I was praying to God one morning to help me start another homeschooling day. After starting off my prayer with thanksgiving, I was already giving God a rundown of all my fears. The FEARS that I’m having these days and that are constantly bugging me!
- Fear that after all these years of homeschooling Arielle and Kayla, I have failed
- Fear that Arielle won’t pass the college entrance exams
- Fear that Arielle won’t get into the school that she wants
- Fear that she won’t make it to the course she has already set her mind on
- Fear that she’d be settling for her second choice course only
- Fear that Kayla won’t be able to discover what she really wants to do
- Fear that I failed to show her what her strengths are
- Fear that I also failed to pinpoint her weaknesses and turn them around to make them into strengths or at least, a comfortable acceptance of them
- Fear that I failed to teach them the skills that they need when we finally release them to the world
All these fears are really making me feel like they’re rolled up into one, ugly monster following me wherever I go and the only weapon I have is my prayers day and night and in-between which act as my sword in order for me to survive each day. It does feel like the story of David and Goliath in the Bible and of course, I’m the little David.
How I wish I could fast forward our lives and peek into the future, especially the future of our girls. How I wish I’d know what’s going to happen so I can do something about it now! To spare us from hurts, struggles, rejections, and disappointments. But that would be insulting God. That would be losing my faith in Him. I’d be looking only at my efforts and failing to look up, believing that I have a God who’s a lot BIGGER than all my problems and fears combined!
But my fears are so real, I want to cover myself up in a blanket until someone can come up to tell me that everything’s going to be okay. That’s how strong and real my fears are. So what do I do? What is really there to do? Each day, I can only continue to do my best to homeschool and parent our girls. The days are not always perfect but I honestly do try my best (You know that, God!)! I not only look at and live in the present but I have come to see now the need to plan ahead and study the options out there for our girls, especially for Arielle, who will soon be in college. Now that’s what’s making my fear so big. It feels like I’m exploring the unknown and am faced with the “real thing” as I join the rest of the world when all these years, we’ve been comfortable with our lifestyle choice of homeschooling on this so-called road less traveled.
All the “What if’s” are cropping up and I am asking God to show me how to homeschool these days (and I mean, REALLY HOW). To show me specifically which areas I failed to cover and now need to make up for. These are the times when homeschooling parents like me say “It feels we haven’t done enough!”. But I suddenly get a reality check. And I do mean A REALITY CHECK! A friend, the girls’ teacher for a brief period of time, a coach, a person my girls and I sometimes go to for advice, posted a short testimony in Facebook on how her life was and is right now. I am talking about Martine de Luna. What makes and keeps her close to my heart is she was homeschooled and this is her life story in a nutshell. Truly encouraging! Truly inspiring!
Isn’t that just amazing? To make her story even more interesting, she adds: My two homeschooled brothers have the same story, and yet, they are the CEOs of a company that strategizes and consults for some of the most successful and innovative companies in the Philippines. Life hacking and an insatiable lifelong love for learning: this is truly what has allowed us to live towards our “unschooled” lifestyle, which we lived out as kids.
WOW! After reading her post, it felt like my fears were suddenly doused with cool, refreshing water! Here is one real person I know who was homeschooled, unschooled, went beyond the conventions, and is now successful in what she’s good at and living the kind of life she had pictured and planned for. What she had shared showed me that:
- My girls have more options out there than I thought.
- The options and paths to success are LIMITLESS!
- Success too is a RELATIVE word!
- I was and actually am putting my own limitations, or call it walls and boundaries, to the future of our kids.
- I’m holding too tight to my CAN’T's instead of my or our girls’ CANs.
- LEARNING is, no doubt, a LIFELONG PROCESS that does not end with a college degree or diploma.
- THAT piece of paper is not the sure end of it all! A diploma is not a sure ticket that will 100% guarantee one’s success.
- The suffix -less and the word LESS could, on the contrary, mean MORE.
Do you know who Martine instantly reminded me of? If you ask me, Martine is no different from Bill Gates and Steve Jobs . Like these big, iconic guys, she followed and is following her passion, her bliss, and she is LOVING what she is doing. She did not limit herself to how everybody else should be doing what. She went out-of-the box and carved her own path. And that’s what she continues to do! Now doesn’t that make one an EXPERT of his/her own life? Isn’t that taking charge of it and not letting anybody else dictate and run it? To read the full story of Martine, click here for Part 1, and here for Part 2.
I can’t stress enough how Martine’s story really inspired and encouraged me. Her story is proof that there’s SO MUCH MORE WE CAN DO THAN JUST WHAT WE and OTHER PEOPLE THINK WE KNOW. ONE’S STATUS and WORTH is NOT SUMMED UP BY A COLLEGE DEGREE OR DIPLOMA. It is how you live each day using and sharing the talents and gifts God has given you to its best and fullest that makes your life an A+. And to keep in mind that LEARNING is a LIFELONG PROCESS. As Aristotle had put it, ”The more you know, the more you don’t know”.
So, I really shouldn’t
get stuck in my fears allow myself to get stuck in my fears. As long as our girls know:
- WHO THEY ARE INSIDE AND OUT and their TRUE WORTH
- WHAT THEY WANT, THE KIND OF WORK THEY SEE THEMSELVES DOING and THE LIFE THEY WILL BE LIVING with JOY, PASSION, and INTEGRITY
- what they CAN do and are STILL CAPABLE OF DOING,
- and are WILLING to LEARN
- and to GO BEYOND the NORM and what’s ACCEPTED
- that BEING DIFFERENT doesn’t give others the license to judge, label, and discriminate you
- that BEING DIFFERENT could actually mean BEING BETTER
then THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS! What works for one doesn’t necessarily mean it should and will work for all and vice-versa.
If and when Arielle and Kayla would come to a point where they realize that they made wrong choices, then I put my trust in the Lord and am confident that they will be able to make wiser and better decisions as they go through life. (After all, that’s one of the main reasons why we chose the homeschooling path…To first and foremost, build and develop strong and godly character traits in our children!) One will never find out what works unless he makes choices, does it with faith and courage, and is ready to accept its fruits or consequences. Life is after all, all about making choices, and the choices one makes spell out the difference. Then and only then can you say that you have lived a FULL, SUCCESSFUL, HAPPY LIFE! No “If only’s”. No regrets!