Sometimes you exercise faith, by burying it in the ground with hope.
Tomorrow, I will walk into my beloved CC campus for the last time. The first time I walked in was with a three-month-old baby, a two-and-a-half-year-old and my five-year-old. I was the director and the tutor of the only class that was formed only a month prior. Six years later, I stepped down from directing a filled-to-overflowing campus that had become what my heart had desired most, a community.
This year was a year of transition, but as it draws to a close, I’m still not ready to let go of that original plan. It’s been the backbone of our education and all that we’ve ever known. It was the good plan. It just didn’t pan out for the upper levels and we now have to make the brave move to walk away. It’s the right choice, but the truth is, I’m heartbroken.
My kids and I are reading one of the many biographies of Mother Teresa. She was amazing, no doubt. What has always stuck out to me is how she left this world. She died five days after Princess Diana. There was such a media frenzy over the Royal Family, that Mother Teresa’s death was sub-headline. It was a quiet goodbye. I always imagine that’s how she would have wanted it.
But I’m no Mother Teresa.
I had a big huge party at the end of the year last year. I gave my long speech covering the six years of directing. We had an Olympic gold medalist come and speak. It was epic.
Tomorrow, however, will be a very quiet good-bye. For the first time, I will sit and cheer as kids I love are rewarded for memory master. Classroom parties will be had. Then, we will pack up and head home. [insert tears]
All week, we’ve had this 1 tulip in our front yard. It used to be a flower bed, but you don’t cover up what’s buried. We’ve had hail, freezing temps, rain, and snow, but that tulip is still standing like the beacon of hope that it is. She opens her heart to the sun and closes in to protect the heart from the darkness. Her leaf has a wound, mine does too, but that bloom is so beautiful and vibrant despite the years of waiting, blooming, dying to self, and blooming all over again.
A few years back, our campus did some community service for the church that hosts our program. At the time, a dear mom was going through some hard times. So, I decided to plant tulips on the church property. All the kids (60+) marched out in the fall to dig holes for bulbs. Then, I sent bulbs home with all our families (1 for every kid) to remind them that the hard work of homeschooling goes unseen for awhile, but one day, these children that we are pouring our lives into, will burst through all the sewing of seed and bloom into the people God has created them to be. I also recognized the struggling mom with the hope of a brighter tomorrow.
Today, the senior pastor tagged me in a photo. The tulips are still growing at the church too. It really warmed my heart to see that love towards others and hope survives all the brave doorways that we are called to walk in and out of.
Tomorrow, I stand at the end of another endurance labor of love. I’d like to offer up some free unsolicited advice to the CC directors of the world. I’m often asked how I grew such a large and deep loving community.
5 Things NOT to do for your CC Community
- Don’t ever answer with, “I’ll have to check the rules.” Communities don’t thrive in that soil. It’s fine to not have all the answers, but let them know you’re on their side.
- Stop freaking out over numbers and tutors. Learn to trust the Lord to bring the right people for that particular school year. This is His, not yours, remember?
- Don’t forget that to be a great leader, you have to serve. Do the hard work of meeting parents in their homes, at the park and even in your own home. Relationships will always speak louder than academics.
- Don’t get caught not crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. While we’re all friends, not everyone will keep their end of the deal. Do your administrative work well because it’s important, but don’t let it become the main thing.
- Set boundaries. Pigeon hole your time to check e-mail. Stay focused on your family at home, but teach them the service required on your community day.
5 Things TO DO for your CC Community
- Love them well. Not with your rules and regulations, but with grace and generosity.
- Grow everyone’s love of learning. Everyone needs something to do and something to love.
- Give until it hurts. You will receive more than you can imagine.
- Respond. Not returning an e-mail or following up on that quick conversation in the hall doesn’t speak community. It speaks oversight and insignificance to the invitation to enter into a relationship.
- Love and believe in their kids. You will encourage the deepest parts of the kids’ hearts, the parents hearts, and your own heart.
Tomorrow, I will walk out the door with my thirteen-year-old, my ten-year-old and my almost eight-year-old. I’m sure tears will fall on the drive home. While even welcome change can be hard, it is the hope of another spring bloom that fills us with the courage to walk away leaving only footprints, but taking more memories and love than we could have ever hoped for to begin with.
No matter where we go, may we always Love God & Whoever He Puts In Front Of Us.