Hello, friends...hoping this finds you all well. Shelly and I are back to school. This is our nineteenth year. YIKES! Where has the time gone? Of course, after this many years, you start contemplating life. It has had me thinking about when I first started teaching. But back up a few years. I was young, married, and had two toddlers. I had started college but really wasn't committed to a major. We were living paycheck to paycheck. I had been feeling the calling to teach...but was trying to ignore it. How could I continue going to college when we needed an income more? Thankfully I had a fear. I had a fear of letting my little babies down. I pictured them someday asking me if I had any regrets, and I knew I would. They were my driving force. I was determined to graduate as a future example to them. Friends, it was hard. I won't glamorize it for you. I resented the close to 1 1/2 hour commute I had on class days. I also had my sister's toddler much of the time. She was a single mom and needed her village. Satan didn't want me to graduate. He wreaked havoc on our family in many forms. His assault came in the form of waking up many times at 3 a.m. at the kitchen table after falling asleep trying to study. I never knew your eyelids could hurt. I stayed so tired and sleep deprived my eyelids constantly ached. It came in the form of having to print an entire essay in green ink because I didn't realize the black ink in the printer was out. Emailing your papers to the professor wasn't a thing back then. Satan came in the form of student teaching at a school, where a mass school shooting occurred during my time there. I came so very, very, very close to changing my major or dropping out of school after that. But that's a whole different blog. After that, Satan's attack came in the form of a mental battle where I cried daily going back to that school, dealing with survivor's guilt, and trying to forgive friends and family who didn't understand. But Satan wasn't finished. When you are doing your student teaching practicum (? is that the word for it?) You have three different "levels". In one of my other semesters, my sister was in a terrible car accident. It happened in the middle of the night. Her injuries included a broken back. At that time (it might be different now...hopefully) you could not miss a day of student teaching. I was told I would have to start that semester over if I missed a day. So after that 3ish a.m. call and being at the hospital the rest of the night, I plastered on a smile and went to school the next morning. I then would commute back to our hometown to pick up our two children and my niece from pre-k. Some days I made the commute back again to the hospital to take my sweet niece to see her mom, until my sister was able to come home. After she went home, I would do my mommy duties, go to her house to help her during her recovery, and then I would go home to study. (hence the falling asleep and hurting eyelids) That whole story could also be its own blog post. But I'm not sharing this for sympathy. I actually LOATHE sympathy. It makes me feel weak. I don't even know why my fingers started typing this post. I sat down to write a post about "Facing Your Fears", and I was going to write about an experience at Disney World where I did just that. LOL! I guess there is someone, who will be reading this that needs to hear this. Life is hard. It is unexpected for lack of a better word. I have uttered the words, "Make it count, God", so many times in prayer. "Make it count". If we share our life's trials, instead of putting on our "Instagram Perfect" faces, we can help others see there is hope. I did graduate. My parents brought my two young children, who didn't understand what was going on, to the graduation. It was important to me that they were there. I wanted to someday say, "You were there". AND "You were why." So as I think about starting my NINETEENTH year of teaching, I am in awe. I don't have a retirement date yet, but I keep thinking, "Make it all count, God". And it does. And now I'll go change the title on this blog post! I think I know a perfect title!
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