Have you ever noticed that as soon as you start getting too comfortable, life has a way of throwing lots of changes your way. Now that I am in the middle part of life (I hope it's the middle anyway), I seem to expect this turn of events. It's as though God is saying " I have work for you to do, don't get too complacent!". The most difficult change right now is the moving our our little preschool from the church parish that has been housing us for the past three years. I have been attending this parish for almost ten years and truly felt that the preschool was a benefit to both the parish and the families there. Sadly, the parish has informed us that they can no longer house us due to space issues. As a result, we are having to move the program to another location. It has been a lot of hard work for the past few weeks but I must say that my co-workers are some of the most hard working and devoted women I know! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful "family" of women to work with to serve the needs of preschool aged children in our area! We are also contemplating selling our home next year and moving to a new neighborhood. Whether this happens or not, only time will tell. I have mixed emotions about both events. Moving is a lot of hard work and there is always sadness in losing that which you have known for a while. However, there is also the hope of new beginnings, new friendships and new possibilities for the future! I think my focus word for next year is going to be "hope"!
It's been quite some time since I've posted to my blog. Valentine's Day has reminded me of my spiritual word for 2013, "LOVE". I was reading somewhere that you choose a word for the year to be your focus word. I just purchased a beautiful key and heart necklace at the Christian bookstore with the word "Love" engraved on it along with a Dollar Store scripture study book on the word "LOVE". This year has been very difficult emotionally as a result of my brother's death. He took his own life in September of 2011, leaving behind two beautiful daughters. I will never be able to fully grasp the depth of his pain that led to this tragedy. I look at the faces of my two beautiful children and cannot fathom being separated from them in such a way. My love for them runs so deep and so wide that words cannot describe it. My love for God is the same. I love the Christian song, "I can only imagine". It describes the moment of meeting Jesus in heaven and we can only imagine what that day will be like. I pray that my brother's soul is finally at peace and resting in the loving arms of our Savior. I only hope that he knows how much he was loved and how much he is missed in our lives. Be sure to tell those that you love each and every day how much they mean to you, for you never know if today may be their last.
Being a teacher, I look forward to my summer break. I always have lofty plans of all of the organizing and house cleaning that I can get done, in addition to catching up on my reading and relaxing by the pool. Being a Mom seems to change all that. I often find myself starting projects that never seem to get finished because I have to break up a fight, fix lunch, make smoothies, go to the pool, wash clothes, etc... There's always the temptation to spend hours on Facebook and Pinterest as well. It's enough to cause a case of the summer time blues. But, then I stop and remember that before I know it, they will be all grown and I am so fortunate to be able to spend this time with them. The housework and projects will always be there, but my children will not. When I ponder that point, I realize that I am not blue at all, just green with envy at the Mom's who can stay so organized and have such clean homes! My attempts at organization just seem to add more clutter. Before I know it, the school year will begin again and another summer with my kiddos will be gone, but the happy memories will last forever.
I was trying to find a word to describe how I feel about this time of the year. Refreshing was the word that came to mind. It seems that October through March is the busiest time of our year with school, activities, holidays, etc... When the winds of spring blow in, I feel a burst of refreshing happiness. The flowers blooming, wind blowing, birds chirping.
As I begin organizing and cleaning out areas of my home, I also have a spiritual sense of refreshment that comes from "cleaning out the cobwebs". Uncovering all those things from the past that have piled up and need to be cleaned out, stored away or discarded. As my home becomes less cluttered and organized, so does my spirit. I am not constantly "busy" doing those things that are mundane and have more time to do the things that are meaningful.
I like to take time to journal my New Year resolutions. It's already January 7th and I've yet to write them down. I'm trying to take life a little slower these days and not "obsess" about all the things that need to be done. If 2011 taught me anything it was that I need to enjoy every moment with those that I love. My house continues to need organizing, the dishes always need to be done and the floors always need to be mopped. However, my little boy won't stay little for too much longer. So, I'm making a resolution to not stress out about all the things that really don't matter and focus on the things that do. I resolve to be a better human being, care more about the people around me and to grow in love and awe of all the wonderful gifts that God gives me each day.
As challenging as it is to be a Girl Scout leader, I love my girls! I have had the same core group of girls now for four years and it is such an amazing journey to see them as they grow and develop. They are beginning to go through bodily changes and their emotions are ever-evolving, but they are still girls at heart! They love to giggle and play but also discuss serious issues as well. As exhausted as I have been lately, I would do anything for my girls! They make me hopeful for the future and it is such an honor to walk this sacred journey with them as they discover who they are and where they are going in life!
I completely lost the month of September with the start of school and sports activities. Our schedules became hectic and busy. Amidst all the chaos, I received the call from my Dad that has completely changed my view on things for the moment. My younger brother took his own life at the age of 41. He had been struggling with a back injury and the pain medications for them. He left behind two beautiful daughters ages 7 and 5. This has been heartbreaking for everyone.
Prayer and life have allowed me to continue on as best I can. Teaching preschool and seeing the joy in the eyes of young children as they sing and dance and play has allowed me to focus on the joyful moments. The sorrow comes in the quiet. Life is consistently made up of the constant moments of sorrow and joy. Through the pain, we see life in a new light and it makes the joyful moments seem more real. I treasure my children now more than ever and feel even more driven to share life with them in a positive and loving way. God bless all those affected by mental illness and families struggling with the loss of a loved one as a result of suicide.