chad and i have had quite a year and a half or so struggling with each other...lots of downs and middle ground, but few ups to speak of. we had been homeschooling kansas up until the end of last september, when for reasons mostly of butting heads all around, we enrolled him in public school. i was far more at rest with the decision than chad, who has been pointing out ever since then the myriad of ways that school is corrupting our son. i had an encouraging talk with a neighbor a few weeks ago who drives a bus to the school kansas attends, and knows a few of the ins and outs of what goes on there - she is a catholic who tells us often what a great job we are doing raising our children. she said on this particular day that even though we may be discouraged with the negative impact school might be having on him, he is having a really positive influence on a lot of the kids there. she noted especially the exclusively spanish speaking boy who started school even later than kansas and was placed in his class. kansas had talked to us about him, and we knew that he had made a special effort to welcome and befriend this boy. but it was nice to hear about it from someone else...
today kansas came home from school with the news that he had been able to pray with two kids, one at recess and one on the bus - to recieve Christ. he was so excited. chad took him to the Christian bookstore for new testaments and tracts, and kansas is at this moment inscribing one of the bibles for one of the boys - "to nicholas from your friend kansas, january 7th 2003 - clad in light may you walk through darkness." ("mom, what does clad mean?")... he told me at dinner that it was sort of like he was the school missionary.
inside i am biting my nails, i am pleading with the sky, for i know that with the heart my son possesses will come pain, and what parent does not want to spare their child agony of any degree? inside i am also beaming, brimming with thankfulness for that same heart, reveling in the answer to a prayer uttered many times over, for him to have a heart like david's, a heart after God's own. the thought of my slight boy, by all observable accounts alone in the sea of secular influences (but standing always in the unseen shadow of his mighty guardian angel; of Jesus, staff in hand, aware of the wolves prowling around Kansas' ankles and daring them to even think of taking a lunge, a nip, a sniff) - yet having the sense that there are those around him drowning, who just may grab onto the raft he is paddling in. i am humbled at the workings of our God, i am taught by my seven year old.
please pray for him, for his brother and sister, and for us as we continue in this great and scary task of raising kids. and dance with your hands up high with us in this moment today of God's obvious hand in this family.