In The Still Of The Evening…

Front porch

Image via Wikipedia

Last night I was sitting on the front porch with my husband. Like many married couples, we were talking about everything and nothing in particular. I for one, was thankful that the sun was getting ready to slip under the horizon, making it much cooler than it had been earlier in the day. It was quiet in our little piece of the world, except for the sound of the birds chirping in the fields and an occasional vehicle driving down our country road.   I pondered the fact that life is much different for me now. I never thought that I’d be sitting on the front porch of a home in the country.

As a high school student, I couldn’t wait to go away to college and “recreate” myself. As a college graduate I couldn’t wait to start my new career and have my own place. As a teacher I couldn’t wait to meet my new students and make a positive difference.  As a new wife I couldn’t wait to spend time with my husband, creating our life together. As a young wife, I couldn’t wait until we bought our own house for our family to make memories in. As a new mom, I couldn’t wait to hold my son, love him, and be thrilled with each new step.

As a new widow, I couldn’t wait for the sadness to end, and life to return to some sort of normal. As a single parent, I couldn’t wait to cheer at soccer games, plan birthday parties and go on vacations out West. As a thirty-something, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to meet someone who would want to share life with me. As a newly remarried woman, I couldn’t wait to figure out how this blended family would work.

Always waiting….

So much of life is spent waiting, isn’t it? Your waiting might be, and probably is, different than my waiting. Life requires waiting.

Waiting for something new. Something different. Something better. Something comfortable. Something real. Something exciting.

Always waiting….

Waiting can bring new life, if I am patient. It has in the past…and it will again in the future.

This season of life has me both waiting and wondering. What will be next?

It is both scary and beautiful, all at the same time. On days when I am weary from worry, grieving from growing, pondering over patience, and just plain wondering, I remind myself that I am not the one in control. I never have been, and that is okay.

Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31  NIV

 

 

 

 

 

The Children That Changed Me–Part Three

In 1995 I started teaching in a new school system. I was placed in an inner city classroom that consisted of nine streetwise boys…all of whom had some sort of emotional disturbance. I admit at that time I was naive’. I had no idea what lay ahead of me. Let me just suffice to say that during my two years at this particular school I got bit, spit on, threatened, hit, bruised, called every name imaginable and then some. Unfortunately, my assistant and I had to spend more time keeping order than actual teaching. I learned many lessons during my time at this school, with these particular students. Even though these kids had seen and done things that no child really should have to deal with, or an adult for that matter, I was allowed to catch brief glimpses of the truly young children that they were. One young boy had several members of his large family that were mentally ill. An older brother had “a breakdown” one night and broke every window in the house with a ball bat. Then chased his mother and siblings around the house threatening to kill them….until the mother called for help. The next day when this student came into the classroom he was tired, irritable and angry….and really, who could blame him? His own emotional instability didn’t allow him to process what was going on in his life. I appreciated that I had mental health counselors at my disposal to help with the kids, but I still felt inadequate to even make a dent in this child’s life.

These kids weren’t sweet and lovable like some of the other students I had in the past. They were tough, and closed off. Walls had been built up, long before I came on the scene. To be honest with you I spent a lot of those days tired and totally depleted mentally, physically and emotionally. Early on it struck me that at the end of the day I could go home. Home to a husband that loved me, an infant son, a house in a middle class neighborhood where I didn’t have to concern myself with drive-by’s, drug deals, or gangs. A place where I could be refreshed and where I felt safe. My students didn’t have that privilege. I cried for them. I spent time wondering if having me for a teacher would make any difference at all to them. To this day, I’m still not sure. I like to think I did something positive, but I don’t know. I learned that sometimes life, is difficult, no matter how much we wish it wasn’t. Sometimes we just do the best we can. Then we have to let it go.