I've been a little out of sorts lately, and I'm trying to pinpoint exactly what ithe culprit is. This weekend I had a little meltdown trying to work in the makeshift space I've set up, mostly because it's not functional. At all. Also because I really don't work well in chaos.
Also because I got an idea for a new novel and all I find myself thinking about is the character I've barely met. This is a good problem to have unless you're in the middle of writing the third book in a completely different series and also working on rewrites for the second one.
I was praying yesterday and said, "God, these ideas aren't exactly timely."
I imagine he just smiled.
But the other thing that's had me knotted up is thinking about next year's school situation. Here's the skinny.
...only has ONE more year before middle school.
Please sit tight while I regain my composure. Seriously, how did that happen?
We have a public school around the corner. It has a bus. The bus would practically come to the door to pick the kids up. Oh, and it's free.
And while the elementary school scores pretty high, the middle school she'd be attending after this year scores considerably lower. I even had another parent warn me about this school. My heart lurched because people only do that if they really feel it's important.
Then, there's this kid:
Ethan's always been more sensitive to the things he's learned at church or in chapel. When we first moved here, he was amazing at adjusting to his new school...but there was one point of contention with him.
"Is this going to be a Christian school?"
I explained that it wasn't, but that he was still a Christian. On the first day of school he came home and said "I found three Christians in my class." I imagined him walking up to kids at recess asking for religious beliefs and my heart quickened a little. Perhaps a lesson in social etiquette was in order.
But it didn't seem to matter. He had good little buddies and even a pretty little blond girl that quietly stole his first grade heart.
So, this year, I assumed we'd do public school again. Other than Sophia's a little too early sex ed lessons thanks to an "in the know" friend, we hadn't had any problems.
We'd been in our new house maybe three hours when Ethan found me unpacking boxes in the kitchen.
"Hey Mom?" he said. "Have you found my old Rockford Christian uniforms?"
I sort of half frowned. "Um. No, buddy. Why do you need those?"
"Because Daddy said Christian schools usually have uniforms."
I stopped unpacking and searched his face for some clue as to what he meant.
His big brown eyes stared up at me. "If we find my uniforms, then maybe I can go to a Christian school."
It had been months since he'd mentioned anything about a Christian school. I had no idea it was even on his radar anymore. But sometimes I think God uses Ethan to speak to me. You know, when I'm too busy to listen. Ethan is always listening, it seems. And he had my attention.
We started praying. I dig some digging. The financial commitment to send three kids to a Christian school is enormous. My mind instantly went to How in the world are we going to do this?
"God," I prayed, "This is it for schools. I don't want to put them in and then have to pull them out next year. I can't do that to them again."
But my friend Jenn said something in the midst of my wondering that stopped me in my tracks. "You just do it like you're going to have the money every year...and believe that you will." She glanced at me then and shrugged. "I mean, that's faith, right?"
After everything we've been through this past year--the moving, the house hunting, the new school, the craziness...did I still need the reminder that God can provide?
What about those three checks, Courtney? Aren't you a believer yet?
And still...weeks later, I haven't sold out to the idea. I haven't committed to it or told my kids "Yes, this is your new school." I've taken them for testing, sure. I've set up a family interview, of course. I filled out forty pages of application and returned it in a timely fashion.
But my heart is holding out, clinging to the "what if?"
And I remind God how much we've had to spend on this house...how much of our savings is gone now.
And he says, "Courtney, you had that money because I knew you would need it."
And I realize that yes, even when they're all three in school, he knows what it costs for them to go there. And I'm a bit ashamed that I'm still walking around this mountain of money searching for security in things that cannot bring it.
The decision feels massive, like we're choosing a college or a career or a life path...but I'm trying to rest, knowing that HE holds us in his hands. And HE knows the future. And HE knows what's best for them...
And really, that's all that should matter.