My Loaves and Fish

It’s crazy to say we began our homeschool journey this time seven autumns ago! And every year has been met with unique challenges and surprises and of course many adventures spear headed by my need to #dothemost!

But what’s been dope about this journey God has our family on is everything has been in His timing. In the past, I’ve shared at length about how I came to be a homeschool mom but today, I’d like to share how that role for me in a way has been evolving dare I say expanding.

The last two weeks of August were frantic at best and flat out chaotic at worst. I remember the conversation my husband and I were having, clear as day, as we reflected on our family’s current state. We were enjoying a kid free oasis in a pool. And if any of you are parents like us, and didn’t catch how major that last statement was, you missed your shoutin’ moment!

Anywho, throughout our marriage we’ve tangoed with finances and the constant desire to tackle the “debt snowball” a la Dave Ramsey style. But many times it’s been difficult as a one income family.

Don’t get me wrong, the Lord has blessed us and we have never been “dead broke and naked”, which was my catch phrase in our earliest years of marriage. However, we’ve desired to set our children up with a legacy to win in all areas, finances included. So that’s meant working to pass a financial legacy to them.

The unexpected outcome of this conversation on that cloud free day was that we would put our children in the traditional brick and mortar school in our neighborhood. And thus, set about doing what we’ve wanted to do for our kids for quite some time now. Our game plan was for me to take on a regular 9-5ish job for a year or maybe two at the max and then return to my dream job of homeschooling.

It’s funny how things don’t always play out how you plan them and this was no different. When we brought our children in on the parts of this family financial meeting that were appropriate for their hearing, the girls were thrilled but Curt Curt wanted no parts of it!

We soon edited it and decided our big girls would attend a traditional school for the first time in their lives while I continued to homeschool Curtis and keep Nyla from sticking the ends of my ear buds into any and every outlet (true story)!

You may wonder why I’m choosing to share all my business and bring you in on this very pivotal and equally painful (for me) decision.

Well, for one, this is my life. I can’t hide it or run from it. I can’t think or wish it away and if I’m to be true to this homeschool calling that I feel God has given me specifically, I must be true to all of it.

You see, I haven’t enjoyed this process ONE BIT…well, at least not most of it. For the first week, I walked around in a sort of haze, even dreading to share with my friends and family the decision we had made. Ironically enough, I was the one to first offer up this solution during the poolside chat with my hubby. It simply boils down to the many things I’ve learned from my husband after observing him all these years. His example of sacrifice is pretty high on the list. He’s been the demarcation of sacrifice to me and it’s my hope that in this season, I too can model that if at least just a tiny bit.

But in all honesty, my heart has been struggling with where God now has me and how I fit in this new odd feeling role of half homeschooler and half public school momma.

I’ve been terrible with learning the teacher message boards that allow me to communicate with my kids’ teachers. I’ve hastily rushed an already frazzled ten-year-old to redo way too many math problems with only 20 minutes to go before the bus comes. I’ve often felt the watery warmth of sorrow well up in my eyes as I wave goodbye to an excited eight-year-old whose parade I don’t want to rain on. In all, I’ve regretted this decision far too many times in the past month.

But here we are.

During one long night of tears and prayers, God patiently listened to me and allowed me space to vent…

My fears.

My frustrations.

My confusion.

My pride and idolatry.

My angst.

My embarrassment.

And my doubt.

But then, He gently reminded me of the unforgettable miracle of Jesus’ feeding of a tired and hungry crowd. It’s true, this miraculous feat would’ve blown any onlooker away. In fact there were upwards of 10-15,000 blown away onlookers that day!

But what most stuck out to me was the perspective of the young boy who first provided the loaves and fish. Had he refused to spare his small offering for the empty stomachs of thousands of grouchy strangers or if he was unwilling to part with such a priceless cache of food during his own desperate time of need, I wonder how this miracle would have come to be.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting Jesus would’ve been unable to demonstrate His miraculous power, rather, this boy would not have been an active participant in what God was doing.

For me, homeschooling has been my loaves and fish. Over the course of these seven years, homeschooling has become far precious to me than I could’ve ever imagined. God gave me the heart and desire for it in the first place. I wasn’t looking for it and hadn’t even had one inkling of it on my radar. My life was headed in a much different direction altogether. Yet, I’ve now found myself doing something I believe God has built me for. I love it and am passionate about teaching and instructing my children.

But still, I now find myself unable to do so or at least unable to do so in the way in which I envision.

Nevertheless, I desire to offer up this precious gift with which God has so richly blessed me. Funny enough, the boy in the miracle was only offering up what God had provided for him in the first place. I equally feel that with my offering it’s no different.

It all belongs to God!

I don’t know how long this arrangement will be, I don’t even know what will come of it. But one thing I am certain of is Jesus never disappoints. He didn’t disappoint that young child on that miraculous day so long ago when baskets full of fish and bread were hauled away. And I surely know He won’t disappoint me now!

Thanks for reading.



Cover image credit: iStock/Studio-Annika

Published by Courtney B. Dunlap

Christ follower. Wife. Mother. Friend. Writer...and excited to grow! I believe there's a need for more down-to-earth online spaces in which moms like you and me and anyone else in-between can explore the in's and out's of homeschooling free from competition yet rich with encouragement. My hope is that all that you find here will provide just that!

6 thoughts on “My Loaves and Fish

  1. I love that you were so transparent here. I learned. I didn’t even know about the little boy in the story of the loaves and the fishes.

    I can’t say enough that you have done a great job with your little ones. You and Pastor Curt’s pouring into them shines so brilliantly in their personalities. They will be super students wherever they go!


  2. Dangit. I had everything typed in and had to re-write my comment (shakes first at WordPress).

    Anyway, thank you for being so transparent here. I learned.
    I didn’t even know about the little boy in this great biblical story.

    I can’t say enough what a great job you have done with your little ones. You and Pastor Curt’s pouring into them shines brilliantly in their personalities.I know wherever your kids go, they will be super students! I will be praying for this adjustment you have made.


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