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Why We Decided To Homeschool {When We Can Barely Afford It}: Part 4

This is the final installment of this series. But please:
Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 3 here



An Eye Opener 

Has there ever been a time in your life when God allowed something to happen to get your attention?

Well, us too.

As I shared with you in part 3 of this testimony, I shared my heart with my husband about God convicting me and letting me know that our children needed to be homeschooled. When he told me that he would pray about it with an open heart, I knew that God would give him the same burden because I KNEW that this conviction was not of myself but from God.

So now, I just needed to be patient and wait upon the Lord.

A couple of weeks later, Jackie and I were settling into bed but Jackie was experiencing a lot of pressure on his left side. Severe bloating and indigestion are nothing new for my sweet husband, and neither are kidney stones. Usually for him, the symptoms start off the same but kidney stones will usually intensify suddenly after a bout of major discomfort.

Our Family in the fall of 2012
 So, when I went to sleep that evening to my husband pacing the floor of what we thought was gas pressure {sorry, honey!}, I had no idea that I would wake up a few hours later with my husband asking for a hurried trip to the closest emergency room.

After my precious father-in-law arrived at the house to stay with our children, my husband, now drenched in sweat and vomiting from the pain, and I got into the car and sped to the hospital. The ER staff got us right into triage and started to work on him. The nurses knew exactly what to do and moved as quickly they could to try to get my husband comfortable. But it seemed that even after giving him the "cocktail" of pain medication, nothing seemed to take the edge off. He'd had kidney stones before and had been to the ER to get medications before, but I don't recall a time that even after being given the maximum dose of pain killers that he was STILL dancing around the room. After several hours of no relief, J-dub was admitted into the hospital where his pain continued for 3 days.  

Tests confirmed that a large kidney stone {what they thought was 5mm} was the source of all of his misery. The specialist came in to let us know that there was a good chance that J would be able to pass this stone since he had passed stones this size before, but that he also had the option of a surgery where the Dr would go in and break up the stone with a laser. Since J had never had surgery before, he thought he would rather try to pass it on his own. The Dr was satisfied with J's decision, but let us know that if J changed his mind, he would be available.


That night was a rough one. J was up and down with the pain and could not rest. He called the nurse sometime in the wee hours of the morning and let her know that he changed his mind-- he just wanted it to be over with. I was thankful that he made that call. It had been a very long few days and I couldn't stand to see him like that anymore.We both prayed that God would be with J and Dr. B and that the surgery would be a success.

J-dub underground

The next morning was the surgery. After J was prepped, Dr. B. came in and talked to the both of us about what to expect during surgery and post-op.

I kissed my husband as they wheeled him out and told the staff to take good care of him as he was the only husband I had. *HA!* I whispered a prayer and then went back up to the room to wait.

Our wonderful pastor and one of our deacons came and sat with me while I waited. I love my church family.

Even though I was told that J's surgery could last about an hour, 25 minutes later I got a call from the nurse that J was out of surgery and Dr. B was on his way to talk to me. I was surprised and assumed that it was probably a good thing. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

J and I caving

When Dr. B got into J's kidney, he had a few ...let's call them "obstacles". I won't go into all the details, but the outcome of the surgery was that the stone was larger than what they could see on his tests, and was blocking the flow of urine. That is why the pain meds could not ease the pain-- he had a lot of urine backed up in his kidney causing a lot of pressure. It is also why he couldn't pass the stone. Some of the aforementioned "obstacles" kept Dr. B from being able to blast the kidney stone, so he pushed it back into the kidney to relieve the pressure. The intention was to schedule another surgery in the near future when some of the "obstacles" were dealt with. Dr. B did everything that he should have done and we thank God for giving us such a skilled, knowledgeable, and Christian doctor.

This wasn't the worst part. The major setback wasn't the kidney stone at all.

As J-dub was coming out of anesthesia and was having his intubation removed, he aspirated some stomach acid into both of his lungs. As he awoke from surgery, unable to breathe, people running around him in chaos and sticking things in his face, AND telling him that he still had the kidney stone, his blood pressure shot up so high that he was at risk for a stroke.

That's when they called me to come sit with him.

Since I'm not medical savvy, I had no idea how serious his condition was. He didn't look good, but he had just had surgery and had been dealing with a monster stone for the last 3 and a half days, so I didn't think much of it. I talked to him and was able to help get his blood pressure down some, but it was still awfully high. After a half hour, they told me that he had a room ready and that I needed to go and collect our things to move to another floor.

Still not really grasping the severity of his condition, I moseyed along to do as I was told and set up our new room.

Our wedding day- 1998
 A while later, a team of  nurses wheeled my husband in. That's when I could tell that something wasn't right. His blood pressure was still very high. He was still on full oxygen. He was still surrounded by chaotic people. This was very unsettling.

J was still very upset that after everything he had been through, he still had the kidney stone and no one was answering his questions to his satisfaction. Finally, a nurse got in his face and said very firmly, "Mr. W, I need you to calm down or you are going to have a stroke! Do I make myself clear? When you calm down and stabilize, we will answer all of your questions, but right now, you need to relax." 

Well, I guess that did it. He chilled and little by little, his BP started to come down.

Since this post is becoming way longer than I anticipated, I will cut to the chase.

Over the next few days, we realized that Jackie's life had been in jeopardy. My young, healthy husband was told that people with slightly worse health would not have pulled through what he had just experienced.

2012
My husband... my best friend.. had come close to meeting Death. Even though he has been saved and is ready to die, it's not something that you really want to happen when you have a young family that counts on you and loves you.

We had a lot of people praying for us and our caregivers. By God's grace, we were only in the hospital for a little over a week, but during that week God showed J and I a lot of things.

On our 5th day in the hospital, J was resting in his bed, now breathing more on his own but still needing oxygen, and I was finishing up a book that I had been reading. He started talking about things that we needed to start doing to prepare for living on one income.

One income?

Were my ears deceiving me? Is he getting ready to say what I think he is going to say?

"I don't know how we are going to do it... but I want to homeschool. I feel like we need to try."

If we hadn't been just one room down from the ICU, I could have shouted! We watched God work in our lives that week, and this was just one way that He had blessed us.

UPDATE 

After we left the hospital, J-dub had a long road of recovery. Six weeks, actually. For a healthy, young man with an active lifestyle, this was a very...loooonngg...time.

Once he recovered from his double pneumonia, another surgery was scheduled to bust up and remove his monster stone. It was an outpatient procedure that went beautifully with no complications and had a short recovery period. 

We let the kids finish out their school year in the public school they were enrolled in and began the 2014-2015 school year at home. We have now been homeschooling for 7 weeks and are having a blast. I can't tell who is learning more, us or them!



I pick up odd jobs here and there to make a little bit of cash as long as they don't interfere with our school day. Financially, we have been breaking even but we are trusting in the Lord for provision and He has not let us down.

Even though we can't afford extras, we are rich in blessings!


I cannot express how blessed we have been by my being at home. I would strongly urge all young families to prayerfully consider homeschooling AND having the wife/mother at home. Even if you think there is no way possible that you can do it, financially or otherwise, if God has impressed you with it, HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU. He will make a way. It won't be easy and you won't have everything you want, but you will have everything you need.

I'm sorry that this was long, but I really hope that this helps and encourages someone to step out on faith.

You won't regret it!

Tangi
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Why We Decided to Homeschool {When We Can Barely Afford It}: Part 3

All Things Work Together For Good...

I've been sharing with you all the reason why we decided to homeschool, but really I am sharing a testimony of how God answers prayers-- how He can make things that seem impossible, and make them possible. Here is Part 1 and Part 2

The Simple Life of a Caver's Wife


The Lord impressed upon my heart that we needed to homeschool our children. Even with all of the frustrations that we experienced with the social, political, and academic side of public school,  when it came down to the brass tax of it, the conviction was that as Christians who loved the Lord and wanted our children to be deeply rooted in the faith, we were sending them to a place that taught from the point that there is no God. 

How can we do what Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 and Proverbs 22:6 {among other scriptures}commands when for 8 hours a day they are taught that there is no God and then the few hours that we are together at home we do homework, dinner, bath, and bed? In between homework and bed time, I felt like I was deprogramming them from the influences that they were exposed to all day instead of training them in the way they should go.

Even though I knew that the Lord would take care of everything, a part of me still doubted that my husband would change his mind about homeschooling. How could I convince him that I needed to leave my job with no back up plan for an income, pull our kids from public school and educate them at home?

The simple fact was this....

I would not be able to convince him.

Only God could.

After a few months of praying for God to place the same burden on my hubby that He had me, I finally broke one night as we were settling in for bed.

I shared my heart with him, hoping that he understood this wasn't just something I wanted to do-- but it was something that we HAD to do. It really, truly wasn't about me.

Yes, I have always felt the burden to be at home with my children.

Yes, I have always had a romantic idea about educating my children at home.

But this was different.

This was a conviction that what we were doing was wrong and we needed to stop.

Thankfully, my husband listened patiently as I sobbed and told him all that I had felt. I really tried to be very matter-of-fact and logical because I know that it's easier to talk out life changing situations that way, but alas, the dam broke from carrying that burden for months.

But even through the sobbing and blubbering, he listened and replied:

"I don't feel that way at all. God hasn't let me know that we need to homeschool...but I will pray about it with an open heart."

I could breathe!

I knew that if J-dub said he would pray with an open heart, he would. And I knew that if he prayed with an open heart, God would let him know what He had let me know. I had no doubts.

But little did we both know-- it would take a medical crisis to finally get an answer. 
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Why We Decided To Homeschool {When We Can Barely Afford It}: Part 2

Sending Them Into the Lion's Den 

 

I wanted to share with anyone who would read this, why we decided to homeschool and how God has worked in our lives. 

Here is Part 1 if you would like to start there.

And this is Part 2:



I first want to say that I thank the Lord for teachers that love Him, love our children, and care about education without political agendas. I have talked about my thoughts on the public school system and those that seem the most offended are teachers. This is not about all teachers-- it's about the corrupt system they work for. Where some educators are the very product of this corrupt system and the ones that are directly pushing the agendas harder onto our children, God fearing teachers aren't as drastic but still have to preform by state standards if they want to keep their jobs. It's an unfortunate circumstance for good, passionate teachers, but I know they do the best they can.

If you are thinking that I sound like a woman who believes in conspiracy theories-- you betcha'.

I submit to you that the very fact that the words "God", "Homesteading", and "Homeschooling" appear on this blog, has probably put me on a radar of some kind.

I won't go into all of my "crazy lady" ideas {even though they have merit!}, but what convicted me the most, was that as a Christian I was willingly and knowingly sending my children to an institution to be educated by a system that hates my Lord.

At times, when I allowed myself to dwell on it, I felt like I was sending them into the lion's den to have their moral and Christian beliefs ripped away from them-- chewed up as the free thinking, loving characters they are-- and regurgitated as  robotic, weak, government worshiping, God hating zombies that Big Brother is eager to produce.

Yes, we are the parents and it IS our job to raise our children, but do you know how many hours I spent  with my children deprogramming them as opposed to training them? Besides, parental rights are infringed upon in the public school system. We experienced this, firsthand.

One day, this past November, I was sitting in my office listening quietly to a sermon. I was pondering how loving and wonderful my Savior is. I was meditating on His goodness and I thought about how I wanted my children to be saved and know this kind of peace throughout their lives. It was at that time that I felt the conviction deep in my chest with a thought so clear:

"And yet you send them to a place that hates Him and all that is good."

At that moment, my thoughts on homeschooling went from "I want to and I should home school" to "I HAVE to homeschool". 

I didn't know how I was going to convince my Hubby. I talked to him about it before. It was out of the question, right? How were we going to make it work financially? Can we do this?Will we be okay?

Then I remembered the promises in God's word: 

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
 
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

After recalling these to mind, I whispered a prayer, "Lord, please soften my husband's heart. You're the only one that can convince him." 


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Why We Decided To Homeschool {When We Can Barely Afford It}: Part 1

TheSimpleLifeOfACaversWife.blogspot.com: Why We Decided To Homeschool {When We Can Barely Afford It}
 

 A Pipe Dream {Or So I Thought}


I really debated on whether or not to post this. However, I feel that this is a testimony of how my God works and I feel that this can help someone out there.

I am a momma of two sweet children.

When they were small, I kept children in my home to afford to be able to stay home with them. However, when babysitting became inconsistent and income was fluctuating so erratically, we decided that it was time for me to go back into the work force.

This is a decision that I mourned in the years to come.

Five years ago, when my daughter {the eldest of my two babies} was in the 2nd grade, I mentioned homeschooling to my hubby because I was very unhappy with a few things that my daughter was experiencing in public school:

1) My child is an advanced learner and since the teachers teach to the slowest learner in the class {not their fault!}, my child was bored and her boredom got her in trouble-- a lot. I asked her why she couldn't sit still and quietly, she said because she was already finished and there was nothing to do. Please know that her father and I corrected her behavior but the issue remained unchanged. She was bored and couldn't move on until the other students were ready.

2) There was an issue where another 2nd grader educated my child on certain adult behaviors that NO child should know at that age. This was heartbreaking. A slice of her innocence was gone.

My hubby worried about our finances, so he turned down the idea. We did depend on my income to keep the ship afloat and probably always would. Also, there was a concern that homeschooling would limit our children's opportunities.

So, that was that. Homeschooling was out of the question and off of the table forever.

Or so I thought.

*As a caveat, I would like to add that with the help of some special people, we were able to send the kiddos to a small, private Christian school for a couple of years-- something that we are very grateful for-- but they had to go back into the public school system.

 


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Hands

I'm sorry that it has been a while since my last post. My office hours have increased since the beginning of tax season and it's been hard to find the time.

With gardening season on the horizon and tax season dwindling, I'll be frequently posting again soon!

There are some great things in the works and I can't wait to share them with you. I'm just waiting on a few kinks to be worked out. ;) 

I did, however, have a thought to write for Southern Gals Cook, where I am a contributor.

I once had a friend challenge me to write down my train of thought. This was both a fun and interesting writing exercise. It's funny how one thought leads to another.

That's pretty much the frame work of this post.

After you read the blog post, please feel free to click around and check out some of the recipes! Southern Gals Cook is a blog devoted to good food, family, faith, and country living. If you like The Simple Life of a Caver's Wife, I'm confident you will enjoy Southern Gals Cook.

Click on the link below the image to see the post.

Hands (southerngalscook.com)

May you find yourself in the Hands of  the Savior,

 
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Good Reads on Biblical Feminism and Modesty



I didn't have a Friday Favorites, but I did want to share some good reads with you all.

As you know, I have been working on a young ladies bible study on "modesty" and in my preparation, I have come across some WONDERFUL blogs that promote modesty and biblical feminism, among other things like motherhood, homeschooling, home management, etc.

1. Growing Home

This post had me pumping my fist in the air, Arsenio style. I enjoyed this post so much that I clicked around to see what else she has written. I couldn't subscribe to her blog fast enough. I did not see one things that I didn't love. 

2. Southern Motherhood
I really enjoyed their 2 part series on Femininity and their 2 part series on Modesty. This blog is fairly new, but I love everything they have posted so far.

3. The Modest Mom Blog

I really loved this post, too. Especially what she says about modesty in church.

I want to give my 2 cents here: in my opinion, this is directed toward women who are MEMBERS of a church. Not a visitor. To me, if a person comes into worship service and they've never been with us, or rarely ever come-- then we are just happy to have them! It doesn't matter what they look like and I don't want my opinion to come across in such a way that it would ever hinder someone from going to church.

My concern is for the ladies who are members and are revealing too much of their bodies. I believe that God does care that we dress ourselves in a way that reflects our heart.

However, if you have not been saved, that's all that God cares about for you. That's all that church members care about. Modesty and all of that stuff will come later.  Your soul is more important than your outward appearance.

To the ladies that have been saved and are members of a church, we need to set a good example for the visitors and for our young ladies that see us regularly. What we say doesn't mean anything if we don't live it.

4. This quote by Boutique Narelle:

YES!!!!

On her blog, there is a tab labeled "Modesty Mall" (<-- link)  where you will find links to tons of online stores that sell modest clothing including swimwear and active wear!


I really enjoyed this post from a dad who watched an award show and was flabbergasted by what he saw. It saddened him for his daughters and for womankind in general. 

These are the 4 guidelines that he gave his daughters to help them discern whether or not what they were wearing was modest:

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/d3/84/b0/d384b03f73515dd1e749c84ad72d56d3.jpg


Love this!

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

By the way, I made my daughter and I a couple of more skirts. I am currently working on making a pair of blue jeans into a denim skirt. I will post pics as soon as I am done. I made myself a floor length khaki skirt (which I love, but I do need to take it in just a little at the waist) and I made my baby girl a black maxi skirt. They both turned out wonderfully! 


Sorry about the picture quality. My daughter and I took pictures of each other with my phone, and we took these pictures just as soon as I was done making the skirts-- and it was Saturday-- and we were wearing our bumming around clothes-- and I looked terrible with no make up and hair in a big messy bun-- and I could go on for days, but the skirts turned out great! I cannot wait to make more!

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This Winter Makes Me Think Of...





 Vines, bushes, and tassels...


Baskets bursting with color...


Funny faces...


Fresh bouquets...


Red...


green...


Bare feet and dimples...


Sounds of popping lids...


The smell of dirt...


Sibling adventures...


And big footprints and little footprints in the dew to the garden.


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The Meditation of My Heart

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.



I know I shouldn't be, but I am always amazed by how God reveals His will for my life when I seek after Him.  

It seems that His still small voice speaks a little clearer, but I know it's because my ear is searching for His voice.

Over the last week, I have been spending a lot of time in study and in prayer. 

I've been preparing for a young ladies bible study on modesty, as well participating in the Intentionally Focused online bible study. 

I'm so thankful that God shows me things in His word and through others. Whether He sends a blog post or a bible verse, or a sermon, or a song, or a prayer that speaks to my heart, the messages are always in harmony. I believe it's God's way of helping me take notice and to understand what it is that I should be doing. 

The Lord is working in my heart. 

He's telling me that I need to trust Him and to live for Him. 

To use a phrase that a dear friend likes to use, I was "rocked in the Missionary Baptist cradle", meaning, I have been in church my whole life. The Lord saved my soul when I was 10 years old and I have been a weak servant ever since. 

I try, at times, to live according to His word, but most of the time I fail. I've realized recently, that when I was little, I had the assumption that when you are a Christian, doing the right things would just come naturally. No one told me this, and now that I look back at all of the examples that I have had in my life and see the struggles that they overcame with God's help, I see what a foolish, albeit childish,  assumption that was. Being a Christian is a struggle. I see myself like Paul in Romans chapter 7, in that the things that I don't want to do and know are wrong are the things that I usually do. The things that I want to do and know are right, are the things that I fight against the most. It makes me even more thankful that my soul is sealed and that no man can pluck me from my Father's hand


I don't want to let Him down and I don't want to be a stumbling block to someone else. 

During my "modesty" study, I have been considering what God wants from me as a mother, as a wife, and as a woman trying to teach the younger women in these things (Titus 2:3-5), and I see how much improvement I need in all of these areas. I see that I need to be more thoughtful in how I present myself. I see that I need to be more intentional in raising my children; a burden that seems to intensify as they get older; a conviction that tears at my core; a concern that I need to give to Him. I see that I need to be a more submissive wife; another conviction that breaks me in two. Typing this now, I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I feel so small and so unworthy of the family that God has given me. I want to be all that I need to for them, but I feel like I don't know how--

Lord, please lead me. Help me to trust in Your word and in Your will for my life. Help me to trust in my husband as the leader of our family that you have called him to be. Help me, Father, to speak with kindness and to be a gracious help meet to him. Help me to not be bitter when I don't get my way, but to be thankful that I have a husband that loves You and seeks for your guidance. Help me to be a more intentional mother to these precious gifts that you have given us. Lord, I feel that I can't do it all. I work away from home and I am so tired at the end of the day that I let things fall by the wayside. Please, help me. I fail at training them, Lord. With every eye roll or back talk, I feel it is my fault for not being a more consistent disciplinarian and because I am not with them all day like I want to be. I fail at taking care of my home. I fail at being a good companion. I fail at spending time with You. God, I need your help. Help me to have the trust to place all of these things in Your capable hands instead of clutching to them so tightly. I feel unworthy to even call upon Your name. I feel childish having to ask for Your help.  I want to testify of Your goodness in how I live. I want the world to know that I have been born again. Help me, God, to live so that Your light can shine through me. Thank you, Lord, for loving me. Thank you for sending your Son to die on the cross for me. Thank you for saving my soul and for blessing my life. I am so unworthy of it all. Thank you for hearing my heart cry out. Thank you for the times when I do cry out, that You allow me to feel your presence and your comforting spirit. It's in Jesus's sweet, holy, and precious name that I humbly beg. Amen. 

To be sincerely honest, I deleted that prayer... It was not planned and I sometimes feel people are disingenuous when they type out their prayers for everyone to see. Written prayers can also be used vainly, and that is not my intention.The more I am explaining it, I keep fighting to delete it again, but I felt like it needs to be there. Maybe God intends for someone to read it that needs it? Maybe it's for me to remember... I don't know. I just know that this is my heart's meditation and I feel very exposed right now...

I hope you all are discovering God's new and everlasting mercies each day. May God richly bless your homes, your marriages, and your souls.

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