Dear Friends,

This testimony is an offering of thanksgiving, which I owe to God, our loving Father, who provides all, hears all, and answers all in His time. This is the story of the miracles He has worked in my life this year of 2023, now that we are on the very cusp of 2024.

The outlook of 2023 seemed grim. The homeschool year was off to a very unfortunate start. For one, I still didn’t feel like we had hit our groove in homeschooling after four years. I felt scattered, disorganized, and I still had not found a curriculum that I felt excited or passionate about teaching. Add to that the fact that my oldest son is dyslexic and the curriculum that I had him in was crushing him with unrealistic expectations. My voiced concerns were not helping to advocate for him and after many weeks of tears (both his and mine), his tutor advised me to drop the program we were in, for both of our sakes. It was the advice and permission I needed to make the move that I knew I needed to make.

One decision was solidified, we were going to change our schooling, but to what? I realized that I had spent so much time trying to catch my oldest up with his peers that the other kids had completely fallen through the cracks for the past year. Guilt upon guilt and failure upon failure, I decided to throw in the towel.

I should also mention at this time that I had been struggling with Lyme disease for the past few years and this year was the year that finally pushed it over the edge. I could live with the joint pain and flare-ups when my hand would double in size, or I would wake up unable to open and close it. I also somehow managed to carry on through the debilitating fatigue that often led to a lack of patience and short temper. But when it began to lead to neurological struggles, such as daily headaches, lack of memory, and erratic emotions, I really became scared.   

All seemed to be slipping away – my health, our schooling plans, relationships between family members. My husband and I had the kids shadow at a private school, which they liked very much, and that seemed to be the direction we were heading. But something still wasn’t right and neither of us felt settled.

We had been praying for guidance all along, but I really began begging God to intercede. My husband somehow still believed that homeschooling was best for our family. This seemed absolutely impossible to me, but I asked God in prayer for several very specific things to occur, if this was what He wanted.

First, He needed to send me healing for my Lyme, because it was getting progressively worse and negatively affecting all that I was trying to accomplish in just taking care of my family, much less educating them. Second, He had to drop into my lap the “perfect” homeschool curriculum for us; one which revolved around good literature and that I would be so excited about that I might have written it myself. I wanted Him to regenerate that initial spark that I originally had, and somehow lost, for teaching my children. This may seem like a tall order, but the Lord knows our heart better than we know it ourselves, so who else could accomplish these things?  

The first miracle He worked was my healing. Our boys were playing Spring baseball and I found myself in a conversation with one of the other moms on the sideline. Shortly into our conversation, I discovered that she was a homeschooling mom, and what’s more, she almost lost her life to Lyme disease a few years prior. Not only had this woman been wheelchair bound, but she was also suffering 24 seizures an hour. After multiple stints in the hospital to rule out MS and Parkinson’s, she was ultimately advised to get some strong anti-depressants and a good psychologist! It turns out; however, her diagnosis was Lyme all along.

This woman was a gift. Not only did she became a friend with the added bonus of being a fellow Catholic, which I discovered when running into her at Mass, but because she could lead me straight to a cure. I would not have to suffer the many rabbit holes and ping-ponging doctor’s appointments she endured before finally finding a rather new treatment with overwhelming results. I am so thankful to God for bringing her into my path and for the restoration of health that has occurred since I started treatment.

The second miracle He worked was dropping the perfect homeschool curriculum right into my lap. This happened in a very unsuspecting way. You see, my parents wanted to sell their car, but hoped that it could benefit someone in our Catholic community who needed a dependable car for a small price. Knowing that our family had such a community, and they did not, they asked if they could leave the car at our house; granted they would take care of fielding calls and sending people our way. We agreed and before long an older woman came to test drive the car. I was volunteered to go with her and when we were only a few blocks away from the house, she asked if she could drive me to the school she had run, which had been closed since she was relocating. I hesitantly agreed in the wake of her persistence and before long we were at a beautiful Civil War era property. We got out at the part of the property that was used for a school and there I beheld thousands of boxes of homeschool materials and a plethora of curricula sets in perfect condition.

The woman turned to me and said, “Take whatever you would like.” I just looked at her, dumfounded in amazement, and could think of nothing other than the many homeschooling moms who would love to be in my position right now. But alas, the miracle was wasted on me. “You see,” I told her. “I don’t have a curriculum and I also don’t think I’m going to homeschool anymore.” She was not going to take “no” for an answer. “Nonsense,” she said as she made her way through the many boxes and bins. “Just look around. I’m sure there’s something you can use.” With that, she began filling a large plastic tub of books, puppets, a beautiful porcelain Anne of Green Gables doll and odds and ends she was sure I would need.

Not sure how to react to such unwarranted generosity, I decided to look around for the sake of appeasing her. At the very least, I could accept a few books to give to others who could use them better than I. Suddenly, I came across a bin that contained literature guides for Beatrix Potter, Anne of Green Gables, Treasure Island, Narnia, Little House on the Prairie, and countless others. “What’s this?” I asked excitedly. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“Oh, that’s Memoria Press,” she answered. “The curriculum is heavily literature based. It’s very good and I have a lot of it if you’re interested.”

Was I interested? I couldn’t believe that there existed such a curriculum; built entirely around good literature. It was almost too good to be true. As well, I couldn’t believe what I was experiencing; a spark of excitement was beginning to grow within me. It was something that had faded over the past four years, and I feared it would never again be rekindled. I knew then and there that God was working in this moment and I allowed Him to lead.   

“Yes! I think I am interested,” I heard myself reply. And with that, the kind woman began loading into my bin every Memoria Press book she came across. By the time I got home, three hours later, I had a trunk full of homeschool books and a very perplexed husband!

That evening, I combed through the books with him, sharing the miracle of the day, and most importantly of the returned excitement and joy for educating my children. As he read through one of the literate workbooks, he said, “You know, this is so perfect that it’s as if you wrote it yourself!” I couldn’t believe it. Those were the exact words I had used in my prayer, in the silence of my heart, when I had begged God for His intercession. Now, they were voiced out loud, as the perfect confirmation to His working hand in all things, big and small, in our lives.

This may seem like a tall order, but the Lord knows our heart better than we know it ourselves, so who else could accomplish these things?

Kimberly Cook

Writer, Podcaster, Mother, & Catholic Apologist. Meet Kimberly