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Season of Change

I think a Season of Change is ahead.  I'm not sure why I think that. . .just a feeling that I have.

We have been restless for awhile.  Job-wise, home-wise. . .Tom and I get like this every so often.  The problem is, where we live now (we've been here for four years), we've never really "settled".  It's a strange thing.  I'm sure the Lord brought us here and even more incredibly I'm sure that we were led to the exact location we now live.  But we've never felt "settled".  We've tried the whole "bloom where you are planted" and "this is your mission field" thing but still. . .there's a restlessness.  I have been very, very careful to keep the Cross in front of me these past months and listen carefully to what He is saying.  And not get ahead of myself, not worry, and, like when my camera was lost last week, "let go of what is not important" (still trying to figure out how those pictures weren't important. . .but. . .)

* Three years ago, after living in this house for one year, we put it on the market.  We found another one in the town just south of us that we liked in a neighborhood we thought we'd like.  In 6 months' time I think we had three showings.  We took it off the market and our next-door neighbors, who live in the exact same house (facade is different), put theirs up and it's still there.  Every time we discuss putting our house on the market we hold back because of the neighbors.  In December Tom had a real estate agent come over, they filled out the paperwork, but I just didn't want to sell.  First off, I really like our house.  It's a great house for us, we have a great payment on it, and it has plenty of room for our family when they come.  Secondly, I couldn't see trying to sell a house in the middle of winter.  Thirdly, I didn't think the house was "ready".   Lastly, my argument was "where would we go?"  Seriously, would we stay in the area or move on?  What about the kids?  They like their school and this is home to them.  It's probably the only home Frederick remembers.  And I'm in school.  And I'm making connections in the schools for a job myself.  And the list goes on.  Several months ago I was in the shower and I heard the Lord clearly tell me that I needed to give up the house.  I told Tom that and said we should put it on the market.  Then we weren't home for weekends on end.  There was a lot to do to get it ready.  Then summer rolled around and we considered putting it up *right before* vacation but again, I didn't think it was "ready".  In all honesty, I'm no longer fighting against selling the house, it's just that roadblocks seem to get in the way.  Anyhoo, the kiddos go back to school in 1.5 weeks and it's definitely time.  I spent hours and hours cleaning out the girls room when they were gone for horse camp this year.  My storage/craft/bonus room has been majorly re-organized.  Yesterday we finally got our bedroom painted and put back together complete with pictures, etc. on the walls.  It's time.  If it's the "right" time the Lord will bring the family that is supposed to be here, here.  I have no doubt.  But I also have no idea where we'll go.

*Except for two finals, I have my schoolwork completed for the summer.  I have a 99 in one class and a 97 in the other going into my 100-pt finals.  All the other tests have been multiple choice or true/false so I expect these to be too.  I'm on track to graduate in May.  I don't have any idea what I'm going to do with my degree but I'm just following the Cross here again.  I will have an administration license in education but haven't had my own classroom for 10 years.  I'm sure this was the right program for me and I've really enjoyed working toward this MA but again, I have no idea where it's taking me.  NOT having a full-time job during this time has been a blessing.  I have had time to really concentrate and do well on my schoolwork and I don't feel it's taken too much time away from the family.  The Lord provided the funds for this venture and I'm attending a well-known and respected University in the state.  Almost everything is online, which I've loved, and I have truly enjoyed the coursework.  But again, what's next?  I have no idea.

* My job situation is a funny one too.  I have been employed at our local YMCA for over three years now.  I really like it.  I've never had much of a desire to increase my responsibilities there, which is strange for me.  I've always been a "climb the ladder"-type of person but this time I have enjoyed just staying in my one little area and dabbling in little extra things then just retreating right back to my assigned area.  This job has been fantastic for me and for our family.  We pay a minimal membership fee, our kids participate in sports for a discount, and I have always been able to bring my children to work so childcare is never an issue.  My paycheck there provides the funds for our kids to participate in sports activities.  I have a lot of respect for my boss and like seeing the leadership at the Y change things up and grow.  But again, it's disconcerting to me that I've never had the desire to grow there.  I appreciate the job but I also think it's the first j.o.b. I've ever had.  Every other place I've ever worked I have invested in and grown in.  This doesn't bother me.  I'm maturing and realize that sometimes, some things are just what they are and nothing else.  I'm o.k. with the fact that it's a job and not a life path.  It provides wonderfully for me and my children right now, it's the right thing for us.

*What is ahead in the teaching arena?  This is completely and totally up to the Lord.  Except for a twinge of disappointment a few weeks ago I clearly see that everything is in His hands and I'm proud to follow a Father who will lead me only where he exactly wants me.  I have been a loyal substitute teacher in my childrens' school and this county for two solid years now.  I eagerly filled in at the beginning of the year last year for almost five weeks for one of Thomas's teachers.  And then I was overlooked for another long-term job.  Then another.  I was crushed.  I still had plenty of work, but I was disappointed that I was not even interviewed for the other jobs that came up (one being in the same grade/team as my first long-term job).  I was handed the job of PTO president in March -- I had quit the PTO at the beginning of the year! -- when our president suddenly quit and she had never secured a VP.  I asked the principal then about the "why" questions I had regarding employment and it basically came down to "you're not from here".  This is the South remember.  I agreed to fill in for our fledgling PTO until the end of the year but at the last meeting no one showed up to vote in for the President's job.  Of course.  And those there begged me to stay on.  I said I'd think about it over the summer.  Before the end of the year I clearly told our principal that "I'm 38 years old.  I love teaching.  I don't love the PTO.  I'm old enough now to only pursue those things that I love and not feel guilty about not doing it all.  I'm a wife, a mother, and have many other duties in my full life."  For whatever reason this statement was not accepted because when numerous jobs became available at our small, rural school I was not even called for an interview.  I have asked the Lord to slam doors to areas I am not supposed to be in and that was a pretty loud slam.  And I'm o.k. with that. . .again, He has the whole picture laid out, I only am aware of this time and this place.  Last Wednesday at 5 p.m. I got a call from a principal in a school one county over.  My name had been given to her from a mutual friend.  She had a long-term position available and could I start the next morning?  WOW.  I explained that my kids were not yet in school and that I could come in Thursday and Friday (!!!) but unless the county would allow me to enroll the kids at that school that I couldn't work beyond those two days until my children were back in school.  She said she'd check into it if I could come in Thursday and Friday.  Turns out, I knew one of the teachers on this team because I worked with her a bit at the end of last school year so I was going into this job already knowing a bit about it!!!  Friday the principal came to me and said my children could not enroll there so I said I really couldn't continue the job.  That made me sorry, but was also another door clearly closing, a specific prayer request.  I feel sorry for those kids, in the four days they've been in school they've had three different teachers now.  But it wasn't the right position for me, in the Lord's eyes.

*And then there are the blessings in my life that I continue to embrace, acknowledge, and not take for granted.  Tom.  He's my longest, bestest friend.  I love him more and more each day.  He accepts me and all my flaws and still loves me.  That is incredible to me.  He provides for us and is such a good leader of this family.  I wish I was a writer, then I might get close to expressing everything in my heart.  And there are my beautiful, healthy children.  Those children I don't deserve and yet the Lord blessed us with them.  And I lose my patience, or don't always do my "best" as a mom, and it makes me so sad that I can't do-it-all-and-be-all all the time.  The Lord put this family together so perfectly and I never lose sight of that.  Our plans would not have included all of this and we would have missed out!!!  Just last night at dinner I was overwhelmed with the blessing of our children and commented to Tom about it.  They are growing -- and growing too fast -- and it is pure joy to be a part of this journey.  I am grateful that God blessed us with a location near a lake.  That He provides us the time and the means to enjoy it.  I do not want to take this season for granted.  But I know there is change ahead (isn't there always?) but I'm fairly certain one year from now my life will look completely different.  And I also know, with certainty, that if I could see a picture of that life right now I wouldn't recognize it.  Even one year ago, I was enrolled in school but had not yet started.  Our living room was yellow, our kitchen green, neither the master bath or bedroom had paint colors chosen, I had just one person I played tennis with regularly, I didn't know I'd have a long-term job yet, we were changing churches. . . .and, knowing us, we were probably considering job changes and house changes and here we still are. . .

So this online journal is about what is is store for us these next few weeks. . .months. . .years.  All I know is that each new day is His creation and we only take our next breath because He allows it.  Today we're off to church, it's our first Sunday teaching 3rd grade Sunday School (!), then we're heading to Lexington to drop the boys off to their Nana and Grandpa for a week.  They were supposed to go up Friday but with teaching Thursday and Friday I was too tired to drive 300 miles to get them to Ohio so they said they'd meet us today.  They'll be back on Friday when Tom's sister flies in from Utah to spend the weekend with all of us, then she'll drive back to Ohio with her parents for the rest of her vacation back home.  I miss my camera. . .wish I had some pictures to post with the kids painting our bedroom. . .it was hard for me to let them be a part of that mess but you can't learn if you don't do, right?

Here's to the future and whatever season lies ahead. . .


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