It has been a LONG TIME since I posted on my blog. What a year!
As we drove home from Tennessee for Thanksgiving 2016, Jason declared that he had decided I should go back to school. I knew he was right… but yet… I was not convinced. The next thing I knew, I was applying…enrolling…and registering. I still wasn’t convinced. The day came in January of this year… classes were starting and all I felt was fear. Oh and anxiety. Oh and also total panic. Jason had peer pressured me and I didn’t know if I liked it.
At basically the same time, I was given an awesome opportunity to increase the hours I was working. I was excited about the job so I went with it. Between school hours and work hours, I basically added a full-time 40 hour work week. Again… I was full of fear, anxiety, panic, and a bit of excitement.
The last year has been a major learning curve. There have been constant adjustments. Life is different. This year has been full of lessons. It has also been one of the most rewarding of my adult life.
I did it. I am a two full-time semesters in and we have all survived. I would go as far as to say we have even thrived. I am even adding two classes and now do an online training group.
I wanted to share a few of the lessons I learned in the last year…
- Perspective matters. Everything is hard when you are doing it. Just wife-ing and mommy-ing is hard. Adding work to the mix… hard. Adding school to the mix… hard. It isn’t exponentially harder. It is all just hard. Don’t have the perspective things should be easy. A retired pastor told Jason and I recently, “Nothing worth doing is easy.” Rise to the challenge. Don’t be afraid of hard. It won’t be as hard as you are telling yourself. The hardness is worth it in the end. Go for it!
- Saying no or I can’t is wise not weak. That is right… For years, I have been that mom that bought into the lie that not being able to do everything is weak… shameful… and wrong. Guess what. NO is a wise word. It is an important word. Often… it’s the only right word. I have learned in the last year that it is ok to not do somethings.. even if they are good things. Every good thing wasn’t made for me. I have scaled back volunteering to what I am really passionate about. I am making an effort to teach my kids that we say yes to the right things and not yes to every good thing that comes along. I try to keep our family schedule as chill as possible and leave margin for rest. We are all benefiting. Not being at every class party is ok. Not volunteering for every slot is ok. Not jumping through a thousand hoops to be everything for everyone is fine. I am teaching my kids something important when I teach them to prioritize. I am teaching my kids something important when I ask for help. I am teaching my kids something important when I show them that time with them is more important than cutting out a thousand things for a party craft. I also refuse to feel guilt when I see someone else buying into the no is weak line and try to impress it on me.
- It is ok to enjoy work outside my home and school even if it is just for me. I have been a stay at home mom for a long time and I LOVE IT! I plan to be home with my kids in some form as long as I have kids at home. That being said, I LOVE WORKING! I kind of felt guilty about this at first. No one told me to feel that way, but somewhere along the way I began to feel like my enjoyment was made to be rooted in my family only. Reality is my enjoyment is to be rooted in God and what He has created me for. I thought I was supposed to be completely satisfied in motherhood and wife life and I am EXTREMELY satisfied by that role, but I am pretty good at my job and I find satisfaction in it. I love helping other ladies work to be healthier and I get a huge amount of enjoyment out of that. It’s ok to enjoy both!! Also… I have a 4.0 GPA. It is mine. It is my effort. My work. My grades. (By God’s grace.) Those grades don’t belong to anyone else… they are mine. As a mom of four there is very little sacred space. My body, energy, and thoughts are always on someone else. It has been very rewarding to have an accomplishment that is not tied to any of my kids.. or my spouse. That is ok! God mad ME to be created in His image. He has good works for ME. He has a plan and a purpose for ME that is yes tied into my family, but not exclusive to my family. Work and school have been an outlet to me remembering this because for a few years I was in this cloud of being a mom of infants… like a million infants.
- The second most important lesson is that my husband is amazing. I already knew this, but man has he proven it over and over again this year. Jason has been my biggest support and cheerleader in the last year. He peer pressured me and he was right to do so. He knew I could do this and his belief in me has meant more than he will ever understand. He has listened to me cry as I relearned math that I hadn’t seen in nearly 15 years. He has reminded me that I am capable of more than I ever realized. He has dreamed dreams with me that I didn’t even know I had. He has done laundry and dishes and driven kids to school. He has grocery shopped and done yard work. He has championed me and celebrated with me. He has had a lot on his plate as work has been in an 18 month transitional period for him and yet he has been rock steady for me. He has taken every frantic phone call to grab Jesse from the preschool hall and meet me in his office because I am running 5 minutes late due to finishing and assignment. He encouraged me to put Jesse into preschool five days a week instead of two and he was so right. He has allowed me to share his office between my teaching so I can work on school work. He has sent me out for runs so I can clear my head. He has loved me fiercely and patiently. I am a blessed girl for sure!
- Lastly, and most importantly… God has been so gracious to me. I knew that God was calling me to these new roles and He has met me at every turn. He is faithful. Period. He is faithful.
So… I could tell you 1,000 more lessons, but you are sick of reading. I leave you with this thought. What hard thing are you shying away from because of fear? What good thing do you need to say no to? Are you feeling selfish for enjoying something that doesn’t involve your family? What cheerleader do you need to thank? How has God been faithful to you this year?