My Friend Lisa, a Stretchable Mama

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I admire my precious friend (I’ll call her Lisa). We met Lisa and her husband (I’ll call him Jeffrey) before they had children. In time they had three. I’ll call them Austin, Kevin, and Rachel.

Lisa first knew she wanted to homeschool when she was expecting Austin. When Kevin was born four years later, I was the first friend to hold him. Rachel was born four years after that. The children are more like nephews and a niece than friends; they could all call me Aunt Charlene, but, being Southerners, they call me Miss Charlene.

No two children are cut out with the same cookie cutter and that is certainly true in Lisa’s family. She has already graduated two of them and has one more to go. Lisa had one academically-oriented child, a child who loves to MOVE, and an artist. Lisa learned what she had to do to teach each of them and to do it well.

However, this did not happen overnight. Lisa read and read some more. She tried ideas and discarded them and tried ideas and kept them up. She figured things out on her own and found people to help when she needed help. Lisa prayed–a lot! She still does.

Though she is very good at it, homeschooling has not been easy for Lisa. God gave her children who would stretch her. One great thing about Lisa is that she is stretchable.

She also knows how to keep agoin’. When Jeffrey got laid off and, try as he might, just couldn’t find a job here, they had to sell their beloved house and yard they had worked so hard to make a wonderful oasis and start over a couple of hours away. After things settled down in their new place, they had a “We Survived” party. The next year their goal was to thrive. They have.

Lisa has been good at letting her children be who God made them to be. She was good at letting them be children, too. Through the years, I have loved the homeschooling stories she has shared with me. I got this email from her several years ago.

I had to share a homeschool funny with you. [Rachel] made school books for her new bunny to start school today. She had a page of math problems and a page of art and some others. She was showing off what she made and then she came to a page that just had one word on it.

[Rachel said,] “And here’s her grammar. Whatever that is.”

By the time Rachel was four years old, she was amazing us with her drawings. Over the years since then, she has continued to amaze me with her creations. Now they are most likely to be clothes she makes. I am amazed that she can create originals that fit her beautifully without patterns. When Rachel was still quite young, Lisa sent me this creation Rachel had made.

Anna's Unhappy Meal

Are you trying to press each of your children into some mold you see around you or one you see in your own head? If you do, you just might miss out on seeing a fabric “Un-Happy meal.” Wouldn’t that be a shame? When God made your children, He made them in His likeness. Sometimes you have to be stretchable to remember that.

In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.
Genesis 5:1


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