When I was thinking about what I was going to write about tonight, there wasn’t anything inspirational that came to mind. I worked a long day, came home to five children, did all that adulting, and I’m just tired. I started thinking about some backup ideas I’ve already written rough drafts for…the new cool things we’re doing in our classroom…my teacher evaluation meeting tomorrow and what I’ll contribute…there’s plenty of things on my mind, but there’s just one thing that keeps going on repeat: I love my crazy life.
How did this even happen??? Two school years ago, I was only working because we were so broke! I was hoping we’d be able to get out of the debt hole, and then I could go back to being a stay at home mom and homeschool. Six years ago, when I resigned my teaching position, it was for good! So going back because of dire straits wasn’t the most encouraging welcome back, if you know what I mean?
We’ve heard the saying, “If you look for the negative, you’ll find it.” That’s so true. The reverse is also true. I’ve often wondered if I’d still be working if my husband hadn’t been laid off two years ago and we had zero debt? Last year, I would have said, “NO!” But crazily enough, after having my fifth child and even missing him everyday when I leave for work, I know one hundred percent I am exactly where God has me to be.
Some of the challenges I’ve had this year were personal in a way I’ve never experienced. I lost my Dad a month after having my son, Whit. I knew it was coming, but death is death, he may be in Heaven, but here on earth, I miss him. I hate that he never got to hold my sweet baby. Another challenge was leaving my precious baby to go back to work. I knew in my soul I could never quit mid-year on those innocent lives that were truly waiting for my return, but how could I live this new life? I had gone back to work with my first child, but I had no balance and I never want my own children and husband to feel like I’m not fully committed to them. Teacher life is truly unbalanced. There were also professional challenges I’ve faced that I hadn’t ever dreamed I’d go through, before and after maternity leave. So how can I truly love this crazy, unbalanced life?
Here are some things that are helping me:
- Spending more time in prayer every morning. I miss sometimes, but I want to meditate on Scripture and pray before everyone else wakes up. Sometimes even after prayer, the hectic morning looks like me screaming at my children or husband to hurry up and all yelled with a few choice words. But I always pray that God will redeem those times, and through the power of forgiveness coupled with humility, they are turned around.
- Looking for the good in everything: in people, in lessons, in my students, and in my challenges. My faith tells me that everything I experience can build me up if I walk in faith that God has every detail already worked out. I cling to this instead of my old friend, Worry.
- Finding ways to make life more exciting! In the month I’ve been back work, my classroom was transformed into a campground, a baseball diamond, and a party for the stars! (I’m still nursing my infant son, so none of this would have happened without my husband helping me and my faithful family and friends.) I’m hoping my students are just as excited and may even wonder what their crazy teacher is up to today!
- I thoroughly enjoy teaching children. It’s exhausting. It’s challenging. But it’s also profound, enlightening, and so fulfilling. I’ve seen my 24 students grow, GROW!!! Regardless of being gone for two and a half months, my students are still growing, and I’m still learning about them and loving them more everyday.
- And the biggest reason I love my crazy life is because I love my family with every breath I have. I am privileged to serve them. I am privileged to wake up every new day with these beautiful beings. My husband supports me even when I exasperate him. My kids continuously forgive me when my patience wears thin. We go together like macncheese. Seven of us. We’re a big bunch. We’re learning about this life and all it’s ups and downs together. I want my children to grow up knowing that working hard is something to be proud of, and I want my husband to have a partner who supports him 100% in return.
I know I’m fulfilling God’s path for my life because it’s hard. It’s so challenging, it gets me up out of bed every morning. How am I going to be a better mom? A better wife? A better teacher? I no longer have thoughts about my Plan B or resenting my present condition of being a working mom. In fact, I respect working moms and stay at home moms in many more, new ways because I know what it’s like to be both! Regardless of life events, I want to be better in every role I have been blessed to hold. I want to please the Savior of Whom I truly serve above anyone and anything else, Who makes all this possible under the sun.
Life isn’t perfect, our washing machine is broken, and I’m not getting much sleep these days…but don’t you know, I’m living on the mountain top!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2 NIV