and lasting joy comes when we carry the cross.
ATTENTION former homeschool moms.
There is still a place for you as a caregiver to your community, your church, or the nations. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.