Thursday, May 1, 2014

from the heart: bloom where you are planted

As Olivia's second birthday approaches, I think about how much has changed in my life in the past two years. The biggest change was her birth. Two children is so much different than one- especially when they are 26 months apart. The first few months after Olivia was born, were some of the most challenging months of my life. Besides having her, my career also changed around that time as well. I decided to postpone my teaching career and stay at home with my two girls. I left the school that I had dedicated so many hours at as a classroom teacher to four groups of amazing third graders. It was one of the toughest decisions of my life because since I was a little girl that was all that I had really wanted to achieve. I wanted to be a teacher. The first few months after I had Olivia, I really missed teaching. Teaching was my comfort zone. Staying at home with two children and meeting their every need 24/7 was very new to me. 

Due our family's financial situation, I needed to return to work when Olivia was about 5 months old. I interviewed for 2 teachings job and neither one of them worked out. At the time, I was frustrated and couldn't understand why they didn't work out for me. After that, I randomly remembered an opportunity that was presented to me a few months prior. The director at The Dream Center, who was also a friend of mine, wanted me to come work there as a lead teacher. When she initially asked me, I didn't want to do it since I had just left my other job and I had a nursing baby who refused bottles. But sitting on my couch one day in December, I randomly sent her a Facebook message to see if she still had any positions available and to my surprise she did. The timing was right. It was perfect actually. I could spend most of my time with my children and leave a few hours to work with at-risk youth who I could teach. I could fulfill my lifelong desire of being a teacher while still spending most of my time with my girls. An even bigger blessing that came about was that my mother offered to watch my girls, free of charge, for me to go to work at The Dream Center.

A few weeks after I began my job at The Dream Center, Josh was offered a new job. Life started falling back into place after feeling like it was falling apart. So here we are about 15 months later. I still absolutely adore my job at The Dream Center. I love working with the kids- mentoring, teaching, tutoring, and inspiring them. I believe my 4 years in the classroom prepared me for the jobs I have today- motherhood and working at The Dream Center.

I work Monday-Thursday from 2pm-5:45pm so I have a lot of time with my girls before I have to be at work. We fill that time up with many activities such as preschool, storytime, and my most favorite thing, my mom group- which I will share more about in another post. Being able to spend so much quality time with Julianna and Olivia has been amazing. I feel like I missed out on so much during Julianna's first two years while I was working full-time but we are making up for lost time now.

The question I get asked most often is- are you going to go back to teaching? I'm never really sure how to answer this question because I feel like I am teaching right now. I'm not in a traditional classroom setting but I do teach every single day. Whether it's my own children or the students at The Dream Center, everyday I am teaching. Will I ever go back to the classroom? I'm not sure. But I am sure of one thing, I am right where I am supposed to be at this season of my life. I have found the perfect balance of family time and work time. It's truly such a blessing. So for now, I will bloom where I have been planted and I hope you will bloom where you are planted, too. God puts us exactly where we are supposed to be and I know with certainty that I am right where I am supposed to be and blooming with content.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. 
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

image via pinterest

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