Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I freaking hate change...

No seriously, I really do...freaking hate change that is...

Wait, did I just say "freaking" out loud...uh..yep, sure did. 

Funny thing, my 9 year old refers to that as the "f" word.  She'll gasp, put her hand over her mouth and whisper, "mom just said the f word."

One day I finally had to admit that saying "freaking" isn't something mommy should do, but, that there is an actual "f word," and "freaking" ain't it.

Ha! (sigh), wait, where was I? Oh, right, change...

Brandon and I spent a lot of time last winter and spring deciding where Nolan should go to school this current school year. He's a June birthday and before we knew Nolan would be, well, Nolan, we'd decided to hold him back one year and begin kindergarten when he was 6.  No big deal, right?  Tons of people do this.  Not so easy with a child who has an IEP and is deemed "special needs." We have to have a meeting to write up an IEP that won't be used, deny that, then have another meeting to officially deny it and come up with a service plan, blah, blah, wah,'s just the way it is...I've come to terms with it.  So, with advice from his speech therapist and preschool teacher, we decided to send him to a mainstream preK program here in Plainfield. 

Everyone (teacher, director, etc) is aware of Nolan's "disability," we now are just waiting for school to start. I'm back homeschooling both girls and I've got my plan.  8 days into preK, Nolan was asked not to come back.  His distractibility and high energy didn't fit the mold of this preschool, and we were encouraged to look into sending him on to kindergarten where they have to resources to help him.  All this happened in a meeting that was for us to discuss "baseline testing" scores.  Feel like I went from 100 to 0?

Now wait, I just wanted to set the scene for the blog title, "I freaking hate change."

My plans have now been changed.  Plans are good, the are helpful, they are a responsible thing to have, yet, many times our plans are not God's plan.  Cliché?  Maybe? 

On a Friday in September, well into the school year, Nolan doesn't have a school to attend.  From the time he was 4 months old, this was one of those times I feared.  Literally feared...wake me up in the middle of the night in an anxiety attack feared.  What will school look like?  Will people want to help him? Help us?  Will anyone fight for him?  Give him a chance? 

Please, just give him a chance.

I laid in bed, the rest of that day sobbing...smeared mascara and snot, held by Brandon from time to time...both of us just so mentally exhausted of being blind sided by this, feeling helpless, betrayed, desperate for this boy, oh this precious gift from heaven to fit somewhere, to be accepted...where someone wants to help him.

Lots of details omitted, fast forward 9 days, and Nolan began kindergarten.  Not my plan, at this point I'm still angry we're being pushed into a decision I still don't want...He's not ready for kindergarten.

Nolan doesn't like change either...

He begins tantrums like you've never seen, at home, and at school...he's becoming very defiant, aggressive, combative, not sleeping, pooping his pants...sound fun?  It wasn't.  Everyday I went to pick him up (he's the only child in the school system doing 1/2 day kindergarten), it's a bad report, I mean, bad.  I've left school carrying him while he screams and kicks, and sometimes hitting me.  I bring him home, same type of behavior...he's trapped in this anxious, I don't like change whirlwind unable to adequately express,

"Mom, I freaking hate change,"

and doing just so the only way he knows acting out.  Tired yet?  I was. On top of all that, I'm supposed to be teaching the girls. 

One of the most enjoyable things about homeschooling is how stress free it really can be!  Learning on the couch, at the table, adjusting things to the learner, making things fun, taking a day off because you're ahead of schedule...etc...but I can't do anything but deal with Nolan.  It's physical, emotional, and mental stress.

I love homeschooling the girls, I love having them home, I love being with them...this is where satan works on me because I drift into thinking, "if Nolan weren't in the equation, homeschooling would be working wonderfully."

Shame on me.

God led me to do some real soul searching, and I began to see that I had the view that God could only protect my children if they are homeschooled.  In this day and age, there are so many things that happen and can be heard in schools that we just wanted to protect these kids a few more years.  I still do.  My prayer each morning is that God would protect their bodies, hearts and minds. I pray that God will not allow them to hear anything contrary to what his Word says. 

At the same time, I clearly saw God leading us to school. My plan was Pre-k and homeschool.  But, the Lord yanked that rug right out from underneath us and so clearly led us away from my plan and toward His.

I woke up one cool day in October, and all 3 of my kids went to school that day.  Holy Sh&# balls!  Most moms lose their kids one by one, and I lost all 3 in a matter of moments.  I won't lie, that was a hard day.  Satan causes me to question our decision all the time.  Yet, with each question, God gives an instance or situation to prove He is right, He is in control, and He orchestrated all of this. 

Homeschooling was an idol for me.  I didn't want to feel like I was giving up, quitting, I didn't want to admit that the stress of Nolan's needs and schedule added on top of a homeschool schedule were too much for me. 

But, "I can do all things through Christ..." but, "He gives grace."  Just "give it to God."  Right?  You can insert any Bible verse or any inspirational quote here, but, there are times in life when God's trying to shut a door and we're defiantly standing in the way...arms crossed, eyes averted, stiff armed...that was me.

Megan, let me show you my grace, my comfort, my peace, my rest, come to me, let me carry this burden.
He whispered this for a while until he said it quite loudly through Brandon as he lovingly said, "We said we'd homeschool while it worked, and this year it's not working, and that's ok."
I am not a failure.  I'm a flawed human being, by the grace of Jesus trying to love my husband and children, but, I have limitations.  I'm not supposed to do it all on my own, and it's ok if our way is different than yours because God's given us different circumstances and trials to bear.  Yours aren't harder than mine, and vice versa, but, so long as we're loving God and loving others, I truly believe God knows the desires of my heart and will bless them no matter where my kids are.
Psalm 37:4 "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires."
Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Proverbs 16:9 "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. "
I woke up on a Friday morning not too long ago, in the middle of all these behavior issues, and it hit me like a ton of bricks...
I can't control these kids any more than I can control the weather. 
Typical children make us think we can, at least mine do. We can get a desired response or behavior out of these kids with fear of consequence, but, really, that's not always an accurate reflection of the heart. Nolan is the very same...just like my typical kids, Nolan's changes will come as the Lord does a work in his heart.
He's your boy Lord, you do the changin', I'll sit back and watch.

The Paschal's 2013

Sometimes approaching a new year, I have a hard time remembering what all happened.  Sometimes I think it's because these 3 children have sucked all the brain cells out of me, and then I also have to remember I'm only getting older:)  I mean, I completely forgot I told my mom I'd bring mashed potatoes to Christmas this year...seriously, who forgets stuff like that?  Anyway, as I took time to look back over the life of our family in 2013, the most common word that could be used is growth...I mean that, physically, spiritually, personally...

I took my very first girls weekend in February.  A few of my very closest friends and I holed up in a condo in northern Indiana for 48 straight hours.  Our families have grown up enough that we all felt good about leaving them behind with very capable daddy's, and so we went for it.

With a very spacious condo, we didn't leave the living area at all other than to sleep for a few hours each night.  We talked into the wee hours of each morning, laughed a lot, ate some good food, and have set out to make this an annual thing.

The spring brought about Adelynne (6 years old then) playing softball for the first time, a trip to Chicago, Nolan (4 then) finishing up developmental preschool, the girls and I wrapping up a very successful, blessed, 1st year of homeschooling (Aubrey finished 2nd grade and Adelynne kindergarten), numerous IEP meetings for Nolan, seeing Narnia on stage for the girls, daddy and I, and Brandon's 31st birthday.  All these events signal our children are growing up...not only in size, but, in interests and capabilities.  (And mom and dad aging a little ;)  Sometimes this realization makes me sad, but, it sure is a fun ride to be on.

In June, our Nolan turned 5 years old, and shortly thereafter, I left for our youth's Send Me Missions trip to Boonville, Indiana.  To say something like this is way out of my comfort zone, is an understatement.  For me personally, it's one thing to leave my kids behind while I get some time with Brandon for a few days, than it is to leave my ENTIRE family behind for 8 days.

That being said, I LOVED it.  I was able to help our students throw a VBS for a small church there in Boonville, and at the end of the week we threw a Family Night for the families of our VBS'ers.  I stayed up way past my bedtime, had many interesting discussions, and loved my time with our teenagers.  My girls have grown enough to be independent, self-sufficient helpers which allows me to be able to minister in other areas.  For this I am grateful.

July brought about my 34th birthday however I still feel 21 in my head:)

August brought about new school schedules.  Brandon headed back for his 7th year of teaching, Nolan headed off to a mainstreamed pre K program, and the girls and I began 1st grade and 3rd grade together.

 September brought some big changes, unexpected, unwanted, and heartbreaking, but, in the long run brought some growth.  Nolan was asked not to come back to preschool after 8 school days.  His high energy and distractibility were viewed as not suitable for this environment.  We spent days agonizing over this event.  Nolan ended up heading to kindergarten several weeks into the semester...the change has been very rough on ALL of us...especially him.  He's had a hard time, yet, week to week we continue to see growth.

October brought Aubrey's 9th! It also brought the girls heading to public school for the year, and me learning to grow in other areas...not just motherhood.

December brought Adelynne's 7th birthday and Brandon and I's 11th anniversary.  2013, overall, was a good year.  Each season of life brings it's own challenges...yet we know these surprises to us are never a surprise to our God. 

John 16:33
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."

Knowing the Lord is control of our family each year, the good ones, and the bad ones give me great hope for the future.  I may struggle (a lot!), I might kick and scream, but, when given moments like this to reflect, I'm extremely thankful for each and every year the Lord gives us together.

Visit Steph ( to find out what she's saying about 2013.