"Run with perseverance the race marked out for you"...
**This is for my blogging and journaling purposes. Most of you won't have the time OR desire to read this, but as hard as this year has been, it is most definitely worth remembering - therefore I've decided to share it on here.**
This year has brought many life changes, adventures and challenges. No words could express the changes that have taken place in both Chad and I. We feel as if the responsibilities we've undertaken with our careers, with the raising of our children and with our home investments have grown us in ways we have not been prepared for. There have literally been moments when I've found myself sitting in the bathroom with the door locked (b/c let's face it, that's the only way a mom can get any peace and quiet!), praying that the good Lord would give us a few days of NO growth in spiritual, emotional or mental maturity! May sound funny to some of you, but my prayers have been quite serious.
I don't know why, but God has called us to do things this year that I never thought we would be asked to do or would be capable of doing. I've found myself pleading with God...literally telling him that the things he is asking of me are not do-able...and yet, if God has ever called you to something - you know that arguing with him is a lost cause! I've dealt with heart ache this year and fear....at the same time...I've had tremendous joy, a boost in courage and in confidence...I've also had the peace that comes from knowing I'm exactly where I'm meant to be. I've argued with God, pleaded with him, gotten angry with him, and then like an exhausted child who realizes her parent will not relent...I've conceded. But God is a good father...the kind of parent who knows what I need more than I do! Through it all, I can see already the positive changes that have taken place internally and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"!
You may be reading this and wondering what in the world has been going on this year?! I don't have time right now to write it all out, but I can share a few decisions we've made regarding next year! Some of you will applaud these decisions...some of you will completely think we've lost our mind! I know we're doing what God has called us to do,...and am confident we're following God's guidance.
B/c of our blessing...Lillie Anna...we have decided that I need to step down from being the Director at Sharing Tree Preschool next year. I have been asked to remain on as the Assistant Director, and have agreed to serve in that capacity...however, it will be more of an "on-call" type position, rather than working every day of the week. The picture above are 5 of the 19 fabulous ladies I've served with this year at Sharing Tree...they've been a part of my daily life this year and although they are all older then me (by 5-15 years), I feel like a mom to each of them! Which leads me to our next decision...
We (Chad and I) have decided to homeschool Shepherd next year. There are many many reasons for this decision. We've been told by the staff at Sharing Tree that he is very advanced for his age and his teacher/assistants have expressed concern of him being bored in a normal kindergarten setting. On top of that, the schools in Florida are undergoing major budget cuts and the current public school setting is unacceptable to both Chad and I. It seems there is a "homeschool revolution" taking place right now and I've been amazed at how many christian families have decided to begin homeschooling this year. Shep will be a part of a co-op that will have regular chapel and field trips, his curriculum will be incredible and I'm just really excited at what next year holds for him! Rauly will remain at Sharing Tree for the next two years - it is the best pre-k in all of Clay County I believe...and NO, I'm not biased! ;)
This picture is for Melis - I'm doing my best to update - I promise! :) I'm 20 weeks now and am feeling wonderful - FINALLY! I'm having pretty serious hormonal swings...meaning I may be laughing one moment and crying the next...but I think that may have something to do with the year we've been dealt. Overall though, I'm feeling good. :) Lillie is moving all the time now - it's the most incredible feeling and I cherish every little movement!
And last but not least, we've decided to move full steam ahead with our home improvement projects. Despite the fact that what Chad and I would most like to do is just crash-n-burn in our beds for about 1 full week...we know that we won't be content until our house feels like a home. SO, last week we sodded and fully landscaped our front yard - it looks beautiful and I'm thrilled with the finished product!!! And this week, as you can see from the pics, we are replacing all of our appliances, sink, cabinets, counters, knobs, etc! Chad (or handy manny) is doing it all himself - he's incredible! I'll post pics this weekend once it's complete!