Reflections on turning 35

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When I was in middle school, I won an essay contest. The topic was 50 years in the future and looking back at what your life had looked like. I found my essay a year or two ago and showed it to Tim. His was response was, “Pretty sure of yourself huh?” I had definitely named myself the first female President of the United States and had been an Olympic gold medalist in addition to being a mother of six children (some of whom were adopted), an author, a teacher, and a lawyer.

I think that my middle school self would probably have been disappointed to see what my life looks like at 35 years old since I am not on track to doing most of those things. But my 35 year old self is learning to be quite content with exactly how my life is going. I have really reflected a lot about my life this fall.

I always thought that I wanted to be a teacher, from like three years old. But when I think back, I really enjoyed Little House on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Christy, and Boy Meets World. Even now one of my favorite shows is When Calls the Heart. Most of those shows/books have a teacher in a one room school house. And even Mr. Feeny somehow managed to teach the same group of kids from sixth grade through college.

I really loved my students for most of the four years that I was a classroom teacher. I didn’t care for the politics or the emphasis on standardized testing. But, I enjoyed watching the students grow and change as the year went on and I liked to be able to keep in touch with them when they left my class. I also really liked teaching Sunday school or being a youth leader at church because I could be with the same group of kids for several years and really pour into their lives. So really, what I wanted was to be like the teachers in the one room school houses of long ago.

When school started again on post, I had a very emotional day. I questioned if we were doing the right thing keeping Clarissa home. I grieved that I wasn’t going to have pictures of her first day riding the school bus to kindergarten or meeting her kindergarten teacher. But she and Tim didn’t care about any of those things. Once I processed that, I realized that I love having Clarissa home with me during the day. We have so many fun adventures together, and half of them are on the couch reading books upon books! I appreciate that I am the one who will teach her to read. We get to learn about the Bible, history, science, and math together.

I have also really enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I remember writing poems as an elementary student for the school newspaper. I won every essay contest I entered in middle school. And I was the editor of my high school newspaper. I also really enjoy research.

So I think that a homeschool blogger mom is probably my sweet spot. If I would just own it and not compare myself to other moms or other bloggers. I watched a movie recently called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Watching the main character, I was like, “Oh. I like to research things because I like to write…” I had so many thoughts and feelings during this movie. Really, I walked away from it more inspired to write. And enjoy MY life instead of worrying about everyone else’s.

I can’t believe that I have been blogging for 4.5 years. Sometimes it seems like forever and sometimes it feels so new. In that time, I have published over 350 posts. Sometimes multiple posts in the same day and other times a month would go by without a single word. This year, writing for the Homeschool Review Crew, I have gotten into a more consistent habit of blogging once per week. I think my goal for this year will be twice per week. I really have so many thoughts swimming around in my head, I think I would enjoy actually organizing and writing them. I have a few book ideas too.

Sometimes I also forget that we have lived in South Korea for over 3.5 years. We have had so many experiences and seen so many places that others will not. I don’t really know what to expect when we leave here. I don’t have a date for our departure other than that our DEROS (Date of Estimated Return from Overseas- the end of Tim’s contract) is in April. But I have no idea where we are headed. And I’m learning (well, I’m trying to anyway) to be okay with that.

God knows exactly when we will leave Korea, where we will go, and how long we will stay there. He also knows what family life will look like when we return to America. I am so blessed that I have been able to stay home with Clarissa the entire time we’ve been in Korea. We would both love to continue that when we return to America. And we’ll see what plans God has for growing our family while we’re there.