Overview: If your kids are rapidly approaching adulthood, have you thought about what comes next?!? When the kids leave the house, what’s YOUR next step?
When my boys were fairly young, I started homeschooling them. My oldest son was two at the time, which is really young. However, the days can be long when you’re a stay-at-home mom. That’s especially true when you’re used to going off to work every day. Homeschool lessons gave us something fun and productive to do together. It was good for my son. And truth be told, it was good for me as well.
So, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 19 1/2 years and a homeschool mom for 17 years. And 13 years ago, I decided to start blogging about our homeschool adventures. At the time, there weren’t very many bloggers around. There were a few. But blogging hadn’t really taken off, yet. In fact, I didn’t even call my blog a blog. It was a website.
My goal with being a homeschool blogger was to encourage other moms who were on a similar journey to my own. And it was extremely satisfying. I regularly heard from my readers. They would send me emails telling me how I was changing their lives. They thanked me for my advice. And their kind words encouraged me as well.
I knew that being a homeschooler blogger was something God wanted me to do. It became a ministry opportunity for me.
Then Things Changed
Over the last few years, however, things have changed. There are gazillions of homeschool bloggers, now. My sons are teenagers. And since I just graduated my youngest son, we’ve reached the days when we won’t be homeschooling anymore. What will I do now?
Will I continue writing to try to keep encouraging younger homeschool moms or will I do something entirely different with my life?
Up until a few months ago, I really didn’t know. I’ve put my heart and soul into my blog for 13 years. I’ve poured out my fears, my struggles, and my joys for all the world to see. I’m deeply invested in it.
But during the past few years, I’ve felt restless. I began to wonder if I was still where God wanted me? Or if there was a next step I should be taking once my boys leave the nest?
So, What Now?
Not knowing what that next phase of my life holds can be scary. But it also brings to mind a relevant story from the Bible. In Joshua 3, God told the Israelites to cross the Jordan River. He told the priests to go first and they were to carry the Ark of the Covenant. That might not sound like that big of a deal, but the Jordan River happened to be at flood stage at the time.
The Israelites didn’t always do a good job of obeying God, but they did this time. The priests stepped into the Jordan River and as they did so, God caused the Jordan River to stop flowing. Joshua 3:15-17 says:
“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.”
The part that is so encouraging to me is that God didn’t stop the Jordan River from flowing until the priests’ feet touched the water. He waited for them to obey Him before He showed them His power. They didn’t know what God was going to do. They were probably thinking that they would have to find a way to swim across a flooded river while carrying the Ark of the Covenant.
God didn’t explain to them exactly what He was going to do. But He did give them enough information so that they could obey and wait for Him to show up.
A few months ago, I honestly didn’t know what the future held for me. I wondered if I would continue blogging about homeschooling or something else entirely. Or as my boys become men if my blogging days are also coming to an end.
Going from one phase of life to the next is very difficult. There’s so much I don’t know and if I think about it too much it can be overwhelming.
I’m starting to think God wants me to continue mentoring other homeschool moms who are still in the trenches and to use some of the difficulties we’ve had over the years to give advice to other moms who are experiencing similar struggles. I’m also enjoying focusing on literacy and helping moms to give their children a love for reading. But there’s so much more about what comes next that remains unclear to me.
Fortunately, I am confident that God knows every detail about what that next step in my life entails. And He will reveal it to me when the time is right. In the meantime, my job is to continue to be obedient and to trust Him to take care of the rest.
UPDATE: As I’ve crossed the homeschool finish line, God has shown me what He wants me to do during this next phase of my life. You can hear all about it in this video.