Different... In a Good Way
In 2009, my daughter was 10 and I came across this very challenging blog written by Lysa Terkeurst. "She Seeks the Uncommon" is a precious outpouring of Lysa's heart for her daughter, Hope. How she begs for Hope to be uncommon in this world. I was moved then in such a way to begin praying for my daughter, Bekah, as Lysa was praying for Hope. And for two years this word uncommon continues to be the descriptive adjective I desire for my Bekah.
When Bekah was 18 months old, we were at the pediatricians office for a well child check-up and the doctor said to me, "Bekah is precocious." No, not precious (although she absolutely was), but precocious. Not wanting to sound baby-brained, I did not ask what it meant. I did what any really smart mom would do. I went home and looked it up in the dictionary. This is was it said, "having developed certain abilities at an earlier age than usual." The thesaurus used words like, "advanced for one's age, mature, gifted, talented, clever, intelligent, quick." Wow.
Fast forward ten years. My Bekah can definitely be described as all of those words the thesaurus listed. Well, except for quick. She might be quick to catch on to things, but she MOVES in slow motion getting out the bed, taking a shower, folding clothes, all of the mundane things.
In January of this year, Bekah approached me and asked me if she might could try homeschooling this next school year. Well, trying homeschooling is not like trying sweet potatoes. If you don't like it, you can't just spit it out. And homeschooling requires one major thing...me. You have to know that I have many friends that I love and admire that homeschool. But that was never a word that I wanted as a part of my vocabulary. I love my freedom between the hours of 8am and 3pm. I love my ministry that requires me to be available to people. And I love being able to do what I want to do, when I want to do it.
When I asked her why she wanted to be homeschooled, she had three answers.
1. "I want to move at my own pace. When I understand something, I want to be able to move on to the next thing. " I get that. She is intelligent and pretty quick to catch on to things.
2. "I don't want to be at school for 7 hours and then come home and do homework for another hour or two. I want to be able to participate in other things - like drama, extra church activities, and I don't have time to do all that right now because of school." Ok, I get that, too. I am really vigilant about guarding our family time and I do not allow either of my children to participate in more than one thing at a time. Because we would never see each other or have dinner as a family which I think is super important!
3. "I want to be different. I feel like God has called me to be different and it is super hard to live that out with all the pressure from people at school. I want you, Mom, to spend at least the next year teaching me how to be bold." This was the clincher. How could I say no?
Yes, my precious (and precocious) daughter can be described in many terms. But the adjective that I pray most for her is different. Uncommon. And when the world begs her to conform, I beg for God to continue transforming her. When her peers encourage her to fit in, I pray that she stands out. When she feels like giving in to the pressures of this world, I pray for the boldness to fight for what she believes in and to remember WHO fights for her.
So, am I homeschooling my 7th grader? Yes. Do I know what I am doing? Not exactly. But God does. He is shaping and molding a precious and precocious girl into a young woman who is different...in a good way.
An update since I published this in August:
The first two months of homeschooling were...let's just say, difficult. Both of us had a pretty rough transitional time. But I can honestly say that these last two months (after the adjustment) have been some of the sweetest with my daughter. We talk. We laugh. We cry. We have relationship. And she is different...and to my surprise, so am I.
Unwrapping the gifts of God's blessings!