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When School Feels Dangerous

…and homeschooling isn’t an option.

I don’t want to write about this. But the ugly truth is, well, ugly. Last week a young man lost his life too soon in a school stabbing. In my town. All the schools in the area were on lock down. Parents were panicked.


Last night a local church (the church we attended when all of my babies were born. my old church. hallowed ground) held the memorial service for this young man.

And shots were fired.
Please note! The news report (Yes the local news – not mere rumors) was incorrect. Shots were not fired. A scuffle broke out but no guns were involved.

At church, people!

Oh how my heart aches.

What I want to do is rant and rage and point fingers. But that won’t help. I’m going to give you scared mommas some peace. If I had to send my babies (ahem, I know they are teens, but as we all know, they are always our babies) to school today, my nerves would be fried.

When school feels dangerous (and homeschooling isn’t an option) there are things you can do.

1. Pray

2. Trust – Give your children to God and leave them in His capable hands.

3. Teach them what to do in dangerous situations. Knowledge is power. Tell them what to do when a fight breaks out. It’s human nature to want to see what’s going on, but a whole lot safer to walk away. That being said, keep it age appropriate. A six year old does not need images of bloodshed. You can teach them about fighting without words about blood and knives.

4. Do not put your fear on your kids. They are kids. They do not need to carry your fears around with them. Do what you can to alleviate their fears.

5. Don’t hesitate to talk to the school. If you have concerns, ask your child’s teacher. They are there to help. They want to provide a safe place for your child.

6. Don’t make rash decisions out of fear. While I’m a huge proponent of homeschooling, I caution people about making rash decisions out of fear. If you have a high school student, find out everything you can about local private schools or homeschooling before pulling them out. Ask yourself Should I homeschool? And give yourself a few weeks to answer.

7. Keep Praying.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time… Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. 2 Timothy 1: 7, 9, 12

Dime-sized Bite

file0001097164283A dime-sized bite of cracker = three days of sickness.

Welcome to the world of food allergies. In my One New Thing post this week, I told you about having a discouraging week. I have to persevere through my allergies. It’s my race to endure.

Without thinking I picked up the cracker my kids were discussing with their aunt and popped it into my mouth. I thought, it’s only cheese. I know just what happens with cheese and I can handle it! Just one. Just one dime-sized bite. It wasn’t until I was swallowing that I realized the overpowering taste was garlic. GARLIC! My foe. One of my bigger allergies.

For awhile, nothing happened. Then a headache appeared right in the middle of my forehead. It wasn’t too bad and I thought, maybe I’ll be OK this time! Thirty minutes later the headache was in full force. With the headache came the mood swing. By the time we were almost home, I was over-reacting to all situations with my kids. The kids knew I ate something and was right in the middle of a reaction. They knew the drill. They knew to stay away from mom and just give her space. A few hours later I was better, except for the headache that lasted for three days, despite any meds.

What won’t go away is the fear. If a bite the size of a dime can set off that much of a reaction, what would an entire meal laced with my poison  allergies do to me? Why did I react so much? I normally don’t react to this degree. What else in my system is off? I’ve been working with my doctor to regulate my thyroid. It’s off. Again. When it’s off, my system is overloaded. When my system is overloaded… you got it! I react more to my allergies. I know all of that, but it still doesn’t take away my fear.

A few plans needed to be set in place.

  • First, we looked at our calendar. Any plans that would place me in danger with food were re-evaluated.
  • Can I control the food?
  • Can I request special items?
  • Can I bring my own food?
  • Some events were cancelled. One in particular was a difficult decision.
  • Some events will just take extra planning – calls to local restaurants to find one to work with me or extra time around a kitchen so I can cook safe meals.
  • Plans for date nights – find at least one place that will work with my food allergies.
  • Plans for lunch out with friends -Salads are easy, but that means I need to bring my own dressing.
  • Plans for coffee at coffee shops – Once again, I can take my own add-ins – I just have to remember to!

Instead of planning, this week I pouted. Until my pastor read this verse:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.                                     1 Peter 1: 6 – 9

Now I’m finding joy.

I can make the best of this.

One bite at a time.

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