Some of you may not know that I home-schooled for sixteen years. With five kids, I at one point in time was overseeing five different grade levels. In addition to this, we had Korean students joining our homeschooling for more than five of those years. And I was tutoring English on the side as well.
I write this today, because I am struck by the themes of our lives, and how they seem to unfold before us, almost unbeknownst and certainly never foreseen.
Looking back at my own school years, the one thing that came through time and time again, year after year, report card after report card, was this, “Cyndy is not living up to her potential.”
Looking back at high-school, where I would bluff my way through Biology 12 with ridiculous rambling balder-dash answers to test questions (my teacher passed me because he was so amused, really, he told me so), the easy A’s I got in Psychology 12 without any studying whatsoever (a girlfriend was quite miffed with me about that ), and the Art class that I made sure to have each year, where we would spend our time practicing dance steps…
Who woulda’ thunk that my life would be marked by education and learning and mentoring.
I missed a phone call from Uganda early this morning, not sure who it was, and so I simply add this to the many calls, texts, and emails that remind me quite regularly of the same thing, “Please come to us.”
“It is time to make this work more official Cyndy, please mentor a small group here in Uganda that we might carry on the work.”
“All we know Cyndy, is that we need you in back in Uganda.”
When are you coming to Mozambique?
When are you coming to Pakistan?
When are you coming to…?”
When I was homeschooling, the routine was grueling. At one point in time, at the fullest point, I began the day at 7am with my oldest, checking on her work, reviewing whatever was new that day, and assigning the next work. Then at 7:45 the same with my oldest son, and then again with my third.
We would then fit some breakfast in, and have the youngest working at their stuff, with all of us ready for the Korean student/s to arrive at 9am. I’d get them set with what they were doing, then time with my third and fourth, and the projects they were all doing together, and later one-on-one time with my youngest.
I’m not even going to finish the full extent of our days. Pretty sure you get the picture. On top of all this, three of my five kids had various degrees of learning disabilities. And so there were the challenges of working alongside and through those realities.
During those years I learned a number of things. I learned how to schedule my time, and to self motivate. I learned how to juggle and I learned to put down the balls that needed to be put down for a time.
I learned to meet and to pour into a life and to grieve when that student left us. Again and again. I was always saying goodbye to Korean students, and I missed each of them deeply when they left. It was those years where I learned to grieve so well.
I learned to stop in the middle of a day, a couple times a day, and just sit. With my cup of tea in hand on the front steps of my house, I caught 15 minutes of silence and quiet deep inside myself. I learned to work hard and to rest hard.
Most of all I learned faithfulness.
And as I look ahead at the years to come, pouring into the spiritual lives of hundreds of people, mentoring small teams across the seas, encouraging and training and teaching, all the while holding each commitment, each church body, each pastor, deeply in my heart, I clearly see, that homeschooling, was just the start.
It was my training ground. A pressure pot of responsibility, of creativity, of time management, of patience, of honoring others over myself, and most of all, of faithfulness.
I’ve been asked many a time, “How did you do that?” To which I always respond, “I have no idea.”
And it is true. I look back and really have no clue how all those homeschooling years happened. I do know that I am so deeply glad for those years. There are numerous warm memories and crazy things and beautiful routines that happened in the midst of simply growing alongside my kids.
But I don’t really know how I did all that.
Looking ahead, I have no idea how I am going to ‘do all that’ is being asked of me in Africa and beyond. But I do know that I don’t have to know at this point in time.
For anything we do is done a step at a time. A month at a time. A year at a time.
We don’t walk in decades, we walk in days.
And all that is really required is faithfulness, and a heart that carries others, and will to make some things happen.
From responsibility to responsibility, we grow and are grown, we bless and are blessed.