I'm not saying it is wrong to plan for the future. I love to plan! But if we forget that we have a purpose TODAY then we miss out on what God has for us right now. We were put here for a purpose. God has a plan for our lives, for each day that makes up that life. As a follower of the Jesus Way, I know that purpose is to bring God glory in all I say and do. Sadly, that doesn't always happen. I want it to. I really do. The sermon this morning was about that very thing, finding purpose in our lives. I have been working on that concept and thinking about this blog post since mid June. I thought I had "my plan" figured out earlier this year. I only had part of it figured out. God began to show me new things in the last few months and weeks that I hadn't thought about. I would like to share those with you and ask that you lift me up in the coming months and years as I strive to bring Him glory in all of my actions and decisions. That others will see HIM and not me and will be encouraged through my actions.
I have been married since I was seventeen and a half years old. I went from living with my parents to living with my husband. That was over thirty-four years ago. For the past thirty years I have been a mom of at least one child under the age of 18. I have four children. My third child just graduated high school and is headed off to a big university in August. My youngest child will turn 16 this year. After she graduates in two years, her goal is to dance with a professional school or mission that travels. Those two things have shifted my thoughts about my life the past several months.
You might be wondering what I mean by shifted. Here's the deal. We will be what people call "empty nesters" in a little over two years, despite the fact that my youngest promised me she would give me an extra year before moving out. I am sure she doesn't remember those words spoken over a year or two ago as I cried that I couldn't stand thinking of her moving away from home. She has fallen in love with dance and now has a vision and direction for her life, one she didn't have when she made that promise. No, I will not hold her to it. That isn't the kind of mom I am or ever want to be. I never want to hold my children back from following the path they feel life is leading them down. But...my heart aches when I think about it.
My oldest daughter is so wise. I was sharing some of these thoughts with her earlier this month. She gave me some very good advice, beyond good actually. She said, "You are going to have to find your way and enjoy some freedom" That really got me to thinking about "Finding My Way". At first, I shook it off and told myself I didn't want to "find my way". I don't know how to do that anymore. I wanted to dwell on how lonely I was going to be. Since I'm not really one to dwell on negative things for very long, I began to slowly start thinking about how I saw my life after none of my children lived at home full time. What did I want it to look like? That is a complicated question, one I am still sifting through. I'm working on a list of things I want to do and accomplish along with a list of things I feel would need to change for those to happen. There are a few challenges ahead, but I am going to pray my way through them and seek His direction.
I can share ONE change that will be coming in the next FIVE years. I have had a home kidcare and preschool for the past 18 years. I have enjoyed teaching the children and building relationships with the children and the families. It is bitter sweet when they go off to Kindergarten or move away. I keep in touch with many of them. Two of them just graduated high school. I feel that season in my life is coming to a end. I will complete the work I started with the children in my school right now. But when the time comes that I send them off to kindergarten, it will be the ending of that chapter in my life and continuing on with the new one that has just begun.
In two years, I will lose the best assistant my kidcare has ever had, as she goes off to bless others through her talent. That alone changes things. At least, the youngest children will be two by then and I will no longer be taking any under the age they are. The youngest now will be the last of that age I will teach. (There are two babies that will start at some point later this year and the beginning of next year.) The younger the children are the more challenging it can be without a great assistant. I don't want to turn away siblings to the kids that are in my care now, but we will have to play it by ear depending on when they are born.
I am by no means planning on doing less as a teacher. I am writing new curriculum that will carry me through the rest of the years I will be teaching. I am pleased with how it is coming along. I've been able to find many new resources that will make it even better than I had hoped. I am even considering putting that curriculum into a format that I can share it with other kidcare teachers. I just have to figure out all of the copy write issues if I mention the names of the books I use. That would be a way for me to pass on what I have learned in the past 18 plus years of teaching young children.
I know what you may be thinking. "How are you going to make a living?" "How can you retire when that is your main income?" I know that God has a plan because He is sharing it with me a glimpse at a time. I saw that change awhile back but didn't understand how it was going to be possible. It started to become clearer earlier this year. A seed was planted a year ago about a company and a product that I really liked a lot. I was reluctant to let that seed grow in my heart because of the things I had tried that didn't produce the results I wanted. I do have to say that I learned so much every time I took a step forward and tried something new. I will use all that I have learned to succeed in this one and to help others succeed by sharing what I have learned.
In February of this year, I took that leap of faith again and found what feels like my dream job, my perfect fit, if you will. I am having such a great time working this business. After all, I am a self proclaimed bookaholic! THIS is the career I plan on being in for this half of my life. I can work it when I am at home or when I am traveling with my family or friends. That is a great plus for me because one of the things on my list is to travel, a LOT. I will be working hard to grow my business and that means sharing these wonderful products with as many people as I can and helping others do the same. I am already succeeding in this venture. I am also using the products in my preschool, to homeschool my teen and with my grandchildren.
I have a lot of work to do. I have let work and the every day take over a bit of my joy in each day. I have also let things get in the way of my relationship with my husband. Sometimes, as moms, we can do that. Life gets to be too much and we don't feel like we have the mental energy left for anything or anyone else at the end of the day. But with our children gone and my time freed up, I personally will have more time on my hands and I want to spend a lot of it doing fun things with him. We need to spend some time figuring out what things we want as a couple in the years ahead since things are changing.
My mission in life really hasn't changed. I'm continuing to work on several things; making my home chemical free, my body as fit as it can become for a long and productive life, memories with my family and friends and doing ALL of that while living life on the Jesus Way. Sharing His love in all that I do and to all that I meet along the way.
My goal for this blog is to document those things much better than I have in the past few years. I hope you will stick around and share this journey with me. It's going to be an exciting ride here on out! Not that it hasn't been the first 51 1/2 years! Thanks for dropping by!
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