HerStory: Meet Christy


My story in a few sentences:

I am an overachiever who always believed in God but thought I was the architect of my own life. It took me a while to learn that since all my gifts are not my own but from Him, I needed to believe Him instead of just believing in Him. Without my faith I couldn’t survive in my rambunctious and noisy house surrounded by five men – my awesome husband and my four rocking boys, who are 9, 7, 5 and 22-months-old. I have lived in a small city (or large small town) in Southwest Michigan for the last two years, and I spend my day herding cats . . . also known as homeschooling my four boys. I also proudly hail from Louisville, Kentucky, have a Biology degree and a law degree (I’m kind of all over the place), met my husband in Chicago where I worked in the litigation department of a giant law firm, and never met a person I couldn’t have a conversation with.

The best part of motherhood is:

Simply put, the love. There’s a reason moms can universally relate to one another. There is nothing on the planet that changes a woman as profoundly as having a child. My relationship with my husband is my primary relationship but the love I feel for my children has been life-changing.

The most challenging part of my life journey:

Learning acceptance. I have always been an accomplisher. Give me task and I can do it. But life rarely works that way. People get sick, people die, people disappoint you, people lose jobs, people just plain often struggle. And most of the time there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Learning to accept that often no matter what I do, I cannot make a situation any different than what it is will probably always be a struggle for me.

What God is teaching me right now:

Obedience to Him. This goes along with my acceptance. I am stubborn and strong-willed. Sometimes I just flat refuse to accept God’s ways because I. Can. Do. It. Myself.

A word about why I homeschool:

Well this will take more than a word. I am absolutely the “accidental homeschooler.” My oldest son, Jack, attended a classical Christian school in Louisville and I fell in love with the curriculum and the fact he only went to school a few days a week. A win-win for me . . . great academics and I didn’t have to give up hanging out with my little man. But we were moving to Michigan and I was nervous about finding the “perfect” school, because I felt everything else would feel like a letdown after the school we had left. But I had anxiety about much more than the perfect school. I was so worried about our second son, Henry, starting Kindergarten. Henry has bilateral, moderately severe, sensorineural hearing loss. He wears hearing aids but, even with the aids, it’s hard to find the ideal learning situation for him.

I felt totally overwhelmed thinking, “How am I going to go to all these schools to find out which one offers the best acoustics, capable support staff, knowledgeable faculty, high tech FM systems, etc . . . ?” Then, if I find the perfect school, I have to find a house in that school district? And what if that school district isn’t ideal for Jack?

As I’m stressing, trying to keep my whip smart and one-of-a-kind Henry from falling victim to the statistic that the average reading level for deaf and hard of hearing adults is fourth grade, I am practically bombarded with the notion of homeschooling. It seemed like a crazy and totally daunting idea, but I just knew that’s what Henry (and all my boys) needed. I broached the subject with my husband who immediately said, “Absolutely. No one will be able to do for Henry what you can.” Okay, I thought, let’s give it a try.

We are now in our third year of homeschooling and WOW what an adventure! It’s the most exhausting and fulfilling job I’ve ever had. I’ve learned tons about God, myself, my husband, my children . . . the ancient Romans. Henry is seven and is not a statistic, as he already reads above the fourth grade level.  And while I’m kind of strict with the academics, my boys have time for board games, travel soccer, drama, tae kwon do, PE classes, art classes, field trips, Co-ops, baseball, basketball, etc. We can actually do more extracurriculars because I’m not hamstrung by school hours. We have met so many wonderful people and done so many wonderful things that our life would not be nearly as rich as it is if it weren’t for homeschooling.

You must have a lot of patience, right?

Hahahaha, my favorite question. Nope, I can turn totally Medusa on my kids just like any other mom.

In another life, I’d:

I actually feel like I’ve already had my “other life.” I had my dream job that I worked a lifetime to achieve. But it just didn’t fit me like I thought it would. I wouldn’t give up my current life with my five favorite men for anything.

Musical influences:

I grew up with music always playing in the house. My dad would come home from work and turn on the music and I would just follow him around while he listened to it. And my parents had different tastes so I took it all in. I became famous at Gull Lake Family Camp as the woman who utterly dominated “Name That Tune.” But if I was allowed only one genre for the rest of my life it would without question be Motown. And don’t challenge me to a rap duel because I’ll win.

Favorite books:

It’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. I need to go to Amazon.com Anonymous.

What my faith means to me:

I often think I don’t do a good enough job exhibiting my faith. I don’t have the courage to wear it the way others do. But I think for me it means my life and everything we do as the Buss Family is colored through a different lens. In all we do, we try to do it for the glory of God. I used to take my achievements and those of my children as a reflection on myself. Now I think more in terms of, I was created by God and not by myself, so what did He create me for? I am learning to make it for His glory.

How I serve at church:

I have been learning lately to use my gifts and talents to run the race God wants me to be on. (Thanks for the “Restless” Bible Study, Heidi!) We have been at our church less than a year so it is still a matter of learning where I fit in. We started in children’s ministry but my husband and I were asked to focus on hospitality right now so that is our main involvement. My husband and I might be the two most outgoing people you’ll ever meet so I feel it is where God wants us to be right now.

My passions:

Every Kentuckian knows this answer . . . God, family, Kentucky basketball. Go Cats!!!!!

I can’t live without:

ESPN, the SEC network, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Radio, ESPN360, etc. I love sports. All sports. But I clearly have an obsession with college basketball in general and UK basketball in particular. I have a twitter account for the sole purpose of following sports writers and those who tweet about sports. I don’t know what other people talk about with their husbands over breakfast but today Matt and I discussed how heartbreaking it is that Marcus Lattimore had to retire from the NFL after never taking a snap and how we watched his second injury live on TV. My oldest friend has tried for years to get me to start a sports blog and she has volunteered to do my marketing. Maybe one of these days.

Things I’m currently working on:

Preparing myself and my family for winter. I was taken aback but how much the polar vortex in Michigan rocked me this past year. I can’t avoid the winter so I must make preparations to avoid being miserable about it. This extrovert must prepare so that hibernation does not mean isolation.

Would you rather go through life with a continual winter or a temperature that never drops below 100 degrees?

After living in Michigan that answer is simple for me . . . I would happily fry in the heat!

My health philosophy:

I’ve done the math and odds are I will have some grandchildren born when I am in my seventies. And I’m thinking these grandchildren will be pretty adorable. So I want to not only be alive but ALIVE for them. Play. Tickle. Throw them in the air. I can’t do that if my body is broken down. So I need to do whatever it takes to keep the machine going!

My vice:

McDonald’s Diet Coke. I’ve tried a hundred times to give it up but it never works. I have celiac disease and there is pretty much nothing else at McDonald’s I can have so I figure, why give it up?

My friends think I’m:

Organized. I’m not. I fly by the seat of my pants and throw everything into a drawer and hunt for what I want later.

Favorite social activity:

Having people over to my house. I take pride in entertaining. A friend visited my house recently for the first time and she said, “Your house is so welcoming!” That was probably one of the best compliments someone can give me. I like to be with friends and welcome them when they come over to my house.

I’m inspired by:

People who do what they are called to do without regard to others’ opinions. I’m a people pleaser who is often hampered by what others think of me. I was nervous even to do this HerStory because “what if someone has something negative to say about it?”

Favorite Bible verse:

Psalm 119:160. “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.” An odd choice for sure but it changed everything for me. The mental shift in finding truth in the Word of God was life changing.