I will never send my children to a public school.

Our children will not ‘date’… they will ‘court’.

We will never eat… pork.

We will never sing choruses.

I will never have XYZ [insert medical procedure] done.

We will never use workbooks in our homeschool.

No child of ours would ever disobey me. Our girls will never wear shorts, pants, t-shirts, etc.

My child will never do drugs, drink alcohol, smoke, swear … [or XYZ].

Have you ever heard those type of definitive statements before? Maybe you’ve uttered those type of statements before. I have.

But life… the experience of life is teaching me to never say never, especially with things that are not within my own control. Not the easiest when, for many years, I strove to get ‘in control’ of my house, my behavior, my children, etc.  What I failed to understand was that I cannot and should not be controlling my children’s every action, thought or attitude, especially once they get older and into their teen years.

When we first started to home educate I loved the lifestyle. I loved what it did for our family. I searched the Scriptures and could see how the family was the model or institution that God had designed for life long learning. In my haste and naiveté, I remember proclaiming, “Our children will never attend a school!“. Oh dear, if you know God and His nature you can well imagine the lessons He had in store to teach me. Fast forward a few years and one of my children asked to go to school… keep fast forwarding and you’ll see that she started at a private, Christian school and ended up at a public school.

In our homeschool adventure, we had learned the value of living books and the Charlotte Mason method and I recall thinking, “Oh, we will never use workbooks ever again.” Oh dear, you can see here I was headed. Fast forward a few years and the boys learned a lot through their time on ACE Paces.

Then came the upper or teen years. You know the ones where girls start noticing boys and boys start noticing girls. Well, we had read and researched all about ‘courtship’. And being that we ourselves didn’t practice ‘Christian dating’ thought it a wonderful idea. Certainly none of our children would have a ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’. Surely not! Surely…. Surely? Oh dear. I think you’re starting to get the picture. 😉

Why am I so slow to understand and apply the lessons the Lord wants to teach me?

Yes, I am Susan and I’m a control freak. Actually I now think of myself as a recovering control freak. I may always have those tendencies but I’m learning to deal with them properly. I liked to think that I could control things… things which, as a Christian, seem okay to control like my children, our homeschooling, etc. But I’ve learned that my control freak tendencies grew like tendrils of a weed … seeking to climb over flowering plants and eventaully drown out the sun (or is that Son?) .

My prayer from 2007… and is still my prayers today.

God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.