Well, I guess I will start with the beginning because that is always a good place to start...
I am an only child.
My mother stayed home with me until I started school. When I went to school, she went to work. I did have to have a babysitter for the
before school and after school times when she was working though. Before I went to school, my mom “played
school” with me a lot. That was my
favorite thing to play with her, and by the time I was 4 years old, I had
already decided that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.
When I went to school, I had a great respect and love for
the teachers that I came into contact with, keeping my dream of being a teacher
alive…and being fed from year to year with the great teachers that I had. Years pass and I finish high school.
With my dream of being a teacher still going strong, I went
off to college to begin my 4-years of study.
The four years passed slowly while I was there, but to look back, they
were very fast. I met many great friends
there, and actually grew closer in my relationship to the Lord at that time…but
that is another story for another day.
Again, years pass, and I finish my collegiate studies. I remember the day walking across the stage
to get my degree. I was so happy. A dream that I had carried with me since I
was 4 years old was finally realized. Oh
yes, I did have to get hired by a school to teach, but I had done everything
that I could to put myself in a position to get that job! Several family members and friends came to
watch me graduate that day. They will
all tell you that I was smiling from ear to ear! I couldn’t stop smiling, actually. I sat there thinking about how long I had
wanted this, and it was finally before me.
A friend told me after the graduation that he had never seen anyone
smile that big before in his life! Many people also told me that they had never known anyone to grow up to
be what they wanted to be from such a young age. Most people change their mind, or just do not
pursue what they thought that they would want as a child…but I did.
My desire at that time was to get a job working for the
elementary school that I attended as a child.
It was not my first interview, but it was my last! The day I went in for the interview was the
day I got the job! I was the “new”
Kindergarten teacher at Smithville Elementary School beginning August
2000. I loved my job! Coming out of college, my top two grades that I wanted to
teach was Kindergarten or 3rd grade…so I couldn’t have asked for things to go
much better. I was able to work with
some of the teachers that had taught me in grade school, and also met some
teachers that I hadn’t met before. We
were all great friends, and I enjoyed working with them. The children were great. You know how 5 year olds are…they just LOVE
you, and want to show you! There are no
words to describe how much I loved teaching those little guys and gals. They were a blessing to me!
As I grew closer in my relationship with the Lord, I met a
Christian lady who lived in a nearby town.
She had connected me and her pastor in an online group for sharing
prayer requests and what the Lord was doing in our lives. The pastor recommended that I meet his
children, who were all around my age. I
did meet his children…but kept in closer contact with his son, Mark. As our relationship developed, he expressed
to me how he wanted for his wife to stay at home with the children and
eventually homeschool them. That pretty
much shut me down for our relationship developing any further. I loved my job! This was my “dream” since I was a little
child! I told him that, and his response
was always the same, “Just pray about it.”
I hope that my words have conveyed to you how much I loved
to teach! It was my “niche.” It was where I felt like I was “in my
element.” Even on the bad days, I still
wouldn’t have changed my career for ANYTHING…except a word from God! I have told many people that it had to God
that changed my heart because I was very anti-homeschooling as a public school
teacher. I wouldn’t have left my job for
anything less. As I prayed about this
situation, as Mark had advised me to do, God started showing me a lot of
things. I started seeing all of the
pro’s of homeschooling and all of the con’s of public school. I started to think about what I wanted my
children to learn, and what I wanted them to be passionate about…and those
things were not part of the public school…and were not even accepted into the
public school systems. God showed me new
things…and before long, as Mark and I continued talking, I told him that I
could see myself being a stay at home mom amd homeschooling. I told him that I had been praying about it,
and God had just given me a peace and an understanding beyond what I could have
found or anyone else could have shown me.
Mark and I had developed a close relationship through these
conversations and several get-togethers with our familes, so this was just
another piece of the puzzle that God was fitting together. Five short months after we met, Mark asked me
to marry him! I said that I would….and
we were married 3 months later.