Thursday, May 15, 2014

Last Day Thoughts

*I had written this at the end....but it might be better at the start*

Here are my wishes and prayers for my students:
I pray that my babies get to live a full life, where they will be protected from harm and danger. I pray my girls would not see the "fun" of having a baby while they are too young. But instead be surrounded by strong, motivated women who will encourage them to plan for their future and family at the right time. I pray that love, and serenity enter the homes of my students. I pray that fathers reunite with their families and bring the special stability that only they can provide. I hope my babies, the ones who are still gentle in spite of harsh surroundings; I pray they don't get jaded, harmed or taken advantage of, for having a quiet and kind spirit. I pray my boys be strong but also smart. I hope in my heart that they learn when to "back-down" and how to turn from certain situations. That they grow-up and not follow but instead lead. I pray for an increase in coping skills, resilcency and just plain, good, ole-fashioned happiness for each and every one of my precious kiddies!

Twas the night before the last day of school. And one School Counselor, in one small city, in one state, in one great nation, took some quiet time to reflect back on 2 years!

Tomorrow, I say good-bye to my kiddies. And I really could not love these babies more if I tried. And that is saying a lot because the times have not always been neat and pretty. In fact, its been pretty hectic and messy. But it has also been some of the most rewarding times of my life. The things that I have shared with these children have made me a better person.

I have been given a gift of connecting and working with young children. Every time I think it's time for a change, it is just reaffirmed to me, to keep on working with the elementary kids.

These two years have seen a school that is right in the difficult, middle of some necessary changes. And it has been an honor to be a part of the process. Oh the things, I have seen, heard, and done. Melanie thinks I should write a book!

Last week, it hit me just how much I will miss this place and these times with these people. I was walking a student home, and I was just reminded that the seeds of growth are in every single situation of life. And though sometimes things are dark, dirty, and downright depressing. Well, it's in those places that even the smallest ray of light is noticed. I have had a chance to stand out in my school. My smile was noticed right away, and my peaceful spirit was tested time and again as I talked kids down from the emotional brink (and a few staff members too). My small efforts counted, because they were something different. There is more light at Gaines now than when I started 2 years ago. And that thought will help me rest well tonight.

I have played a large part in fixing something that I did not break. And you know what? I am proud. I am proud of the Sabrina Maude Stewart who is getting ready to make a new and exciting transition. I am humbled that God called me to stay last year, and that his faithfulness has literally covered each and every moment of this journey. I am hopeful for my babies. I want the best for them, I want them to dream BIG, just like I do. I want these children to get chances to step out of the cycle of crippling poverty and get to experience all that this life has to offer.

And I got to be a part of the start of that. There are hundreds of kids now, who expect a wave and warm hug from at least one adult in their lives. There are kids now who know that even though sometimes our feelings get SO big, that we can still be in control. There are students now who can use their words to say, "I'm hungry, or I'm tired." instead of lashing out at everyone they come in contact with. There are adults who will keep up the good work because I took time to love and support them, both at school and in their personal lives. There is at least one Principal who knows that I will pray for her until we see the start of a new and shining era of education at our school!

It's almost my bedtime. But as always, writing has helped me organize my feelings. Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day, but it feels oh so good to know I am leaving a part of myself at this school. And taking a part of this school with me on the next leg of this adventure called life!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

30 before 30 the beginning

To start, let me just say that in the last few weeks I have seen through Facebook, two friends who went skydiving! So, I know I am not the only one who is living with gusto and excitement as they near 30. I LOVE it!! Keep up the adventures and purposeful living everybody:)

Below are some items from my 30 before 30 list that I already have plans to accomplish. The goal comes first and the details are italicized. 

travel to 5 places that I've never been before
By the start of June I will have been to 3 "new to me" places. Pennsylvania, Ontario, and Rhode Island!! 

watch a full sunrise and full sunset from the beach
The sunrise has been accomplished and it was magnificent! Now I just need to get to the beach to see a sunset. 

start a personal prayer warrior project (daily, dedicated and specific prayer time)
The Lord's day seemed like a perfect time to start this. I am using this book and will focus on 100 days of prayer, added to my current prayer life. I have 6 people/things that I will be taking to God in prayer during these next 100 days. I can't wait to see how my faithful God will work and answer.

go sailing 
How about my first time sailing, this summer, off the coast of Rhode Island? I am giddy with excitement:) 

finish reading Julie and Julia and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle 
I am going to tweak this one and also add The Power of Half and Strength to Love

maintain my weight, below a "magic" number
I have started being dedicated to this goal. It's not easy but it is so worthwhile. My birthday week threw me off a bit. Oh sweets! But I am back at it:)

try horseback riding again   
Nothing fancy here. I am not picturing galloping anywhere...I don't even have that kind of balance. But I might get this done during my time in Rhode Island:)