When God told us to open our eyes

A year and a half ago, I prayed a prayer out of a prayer book for Andrew. It was a prayer against learning disabilities. As I prayed, I repented of accepting something as a life sentence that God could heal. I confessed my unbelief and prayed on his behalf for complete and total healing.

We claimed his sound mind. We claimed victory ahead of time.

That very night, Steve and I lay in bed reading when Andrew walked in upset saying he just wanted to be able to read like all the other kids.

We laid hands on him and prayed for healing. After we prayed Andrew said his body felt tingly from his fingers all the way up his arm. I felt the Lord say, “Go read.”

I know I repented of unbelief that morning, but I felt it still there. Surely, God didn’t simply snap His fingers and cause Andrew to read. Or did He?

I walked Andrew back to his room and reached for a book on the bookshelf, Devotions for Beginning Readers, and opened to the middle.

The title read: Open Your Eyes. The first line read, “If you want to read a book, you need to open your eyes.”

Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes to see the wonderful things in your teachings.”

At that point I had chills over my entire body. I knew the Lord was speaking. Andrew would be healed. All connections would be made. And I planned to claim that healing for him.

The following morning I sat with the Lord and wrote out what had happened as well as my prayer for Andrew.

Here’s part of my prayer journal on that day:

“Andrew will be an avid reader. Lord, let us walk out our healings by faith. May we pick up our mats and walk.”

Everyday we’ve picked up our mat and walked since that day. It was one year after this incident the Lord led us to vision therapy. It was one and half years later to the exact day that reading finally clicked for Andrew.

Andrew is 10 years old. The Lord faithfully did what we believe He told us He would do.

It didn’t come in our time. In came in God’s time.

The healing didn’t happen overnight, it happened over time. Day by day, God healed Andrew. He used doctors and therapists and homeschool. But mainly, God connected the disconnects and that is what we’ve been praying.

A few weeks ago Andrew had an appointment with the doctor at his vision therapy office. Andrew passed tests he couldn’t even take when we first started. The change has been miraculous and a total answer to prayer.

I stand in complete awe of God.

I shared on Instagram last week this:

When we started this school year and when we started vision therapy Andrew could only handle reading a page at a time. He read aloud then I’d read aloud a page. We took turns. He’d have to use his finger to track the words, he’d skip lines, I’d have to hold the book so he could track.

Y’all!  He’s reading chapter books totally on his own!!! And he’s able to report back to me what he read. And because his brothers have read these dozens of times they can verify.

He’s devouring books now and is in love with reading. We’ve told him for years that when God healed his vision processing issues, he’d fall in love with books. And we are seeing it.

We’ve prayed for these moments since he was in preschool when we knew something was amiss with how he processed information.

God is so faithful.

And now we enter our last 3 months of vision therapy. He needed this boost to carry him forward.
I had to share this update with you. So many of you have been here on this blog with me since Andrew was a toddler and preschooler. You’ve walked this road alongside us. You’ve traveled to different states with us. And some of you have even been here when this blog was Be Still then later Barefoot Walks. It’s been a long time, friends.
So many of you I feel such a bond and closeness to because I’ve shared some of our most personal journeys and triumphs. I continue to be amazed by your loyal readership. In a world where there’s so much to read online, you still show up. I’m grateful you allow me to share with you.
I added a new page to the blog. It’s Good Stuff. Just like the name implies it’s all my favorite things I think you’d love too. Check it out. I have much more I’ll be adding in the coming days!
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How Homeschooling Made My Kids More Social



Without a doubt, the number one comment people offer to me when I say we homeschool our kids is this – Aren’t you worried about their socialization?

The second most common is something like this – You must be a saint. I could never do that. (The response to that is for another post. But let me assure you, I’m no saint. And if I can do this, anyone on the planet can do it.)

I want to share how I have seen this question/concern of homeschool socialization play out in our home over the last year. I’m in no way bragging on my kids or saying that our family has it all figured out and follow our example. I’m simply sharing a few stories with you that directly answer this question that 99% of non-homeschoolers ask me.

For those of you new to my blog, our family is entering our second year of homeschooling. Prior to that our kids attended a small, private classical christian school, which we adored, loved to pieces, and never thought we’d leave. But God called us to homeschool, so we obeyed.

Recently, we vacationed in Yellowstone. I walked outside the RV to join the family for an evening of cornhole. Steve and Jacob played a heated game, but Andrew and Zachary were at the campsite behind us visiting with an elderly couple. I feel the need to pause here and let that sink in. My 12 and 8 year olds were hanging out talking to an elderly couple who had no kids for them to play with. They were just hanging with them.

The elderly couple cleaned up and began to make their way in for the night. As they climbed the steps, the gentleman paused to tell us how much it meant that our boys came over to talk and visit with them.

The previous night at the campsite, a similar situation occurred. A friendly gentleman at the site next to us came out to look at a fox we spotted in the woods. The boys struck up a conversation. The next thing we knew, Zachary was hanging at his site, checking out his RV, and letting this man show off his new-to-retirement toy. Later that gentlemen said to us, “You sure have nice boys.”

The thing is – the boys did these things on their own. We didn’t ask them to or tell them they should. They just did. You may read this and think, “What’s the big deal?” The big deal is that this isn’t normal for my boys. Except it has become normal since we started homeschooling.

They have learned what they can’t learn in school. How to socialize and interact with adults. And this is a skill they will need for the rest of their lives.

Now that we are home together all the time, the boys are with me wherever I go. Last fall they joined me at a speaking engagement. They ran the book table. They processed credit cards, packaged up books, smiled, chatted, and sat through 40 minutes of me speaking.

They are with me when I meet with people. They are with me when we serve the community. They are with me when I have difficult conversations.

Last year before we moved, I was the Women’s Ministry Leader at our church. That position puts you in a role of having difficult conversations. Since my boys were with me, I no longer did my work away from them. They watched me at work.

A particular situation arose among the women which required my involvement. We were in the car when it became necessary for me to have a difficult phone conversation. The boys sat quietly and listened to my end of the conversation. After the phone call, one of my sons offered, “Mom, I loved listening to how you handled that situation. You were so calm. I would’ve been so mad and not able to talk like that.”

We had a rich discussion on the importance of communicating well. We discussed how people shut down in defense when they feel attacked and how to realize that most people are not looking at the situation from the perspective you are. So to communicate effectively, you have to put yourself in their place and think how they are thinking. When we do this, we realize often it’s not an attack on us, simply 2 people coming from different angles.

The boys were with me at meetings kids don’t normally attend. They heard ladies discuss how to handle dicey situations. They came away commenting about how they would or wouldn’t handle things which led to more real life conversations.

When we relocated, they were with me for every single aspect. Inspectors, appraisers, realtors, stagers, photographers. You name it. They were around adults in the real world. Learning to not only make eye contact and shake hands, but how to converse with them and learning from these people while watching our interactions in a day-to-day way.

Last fall, fear began in one of my boys. I signed them up for a speech/debate homeschool class and a Bible study for homeschoolers. Both had large groups of kids. Both were for a season. Then we moved, and it started all over again. Of course each sports season brought another new group of kids, but this wasn’t new to the boys.

My son said to me, “When I went to school, I was around the same kids every single day. They knew me. I was comfortable with them. Now I’m constantly in new situations and groups where people don’t know me.”

When they were with their friends, they knew how to socialize with kids their age who they already knew. Now they were forced to constantly join new groups of kids.

I don’t know how long we will homeschool. I don’t know if it’s for a season or for the duration. We are taking each year and child on a case by case basis. For the time we’ve had to this point, I can honestly say all three of my boys have grown tremendously in their social skills. For this I’m grateful and look forward to watching them grow even more confident in who God created them to be.


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