Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Bitter Sweet Day

The first day back to school is always a little nerve racking...this year especially seemed to be trying...for all of us.  At four am I lay awake (and oddly enough the baby was sleeping) pondering some of the events of the past few months, years even, that have lead us to the here and now.  Over seven years ago we agreed that we wanted a Christian education for our children.  Living in the size of community we do, we have numerous options, but we elected to send them to the small Lutheran school housed in our home church basement.  Though they don't have a state-of-the-art facility, they do have exceptional teachers who love children and God.

Over the years we've been blessed many times over as we've watched our children grow from timid Kindergartener's to mature, caring, confident young men.   We've made so many great friends both in the teaching staff and in the families that attend along side us. It's home.  We've also watched the school change as teachers and administrators come and go.  We've watched beloved friends move and of late many friends find cause to leave.

Over the past year we've seen the school somewhat come apart at the seams as it tried to recover from the "moving on" and repair the causes.  Sadly we too were in the fold of finding reason to search for an alternate option for our children's education.  It's been months of sleepless nights (not unlike last night), hour upon hour of prayer, meeting after meeting.  Being a parent is difficult--the choices we make now help to mold the people these children are going to become--our future.

As we approached a final decision, it came down to not so much as why others were leaving, the problems the school was facing, what other schools had to offer, the cost of changing schools, or even whether or not the boys wanted to move on (and we did consult them and consider their feelings--neither were too keen on the idea), but more about the reasons we had to stay (because we truly believe we have equipped our boys with the tools to thrive anywhere).

We chose this school because it included daily biblical instruction that would overflow into and flow from our home...it still does that.  We chose this school because of the strong emphasis on academics...our boys are excelling above and beyond what is put before them in the classroom and teachers work constantly to give them the extra work they need to stay interested.  We chose this school for its small class sizes...and while they seem to be a little smaller than in the past, we know the boys are getting ultimate one-on-one teacher time.  And finally we chose this school because it had a caring environment that we believed was not unlike our home where our children could thrive and learn...daily I see how the entire staff has worked to make the boys' lives richer and more Christ filled.  They are loved to pieces.  In short, we had no real reason to take our kiddos from a school that they love as much as we do.
   
I don't know what these boys are doing, but I love them! 

So today as my boys went back to school, it was a little bitter-sweet.  Sad to see the familiar faces missing from the opening chapel service, sad that we've come to this point of change.  But so sweet to see smiling faces of two boys as they greeted old friends and unloaded backpacks.  So sweet to see them as they helped new friends find their way.  I have faith that we have stood the test and made a choice that is good for our family and our school. We are confident that this is where God wants us right now.
 
We never know where God will take us, so we just pray that our hearts are open to the way He will take us, because He will NOT lead us astray.  And as we were reminded today in chapel, sometimes we are afraid...afraid of change...He will always be with us and will guide us if we call upon His name.  AMEN!

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