Hopes for 2022: Leaving 17 years of homeschooling behind

In 2022 and at 46 years of age, I feel like a school leaver again – in the best way. Everything is fresh and exciting. Different things are on the way. I write that even as I am mewed up in my home, isolating with a case of COVID19. Is that strange? Well, maybe I should back up a bit.

For the last 17 years, I have been homeschooling my four children. It’s something that I have genuinely loved and, honestly, something to which I’ve tied a great deal of my identity. It’s challenged me – creatively, academically, spiritually. It’s tested my patience, my organisational skills, my character. It’s been a privilege to have travelled such a unique journey with my husband and my kids. But now the youngest has graduated and for the first time in a long time, the new year beckons to me with a degree of mystery. It’s like a scroll has unrolled before me and the pen is in my hand, but this time the page is blank; there isn’t an outline already sketched there.

When I try to shape a mental picture of my life in 2022, the image varies from the commonplace to the more profound. I plan to undertake activities that I haven’t had time for in the last 17 years, like catalogue thousands of photos and finish landscaping the backyard. I also fully expect to experience grief that this beautiful/challenging season of homeschooling is over, and to recognise that the closeness I’ve had with my kids will look different from now on. But that is part of life and parenting.  We parent to ultimately let them go. Now it’s time to find out what else I have in me.

… that’s what makes this new year exciting. God has always been faithful.

Am I concerned that I’m at the start line career-wise? Actually, no. Am I troubled that middle-age approaches (okay, let’s be real, it’s already here) and I may not be considered a worthwhile investment as an employee? Also no. I believed in what I did; I accepted the sacrifices that came with it, and I trust God with the outcome of my life, as much now as when we started the whole adventure all those years ago. I think that’s what makes this new year exciting. God has always been faithful. Why start doubting now?

In some ways, everything has changed. And in some ways, nothing has changed. While there is much I could say about my hopes for 2022 on a personal, national and global scale, the core of my hopes for the year is what it has always been: that I might live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with my God (Micah 6:8). I believe that is the foundation for changing the world. Glory to God. I’m keen to get started.