One of the questions homeschoolers get asked ad nauseam is “will they be ready for the ‘real world’?” Homeschooling is a world free from defined class periods, bells ringing signaling time to switch from topic A to topic B, needing permission to use the bathroom or having to wait to settle a rumbling stomach. Homeschooling allows for exploration of interests in the "real world", and opens up the doors to the possibilities of honest, deep relationships with other adults that may be teachers, ministers, role models, and sometimes if you are very lucky, all three!
The girls are deeply immersed in our church. They serve at Vacation Bible School, volunteer for service days, attend retreats, youth ministry conferences, prayer groups, church picnics, provide childcare when needed, and play in the youth worship band. Lilah has been a classroom assistant for 4th grade and Grace is preparing for two upcoming mission trips.
Grace and I had the opportunity to participate in an inter-church conference in June that merged several different area churches and their congregations. What began over a year ago as an idea among three pastors, a young Hispanic pastor, a Black pastor and a White redheaded pastor, blossomed into two worship nights where the pastors spoke and the worship bands led us in praise. The demographic of this is early 20s to early 30s. I am far outside this age group and am perfectly fine being a "designated gray head" in the crowd because the girls are coming into this age group and this is where they want to be. The Revive Conference was run with worship, keynote speakers and several breakout workshops. Grace went to those that interested her and I went to those that interested me. We overlapped on a few.
She was asked to take photographs for Tanisha Akinloye, founder of the non-profit Empowering Through Beauty. Tanisha is an incredible mother, woman of faith, wife, business owner, ministry leader and friend. We reached out to Tanisha seeking a senior project for Grace and that conversation has led to some pretty exciting opportunities which I will write about in a separate post. I am beyond blessed to have Tanisha as a role model, mentor and leader in Grace’s life. As a society we toss around the statement, “It takes a village.....”. I balk at this because I lean libertarian when it comes to keeping to government out of my home and parental decision making. However, when you can choose your village, and the village is lifting up your children and making them strong, confident, capable, responsible, independent young women, I say Thank You. Thank you to the men and women in my girls’ lives who are pouring love into them. Thank you for sharing your passions, your interests, your time with them. Thank you for teaching them, for mentoring them, for inquiring about them, for encouraging them, for challenging them, and for believing in them.
Revive is a movement among churches, but it is also an incredible diverse gathering of people dedicated to Christ and using their talents and gifts to honor God. To be a part of this community is a blessing and an honor.