We have some special places our family likes to spend time at, playing and exploring.
What makes a place special, is that, no matter where it is, or what we end up doing, everyone has fun for hours.
Waiakea Pond is definitely one of those places for us.
Sometimes we come to feed the ducks and watch the Nene Goose swim.
Our family had a busy week ahead, as usual, but also had a trip to Kona planned for Saturday. We don't get to Kona too often, since it is 2 1/2 hours away by car, but we try to go as much as we can to visit our favorite sandy beaches and the LDS Temple. I had thought about my captivating Honu encounter throughout the week, until it, too disappeeared into the deep-end of my thoughts, as we were planning our trip to the other side.
This particular week had been really difficult for me, so I was especially looking forward to going inside the Temple. The Temple is a place where I can sit peacefully and feel close to my loving Heavenly Father. It is a place where I can pray, and meditate, and receive answers to my prayers.
This seems silly, I know, because since when do I care about social expectations? Ha! But, we happen to live in an area where homeschooling support is hard to find, and furthermore, I can get caught up in the dramas of my own mind.
Last week I had been reading this woman's parenting blog, where there was a post about how wonderful it is to finally get her last child off to kindergarten, and finally get live her own life! She was praising all the Moms out there for putting in all that hard work of raising their young kids, and then encouraging them to start using this time now to catch up on their own goals and dreams. In a lot of ways it is wonderful advice and I couldn't agree more! There is a time to sacrifice and raise young children, and a time to spend more time on us; it isn't really possible to have it both ways! There are a lot of moms out there who look forward to this time, and I commend them for all their hard work!
However, as a homeschooling mom, it doesn't end. When everyone around you is placing their kids in school and getting on with their lives, you are still as busy as ever, still sacrificing in a lot of ways, still spending your time and energy towards raising and teaching your children at home. For me, this is what I want to do! I don't see homeschooling so much as a sacrifice, but as a chance to enjoy, and serve my children; to give them an amazing opportunity to be educated and to thrive in a loving and liberating environment. Yet, it still gets hard for me when I feel alone in these thoughts, and I admit, I need a little more mental support here!
Yes, is the answer.
If I sent my kids to school, I could do many of these things, and more, and pursue the dreams I have for myself.
As I sat in the Temple, sadly pondering these things in my heart, I thought of that Honu swimming beneath the bridge. It's life seemed so simple, so carefree and happy. It knew exactly what it needed, and lived in the safety and peace of it's own thoughts and dreams. I felt a sudden twinge of jealousy for that Honu; that perhaps he had the better end of the deal, being an endangered species, rather than a confused, human Mom.
I sat there thinking some more, but began feeling more and more upset, until I was in tears. I prayed to God that I could receive the answers I needed today, that I could feel at peace like the Honu. "Whatever I do, please let it flow naturally,"I asked,"Please let it be exactly what I need to feel happy, that I can glide through life in peace and joy."
Pretty soon I was descending the steps of the Temple to meet my husband and children who had been waiting for me outside. I looked down to see my three kids standing there on the grass, running towards me shouting excitedly,"Mom, mom, mom!" Each one of them ran up to meet me, with a great, big hug, and a radiant smile, so happy to see their mommy who was away for a short time! Time seemed to stand still for a moment as I soaked in my children's angelic, little faces.
That view before me was something I will never forget and will be forever stamped into the forefront of my mind. I knew right away when I saw them, that the answer was right in front of me, that my dream right now is to be a homeschooling Mom. My heart confirmed it.
"No", I thought,"I don't want to do anything else right now but be with our 3 young children, spending my time, my energy, my talents, and all the love I have in the world on them." I had never seen this so clearly as I did at that moment, and knew that If I put my whole heart into it, it would prove to bring me the most joy in life.
My heart felt at peace the whole rest of the day. I felt like I was gliding peacefully, and flowing naturally with the plan God has for me. I could feel myself swimming into a calm place again, safe and secure, full of carefree happiness and joy. I could feel my loving Heavenly Father telling me I was still on the right path; that no matter what happens around me, homeschooling our children is right for me.
I felt just like the Honu under the bridge, yet here in the protected and sacred environment of our family's home.