Life In The Moments

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Faith, hope, love, forgiveness, mercy, peace, compassion, encouragement, reconcilation just to name a few

The Education of Austin: More Than A High School Diploma

Today is the last day of high school for our oldest son, Austin. What a crazy journey we’ve been on with his education over the years. I write this today in part to give praise to God and to encourage you – the reader.

I never, ever… never… intended for Austin to go to public school. It was “my” plan to homeschool him from k-12th. But, six weeks before public kindergarten was to start – my husband said after much prayer – he believed we were to have Austin go to public school. I submitted to my husband because I knew he was listening to God. And sure enough…. in February of Austin’s kindergarten year – Parker was born. He was in the hospital the 1st full month of his life since he was a preemie. Did you catch the “never, ever…. never” at the beginning of this paragraph? Talk about being grateful for being wrong.

Truthfully, I could not have been the teacher that Austin needed during that time. But, Mrs. Smith – she was. How she loved that boy of ours! Her encouragement of his love for reading has lasted with him all these years. His dad & I read to him in the home from the time he was born.. but it was Mrs. Smith in kindergarten who challenged his reading in ways we could not as his parents. And I am thankful.

It was during Austin’s 1st grade year that I became ill and would be so for the next 5 years. Part of why God wanted Austin in public school was for his protection and mine. Life’s moments were interesting enough without Austin having been home all during the week days too. Teachers like Mrs. Beatty and Mrs. Oliva were there in ways that God knew Austin would want & need. They would also pave way for Austin’s middle brother, Travis, as well. It was partly due to their love for Austin that they took to Travis as they did as his teachers. But, it was Travis who ended up winning them over because of who he was himself. And I am thankful.

It was also during Austin’s 1st grade year – he gave his heart to God through Jesus Christ. Not at the physical church building we could have been at that morning, but up in a tree outside of our home that afternoon. I wasn’t well enough to go or to be left alone. Those encounters were and are why to this date you will hear us talk about how church does not equal a building and how God isn’t only found inside of them! And how worship can take place anywhere and at any time! Make no mistake about it – wasn’t just Austin who heard from God that day!

It was during Austin’s 7th grade year – he had some health issues. Given that I had been completely healed in 2003 due to the Great Physician – total Miracle – that homeschooling Austin became possible and the right choice for him. It was not okay for him to repeat the 7th grade due to rules about public school attendance when he was making just as great of grades outside their walls as he was in. I’ll never forget the day I walked in to the attendance office & withdrew him from public school. I was told, “From what we’ve known about your family over the years – we would have been disappointed in you.” Catch that? People were watching us & paying attention to who we said we were and how we walked life’s moments. Why? Simple, it was more than the sum of us.

Over the next few years, Austin was either totally homeschooled or a part of a homeschooling co-op. When Austin was 16, he surrendered to God and full-time ministry. It is through the last co-op that he is graduating on Friday, May 21st, at our last church in G-town. Austin being a part of that co-op and being a part of the student leadership with that church allowed him opportunities at the physical church building that is being used today in the town we are at now and with the church we serve at where his dad is the pastor.

His being schooled these ways also allowed him other opportunities that public school simply would not have. I cannot begin to tell you about all the moments Austin got to spend with his Grandpa Brown out serving others together during his last 18 months on this earth. For we believe that education is more than public or private or homeschool. Life’s moments are the real classroom. Why? God created us and the world. Every single day – no matter a person’s age – we are to learn and experience a variety of things. And to see that through the rain or the sunshine – there is no one that can compare to God. No love greater either.

Congratulations Austin on a job very well done! Your dad & I cannot wait to see all that God has planned for you. And how you continue to grow in Him and walk this world shining His light! While we’re thankful to be your parents – even more so to call you our brother-in-Christ! What lessons we’ve learn from and through you since the moment we learned we were pregnant back in 1990.

How are you being educated today? And who is looking at you as a teacher in their life’s moments?

As always, dear reader, you’ve been prayed for!
Much love,
Camey

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