Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sliding doors

Have i ever mentioned that i am no good at making decisions? Especially really big and important ones? Cause I'm not--or so i am reminded each time i get a migraine after a stressful situation. (what a whimp)

Here's the deal. I have had a huge decision to make this year.  It started this last February when Laney's name was drawn from the lottery at PACT Charter school. Yes, the big daddy of charter schools. My child got into.  So after stressing a bit and praying about it this winter a few of my girl friends (one in praticular who happens to work there) just told me to say "yes" and then i had the rest of the year to decide.

That sounded easy enough. After telling the intimidating admissions coordinator we would accept the position i thought about if a few days, and then insisted that my brain forget about it. I mean, i had like 6 months until school started anyways. Who cares.

Flash forward 6 months.

I get something in the mail telling us when Laney was to come in and do a little testing to see where she fit into the class.  Oh great. That's right, I have to make this decision.

Jeromy and i talked it over and he was insistent that the kids not go to different schools. We did NOT want to be a house that went all over timbuctoo accommodating all the wants of different kids. They would stay together. That we were both sure of.  So that kind of took the pressure off, because Ruby was yet to be confirmed "in" and they wouldn't know until school started.  That pretty much was our answer.

I called the school the day before i was to take Laney in and told them that it was likely that i wasn't going to take the position because my other child wasn't confirmed as accepted and the sweet secretary encouraged me to just wait and see and take Laney in anyways.  She offered for me to talk to the coordinator (rememeber, the scary one?)  And i said, "no thanks. She kind of scares me." And that was that.

Well we got up early and headed into PACT. I was watching the time to see how long this commute would take every day of my live for the next 12 years. And it was about 27 minutes.  We arrived and Laney went into the room with the wonderful Kindergarten teacher that they have and the secretaries invited me in. They said that scary lady (i add libbed that) wanted to see me. 


She told me (on the DL) that there was just an opening, as of yesterday, for a second grade position. 

Normal people would have jumped for joy...

I did not.

"Ohhhhh, okay. Well, that's...suuuuper."

Was all i could muster as my brain began to move about 100 miles per hour with each and every possible scenario of my kids future...and they all rested on my shoulders. Heavily.

Ruby instantly dug her heals in.  I assured her (in a quiet voice) that we would think about it and talk to Dad, and not to worry.

About an hour later. She had a bad headache.

Where does she get it?

I blame her Dad.

Anywhoo, as my brain raced and Ruby's brain raced and Laney's brain sang whimsical songs...we drove in silence.

I would have called Jeromy, but i think my phone was shut off....Ahhh, the life I lead.

So in the silence we rode, off to Waldochs to get cucumbers to can.  'Cause we push forward, that's why!

As i sweat and sniffed enough vinegar to rot my brain, i wondered.

What the heck? Why do I have to make this decision? If only she hadn't gotten in.

Now i know it sounds negative but believe me i was happy-ish. This could be the potential for greatness. This school was amazing, right?

When all else fails, i email a letter off to my wonderful small group of ladies. They will help me. Or at least pray for me. Which in turn is helping me, right?

They were encouraging. In their evasive not gonna tell you what to do kind of way.  (i like them for that....most days:)

One verse that my friend shared with me was Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

That Laurie, she always knows what to say.  It was a verse i clung to. I approached the throne with confidence--confused, couldn't make a decision if my life depended on it, confidence.

Then two days later i was off to Milwaukee with my brother. I think you remember that post.  I truly believe those migraines stemmed from this decision. My brother felt  bad and assumed i was secretly super stressed, but i was having a blast with him. It was the silent decision looming over head that was killing me...well, and maybe the smell of those deliciously sweet roses.

Anywhoooo, back to the stress. The prayer. The indecision. My wonderful friend Lynn called and gave me the dish on how wonderful PACT really was and was encouraging and wonderful.

Which only made the decision that much harder.

Ya see, first off PACT has no bus service out here. Second: Laney only would go half day. And Ruby would go full day. That meant i drove there at least 2 if not 3 times a day. For the first year at least. Third: The financial burden of  putting gas in our tank just might wreck us. Literally. 

But East Bethel is in the St. Francis school district and its a well known...ummm....its like....kind a hillbilly way? I don't know. Its just not the best, i guess. And i am worried about the middle school and high school and my kids making one wrong choice and damaging their whole lives!!! 

(That's not dramatic, and i don't like your tone.)

I told Jeromy over and over that this is a "sliding door" moment. (Thank you Tonya, for that movie many years back)  Because Gwenyth Paltrow missed the train her life turned out completely different than if she had made it.  Ya see...a sliding door?  One choice sets the course of your life.(in a sense)

My kids whole high school career, sports career, prom dates, friends, all were up to me! (you know, in a sense)

So i stressed about it. I prayed about it. And i talked to everyone. I mean everyone. Because i believe the Bible is correct in the fact that there is wisdom in many counselors.  And counseled i was.

Jeromy and i felt like this was God opening these doors for our kids. Could we actually do this?

And as i sat and sat and prayed and prayed i flip-flopped my decision about 100 times. Depending on the day, i could go either way.  We made lists of pros and cons and we both agreed, this was a difficult choice.

Its really important to me to have my kids close. And in all the years i have lived here, everything has been kind of far away and i have always commented on the fact that the school is just a hop, skip and a jump away. I loved that. I needed that. I needed to know that i could be to my kids in 3 minutes flat. That was very important.

So flipping and flopping i did.

And what i realized (and honestly believe) is that God gave me this choice. Not to leave my community, but to cling to it.  There are so many times that i look back in my life and think i thought i knew what i wanted and then God opened the door for me only for me to realize that i am perfectly content where i am.

There's something just so right about loyalty. To a spouse, a family member, a friend, a town, a state...pretty much anything.

I believe God opened the door to PACT, not so our kids could go there. But so we would choose East Bethel.   This is our community.  And God just really put it in my heart that my kids were going to be okay right where they were at.  Hallelujah!!


Can i get an Amen?

Once my eyes were opened i knew what we had to do.  Jeromy still wanted them at PACT but we talked and really weighed the pros and cons again, and we just felt like the cons were heavy enough to make it not worth it.

Now i know what you're thinking. 3/4 of Minnesotans are waiting to get into that school! You're a fool!!

But alas, its not the school for us. And i feel joy in my heart, finally knowing- with certainty- that this is where God wants us. At least for now.

I am thankful for all my friends and their wonderful advice. Tiffany and Sarah, our night out was very pure.  Thank you for your honesty.

Lets embrace our community together. Instead of leaving, i am going to dig in and be the light that shines Christ's love on all of East Bethel Community School...and maybe even the world!!

 (And it won't hurt that i'll be able to keep an eye on the naughty kids...and hopeuflly stear my kids the other direction...and even more so, hope my kids aren't the naughty ones. AMIRIGHT?!!)

Ahhh, its good to be home.