Saturday, April 25, 2009

"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 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!


Marie said...

I am thankful I made it to the end of the post! You all have been so busy, and one the kitchen is done- I hope you are able to relax a little more. I have several friends who have decided to home school, and to be honest- I am waiting to see what happens with in our district this year. I plan to teach one more year, and then maybe start homeschooling my 3. Matt and I have been toying with the idea for about a year now and I see so many benefits to it. I am sorry that this year has been difficult for you, but you are now stronger than you were before- and God certainly has a purpose for that!!

Candace said...

When we face God's "growing pains" (as I like to call them) sometimes it is difficult to face our true selves. But you seem to do to so beautifully. I too am going through these pains right now, and it seems there is no mountain top in sight. As children of Christ the only thing that we can doo is continue to study His Word and pray! I am so happy that you are at peace with every decision that you and Chad have made.
You look great, I hope that you are feeling great as well.

Hicks Family said...

Wow, I have so much to comment about this post...I am not sure blogger can handle it. So, I will just say, Thanks for the pics, and I will call and chat soon.
Love you all very much.

Angela said...

You look great Lindsey! Good luck with the homeschooling next year- we aer struggling with all the school stuff and moving, so I feel your concern there! Take care!

Michael and Hannah said...

I continue to be in awe of you Linds! I know you will do an amazing job of homeschooling. I am glad you will be able to stay home and spend more time with your beautiful babies! And you are THE cutest expectant mommy EVER!!

Melody said...

I read the entire post :) You are amazing and I'm a better person for knowing you.

I can't wait to see how homeschooling works out for all of you. I might be doing the same thing next school year if something major doesn't change before Ella starts kindergarten.

See you soon!


Sarah said...

Lindsey, you look precious! It's so good to know you're headed in the right direction when you've trusted God to show you where to go. I know He'll bless your decisions!
Lillie Anna is such a precious name!

Page said...

Oh, I know how you feel about Fl's school system. I'm already stressing about that...I wish I could just go ahead and decide on something now and reserve instead of waiting till Brayton is 5!! Homeschooling is a wonderful option and one that I will consider as well, though I was a product of the public schools, and my experience was fine, I will not be sending my children to public schools, either. I think they've gotten out of control in many areas.
You look great at 20 weeks!! I'm in awe every day of how large I feel (I'm at 22 weeks) and how much further I still have to go!!

Kate said...

Thanks for being so honest about your struggles. Your year sounds almost as stressful as mine has been!! It's so hard being a mom. As far as the homeschooling thing goes, don't let other people's opinions about that (positive or negative) sway you and Chad from doing what God would have you do with your kids. He entrusted your children to YOU for a reason. If anyone has anything to say about it, you can just say what I say to people who have criticisms of my parenting..."If you think you can do a better job with my 3 kids, then more power to you!" I haven't had any takers yet ;)

Jamie said...

Oh my goodness! The kitchen is gonna look awesome! I DO know how hard it is to have your kitchen, since we are in the finishing steps of our kitchen renov!
So happy to be alongside you in the new journey of homeschooling! I know it will be replete with its own new challenges, but I'm definitely excited about the shifting of gears to a (hopefully) slower and less chaotic year next year!
Love you!

emily said...

i'm so excited for you to be able to be at home more with your kids this next year! i am sure you did a fabulous job running the preschool, and i bet they will miss you so much! but your kids will also love having you home. :) there's nothing like the love of our babies, is there!? :) we are slowly easing into homeschool this year with ethan, and i am excited to begin this chapter in our lives. surround yourself with encouraging and experienced homeschool moms (as well as some newbies!), and i bet you will love it!

hope you're feeling good these days!