The First Day of School

It’s Officially On! 

For those of you who know us, you know that our family has been in transition through most of 2013. For those of you who don’t and are curious, you can catch a glimpse of our “back story” by clicking on Our Story. Though we have been in our new home and Kory has been serving our new church since the beginning of July, our new reality hasn’t seemed real. Until today. 

Today, another school year began. But this year, we didn’t walk the familiar hallways we have for the past 5 years. We didn’t say hi to friends we missed over the summer. And we didn’t stop by the classrooms of our children’s old teachers to give them hugs. 

Today, Taylor and Zachary began a new school year at a new school. One that we are HOPEFUL we will love. One that we KNOW, over time, will become familiar. One that we are CERTAIN will bring many new friends into our lives. And one that we BELIEVE will offer the very best teachers, at the very best times, for our children. But today…I am homesick. And I am struggling with conflicting emotions that make it difficult to celebrate all the wonderful excitement that a new school year brings. 

Daddy and son at Meet the Teacher for Kindergarten. Where has the time gone?


When we arrived at Meet the Teacher, we visited Zachary’s class first. He was a little apprehensive. Sweet Taylor said, “It’s OK Zachary. I’m a little nervous too.” But when we arrived in her classroom, she was cool, calm, and collected. She even made a new friend!


Why is today, more than any other day since we moved, so significant? I suppose it’s because it is a tangible reminder that when we decided to accept this new ministry position, we didn’t just put ourselves through a difficult transition. We dragged our children through it. Today, that reality has stirred up in me an indescribable compassion for what my children have been and will continue to go through during this season of change, and it makes me sad. I want so badly to protect them. But I know that I have to let them walk into this new environment and figure it out for themselves. Being a parent can be heart-wrenching, can’t it? 

But what troopers they have been! When we were in the midst of trying to sell our old house, Taylor diligently helped me get ready for showings. She even put coffee out for the realtors and prospective buyers. (I don’t think they ever drank it, but she’ll never know.) And when I thanked her for all she was doing, she told me that she knew God was calling us to this new season of ministry and that she just wanted to be helpful. Wow. Tears flowing, even as I type. 

When we moved away from the old neighborhood, and left all of their friends behind, Taylor and Zachary joyfully played with each other while all the children in our new neighborhood were on, what seemed like, extended summer vacations. Taylor and Zachary kept themselves busy, never complained, and waited patiently for all the unpacking to get done — well, they’re still waiting for all the unpacking to get done, but that’s another post for another day. I swear those boxes are multiplying like the rabbits in my backyard! I’ve promised the kids that there are better summers ahead and that by next summer, all the boxes will be gone! 

And even this morning, as we walked into an unfamiliar school, where they have no friends and don’t know a single person, they were joy-filled, excited, oh so brave, and ready to begin a new school year with open hearts and minds. I am so proud of them. And I am so thankful for them. Little do they know, but through their resiliance, they are bringing healing to my broken heart and hope to my soul, and they are reminding ME that everything will be OK. The lessons we learn from our children!

The kids get lockers in the 3rd grade at our new school. Needless to say…she was excited about that! It is now stocked with a dry-erase, a mirror, wall-paper, a shelf, and some lip balm.


 

This was taken before my tears began to flow. I bawled like a baby when I kissed him goodbye and left the room!


After drop off, I attended the Boo Hoo Yahoo coffee for Kindergarten and Senior moms. Two moms spoke to us — one from each grade. When the Senior mom took the podium, she told us that she wasn’t supposed to be there, and that she was supposed to be at another school in the state of Georgia. But 11 years ago, she explained, her husband came home from work, and said that his employer had asked him to move to Texas…in 2 weeks. 

She went on to describe the heartbreak she experienced in the days that followed her husband’s news. But then she talked about God’s goodness and faithfulness, and she told us that all the plans she had conjured up for her family paled in comparison to what God has offered since they moved to Texas and her children began attending this school. She closed by saying that there was no doubt in her mind her family was exactly where it needed to be these last 11 years. 

Well, that hit close to home. Not that we have moved out of state, but we have experienced significant change in 2013 — change that has required us to buy a new house, serve in a new church, and attend a new school. I could relate to her story because I did have long-term plans for my family, and they did not include any of this. 

But as I sat there, taking in all she had to say, there was no doubt, in that moment, I, too, was exactly where I needed to be. Crowded into this chapel, with this group of women, clutching my Starbucks in one hand and my Kleenex in the other, and hearing words of encouragement from a mom who has traveled ahead of me the path I am traveling now. I am so thankful for her words. 

God is good. All the time. And everywhere. No matter where we are. No matter what we’re going through. This is something I have always known, but something I have come to appreciate on a deeper level during this season of life that has involved so much change. We have had to let go of so much in order to embrace something new. But God has provided in the biggest and the smallest of ways. Today, it came in the form of wise words from another mom. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Our first-born at her desk. Her classroom is themed like a Starbucks. It even smells that good!

 

This was taken just before we entered the classroom. I wish I had gotten a picture of his back-pack. It’s as spiky as his hair!

How was your first day of school?

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4 thoughts on “The First Day of School

  1. excellent! many of my same feelings and emotions when we decided to move out here. i still cry when i think of all i miss in the big D (like you guys!) but you’re right, god is good. all the time. everywhere.

    • Thanks for checking out the blog! I know you relate to our story! Being aware of God’s goodness and presence in our circumstances makes all the difference in how we are able to respond to them! I miss “home” so much right now, but at the same time, I can’t recall the last time I felt this content. In my heart, I know I need to be here. I am sure you feel the same! We miss you friend!

  2. First days are always tough… Our family has been through many… New schools, new jobs, new Sunday school classes, and just recently my first bird out of the nest … My “baby’s” move to college! Wow… Talk about conflicting emotions… Talk about tears … They do teach us don’t they! She was definitely teaching me that day we moved her in as well as the weeks and months prior as I anticipated her leaving. This is now the first month of her second year in college, her first time living with not 1, but now 3 other roommates in her first apartment…. It’s hard on us, but such growth too! She has loved every minute of college and independence and I’m so proud and truly humbled by the grace, joy and courage she has… They grow up fast don’t they? Love ’em hard now, oatmeal splattered or not… They will be making their own oatmeal in their own kitchen before you know it! Hang in there mama… Sounds like you are doing great… And we at CRUMC are thrilled your family is now part of our family! Thanks for your heartache and sacrifices of the known to be with us!

    • Thank you for these encouraging words and for visiting the blog! I already have a glimpse at how fast the time goes, so I am trying very hard to enjoy each season for what it is. Praying that your “baby” has a wonderful first semester at college!

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