Thursday, November 4, 2010
So many changes have occurred since my last post. Since then, I have gotten married, witnessed miracles, began my second year of homeschooling, and have become a part of a spectacular homeschool co-op group.
I am experiencing the wonderful gift of marriage and am just beginning to learn all that this means to our family. It is no longer just my son and I but we now have a wonderful man who not only loves and adores us, but who has made a commitment before us, God, and our closest friends and family to love us, protect us, and lead us as we endeavor to be a family that seeks to be more like Jesus. Our many years as a family incomplete have finally been made whole. The reality of this life is that our circumstances can even be difficult in the best of families, but a whole family (as I am experiencing) has so much more strength in which to stand in the midst of the storms of life. I am thankful for the way God can renew us.
In the past months I have witnessed so many amazing and miraculous things. I have been humbled to watch lives changing, that would appear in the natural world to have previously been hopeless, and yet they are not just changing to be 'acceptable' but above and beyond what I could have imagined! I've have also watched the miraculous pregnancy of one of my dearest friends. As I think of it now I am brought to tears over the overwhelming miracle of this life to a family who has suffered loss but is now blessed with a healthy pregnancy. I've witnessed the amazing selfless act of another sweet friend who became a surrogate for another couple who had been through unimaginable pain and suffering. She recently gave the gift of not just one child to this couple (that they wouldn't have been able to have otherwise) but she gave them TWO beautiful babies...a boy AND a girl! AMAZING! I loved watching how God brought this all together and blessed each person involved to the point of overflow...they never could have imagined in the beginning the love that would come out of this surrogacy. This act reminded me that there are still people out there who are willing to sacrifice for themselves and their families to help and bless another in need. We don't hear enough of these stories in our day to day life, but they are out there!
Beginning my second year of homeschooling may have been more of an adventure than the firs. We began a whole new style of teaching and a brand new curriculum which is very structured and works much differently than last year. Our days are laid out in detail for us and the planning and organization has already been taken care of. This piece is definitely exciting for me since I spent so much time doing these things last year that I felt as though I was planning and organizing class more than I was teaching and enjoying the learning process. This has been very good for us as both myself and Regan are very 'Type A' so the added structure brings us joy. It is a LOT of work and takes us around 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer each day to finish than last year, but both Regan and I feel good about how it is progressing. I love to watch my boy growing into a young man, he is maturing and often amazes me with the depth he shows as he understands and comments on mature topics. And most of all I cherish this time with him, I can't believe that his 14th Birthday is just 3 months away! I see him growing in academic knowledge and in maturity and responsibility, what more could a Mom ask for?
One of the most exciting things about homeschooling this year is the fact that about 8 Mom's have gotten together and started a homeschool co-op. We gather our kids, which make a group of around 19 kiddos if everyone attends. Each week we meet to learn about a topic that has been pre-planned by the Mom's. We have most recently been doing a unit study on Food. It started off with a bang as one adventurous Mother of 3 taught about the digestive system. She not only demonstrated the flow of food using a cut up pair on nylons and a large ball of oatmeal (I don't have time to describe how awesome this was to illustrate the digestive tract and to gross the kids out)....but she and her son also picked up SHEEP GUTS from a local butcher and had them laid out for all the kids to see and touch! (with gloves on of course!) How do you follow that class? Each additional class has gone beautifully, with classes on a biblical perspective on food, budgeting for meals, nutrition, hospitality, and food preparation just to name a few. The study will end in December with the kids inviting family members to their 'restaurant' in which they will have assisted in preparing the food, setting up the tables and decorations, taking orders, serving food, and entertaining and blessing their loved ones. We are all excited as this process is progressing. The kids have picked out the 5 courses of food to be served and have been involved as each step occurs. Even more wonderful is the fact that the ages of all these kids range in this group from pre-school to High School. I'm so proud of our kids!
Recently I met with a friend who has been with me through the past several years of my life, she has laughed with me, prayed with me, wiped my tears, and rejoiced and praised God with me....and she said to me "Isn't it amazing Jessica how you are doing so many of the things now that you were wanting so badly to do not that long ago!". And the answer is YES, it is amazing and wonderful to see how God is not just bringing good things into my life but He is faithful to support the details of life, especially when our motive and goal is to live a life of love and service to God, family, and others. Lord help me to never take for granted all the ways I am blessed every day! And these blessings come right in the middle of life circumstances that can look less than desirable in the moment...but great things are happening all around if we open our eyes to notice them!
Thank you to all my SPECTACULAR friends who make my life so full and remind me to keep my eyes focused on the things the truly matter the most. I could honestly not ask for better friends. I am rich beyond measure in this area! A day never passes where I wonder if I am loved, what a miracle that is!