Monday, March 09, 2009

It's all so interesting to me...

the way God works.
I had this conversation with someone recently but it just keeps running through my mind.

Before The Girl started school 4 years ago we had a lot of pressure from people to homeschool or private school.
I'm not at all opposed to either of those options!
The Man was homeschooled all the way through graduation so I'm very familiar with it.
But we just kept feeling like public school was the right place to start her.
And we got a lot of flack for it.
A lot.

I vividly remember the meet your teacher night before school started.
I remember meeting Jessica for the first time and thinking she was the sweetest spirit ever.
I was jealous of how adorable she was. ;-)
She had a cute skirt and little kitten heels.
She had this calm and beautiful way about her.
I knew The Girl would be in good hands.
This was the first child I'd sent to school and I was crazy nervous.

Then I learned that she was part of a program called looping where she would take her kindergarten class and teach them in first grade as well.

"YES! I get to hang onto her for another year!"
THEN, after I did the math (public schoolin' wasn't as nice to me...) I figured out that as The Girl started second grade, Jessica would go back to Kindergarten again.
The Boy would be entering kindergarten and we could start all over.
"YES! 4 years total with her!"

Turned out that she didn't end up coming back for The Boy's first grade year because she left to be a mommy to baby Cora. But we got 3 years with her.

We're not super close, Jessica and I. We don't really keep in touch other than visiting each other's blogs.
But I think about how God worked in this.
How He had us move to this town, live in this school district, start public school despite the pressure to choose other routes.
I look at how The McClenahans have changed our lives, even before the Cora tragedy.
I remember running into them in WalMart on several occasions and seeing the love between the two of them.
I've met her mom a few times through various means and have been equally impressed by her as I was by Jessica.
The Boy and The Girl are better people because of her.
I'm better because of her.
And recently I've met many of her other friends just at a time when I've needed friendship.
This family has changed our lives. Forever.
And although I couldn't see it at the time, God has been working in this for a very long time.


Falling Around said...

This is such a great story!

You can tell from her posts and pictures that Jess is the kind of gentle spirit that all moms strive to become. I am so glad that your children got to be influenced by her for a few years.

We have a teacher like that in our Christian school. She was both of my kids' 1st grade teacher. I wanna be like her when I grow up... she's amazing and I suspect Jess is a lot like her.

Good for you and your hubby for not caving in to what other people were telling you is best for your children. If God puts something on your heart and gives you a peace about it, you can be sure He has a plan. I'm glad you didn't miss it.

Anonymous said...

man. great story.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this story of God's work in our lives. What a reminder of His Sovereignty and His love for us.

Anonymous said...


You, and many of the other blogging moms I've found through Jess's blog, are an inspiration.

I haven't known how to bring this up, but at the same time I really want you to know this, because perhaps it will speak to the power of Cora's purpose...I'm not sure about God, I do not belong to any church and was brought up by Atheist parents. But SOMETHING is drawing me to read these posts daily and I feel, for lack of any other term in my secular vocabulary, the love that has come out of this network. I actually feel furtive about it, since it is something I feel I can't tell my family. But I'm getting great spiritual "lift" from reading about all of you. If that is what Cora's story has done, even a little bit - bring a few strangers and non-believers to our knees (and I suspect it might be more than a few) - then the God idea is truly awe-inspiring.

What do you think? Is it because I'm a mom too and can identify with the immensity of Jess's loss? Is it some sort of midlife crisis? Or is it something more?

It kind of hurts my head to contemplate it, but the very fact that I am contemplating seems significant to me.

(Sorry I wrote a novel here! But it felt good to say it - there is nowhere else for me to voice this, except by talking to myself. Even a blog wouldn't work, since my family would read it. If you got to the end, thank you for indulging me!)

Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) said...

Hi there!

I found your blog through Jess and Joel's story.

I just wanted to say that there are so many people praying for Jess and Joel and baby cora and all those that were touched by their story. I know I'm one of them definitely.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us! <3

Michelle said...

That is an amazing story! I've thought of home schooling as well. I went to college to be a teacher and decided against both. Funny how things turn out. I wondered how the two of you knew each other but didn't really want to ask. thanks for sharing!

I love your tornado post from yesterday too, believe it or not, I kinda miss those (the stormpart anyway, not the destruction) ~ we don't get them here either, but I miss the lighting bugs more:)

Anonymous said...

What a great story and it is just like God to bring people into our lives knowing what kind of inspiration they will be.

I love the comment above from Karina. It is amazing what God can use to bring people to him or to see that he is REAL!

Have a great day.

Christine said...

Isn't it remarkable when the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to God's plan?!? I delight in those moments when I am able to see that He has had me in his arms all along as He orchestrated the events that transpired in my life. What a tremendous blessing to not cast these things aside as coincidences, but to recognize them as the divine hand of God!

What a wonderful thing to have had Jessica for your children's teacher for 3 years. She seems to have such a gentle, kind and loving spirit, and I'm sure that she made a permanent impression upon your sweet children.

Have a fantastic day :)

Beadin By The Sea said...

What a beautiful, thoughtful post. It's just like God, to arrange these things, isn't it? I often marvel at how He, in His Sovereignty, can orchestrate all of these "divine appointments" that are so often passed off as coincidence!

I'm passing on a "Love Ya" award,to you, Beki. I really enjoy your blog along with so many others. Blessings to you...Debora

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely story! What a blessing!

Anonymous said...

So encouraging to me! I was h.schooled through Jr. High and part of High School and then went to public school. I have been thinking about h.schooling my kids as opposed to private or public schooling. I'm still praying about it...but it's a private decision for each family. And I'm glad you had such a fabulous experience. :)

Jus Shar Designs said...

I love my God moments.

The older I get, the easier it is to see God working in my life. It's easier to let things happen as they should and not to worry about things.

Every day each of us are exactly where we are supposed to be, when we are supposed to be there.


Melanie @ Whimsical Creations said...

What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing. It's amazing how people end up in our lives for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Beki....I agree! Jess has an amazing gentle spirit about her. She is just a doll.


Allen and Debby Graber said...

Just this morning I read a promise of God's. "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:10. He is actively seeking. I believe that is why each person has a cross-shaped hole in their hearts that only Christ can fill. Stuff doesn't satisfy. It was an honor to meet you at the Cora's Jewelry Party! As I read your blog, I felt I sort of knew you. I am going to post a really cute picture of Joel and Jess on my blog. My husband and I had 6 couples in a young married's Bible Study group and we helped with a party at our church. We decided as a group to dress up Japanese style. Check it out! You will laugh and see how funny Joel is. And of course, you will see the sweetness on Jess' face. She can't help but be sweet. It is the love of Christ "oozing" out.

Anonymous said...

What a special story. I've been following their story although a stranger, and have been so touched. They seem so amazing, so filled, so genuine. I don't know them, but want to make their hurt go away; it sounds kind of crazy. Anyway, thank you for sharing your story.

Liana said...

What a thoughtful post. Thanks for sharing.

And thank you, Karina, for sharing your thoughts here. I think God is at work in your heart and mind, for sure. I think you are very self aware to be asking those questions and thinking those thoughts. I was raised Christian but haven't felt God alive in my life for a while...mainly because I was too busy and distracted to listen, I'm sure. Cora's story and the witness of her family and friends have made me re-evaluate my life and priorities, hug my kids a little longer, and seek a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God. I'd be happy to email with you more if you need someone to talk to...or post more here. Lots of great ladies, it seems!


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Liana, I would love to explore this further. I'm not sure what would be the best way, I'll think about it... It feels like I'm sneaking around with a secret!

Sorry to hijack this blog for my spiritual growth!

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

You're not hijacking my blog. :)

Feel free to continue the conversation here if you'd like!

That's why I posted this and have open comments - to promote thoughtful conversation.

Please don't feel bad, but share as much or as little as you're comfortable with.

Liana said...

Happy to discuss anything with you! I'm no expert, but am open to being a sounding board if you need one. Liana_Roman AT

It might be good to do it here, too (since Beki doesn't mind). Sometimes more voices can be good, too.

Anonymous said...

That is so odd! I've never imagined someone would get flack for NOT homeschooling! Crazy. We don't get much response to our decision TO homeschool, but then again we just started. Whatever!

Keep on going with whatever works, and if it ever doesn't work, do whatever comes next!