An Unforgettable Year

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 12.20.26 PMToday is the LAST DAY of school (2 teacher workdays left but basically). Every year at this time, Stephen and I look at each other with accomplishment and say, “We made it!” Another year done. This year though, was extra special. It was the first year I was able to stay home with our two boys.  You see in September of 2016, I was pregnant with our second son and I knew with my whole heart that I wanted to stay home after he was born (I was due in December). I knew I didn’t want to go back to work. But I also knew that would mean we would have to make some serious cuts, changes, and be creative. We prayed fervently about this decision and finally I heard the Lord tell me “Yes, just finish your season.” I was so over joyed but I knew at the same time that this would require a new lifestyle for us. I told Stephen and we were in complete agreement. So that is what we did. I finished out my year and I packed up my classroom for the last time and officially left my teaching job to stay at home.

Aside from adding our children into our family (Future Post), this transition has been one of the most fun but also the most difficult. Now, I have to stop and admit something. While preparing the blog this week, I had a little bit of a pity party. The party lasted longer than I care to share but it happened nonetheless. As I began thinking about the year, I couldn’t help but think about all the things that I didn’t do, that I wanted and the things I tried that failed. And honestly, it hurt. It hurt my pride. There were things I wanted to do that I couldn’t manage and things I thought would be so amazing but we couldn’t afford it, and things that just didn’t work out for us. Thankfully my sweet husband kindly reminded me of all the things we did accomplish. All the things we have worked really hard for this year. I’m not going to tell you this year was easy, because it wasn’t. It was hard. It was FULL of sacrifice and hard work, spirituality and physically. But I will say it was worth every bit of it because there was Grace and Growth! This beautiful thing I am learning. The seasons God brings us to has a level of Grace on it. When we tap into that Grace, I think there is an opportunity for Growth too. And that simple lie “I’m not enough or doing enough” tried to tear down ALL the good that has happened in the year. And let me tell you A LOT of good has happened:

Hayden turned 4 and Shane turned 1! Shane started walking, countless trips to library, I started this blog! Dreams in my heart are being birthed, a speaking event, and friendships depend. So many books and podcasts, the boys sibling relationship has grown and developed so much and our marriage is stronger than ever! Numerous outings, so much Chick-Fil-A you wouldn’t want to know, tons of playdates, and more than anything this year, I was able to fully be my most favorite thing, a mom.Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 12.23.52 PMSo through this transition and the year we have learned a few things that I think are helpful for transitions.

1)Guard Your Heart- Be mindful of who you confide in. We were careful with this decision. We had people we trusted and knew would speak life and give us advice and help us find what God was saying. We had people we chose not to tell that we knew would not understand this decision. We were cutting an entire income out and it didn’t make sense to them(and sometimes us) and that was okay! But we didn’t want their unbelief to become our unbelief. Also, we had people we thought would stand with us, and they didn’t. As soon as we knew that, we quickly had to rethink how much more we would share. This was tough but we learned it was okay to not agree and still love.

2) Listen to His Voice- He will show you the way because He is a good father. Like any good Dad, He will guide your steps. Trust His voice and if He isn’t speaking, hold onto what you heard last. There was a LONG time after God told us yes that we waited. And waited. And our still waiting in some areas for answers. Standing firm in what you know to be true is when the growth comes.

3) Stay the Course- Transitions are hard. They require faith and patience. Faith so that you can stand firm on what God has promised and patience to wait for the promise to arrive. I encourage you if you are in the midst of a transition, stay the course. He will provide. It may not be how you think but He will. Since we knew in September and I didn’t leave until June, we had a lot of time where we could have changed our mind and backed out. But we also knew what God had said. He didn’t tell us how it would work out but just that it would. Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 12.21.09 PM

This year has been amazing, tough, special, and unforgettable. I’m so thankful that God has allowed this season for our family and as we enter the next one, I am over-flowing with expectation and excitement! Happy summer friends!

With Love,

Ashley

2 thoughts on “An Unforgettable Year

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  1. So much yes to this post! It’s such a scary step to take, but it is so worth being home with our babies. He chose us to be our kiddos mamas, and we are enough for them, even when we don’t check all the boxes.

    Liked by 1 person

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