What Really Matters

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I want to start by thanking everyone who has/does/will serve in the U.S. Military. Too many people have given their lives so that I can live freely. One of my past students lost her brother last week in a military accident. He was only 24 years old. I lift my hat in thanks to him and pray that God will wrap his family in peace and comfort during this tragic time.

Memorial Day weekend is a great time to think about the things that matter in life- that really matter. I’ve been struggling over the past several months with the decision to stay home with my kiddos. I never thought I would be a stay-at-home mom. I’ve had a plan since I was little: get my teaching degree, get married, become a teacher, have children, retire, travel. I felt like being a stay-at-home mom was for women who were good at that sort of thing, but not for me. That would be like “giving up” on my career, right? I want to have a successful career as a teacher, which can’t include quitting for years…

About six months ago, however, I had the realization that there will always be someone to teach my students math. Unfortunately, there is no one else whose job is to raise my boys into honorable young men who love Jesus and love people. That job is mine and mine alone, and I should be doing better. This isn’t an easy decision. It would be tough to live on one income, but it might be doable. Finances are just one concern that has crossed my mind: finances, keeping my teaching certificate current, getting back into it when I’m ready, homeschooling, etc. Usually this many concerns would have me sick to my stomach and running to comfort (in this case, the comfort of just continuing to work). What’s crazy is that I have so much peace about staying home! These thoughts cross my mind, but they don’t consume me like I’m used to, they just flit through and then I go on with my day. I’m excited about the idea of staying home, which was completely unexpected.

I’m the teacher who is usually ready to go back to school when September gets close because I am bored and “need a break from my kids”. I would tell people I’m just not the stay-at-home type. What I’m realizing, though, is that I don’t think I really put effort into being at home. My kids drive me crazy sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love and want to be around them, it might just mean I don’t know them as well as I should. One of my goals this summer is to be intentional with my kids while I’m at home. I plan on doing this by making every day “picture worthy”. Something every day, big or little, that is worth taking a picture of. Something as simple as making sock puppets or as huge as a family vacation! This is one way I can try to be intentional with my kiddos. I’m so excited I can hardly wait for school to get out and summer to get started! Wish me luck!

I started mentioning my idea of staying home to a few colleagues to see what their reaction was and have been overwhelmed by their support! All of the veteran female teachers I look to as mentors, every single one of them chose to stay home when their kids were little! Can you imagine being able to stay home with my kids while they’re little and later, still have a rewarding career as a teacher?! I guess there’s someone out there who has a better plan than mine. Good thing I’m learning to get out of the way and let Him work things for His good!

Father, I first want to lift up the families of those who have lost their lives serving our country. I pray for peace and comfort for them this weekend and always, Lord. I also want to thank You for sending Your Son to lay down His life for the ultimate freedom. Thank You for loving us so much! Father I pray that You will continue to give me peace and guide my decisions where work is concerned. Thank You for Your faithfulness as You help prepare me to serve You more fully. In Jesus name, Amen

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