Not only was substitute teaching at my son’s preschool fun, I was enjoying the extra income, thanking God for the provision to fund the monthly costs of the podcast.
My chosen podcast platform was Buzzsprout. I loved the ease and functionality. A free account allowed each episode to stay live for 90 days, then would auto-delete without a paid subscription. The paycheck from subbing provided for a paid subscription, which allowed the episodes to stay live indefinitely. I had three episodes live, three additional episodes ready to upload, and several more future episodes outlined.
It was a perfect scenario.
Until it wasn’t.
When summer began, the opportunity to sub at the preschool ended. Although working through the summer would have been ideal, the income wouldn’t justify the additional childcare costs required for my own two boys. When the paychecks ran out, so did the podcast subscription.
The days of the live episodes were numbered, and the clock was ticking.
God, I prayed. I really thought this was something You led me into. If you want it to continue, please provide the means.
I still refused to go back on the zero-expense writing commitment. The whole point of the commitment was to STOP taking things into my own hands, and rely 100% on Him. If I could just manipulate the episodes by re-uploading them after each expiration, I could stretch it all out until the new school year began. Then new paycheck of subbing at the elementary school would be more than enough to cover a new subscription.
In anticipation of my new upcoming job (pending the paperwork processing), I started researching how to create lesson plans, how to plan out a school year, teaching methods and approaches. I filled up a notebook with what I learned. I drilled Caleb’s preschool teacher, Mrs. Holt, with questions, because she was a former kindergarten teacher. I found her methods to be flawless, peaceful and effective. It never occurred to me that all of these things would be unnecessary for a sub, because the lesson plans would be outlined for me by the actual teacher for whom I was filling in. Out of the pure enjoyment of it, I studied relentlessly about the best setup for a classroom, ideal learning environments, and the varied learning styles of children.
I had it all planned out.
Shortly after I received word that I was officially hired as a substitute teacher for the elementary schools, my husband came home and informed me of something that would change everything.
There was a job site ready for pipe installation in Little Rock that would be perfect for field work. As a pipe estimator at a large general contractor, Kris was excited for a chance to do some time studies hands-on. He lit up when he talked about it. I saw it as an adventure for our family, knowing it would be both difficult and fun. It would only be for about three months. He would move there July 5th, just two weeks away.
This is great, I thought. My sister lives right outside Little Rock. We could visit her while we’re there visiting Kris. This is just a temporary change. We can handle this!
Then my husband had a suggestion. “What do you think about homeschooling?”
Frankly, I was a little shocked. Two years earlier, Wesley began asking me to homeschool him. I didn’t even realize he knew what homeschooling was. I didn’t think I would make an adequate homeschool mom, and in all honesty, neither did my husband. He knew my plan was to put the pedal to the metal on my “writing career” once both kids were in school full-time, and he supported it. So at that time, homeschooling just didn’t pan out. The subject came up again when Wesley was in second grade. Again, he was begging me to homeschool him. We arrived at the same conclusion as before: It just wasn’t for us.
Now, things were different. Kris would be living in Arkansas through August at least, possibly September. With the kids in school, we wouldn’t be able to see him very often at all.
We talked about it. And prayed about it. And talked about it some more.
A fire was lit in my heart. I was actually craving to create lesson plans for school. I began studying school calendars, homeschool methods, curriculums, and state requirements.
I could do this.
I wanted to do this.
I couldn’t WAIT to start teaching our boys.
But that meant … I wouldn’t be subbing at the elementary school.
Okay, God. Now what? I thought you were leading me to teach at the school! The desire to teach was so sudden and constant. Why would You lead me to this, then suddenly move it away again?
Oooooooh. I see it all clearly now. The newly planted enthusiasm for teaching … the urgency of it … it all made sense now! God must have been pulling me toward this all along. I easily applied everything I’d researched about teaching to home-education. I suddenly had new ideas for blog posts and podcast episodes about homeschooling. I couldn’t wait to get started!
Everything was clicking into place.
Except for one thing.
I logged into my website for the first time in months to begin outlining the new homeschooling blog post series, only to find that he subscription to the self-hosted site would soon.
I needed about $120 to renew it.
I was so busy planning out my boys’ education and getting ready for this new, temporary “normal” of a traveling husband, I almost forgot about the zero-expense writing commitment.
I had no choice but to cancel my self-hosted website subscription.
That didn’t necessarily mean I had to quit blogging, though, right? I could simply take my blog back to the original, free WordPress platform. It was just a matter of transferring the content over. Right? Simple. Easy. Quick.
My heart dropped when I realized that the blog had ads all over the pages and posts. Not just any ads, but weird, spammy, junky ones that were suspicious, annoying, and distracting.
My heart sunk even more when I realized the podcast episodes were only three days away from deletion.
I needed $51 to remove the ads off the blog for a year. I needed about $18 per month for the podcast subscription.
I began to pray, and God began to move.