I spend a lot of time wrapped in the busyness. I like being busy. I feel good when I finish a task. I feel good when I do something well. As a result, my self worth has become totally wrapped in this doing and finishing. And I’m not here. Not present. I tell myself that I’m good because I can do. I’m important because I make myself needed. And I’m fininding here in this middle part of my life that I’ve lost me and, unless someone is part of the doing, that I’ve neglected relationships. But I FEEL good. And I feel PERFECT. And when someone talks about changing, I don’t see me – because look what I’m doing. I can boil it all down to a photo of a moment that I made. And for a minute only, I smile about that and feel like I made something. But inside, what’s really there? At this time in my life, it’s starting to matter again. But the search for substance is a tough one when there are years and years and YEARS of doing rather than living built up. I’ve forgotten how to experience. I’ve lost touch with what’s real. Today I got snuck up on.
I was watching a message from my church online…because it’s snowy here and I’m a lot of a chicken when it comes to taking my car out on uncertain roads. The message was about having big dreams, God-sized dreams, more specifically. Dreams that will not succeed without His work in them. Towards the end there was a challenge to “Exchange all of me for all of Him”. And it hit me. Suddenly I knew just how I saw myself. And it wasn’t good. I thought that God wouldn’t want what I have to give him. He wouldn’t want to make that switch. He’d say that was a bum deal. He wouldn’t want my insecurities, my fears, my lifetime of crippling anxiety, my weak body, my mind of tangled thoughts, my doubts and my lack of faith. He wouldn’t want me. But as I poured over and over this He showed me that this exchange wasn’t meant to be fair, it’s meant to be cleansing. He doesn’t NEED anything that I’m giving. He has something to give me, but there’s no more space. I’ve filled it with the doing and the worrying. Those things I’ve found comfort in are taking up valuable real estate in who I am. The growth comes from my letting go. Those things about myself that I look down on aren’t from God. In my distance from Him, they’ve creeped in over time.
When I give Him me, he takes the messed up parts and brings in His light and His strength. He takes my good parts – my deep love for my family, my incredible focus, my intense passion for teaching children, my ability to reflect, my love for change, my drive for the best, my ability to see the steps needed to accomplish anything. He can take all that and filter it through His strength and love and grace and cause the junk to melt away. Those things aren’t of him and the more of Him I can let into my life, the more those things will seem out of place.
So my goal is to let go. My goal is to let Him in. My goal is to be still. My goal is to read and learn and pray. My goal is to seek. My goal is to do what’s important and stop worrying about doing everything. My goal is to be filled with light so the darkness has no place inside me.
Months have passed. Some things have changed. Some have stayed the same.
I have a new job. In just a few weeks, I’ll be going back into the classroom full-time. Though I am still filled with so much anxiety about making this huge step and change, I am also incredibly excited. I remember that I was once a pretty awesome teacher. Since then, I’ve had children and watched them grow, causing my heart for these young lives to grow by leaps and bounds. I know this will only make my service to them that much better. I haven’t been able to spend much time in my classroom (because let’s be honest – what would I really get done with my 2 monkeys there with me?!?!), but the day that I did spend there and the training classes that I’ve attended have reminded me of one thing that brings me a lot of comfort. I feel so ALIVE when I am doing this. A different kind of alive than I feel now. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved my life and cherished the time I have had with my children. Memories were made that are priceless to me. But, I’ve always believed that this is a “calling” for me. And I believe that when you’re locked into your calling in life, that sweet spot, that things just feel right. Even though I really thought I’d never return to the classroom, I know now that this is again the right choice for this season in my life. And I’m happy I made it.
This summer has been full of fun connections, too. Blogging and social media have some up sides and some down sides. One great up side is that it allows connections to be made that wouldn’t happen otherwise. I’ve now got wonderful friends-again who have reached out when I was going through a tough time, when I needed a little encouragement and just to say “I think we should know each other again”. I love that. I love knowing that there are people all over this country and world who’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs. Really, aren’t people the greatest miracle of all?
Evan is the baby that makes other people want to have more babies. Aside from being painfully cute, he has a smile for everyone. His blue eyes are honest and look right through you. His dimples make you think he’s up to something, which he usually is. He’s incredibly curious about the world around him, a quality that I know will serve him well throughout his life.
He’s eager to walk. I wondered if that would happen with a second child, seeing his older brother exploring and moving freely. Within two weeks, he went from screaming his head off when he would topple over onto his stomach, to sitting himself up, to scooting across the floor, to crawling, to pulling himself up to stand, to taking steps with a little help on the balance front. Yes, we’re revisiting the childproofing issue. Thankfully, we never really got around to un-childproofing as Carter got older.
He got 2 teeth at 6 months, then went 3 months with no more. Finally, as he crossed over the 9 month mark, two more appeared front and center. Then, days later, two more beside those. This is good, as baby food just isn’t cutting it for Mr. 96th Percentile. He’s definitely interested in eating everything at this point, though he isn’t allowed a good bit of it yet.
Evan completes our family. He makes me feel like a crazy person for ever having the thought that we shouldn’t have another child. Carter is becoming more and more loving towards him. I think he’s going to be an amazing big brother to Evan, teaching him all he knows. For now, we’re trying to teach Carter the difference between admiration and imitation. It’s only cute for babies to act like babies. Big brothers have the important job of being a good example.