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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Changes for Amanda

Have you ever read the American Girl books? They were always a favorite of mine when I was in grade school. I could read a book in 30 minutes or less. I felt like I was so accomplished. For each girl there are six different books. The only thing that changes between each girl is the name. For example, Meet Felicity, Meet Kirsten, Meet Samantha, Meet Molly, and the list goes on. The last book was always entitled Changes for ... Each girl would go through something significant that would change her life. She would always learn a lesson from the change.

This past month has brought a lot of new things for our family. I said goodbye to summer vacation, and set my kids off to school. This always comes with many tears (from me). I have trouble letting go. I know it's for their benefit so I force myself to do it, but that doesn't ever mean it's easy. I'm still wondering, when does it become easy to say goodbye? Will I always struggle with change? It happens every year; you'd think I would be used to it by now.

Gabe is officially a third grader, and my only kid in elementary school. Ariel has graduated to middle school, and she has joined the youth group at our church. With this change, has come much new responsibility for Ariel. She is more independent and to be honest it scares me!

The start of this school year was especially hard for me because I know it's the last time I will have my special first day of school IHOP breakfast with Zechariah. It's the last time we will start a new school year together at home. This year the tears wouldn't stop because I knew my life is going to be changing. It may not be this month, or next, but in less than a year's time I will no longer be the normal stay at home mom. All three of my children will enter school. Things will be much different.

I don't know if I'm ready for it. In fact, I'm fairly certain I'm not ready for it. I have done a lot of reflecting on this over the past month. I've been reevaluating things. Where is my time going? Who am I spending it with? What am I spending it on?

I want this next year to be focused on the things that matter most to me. I'm trying to balance a lot of things. While I have two kids in school, I still have one at home that I want to spend as much time with as possible. I really desire for it to be quality time, rather than just busy time together.

I want to commit to being the best KidZone / Club2190 teacher possible. That means a lot of planning and preparing for my elementary aged students on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Granted this isn't every week, but when it is my week or my lesson, I spend quite a bit of time and effort beforehand getting ready.

Another part of working with KidZone, I was in charge of the puppet ministry for Kid's week. This involved making special "signs" to emphasize part of the songs we're performing. It also takes a little bit of choreography for when the puppets should go up, and who should be speaking. It's amazing how a bunch of little things, can take up so much of my time.

I was scheduled seven times to be in KidZone this past month. (Kid's Week is this month) For the month of September I'm only going to be there twice. So my commitments will come and go. Some months will require more time than others. No matter how much I am in there, when I am there, I want to give it my all. I don't believe in doing things half-way.

I also want to focus a lot on my friendships. I know that God has placed three very special ladies in my life for a reason. Whether it be book studies, or craft days every now and then, or babysitting; I want to be there for them as much as humanly possible. God has called me to be their friend.

My last area I'm working on is my relationship with my husband. This is probably one of my highest callings, to be the mother and wife that God desires. To be constantly putting myself second, and them first. You cannot go into a marriage expecting to give only 50 percent. It will fail. There are days when you will probably only give 50 percent or even less, but then there are days were you must step up and give 90 to 100 percent. You gotta give whatever it takes. It's work. But it's a job that is well rewarded. There is not a day that goes by where I don't thank God for my husband. He is above and beyond what I expected. When I first met him, I never knew I could be this happy. That hasn't come about without a little work and a lot of obedience to God. I will forever keep my marriage as the highest earthly priority. God comes first above all else.

So with all that being said, life is changing, but I am changing with it. I don't plan to stay the same person I was last week, or the week before. I want to grow every day and become stronger. Every day I want to be closer to God, and following the plans He has for me.

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