Monday, October 7, 2013

Follow Your Heart

Warning: Long post ahead…. in fact, I grabbed two of these and some coffee before I started writing. You might want to do the same!

Hello all, your intermittent, rarely shows up with a post, slacker, misses you all dearly blogger here. Wow, it’s been almost 3 months since my last post and a lot has happened in our little household. Nothing that should excuse my long absence, but I’ll tell you the tale anyway. In my last post, I said that I was pondering some big decisions…

As you all know, last summer we were given the opportunity to foster two beautiful little girls in our home. It has been 15 months now, and we still have them. We love them so much and thank God every day for bringing them into our lives. Last summer, although we had been through the months of training, home studies, and paperwork, nothing prepared us for instant parenthood. Don’t get me wrong-it was and still is wonderful but it was a shock to us all the same. 

When we got the girls, I was heading into my fourth year as an elementary school principal. Thank goodness it was the summer so I could adjust to being a working mom at a time when my schedule was fairly flexible. By the time school started, I felt like I was somewhat in the groove of juggling the roles of wife, principal, and now mama. And I did manage it (very well, I might add) for the whole school year. I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful husband, Mr. P though. He is an amazing husband (always has been!) and an awesome daddy. You should see him with these girls-he jumps in and does everything, and they adore him.

My school was about 45 minutes away and in another time zone, so on a good day we got home from school around 6:00 p.m. Most days, it was closer to 7. Some days, Mr. P would pick the girls up from school for me and bring them home, but then I still wouldn’t get home until 7:00 or 7:30. By then, he would have homework done, usually baths done, and the girls were headed to bed. And on the days I had meetings or events, the girls were in bed before I got home. Told ya he was an amazing husband and dad!! And as much as I appreciated everything he was doing, I still felt guilty for not being there, not to mention the fact that I wanted to be home. On the rare days that I did get home early, I savored the family dinner and family time together.

With summer approaching quickly, I started looking into babysitters or daycares for the girls because I had to work most days in the summer. And I realized that I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want the girls to have to get up every day in the summer for “school”; I wanted them to be able to stay up later and sleep in some mornings. I wanted to be able to go places with them in the summer. So I started thinking long and hard about what I really wanted to do with my career.

Now anyone who knows me, knows that I am a silent sufferer. I will be dying on the inside about something, but still put a smile on my face and get through the day. I only talk to my closest friends and family about my worries and stresses. Mr. P knows me well enough to know when something is wrong, but even he has to work hard to get it out of me sometimes. And I was struggling with this decision big time. I felt that if I walked away from this job that I would be a quitter…and I hate a quitter. 

I finally came clean with Mr. P about my thoughts and worries, and he was totally supportive. He said he knew I had been under a lot of stress, not only from trying to juggle family and school but also the stresses that come along with being a school principal. We decided to think and pray about it for a few days and see where God led us. I remember at some point during our conversation that day, I said “If I could have my pick of jobs, it would be at Great Elementary as either assistant principal or third grade teacher.” Great Elementary (pseudonym of course) is a wonderful school, 5 minutes from our house with a great reputation. I have always wanted to work in my neighborhood school and have our kids go there with me.

Well, the next week I decided to put out some feelers and see if there were any jobs available closer to home, and lo and behold, Great Elementary had some openings and one of them was third grade!  I truly felt that God was leading me to this position. It was a nerve-wracking month though...the job had to be posted for thirty days and over 100 people had put in for the position. In the end, I got the job so I am now teaching third grade and working very close to home. We just finished our first quarter of the year, and I am so unbelievably happy. I didn’t realize how much I had missed teaching until I was back in the classroom. I love being so close to the students and teaching again. I simply love teaching!! I work with a wonderful team of teachers, and one of my very best friends is on the third grade team with me. The girls and I are home before 4:00 most days. They are playing soccer and in gymnastics, and all us are enjoying more family time.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through all of this is to trust God, which is why I've interspersed bible verses throughout this post. I was certainly leaning heavily on them this summer. God has brought us through so many things, yet I still question and worry when things like this come up. And He still forgives me for this and continues to show me His great mercy and grace. We are always where He intends us to be…and the things that happen to us always happen for a reason. Don’t get me wrong-I struggled and still struggle with this decision sometimes. I feel like I walked away from a job that was not finished, I sometimes feel like I let a school and its community down by leaving with very little warning. But I also feel that I am in the right place for me and my family. I just tell myself that those doubts are just the devil trying to get inside my head, and my God is much bigger than him!

I’m hoping to blog more often now that we are settled into our new routine. Leaving one school and settling into another in mid-July made me feel as if I were playing catch up the entire first nine weeks. But I’ve settled into a routine and I’ve got a week off (it’s Fall Break) to get a little bit ahead with lesson planning and stuff. I’ll have to post pictures of my classroom sometime because I’ve really enjoyed decorating and getting my classroom together. There’s so much cute stuff out there! I’ll leave you with one image from my room. This is the wreath that I made (sort of) for my classroom. The webbed part was already done, I just added the H and the school things. But I’m still pretty proud of it!

I also want to close by giving a little shout-out to OneFabulous Mom. This sweet little blogger left me a very sweet and encouraging comment on my last post back in June that really hit home with me-it was like she read my mind. Thank you, thank you so  much for your kind words. : )

And thank you to everyone else for sticking with me through this entire tale. You’re the best!


The Mrs. said...

AWWW!!!! I am so happy My comment meant something to you! It meant something to me when I left it!! xo I'm so proud of you and your courage!!!!!!!

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