I normally write a Thanksgiving Post on Thanksgiving day, but it has been a work in progress. So this is my Thanksgiving Post, a few days late.
What a year this has been. There have been many ups and downs for me (and I’m sure for everyone). When the pandemic became real in March, my anxiety was incredibly high. I did, however, try to channel that into lots of productivity. I started doing all the homemade things again, started gardening, making sourdough bread, making homemade kombucha, we got chickens, and I spent a whole lot of time planning for homeschooling and living that out daily. I also tried really hard to focus on nature and being outdoors. I really have fond memories of that part of the year despite the incredible difficulty of it. It was a time of surrender as I had no idea what the next day would look like and we had to trust God with it. I had no choice. I’m so grateful for this time. I have many fond memories.
In June, Robert and I took an amazing trip to the Gila National Forest. We found an amazing site to camp and it was picturesque. It was a great time of rest and renewal. It was a time for Robert and I to spend time without the kids, in nature. I love adventuring and being in nature, but I don’t often take advantage of what’s all around me. Sometimes I need a change of scenery. I’m incredibly grateful for a husband that pushes me out of my comfort zone and shows me all that there is out there to enjoy. He has broadened my horizons so so much over the years. I’m a completely different person, in a positive way.
In early July, I was met with the surprise of a lifetime: a new teaching job. It was a surprise because I wasn’t seeking it out. God laid it in my lap! It’s also a surprise because I just thought I would never be able to teach again. God had other plans. This has brought an incredible change to our family and taught us who we are in Him and what He has called us to. I have never doubted His will in this. He knew I would need that in order to go back to work and back to teaching. I’m so grateful for His plans in the midst of a hard and weird time.
There have definitely been ups and downs over the past several months as I’ve had to learn how to work with co-workers, parents, and being “on” all the time again (after 6 years as a stay at home mom). I’ve made some mistakes and had to apologize for my attitude. But overall, this has been my best teaching experience so far. There are definitely hard things about teaching in a tiny school (in a tiny, conservative town since I’m not super conservative), but there are good things as well (just like anywhere). Our administration is pouring into the teachers with training and support (that mostly comes to us!). I adore my students and most of the parents have been so great. It has been a breath of fresh air as I’ve also realized that who I am as a teacher is who they are striving for us to be.
Robert was sick in September and while his Covid test was negative, the doctor said he really thought he had Covid and told him to isolate for 10 days and our family had to quarantine. That was challenging and brought a lot of anxiety, but we made it. Then in October, the elementary had to go virtual for 10 days (and junior high for a week). And we are going into another week or more of virtual. Covid SUCKS. I hate that it takes so much away from everything/everyone. But we just have to put one foot in front of the other.
Through having Covid these past few weeks and dealing with some personal issues, God has reminded me that I must surrender to His will and He brings peace and joy in the midst. Some days are so hard, but there are so many good days too.
In all of this, I haven’t mentioned my chronic cough (that was so bad when I had Covid and hasn’t really improved). Obviously I’m not grateful that I have a chronic cough. But what I am grateful for is the constant reminder to stay close to Jesus because He brings peace and comfort in the midst of the storm. Always.
I grateful for the little things in life: game playing, my tattoos (LOVE them), our pups, my new car, good food, Poetry Teatime (now I do this with my students), meals with my loved ones, and just being together.
I’m grateful for Thanksgiving with my little family, in our home. It was so amazing after a rough few weeks. I’m still recovering from being so busy cooking and baking after being sick with Covid, but I feel it was worth it.
Our food was so good, especially dessert! Haha.
Yeah, I did all of this for 5 people. And we ate the majority of it in a few days. The pie and apple dessert were amazing!
These people that I do life with are so amazing. Robert is the most supportive person I have ever met. He loves well and serves well. He loves Jesus.
Karis is such an amazing teenager. She has her moments (I mean, she’s 14), but overall she’s such a good kid. She is her own person, and she knows who she is. She doesn’t try to fit into some sort of mold and thinks outside the box. She is getting back to the point in which she likes hugs and spending time with me (she is almost 15). She went to the typical stage when she didn’t want to do these things. She tells me she loves spending time with me and talking to me.
Ethan has transformed so much this year. Playing football and making lots of friends while doing that, having teachers that have loved and poured into him, growing in his academics (making all A’s or all A’s and one B), learning how to manage his ADHD a little better (though there are days that he struggles more than others), and still loving and enjoying his family. He’s 12 and it feels, in some ways, that he’s a lot older.
Levi is one of those kids that you would call a “good kid.” He makes all A’s, works quietly and works hard at school, is creative, organized (mostly), and honestly, I always say that he’s a little Joey. He reminds me so much of my brother. Silly and makes people laugh, wants things done in a particular way, and he even has the same handwriting. It’s so cool since I was pregnant with him when Joey died. But of course, he is his own person as well. I love that he loves cuddles still and enjoys spending time with me and playing games.
And most of all, I’m so grateful for Jesus. Who He is, what He has done in my life, and the promise that He wants good for those who love Him. I truly love spending time with Him through worship, prayer, and journaling. I miss church so much, but I think we will be back to church next Sunday!