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A Mothers Sacrifice Is

Never Wasted
My husband and I were dressed casually, in shorts and athletic gear. There
was no pomp and circumstance. No cap and gown. No program. Not even a
diploma. But as a few family members gathered in our family room, we
happily celebrated my sons graduation from homeschooling high school.
Actually, we did have a program of sorts. Each of us took turns sharing
favorite memories of Quentins growing up years. I happened to go last, and
as I listened to the others, I kept pondering what I would say. What stood out
most? At my turn, it finally came to me Gods faithfulness.
I told my son how, beginning from the time he was a baby, God had used him
to bring about his will for our family, even when I couldnt see it myself
even despite myself.

I Didnt Plan to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom


I hadnt planned to be a stay-at-home mom; the thought had never crossed my
mind. I was raised in the D.C. area, the only child of a divorced mom who
taught the importance of a good education and a lucrative career, so that I
could live independently, if need be.
I took her words to heart, earning a bachelors and law degree, clerking for a
federal judge, and landing an associate position in litigation at a top
Wisconsin law firm. But Jesus soon drew me to himself. I heard the gospel for
the first time in Wisconsin, gave my life to him, and began soaking up words
in a Book Id never read.

Two years later, my husband Bill and I celebrated the birth of our first child,
Quentin. I took a four-month maternity leave, and during that time, something
began churning. For the first time, I had thoughts of doing life differently. For
the first time, home became appealing. Spending unhurried mornings with
my newborn, holding him, enamored with his smiles, tickled by every first,
court deadlines a world away was I crazy for wanting to live this way?
The seed was watered further on my first day back to work. Quentin refused
to drink breast milk from the bottle Bill was feeding him. He was determined
to starve himself, and as Bill called with updates, my heart was being pulled. I
drove home in the middle of the day to nurse him, knowing in time he would
adjust.
But I also knew it was about more than the feeding. We began praying, and I
soon reduced my hours the first step to leaving completely.

I Prayed God Wouldnt Call Me to Homeschool


And there was the time I prayed that God would never call me to homeschool.
We now had a son and daughter and were living in Dallas. Id met a
homeschool mom who described her typical day, and my head started
spinning. Besides, we were moving to St. Louis, and both kids would be in
school (Quentin in first grade, my daughter in preschool). Finally Id have
time to write that book I was wanting to get on paper. Id finally get something
out of this whole stay-at-home-mom thing ministry time, and a little me time
too.
But God.
In St. Louis, I began hearing about homeschooling everywhere I turned, and
surprisingly, my heart was being drawn. Meanwhile, Quentin had started first
grade, and his class was just beginning phonics, while he already knew how
to read. I found myself praying to be able to school him at home, and through
circumstances only God could have arranged, he was at the kitchen table by
October, doing his school subjects.

I Declared the Homeschool Season Had Ended


And there was the time I declared that the grace has lifted regarding
homeschooling. By eighth grade, we felt it was time for Quentin to go to
school. And eighth grade went well. But during ninth, he stated his preference
he wanted to return home. And I chafed. His sister had gone to school that
year as well, and I had more free time to write, which mattered, since I now
had deadlines. Plus, homeschool high school? How would I get my head
around that?
But after much prayer and discussion, he indeed came back home. And in the
past three years, I have seen Gods hand in ways I would have never seen
otherwise. I have seen his providence. I have seen his provision. I have seen
him give Quentin a passion for subjects he couldnt have studied at school,
such as Biblical Hebrew. I have seen God open the door for him to be
admitted into a great university due in part to those studies. And I have
seen Quentin grow immensely in his knowledge of Gods word and his
relationship with Jesus.
That is what we were really celebrating at Quentins graduation Jesus. If it
had been solely up to me, the past nineteen years would have looked a lot
different.

His Ways Are Higher


In so much of life, we make plans and create goals and they are often good
plans and goals. They may involve works of ministry with which God has
burdened our hearts. But we have only a limited view. We dont know Gods
timing. We dont know all his specific priorities. And we dont know the
myriad circumstances he is working in conjunction with the small part of the
picture were able to see.
Often, the work he is prioritizing lies within our own hearts, for it is God who
works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13

ESV). He leads us on a remarkable journey of sanctification, of dying to self, to


our own plans and priorities, even to ministry opportunities that intrinsically
seem more exciting than the important ministry of home.
And through it all, we learn that God is faithful. As we pray, he will direct
and even re-direct us. When we seek him, he will make his will known to the
degree that we need to know it. It is not an easy journey, but as we follow by
faith, we witness Gods plans and purposes in glorious ways. And our praise
deepens, as we behold this truth: his ways are higher (Isaiah 55:9).
True self-sacrifice is never wasted. It wasnt so for Jesus, and will not be for
those of us who are in him.