My husband and I have had lots of choices laid before us lately. At least it feels like more than normal. It's interesting to watch how we make choices and got me thinking about how others make choices.

Here's one choice I have struggled with, been at war with, and has been all consuming for about two years.

Homeschooling vs. traditional school.

Here's what I need you to know. I am not looking for your opinion, guidance, or thoughts on which one is better or which one we should do. I do not need the pros and cons for each side. I don't need to know which one you favor. In truth, it has nothing to do with what you think, the research you have, or how strongly you feel one way or the other. I believe with my whole my heart it has everything to do with how faithful my husband and I are to listening and trusting God with what is right for our family.

It's interesting for me to even be writing about this because I used to have very strong feelings against homeschooling. I am sorry if this statement offends you, but that is where I was at. I thought it was terrible that so many Christian families were pulling their kids out of the schools. The place where we need to be more than ever. I thought it went against God's call for us to live out our faith where we are. To be a light to the lost, etc.

Then two summers ago, I was speaking at a youth camp and when I was out for my morning run I was praying and all of a sudden I felt something very strongly towards homeschooling and started to think about it is a viable option for my kids. To say I was stunned and confused is an understatement. I had no idea what to do with what I was feeling, and the feelings wouldn't go away. Later that week I decided to call my mom. I usually do that if I need to process something and talking to God felt very confusing since I had no idea how to process what I was hearing and feeling.

So the war in my mind, body and soul started. I was terrified of homeschooling and so I kept it my little secret for some time. I couldn't dare say it out loud because then I might actually have to do something with it. I fought it. I prayed about it. I read about it. I cried over it. I obsessed over it. I cried some more about it.

God was changing my heart. My very stubborn, hard, judgmental heart. I had previously judged homeschooling very harshly, and now God was breaking my attitude. He was calling me to obedience to search his truth. He was calling me to let down my walls and see something beautiful. He was calling me to open my heart to see that there is more than one right way to raise your children. God was freeing me of judgment.

I think freedom from judgment is one of the most beautiful gifts to ever be received. It allows us to see people, issues, and life outside of our own preconceived ideas and opinions. It allows for more grace and compassion towards our fellow man kind instead of their misdeeds against the institution we believe in.

Here's one problem with me. I have many, many issues, but for the sake of this already long blog, we will stick to this one main issue. I am the first to admit that I am a person who loves to do what she wants. I want to eat so I will. I want to do this, so I will. I don't want to work out, so I won't.

I live on my will. But my will changes all the time. And my will is based on my feelings.

You should hear my prayers, most of the time I cry out to God to hear his voice above my own, and usually it is where doubt plaques me. I start to doubt if I am doing what I am doing because its what I want, or because I know it is what God wants.

Another thing you should know about me is that when I am pregnant, I am emotionally stunted. It kind of has turned into a joke with those who are close to me. It is also how I knew I was pregnant this last time. My husband was sharing something with me that constituted at least a little bit of feeling from me, and I had nothing. I could care less. He saw my blank expression and at the same time, we both knew. I was pregnant. I live this way for nine months, struggling to stir up any kind of emotion, and then for about a year after the baby is born, I can't stop crying over the littlest of things.

My daughter is now 18months old, and so that means for the last two years of this war within myself, I have been emotionally stunted and emotionally unstable. Most of the time, I just have had no idea how to gauge who I am or what is real or not real inside of me.

So I finally had the courage to tell my husband, who I knew was not a big fan of homeschooling, what I was wrestling with. We talked about it and decided that I should home school the boys for a year and research schools in Mpls to know what our options were. I wanted to check into schools because much like homeschooling before, I was casting lots of judgments on a program and a system I didn't know anything about. I hadn't stepped inside an elementary school since I went to one, and yet, was acting like the devil himself had taken charge of them.

So I went and researched dozens of schools and visited half a dozen. We applied at three just to see what happened and to really get an idea of what our options really were.

About this time is when Big was off the charts crazy angry and I was crying all day every day, calling my mom three times a day begging for help. Desperately seeking prayers and answers and guidance. I was drowning under the pressure of three highly active, determined, passionate, stubborn children. We had no rhythm to our daily lives. I take that back, survival was our goal and what drove all of our decisions. I would strive for some sort of schedule, but discipline, guidance and correction would overtake all else.

It was a rough year. The roughest since my mild depression after my second was born and it was my first year as a stay home mom wrestling with my identity and who I was now that I wasn't working.

I felt lost. I felt like the worse version of myself. I was letting everyone around me down with communication and expectations I had of myself. I didn't know to live very well. And here I wasn't just struggling; I was deeply affected with this decision of homeschooling vs. traditional schooling for my family.

If you spend any significant time with me, you will soon realize that I don't really debate. I don't argue, and I don't take a stand on many issues. Most often, right or wrong, I can see and understand both sides of the issue. If you are going to argue a point, I get it and can agree with you. But often, I can see the other side and understand the reasoning, especially if it is an issue not of right or wrong, but of difference.

Schooling in my opinion is an issue of difference. I do believe with my whole heart that God blesses homeschooling and traditional schooling. I believe it is a matter of what is right for each individual family.

My issue is that I deeply see the benefits of homeschooling and traditional school.

What I love about homeschooling is the slower pace to life. More time with my kiddos to have hands on life experience and "field trips". To continue to guard and protect their hearts. To teach them what they need to know all in the context of God as provider, protector and King. To protect their innocence as long as possible. To move them past so much of the social struggles and instill a deeper maturity. To allow them to be kids longer, play more, and learn at their own pace. I know there is more, my list is long, but right now, the words escape me.

What I love about traditional schooling is allowing my son to grow into himself outside of me and his siblings. To learn things I can't teach him; to learn authority from others and follow more structure. To struggle with the way others do life and then come home and allow us to help him make choices and walk through those issues with him. It allows him the ability to make a choice about his faith on his own. It allows me a bit of time to spend with his siblings and get to know them more intimately. Again, there is more to my list, but not in my head.

There are also cons, but not necessary to discuss right now. I also bring a big set of fears into both issues. Can I be enough to my kids if I'm all they have? What if my child discovers another set of rules, faith, way of living inside school and chooses that instead? Do I want us to live a life that is filled with "busy"? Just because it’s what everyone says you should do, do you do it? What if we've made the wrong choice?

Through the course of the last couple months I have been settled into sending our son to Chinese Immersion School. This is an incredible opportunity for him to learn about the world. To study language and have a mind for language which is a huge gift considering how large his world will be with internet and the global job market. It will aid him in loving, understanding others and keeping judgment on the differences between people at bay. This is a rare gift.

Then I started to struggle with home school again. The first time I deeply prayed over it, I realized I wanted to home school because I thought I could control my children's salvation. I thought I could guarantee they would be saved and they would want a relationship with me and be different than all the teenagers I speak with at youth events.

My desire to home school was solely based on fear and a non-existent trust in God.

Now my desire to home school was for all the benefits that home school offered. This was very different. But I wasn't just looking at traditional schooling vs. homeschooling; I was looking at a rare wonderful opportunity of an immersion school for my son.

It was great option 1 vs. great option2. The need to decide was heavy on my heart. Killing my concentration, and consuming my thoughts. What should I do?

I was terrified to pray about it afraid that God would tell me to home school. If he told me to home school, could I do it? I would be divided against my husband on the issue and that was not tempting to me. What if I failed? What if I heard wrong? What if I took an amazing gift of Chinese immersion away from my son and it was the wrong choice?

So I stepped slowly into praying about it. I tiptoed in. Scared and being honest with God about where I was at, but confident He had an answer for me. Then, I slowly heard, this is your choice right now. For right now, it’s your choice. What do you want to do?

Then I got upset and a little ticked off. How dare He! If he told me to home school or go to immersion school than at least I had him to blame for my choice. I needed a scapegoat, and he wasn't giving me one.

If it was my choice, and the pro and con list was equal on both sides, how does one decide?

How do you make choices in your life? How do you choose between two really good things? How do you know what the right answer is?

For me, I wept. Every night for over a week, I went to bed early to read, journal and pray. Mostly I just wept in honest confession about all my fears, confusion, and tiredness. I confessed I was exhausted from this war. I needed an answer. I couldn't trust myself. I begged and pleaded to God to grant me peace so I could hear his voice and make a decision.

His peace did come. I did find rest. And it didn't come in the pro's and con's list. It didn't come with the knowledge of the benefits or fears for either side. It came in being faithful to listen to God and hear his voice. It came in trusting Him to be enough no matter what the decision.

I also realized that my son will not face the enemy in all the ways I fear in Kindergarten. I realized that now is probably not the time for me to make such a choice, and for now, we keep him in this amazing opportunity of immersion school. This will allow him time to grow into himself. This will allow me time to be with my other two. This will allow me time to breathe, slow down a little, and pray some more. It will allow me time to let go of some of the control I imagine I have over my children's souls and futures.

Mostly it will allow time to bring healing, answers, and hope for our choice. This choice is not for forever. We are taking it year by year, and we choose tradition school for this year. I am usually peaceful about this choice. But the first day of school brought back my fears, sadness and awareness at the weight of how big going to school is.

My son is a kindergartener at Chinese Immersion School in Minneapolis and he loves it. This is apart of his story and God will bless it. I can’t wait to see how he will teach us all, stretch us, guide us, and daily bring us into his grace and mercy. For all my control issues, I will be reminded continuously that there is only one who knows all.

But if I could pick one superhero power, it would be hindsight.