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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.

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.


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!


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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