My earliest memory of struggling though the school transitions was when I completed 5th grade. It would be the first time to move to a new school and I remember crying uncontrollably the last day of school because of having to leave my friends, my teachers and the only school I had ever known. Now fast forward to the present and I still get emotional over the cars driving around town that say "Congratulations Class of 2011". In fact, after seeing all of the cars, it gave me the idea for a home work assignment….one that I hope you may consider as well. I am going to write a hand written letter to each of my children that can be given to them when they graduate high school. My first thought is to include messages to each child about who they are now, what their personalities are like and what our hopes are for the future God has planned for each of them. Really, I don’t know all the details yet, but I thought it would be a great gift to be able to give to each of them when they graduate (Parker Class of 2022 and Cooper Class of 2025). Maybe this “assignment” will help put the pieces into perspective and realize that even though we don’t always know the next step, God has been preparing the path for each of us, not just long term but even for today.
I have a friend, Laura, that has 3 children of her own and I can remember over hearing her say at a birthday party once that her youngest of the 3 children had just moved out of his crib to a big boy bed. She said that it was the first time in 9 years that her home would be without a crib. Well, the females standing around did what we all do. They put their hands to their hearts, gave the compassionate deep sigh and then asked how she was doing. Her response surprised me and has stuck in my mind ever sense that day. It would have been very easy to go along with the overall feel of those standing around her and fall into the self pity and sadness knowing that her children were growing up; however, she confidently replied, “I am not sad. I have thoroughly enjoyed my children at each stage and this is just the next step of life”. Huh? Did I hear that right? I couldn’t believe it. I was awed by her confidence and loving response. Way to go Laura! My first response would have been “option 1” with the self pity and poor me approach. I knew at that moment though that I wanted to have that kind of confidence to know that we did it. We soaked up the moments and we squeezed all the life, love, lessons and memories we could’ve gotten from that experience and now it’s time to move on to the next step.
In my sadness this morning, I heard a still small voice, just like I do most mornings to go and open up my devotion because there was something that I truly needed to hear. I received my current devotional, Jesus Calling, from my mom for my birthday last year. It truly is a gift as it seems like the Bible lessons have coincided with my life experiences for the last 4 months. God just has a way of reaching you with the exact reminders you need for each day’s journey. So this morning was no different. I ran out the door yesterday trying to fit in “all of the life” that was planned for a busy day, which meant the devotion was pushed to the side. As I was getting ready to jump in today’s to-do list, I heard that same small voice, “go read the devotional from yesterday, I have something for you.” When I opened the book to May 26th, this is what I found:
“In a world of unrelenting changes, I am the One who never changes. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Find in me the stability of which you have yearned…….”
Our wonderful 3's teacher: Mrs. Hader!!! Thank you for loving my children as your own. You have been such a gift to our family! Our time spent with you has been a treasure that we will never forget. "I thank my God every time I remember you." Philippians 1:3
Parker on her last day in 3's Class, 2008
Cooper on his first day in 3's Class, 2010
Our 3's assistant: Mrs. Willis! Thank you for your giving spirit and unconditional love!
You are such a joy! (1st Day of School 2010)
Celebrating after the end of the year program, 2011.