About this time last year, I was in discussions with the principal at the school my children attend.  The discussion revolved around the potential need to add another 2nd grade class during the 2017-2018 school year, and would I be interested in thinking about a full-time job?

Honestly, the thought of working full-time hadn’t crossed my mind, but I said I’d pray about it.

While in the waiting to find out whether or not  the added class would be a go or not, I felt strongly that God was calling me to take a faith-step and apply for the Discipleship School our church offers from Sept. – June.  The tagline, “what if one year could change everything” intrigued me as I knew that there was so much MORE available to me when it came to knowing God, being in relationship with Jesus, and walking in the Spirit.  And so, I applied.

Shortly after being accepted into the 2017-2018 discipleship class, I received a phone call welcoming me to the staff of my children’s school.   I felt total peace about this.  I KNEW it was where I was supposed to be.  The thought of full time work, plus taking a class of my own, plus the ins and outs of life with a family of six could have scared the pants off of me.

But it didn’t.

I went into this year knowing it would be tough.  I didn’t know exactly how tough it would be, and I’m thankful for that.  Working is great; I love what I do and enjoy the environment I get to work in.  Discipleship School is amazing;  even though I have to chug extra coffee on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to stay awake during and after long classes it’s worth every drop and every sleepy-eyed wake-up call to the alarm clock. Life at home has been different, but it’s allowed me to see to an even greater degree which things are important to me and which things just aren’t.  FYI:  clean floors?  Those fall under the “not really that important” category these days.  It’s also allowed me to invite my children into taking more responsibility for the home we live in, as well as giving me the chance to appreciate even more my dish-washing/laundry-folding/breakfast-making/super-hot husband.

I had hoped to write sporadically in this little space of mine during the year, but found that time was seriously lacking at the start of the year and all of the transitions being made.  As the fall started to ease into chillier days, Julianne’s issues regarding her Epidermolysis bullosa diagnosis started flaring in a way we’ve never seen before.  Antibiotic after antibiotic.  Pain beyond what any child should have to endure.  By the end of each day I was just zonked — completely drained both physically and emotionally.  Though processing it all through writing seemed like a great idea, reaching through the fog of my fatigue to find adequate words was basically impossible.

As a result of the intensity of the school of life I’ve been in, this place has been silent.  Bare, even.

sergee-bee-7311-unsplash

Photo by sergee bee on Unsplash

Today I looked out of my window and saw the bright green of the oak tree right outside of my window and despite the agony of having yet another brutal bandage change behind us for the day, it made me stop and think.  As I stared, gratitude flooded my heart.

These past months?  They’ve taught me about a zillion life lessons.

I’m less likely to stress over things that just don’t matter.

I’m more likely to recognize the things that really do matter.

I’m more okay with who I am than ever before.

These months have grown me and changed me (Y’all, I even said yes to getting a cat for my oldest! Me, the dedicated anti-cat person!) and I am deeply thankful for every single tear-stained brutally exhausted moment.

When I started this new season of life, I fully intended and believed it was to be a years-long season, but you know what?  The once stable looking horizon up and shifted on me!  Next year I will be staying home with one of my children to spend a year doing homeschool.  My little curly-headed nugget has had a rough time the past three years  as we have adjusted to our family growing and is in need of some serious one-on-one time.  It’s tough being the baby of the family and losing that status.  While he has handled it all better than I think I would have at his age, it’s his turn to know that we’re making a decision based solely on what HE needs, not what’s best for little sister.  Being the sibling to a child with a chronic medical condition can cause some legit secondary trauma in the lives of those others living in the home.  I am grateful we have the ability to give this time to him, and my prayer is that we not only have a blast learning but that we also get to dig out some of the hurt that is buried in his heart and run after healing for that hurt.

Here’s to new horizons,

a God who constantly keeps me on my toes,

and more life lessons to be learned.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll have time to take all that has been crammed into my heart and head this year and apply it.  Can’t wait to see what happens next!

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