The past year has gone by really quickly. I’m not sure if that is because we’ve had lots of change around here, or if that’s just the way it goes when you reach a certain age.
It’s hard to categorize the past year, some people have a word, or they have a moment, or they have an overall sense of something big. I don’t have those for 2017. I have nothing monumental that happened, but when I look back to who I was this time last year, I know this year changed me.
My heart is calmer now than it was a year ago. I do not worry as much, I do not become overwhelmed at the future and what it holds. I’ve learned to sit in silence and not react. I’ve learned to temper my mouth and am trying to learn to increase my empathy. I’m not sure what the “big” change was. I can’t point to a moment or a lesson or a word that was spoken that began to change my heart, all I know is that at some point this year, I learned to do the right thing today and not worry about tomorrow.
That lesson began innocently enough. I’m sure I had an argument with Collin and someone told me to be humble and gentle instead of angry and proud, and I thought “that’s too hard, I can’t do that forever” and I was met with “You don’t have to, you just have to do it today”.
I guess that’s what Jesus is talking about when he says to not worry about tomorrow and when we are reminded that He is our strength. He is telling us to literally just do the right thing, right now, until the end of the day and then when we wake up tomorrow, we’ll have the grace to do it again.
It was a good year. We left the school district we met in and moved to a new district. This meant a new class for me, no longer do I teach my little friends with autism, I now teach students who have emotional and behavioral problems. I miss my old students and co-workers sometimes, but I am making friends and get to teach at the same school as my little sister, so the burden is less. Collin teaches the same thing he has, and loves it. And Wilson, that boy is amazing. I swear, each day he learns new words and new things and watching someone grow is maybe the best gift there is. He teaches me to be in the moment. Each time he asks to sit in my lap or wants me to hold him, I have to remind myself that one day I won’t be able to pick him up anymore and he won’t want to sit in my lap. He’s growing and so are his parents, and God is giving us lots of grace for those growing pains.
I have some hopes and goals for 2018. I want to be a more expressive wife, I want to put down my fear of rejection and just be who I am. I want to become more comfortable with hugs and physical touch. I want to learn all the words to the songs from “Moana” so I can sing to Wilson without having to totally just make up noises. I want to watch my 5th grade student go to middle school and know I’ve taught him all I could to prepare him. I want to encourage others more, and get exasperated with nonsense less. I’d like to run a marathon again.
I’d also like to carry 2017 with me, the lessons I learned to sit and be still, and the way I learned to just go with the flow instead of controlling it all. I’d like to leave in 2017 any regrets, fear, laziness, and lack of love I had and move on. May this year be one of growth and answered prayers and grace.