Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Not Right Now

"Not Right Now" is one of those phrases that tops my least appreciated answers list! As a child I remember my parents using this phrase occasionally. Looking back, I remember it was usually because not only was my question out of line but also my timing to ask was not very well thought out. Rather than hurting my pride in front of others, they would give me that answer and I knew a sit-down was put on the books for later.

It's funny and also kind of sad that still at 29 years old, I struggle with this answer. I am learning to spend time in thought, prayer, and discussion with my family before forging ahead with my plans. That is usually the problem, they are my plans that are centered around ME. Sometimes I may sugar coat it by saying that I want what is best for my family, or my husband, but ultimately I am usually looking to satisfy myself. I was reminded of that this week as I was slapped with a "Not Right Now".

Let me back up a few months to fill you in on the details. In the past months I have seen my friends and family take steps forward by moving to new places, starting new careers, advance their careers, start/finish their master's degrees, etc. As I watched all this unfolding around me, I started questioning why isn't my calling in life to be more glamorous, prestigious, holy, you name it and I thought it. Now please don't get me wrong, I love my children and I love fostering a loving and highly engaging learning environment for them.

In the midst of all this, I decided to seek after a preschool teaching job which I am so excited about! I can't wait to be in the classroom part-time again and also allow my boys to have that social interaction as well. In the process of applying for the position, I decided to locate a copy of my teaching license (the original is probably lost in a box in the attic but I searched for a while and then decided to order a new copy!) I knew that my renewal year was soon but I didn't realize it was THIS year! I immediately started looking into all my options for renewal and it turns out that it really is not too bad at all!

I am taking a couple of online classes through Wake Tech and enjoying them so far. This got my brain thinking in another direction...why not go for your masters Alex. Obviously, I have nothing but time on my hands and quiet...right!?! I started looking into programs and I was really getting ready to take off with it. Then, several events happened...

1. As I was trying to rush through several things at once so I could have time to research Masters programs further, I was getting very agitated with Levi (who wanted my undivided attention). I took him outside with me to do some yard work and next thing I know, there was a bee trapped in his sandal and it stung him (I had to pull the stinger out kind of sting!) and he immediately started sobbing.

2. My sweet husband (and I do mean this Matt!) reminded me that he had put his Master's on hold so that he could be home more while the kids were young.

3. I prayed that my motives and heart would be laid bare. It turns out my motive is mostly when it comes down to it...fear. I know that I want to go back to the elementary or middle school classroom eventually. Deep down, I am fearful that after taking time off schools will be reluctant to hire me.

4. I took a look at my boys this morning and realized this time is SHORT! I am the kind of person that carries stress around like its a full time job. I don't want to carry stress like that as I raise my precious little boys.

5. I answered myself "Not Right Now Alex". Just as I finally have really begun to make progress and life changes to live a kingdom centered life, I start to waiver.

I have decided that I am asking the wrong question and definitely at the wrong time. Maybe my future will entail pursuing that Master's of Education. However, my boys are little and my life is focused in the here and now. I sit here and look around at pictures of their smiling faces, cute art work, and listen to their sleepy breaths during naptime. Thank you God for renewing my mind and heart for its purpose in the here and now. For the first time, I appreciate the answer "Not Right Now."

Saturday, July 6, 2013


My East Bridge Church family embarked on an exciting new adventure today. We served lunch at the Helen Wright Center today. It was amazing to see all the planning and preparation come to fruition today.

Meet the crew (missing a few here!) 

 A few months ago a seed was planted in my mind after reading the famous Great Commission in Matthew 28:19. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." Some reading material I had been reading got me thinking about the church (as a general population...not all!) so often focused on the making disciples part and looking right past the key word "Go!" More importantly, I am learning the importance of taking the time to build relationships that matter by sacrificially loving my friends, neighbors, and even strangers by sharing what I have been given.

Levi helped me make the dessert :)

I am overwhelmed by the way that everyone eagerly jumped in to help provide food, their time, and their positive attitudes in providing this meal. I can't thank my meal provider team enough for their help in preparing everything in the morning and helping to get everything transported and ready to serve today. Another key element to this entire operation came in the form of childcare (8 kids for 5 hours) Go team!

I will leave you with one final thought. "Freely you have received, freely give." Matthew 10:8
If you are reading this, chances are you have the resources to give something: time, kind words, a shoulder to lean on, food, finances. I challenge you to find a way this week to freely give what you have freely received. Please share how you have impacted your community if you'd like!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Walking Down Memory Lane

I find the summer to be filled with fun with the kids but if I'm not careful, it can suddenly be filled with activities every spare moment. Don't get me wrong, I love planning fun things to do with the family, but I am trying to savor the moments.

This past week, I have been feeling very sentimental. The end of June marked seven years that I have called Raleigh home. Thinking back on my time in Raleigh has sent me down many memory trails. I remember the first summer I moved to Raleigh, I thought the summer would kill me. I had never experienced heat and humidity for such an extended period of time. My second week in Raleigh was July 4th, my sister came to visit and we attempted to go to the fairgrounds and stay until the fireworks display. After an hour we looked at each other and had the same thought. "AC...RIGHT NOW!!!" It was still 104 at 9:00 that particular day.

I also started thinking back to becoming homeowners for the first time. We were so excited but also so scared...haha! It has been such a blessing to have a house we call our own. I can't believe it was five years this past May!! I guess we don't take many pics of our house...haha. There's the top for your viewing pleasure :)

Levi's first Halloween
Another host of memories comes into play when I first opened my home daycare. I knew I wanted to be home with Levi and everything just fell into place. The families that allowed me to take care of their babies will forever hold a very special place in my heart. They not only gave me the opportunity to stay home with my son, but they also trusted me with their own sons. It was always an adventure!

Garbage truck Fridays!
Painting Pumpkins...its too bad we didn't take an after picture with paint everywhere!

Me and my fellas

Now that it is the first of July, I can't help but think forward to August 10th. The day my baby turns ONE! I can't believe how fast this year seems to be flying by. August will be filled with new for all of us. I just accepted a preschool teaching job. I will be teaching 3 year olds Tuesday - Thursdays. Levi and Asher will also be attending the preschool. The catch is, Asher has to be walking...so I am only forcing him to use his walker 6 hours a day for now :) Of course I'm joking!! Levi will be in another 3 year old class because I requested that I not be his teacher. I am so excited for this opportunity to be in the classroom again but also have my children right there too! Levi is SO excited!!

Asher - 10 months
Levi - 1 year

Memory lane makes me teary eyed wishing time didn't fly by so fast. However, it also makes me want to slow down and savor every moment. I resolve to spend the rest of this summer taking time to enjoy my family!