I have always been an idealistic person. I would consider myself a cynical idealist. I tend to be overly critical yet I have high ideals and hopes for how things should or could be.
Having grown up exposed to cross cultural missions in Europe, India, and Nepal, I didn’t want my children to grow up with a limited worldview. I wanted them to know about other cultures. Who knows if God may someday call them elsewhere? I’d like them to be considerate that our way of doing things in America is certainly not the only way.
- I wanted them to have skills… nunchuk skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills….
- I wanted them to know about church history and scripture. Not just memorize it but bury it deep down in their hearts.
- I wanted them to be exposed to art, nature, and sunsets on the coast.
- I wanted them to know how to balance a checkbook.
- I wanted them to be able to play music and make forts.
- I wanted them to learn how to cook, make an imaginary Lego world, and do a load of laundry.
- I wanted them to fall in love with the characters in books, to be transported by their imaginations and to recognize amazing literature.
- I wanted them to know how to care for each other, have grateful hearts, extend mercy, love justice, and find Burkina Faso on a map.
In short, I wanted so much. I wanted to offer them the best this world has to offer. The absolute best that God has provided, the ability to find their own passions and creativity and God given abilities.
Because when those things are found, God is glorified and the fire is lit.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats
I wanted to disciple my kids. When Judah went to public school for kindergarten and first grade, I simply couldn’t find the time to do so from the hours of 3:30 to bedtime at 7:30. Four hours to fit in life? I know I am not the guru of time management and I struggle to get it all done. When he was in public school I constantly felt the drain of fragmented time. Sure, I had more time to myself. Sometimes I reminisce on those days when Judah was in school. Nehemiah was yet to be born and Kaia took 3 hour naps. I cannot imagine what I would do with that much free time.
I will tell you that in the last 5 years I have not once been bored. There’s no time for that. I rarely go to the bathroom without someone asking for something through the door. I cannot remember the last time I was in my home completely alone. My house is constantly having to be picked up because there are 3 children, myself and my mother( who lives with us) in one home all day and WOW, those kids are messy! They want to eat several times a day! There are definitely things that are hard. But positive change is rarely easy.
I felt there were so many opportunities we couldn’t take advantage of simply because there was no time. When we’d get home a little before 4:00, he’d want to play and decompress. Then we’d have dinner, do some homework that mostly consisted of repetitious worksheets, do bath time and then it was time for bed.
I have heard it said about parenthood that the days are long but the years are short. It is so true. I am writing this and my then 6-year-old is now an 11-year-old man-boy.