Friday, March 7, 2014

College {at} Home-My Story

(It has been a while since I have blogged, but I wanted to share my college at home story.  I had previously written a post about my "whys" of doing college this way.  You can read about it, here!)

My Story

I have had the privilege of being homeschooled my whole life.  It has been the greatest blessing!  My parents have always felt like it was their God-given responsibly to train me and my sister in His ways...even in school!  I am grateful that they have chosen to live out the Biblical model of keeping us under their protection until the Lord brings our husbands (if He so wills).  Thankfully, this responsibility did not just end once I graduated homeschool high school (in 2012).  I always knew I would not "go off" to a college campus, so I was excited to see how the Lord would work out the whole "college thing."  :)  (Side note: The reason I pursued a college education was for the sole reason of having a degree in case the government required it to homeschool my children, one was easier to do it now, than 10+ years down the road!)  During my high school years, the Lord introduced my family to the wonderful world of credit by exams (CLEP, DSST, ECE exams).  Little did I know that this would be the answer to our prayers!  Over the course of my last two years of high school, I accumulated almost 60 college credits before my graduation.  As of December 2013, I completed the requirements of a Bachelor's Degree in History and applied for graduation from Thomas Edison State College...all without ever having to live on a college campus!    I only had to take two online guided/independent classes (my Capstone and another history class)...the rest of my credits were credit by exams.  I am amazed at how the Lord continually provided the tests for me to take! 
As of today (March 7, 2014), I can finally say that I am a college graduate!!!  I am so humbled by the Lord's faithfulness and grace.  Looking back over my schooling years, I always knew He would get me to this point of being a homeschool-through-college grad.  At the time, we were not sure how that would play out, but we continued to strive to follow His Word and His leading.  We did not get the "whole picture," all at once, but He kept reaffirming this journey.  Culture will tell you that you need your "freedom," you need to "find yourself," "you can't homeschool after high school," and other such things.  My story is a prime example of how, through His grace, I was able to stay under my Daddy's protection and still receive a college education.  I am the first to admit that I don't have it all together and there were ups and downs along the way, but I can attest to the fact that this was and is the greatest blessing!!! 
You might be thinking..."You have your degree and you're done with school, so now what?"  My desire is to serve the Lord, where He has me!  This includes continuing to do the things I love (anyone who knows me well, knows I love to garden, craft, bake, etc.), helping Daddy with Craig Church Ministries, serving my family while learning homemaking skills, running my home-businesses (That's Sew Taylor and Lilla Rose), and seeking to follow Him where He leads.  I pray that these skills I learn, now, will one day bless my future family (if that is in His plan).
Of the many blessings of doing college at home, these stand out to me... 

I was able to stay under my father's protection. 

I know I keep "harping" on this, but I believe it is a vital, Biblical truth that many are missing out on!  I believe it is the Lord's best for daughters to stay under this protection, until He gives this responsibility to their husbands.

I was able to continue learning to be a homemaker.

I believe in the Titus 2 model of women being keepers of the home.  College does not teach young ladies "to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands." (Titus 2:4b-5)  These aspects are so important that the verse ends with, "...that the word of God be not blasphemed."  I am grateful that I did not have to spend four years, while getting an education, away from my home...the place where I am able to learn these valuable traits.  (Believe me...I am still a work in progress, but I am thankful for a wonderful teacher!)  :)

I was able to pursue my other interests.

  As I mentioned above, the Lord has given me several interests and I am thankful I was able to continue to pursue them, these past few years.  (It's kind of hard to bake cookies and grow tomatoes in a college dorm.)  ;)  In all seriousness, I have learned so much, in addition to my schooling...I'm glad I got to do both!

I was in an environment that put God first in every aspect.

           I know there are many conservative Christian colleges out there, but no place compares to home and the one-on-one discipleship you receive from your parents! 
In closing, I would to thank my Daddy and Momma for always striving to follow God's Word and praying for me!  They and Leah were my biggest cheerleaders and constant encouragement.  (A "thank you" is not adequate for all of the time, effort, resources, prayers, sacrifices, encouragement, and love they gave...I hope you know how thankful I am!)   A big thank you to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who would lift me in prayer when they would get the "I'm getting ready to take a test" email.  :)  Thank you to my dear friends who prayed and rejoiced with me along the way.  Each email and word of encouragement meant so much!!!  Most of all, I would like to thank my Lord and Savior who walked with me each step!
As you can see, I am very blessed and humbled by the Lord's goodness!  May He receive the glory!

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