Friday, October 4, 2013

Real Refreshment Retreat in Europe

Tonight was the first night of a two day Real Refreshment Retreat.  Rachel Carmen started these retreats for homeschool moms after she and her husband bought Apologia a few years ago.

I met Rachel last year year at the first 2:1 Conference, which is a conference for homeschool bloggers.  Rachel is real, encouraging, Godly and a fellow Texan!  She tells it like it is which is my favorite type of person.  So, when I found out that she was coming to Germany to speak at a conference, I immediately bought my ticket.

Buying the ticket is the easy part.  Actually getting out the door is not quite so easy.  Before I left I had to:
1.  teach school (it was a "half-day" today!)
2. buy groceries so the fam wouldn't starve while I was gone for 24-whole hours
3. get everything together for my oldest's SAT test tomorrow (print ticket, find #2 pencils, get extra batteries for his graphing calculator, etc.)
4.  pick up a car from the "car hospital"
5.  make sure dinner was covered
6.  tell my husband the schedule for the next 24 hours and get his concurrence that he would get the kids where they needed to game, SAT test, Cross Country Meet, Homecoming dance, etc.

When I arrived at the conference, I hugged Rachel and sincerely thanked her for coming.

You see, my oldest is pretty much done with being at home, with being homeschooled, with being "confined" to living with his family.  He's ready to go.

My dear friend Connie from The Daisyhead Blog keeps reminding me that this is normal for teens.  She says to keep on keeping on.  To have faith.  Give him independence.

I just want to give up-  and my son would like me to give up too!

But tonight, Rachel confirmed what Connie has been saying.  She said that, "When you step out in faith, that's when God shows up."  America has two idols.  They are, "1) quick and 2) easy."  But, we are called to have be diligent.  To stay the course.  To embrace what we were called to do.  Be counter-cultural.  Raise world changers.  And here's the clincher...she said that homeschooling is's painful because God is using it to strip us away and interject His Son. It's not about us.  It's about becoming more like Him.

My son is taking the SAT test again tomorrow to try to improve his score. 

In her speech tonight, Rachel said what I needed to hear again.  "It's about raising a generation of world-changers, not about acing the SAT."

That's right. 

Here's a copy of the message I wrote to my son tonight as a result of hearing Rachel:

 I've been praying for you to do well on your SAT test tomorrow. The truth is, you've already done well when you took it before. The colleges that we visited said that you would be admitted based on your current scores, your transcript and your amazing accomplishments. I will still pray that you do well on the test tomorrow, but doing well on your SAT is not what's really important. What's really important is that you use the gifts, skills and abilities that God gave you to do His become a world changer. What I've always seen in you is strong leadership. People follow you. You lead well. My prayer is that you will continuously strive to hear God and do what He wants you to do. Our country needs you. Our world needs you. God is with you. In the past 14 years that I've been homeschooling you, I've never lost faith that- no matter how poorly I do- as long as I am faithful in my calling to homeschool, God's plan will be carried out in your life. It has been wonderful to see you working so hard preparing for this test tomorrow. That diligence and determination will carry over in the rest of your life and you will be able to do great things for God's glory. I love you and I am thankful for the courageous, diligent, Godly young man that you have become. Love, Mom

Now, instead of rejoicing at being finished homeschooling my oldest at the end of the school year, I will rejoice in the young man he has become and I will send him off with praises and a blessing.

How do you send your kids off when they graduate?  

What are life verses that you have given to your kids?

Click on link above to learn more about homeschooling high school.


  1. First, I'm so glad you're able to attend the retreat, you need it! Second, thank you for this post. Sue, you are such an encouragement to me, and I see your faith with raising your son as a constant reminder that "God has this" with regards to my oldest as well. Love to you, and prayers that your son hears God's calling even if he doesn't 'ace the SAT'. <3

    1. Thanks Lena. It's a looonnnnggg race, but it will seem like an instant in a few months when he graduates.

  2. Wow, I had a lump in my throat reading what you wrote to Luke. You are an amazing Momma and Godly wife Sue. Thank you for continuing the race ... I love you!

  3. I'm sure your words to your son will penetrate and encourage his heart. He may not say it, but I'm sure it meant so much to him. Good on you, momma!

    Hold on to that encouragement! Your race is almost complete!

  4. Thank you so much for your honest portrayal of HSing teens..... My kids are 11 and almost 14 and Ihear you on the "mom son wants me to give up too" part..... Love your candor.
    I can;t wait to hear how things went with the test...will come back for more!
    Keep us posted!
    Saw your link at the HSlink up.

  5. This is an awesome blog for SAT help. For more assistance please see