Saturday, July 16, 2016

Come September

     I am a stay at home mom. I have been since my oldest , Ben, was born. It hasn't always been financially easy but I was passionate about being at home with my children. Sacrifices have been made through the years, sometimes large ones, so that I could remain home. There have been times when I have considered finding part time or even full time employment for a second income. It just never worked out and every time it didn't, I took that as a sign from God that it wasn't the right time.
     One day last summer, probably around this actual time, I was cruising through Walmart and stopped to chat with a woman that I had been bleacher buddies with when Ben played baseball. Amy is the teacher for the Toddler Time program at First United Methodist in Pilot Mountain. Amy knew that I had been subbing for Mount Airy City schools. I can't remember if she knew that I had been a substitute teacher since 2005. I was basically a career sub. She asked me if I would be interested in subbing for her in the coming school year.I specifically remember saying " I don't know Amy. Babies aren't really my thing." She talked me into giving it a try and gave me an out by saying, "if you don't like it, you can always decide to be taken off the list."Well, as it turns out, babies ARE my thing !
     The atmosphere there is totally different from anywhere I had worked before.Before class every morning, the staff meets to pray together. The children arrive with upbeat tunes about Jesus playing in the background. At snack time, the children, even the one year old toddlers, bow their head and say grace. There is learning happening there but with a massive amount of play mixed in. I essentially got paid to play with babies for half a day and I loved it more than I ever thought I would.
     What I found there were children still young enough to have not lost their innocence. There were no bullies. There was no cursing. There was no open defiance. There were just little bitty sweet souls who wanted to be held and to play. After so many years of subbing older children, I had forgotten how much fun that age was.As the year wore on, I found myself not wanting to sub for the city schools and would jump at the chance to sub for the preschool. I had found my happy subbing place.
     In April of this year, Amy told me about a program that her church , First Presbyterian of Mount Air, was creating. It was going to be very similar to the program she was teaching and she asked me if I would be interested in applying for a job. Seriously? Ummm...yes ! THIS was the job I had prayed for many times over the years. THIS was the stay at home mom's dream.I interviewed on May 3rd and was offered the lead teacher position shortly thereafter. I am getting paid to play with toddlers. Of course there is a little more to it than that, but still, I get paid to play with toddlers 4 half days a week ! I have every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. I have 3 hours per day after work and before I pick up my children from school every day to run errands or go home and decompress before my afternoon gets crazy. I have summers off with my children because the program follows the city school schedule. I am contributing financially to the household and still will be able to be home when my children need me.
     I have always been a fan of trusting God to give me what I need when I need it, and this is just another huge example of his mercy, grace, and provision.Of course all of the other jobs I had pursued over the years had not panned out.None of them were meant for me. THIS one was meant for me and somewhere along the way, God put me in Amy's path, opened doors that I was aware of and even not aware of, to prepare me for this. Words cannot express the depth of emotion I get caught up in at times when I think about how it all happened.
     Come September, I embark on the next chapter of the book being written just for me. Come September, I will be allowed to pursue a passion that until last year, I did not know I had. Come September, I will walk the path that God has led me to with humbleness and obedience. Come September, I will still be the stay at home mom that God has generously allowed me to be but I will also officially be a teacher.