When I first started homeschooling my three kids (ages six, three, and one) in 1995, I thought my life from that moment would always be about homeschooling. I pictured all of my time (or at least most of it) shaping my children’s education. I scheduled my day in 15-minute increments and did my best to stick to it. What I didn’t know was that over the years God would call me to follow my own dreams. What I also didn’t realize was my kids would benefit from that.
It all started when I attended the Mt. Hermon Writer’s Conference with a friend. Being there with industry professionals made writing for publication seem possible. Classes taught me how to be published. The love, prayers and support of published authors and editors brought people into my life who believed in me and prodded me to follow God’s dreams. It didn’t matter to them that I was a young, homeschooling mom who hadn’t even finished college.
At first I felt guilty following my dreams. I’d homeschool in the morning and then in the afternoon I’d set aside a few hours to write while my children played. Those early years, I wrote articles and ideas for novels as Barney played on the television. At least a dozen times during those two hours my kids would ask me for milk, or a snack, or to play with them. I’d offer what I could but then remind them, “This was Mommy’s writing time.” Guilt weighed me down as if Barney the dinosaur sat on my shoulders, and I was sure I was the worst homeschooling mother there was. To combat my guilt I swung the other way and became over committed, making frequent library trips, signing my daughter up for dance lessons and my boys up for sports. It was my husband who urged me to stop the madness. Over the months to come we figured out our priorities. . . .