Day 24: Because You Know What They Say

Hello there! Glad you stopped by! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure, of which I’m in the third quarter! I’d love for you to meet up ’round here and read along. You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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For a couple of years before the fall of 2013 — maybe even three or four years, mind you — one particular thought was swimming in the back of my mind. The Hubs and I had had lots of discussions about it, and as daunting as it seemed, the still small voice of the Lord seemed to consistently whisper that homeschooling was the path He wanted us to take.

But as the fall of 2013 approached, and as we neared the Bear’s 5th birthday, I was grabbing at straws for alternatives to homeschool. We pondered putting him in the local Christian academy and were almost certain that was what we were going to do. At another stage, we planning on enrolling him in public school, and it really seemed like that was going to happen when September rolled around.

Then, a chance conversation with an old friend stirred that whisper in me again, and I realized I’d be running. She talked about homeschooling her eldest, what it looked like for her family, and how great it had been so far. More important, she talked about the reasons she’d decided to homeschool, and they resonated so deeply in me — they were words that had even come out of my own mouth at other stages, when I’d felt confident we were going to homeschool and wasn’t yet vacillating.

Finally, with just a couple of months left before traditional school started, I dove in. I couldn’t shake the deep sense that this was the Lord. I spoke with more friends, asked for advice, ordered curriculum, and kicked things off gradually in September.

Almost two months into my career as a homeschooler, I am so, so grateful we made this decision. It is a privilege to get to teach this clever little guy who happens to also be mine. His reading ability (which was already very good) has improved so significantly just in this month and a half that I get that warm fuzzy proud Mama feeling just thinking about it.

I’ve discovered that he really, really loves science and am beginning to make science a doorway into connecting with him in other subjects. We do experiments and nature journal. We play games to help him understand math concepts. He writes letters in rice or shaving cream while I sound out the associate phonogram during spelling time.

If he needs extra rest, he can have it. He doesn’t have to wake up early to get dressed and fed and out the door for school each morning. And the Bear hibernates, y’all. He falls asleep shortly after his 7 o’clock bedtime and sometimes still sleeps past 7 o’clock the next morning.

He gets to play outside between subjects, bake in the kitchen to talk about fractions… and so much of our work is hands on.


It is exciting to see him flourishing.

Now I’m about to get really honest with you — because homeschooling is not what this blog post is about, and I’m putting my money where my proverbial mouth is.

I think one of the biggest reasons I didn’t want to homeschool — and almost didn’t — was because I cared about what other people thought. There were people close to me whose opinions I valued that didn’t agree with the idea. There were also people I am not very close to whose opinions I didn’t even know but assumed were probably negative, and that bothered me. The practical strangers and acquaintances in our small town who might think we are totally weird for choosing to homeschool our kid when it’s not very common around here? Those were the voices that I almost let make my decision for me.

How sad is that?

I almost completely missed the opportunity to enjoy something very special with my kid for however long the Lord leads us to do it this way, simply because I was afraid of what other people thought.

More important, I almost disobeyed what I truly believe the Lord was calling me to do because I cared about what other people thought.

This morning I spent some time thinking about the things that we humans do, specifically based on our concern of what other people think about us.

We do it to ourselves, and it starts young. How many young people actually want to walk the line and behave well, but cave to peer pressure because they feel the need to fit in?

But it doesn’t end once we finish high school or college and enter the ‘real world’. That’s really when things start warming up. Because keeping up appearances becomes so important to us that we will buy a house we can’t afford and drive a car we can’t pay for with money we don’t have — as it’s been said before — to impress people we don’t like.

We care so much about other people’s opinions, we are willing to jeopardize our financial stability, our marriages, our parenting, all for the sake of not wanting to seem weird.

Dave Ramsey has a great course for helping people take control of their finances. In the Total Money Makeover, he speaks to this trend and says “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like” and instead encourages people to change their spending habits, work aggressively to get out of debt and get in control. He says,

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

It is very, very hard to make it in this world if your constant concern for your every decision is what other people’s perceptions of that decision will be. And with the way we live our lives and post our photos and share our every thought on social media, we are perhaps becoming more and more concerned with our public appearance.


Care to march to the beat of your own drummer?
{Image via Piccsy}

But there is an alternative to this madness. And He has a name.

What would you think if I told you there’s only one opinion that really matters? Would you maybe agree, but not change the way that you’re living with other people’s opinions at heart? What if, in light of eternity, we each decided that only one opinion really does matter — and we need to start living that way? How amazing might the people of God begin to look to the world?

Here’s the thing. There is really only one opinion that really matters. You and I have the privilege of being invited into a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. He is gloriously good. {See previous 23 posts for further evidence…} And He will love you regardless of what clothes you wear, what you have in your bank account or what kind of car you drive.

And He has plans for you that might not take you down a path that looks like a big bank account and fancy cars. But. If you are willing to let Him take you down the path He has for you, I can promise you it will be an adventure and you’ll look back on it with thankfulness.

Before Jesus arrived on the scene it was said that He would:

… give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” {Luke 1:77-79, emphasis added}

The decisions you make each day are yours to make, friends. The challenge is not to let the world make them for you. You were made, you were created, for so much more than just being a shadow of who you think the world wants you to be. If you will live the life you were created to live, if you allow the Lord to guide your feet each day — wow, there is such a beautiful path planned out for you. A path of peace, a light to shine.