We are coming up on our one year anniversary in Georgia. Its been the hardest year of our lives, wish that was an exaggeration. We brought two new kids home and moved across county. I have had a harder time with the latter. So have our big boys. The new kids are fine with where we are at. I think they find this more home than Washington. In this one year being away from home. We have learned:
1. God is always with us, even when we don't feel Him. Even when nothing goes well and every door is shut.
2. Your past childhood has a huge indicator of how you relate to the stress in your life. How your parents dealt with stress is more than usually how you will deal with it.HOW YOU DEAL WITH STRESS may be HOW YOUR KIDS DEAL WITH IT TOO.
3. Normal is not NORMAL.
4. Our parents do love us more than we realize.
5. Let Go. Being far from home gave me a clear perspective of the things I was holding on to, bitterness from past hurts, rejections, is really not the freedom God wants for me. It was easier to let go being far away.
6. Never purchase a home you can not afford, to buy into a bid from the lender to say they will work it out a deal with you and a year and a half later find out you owe 25,000+ more than you started with. And bullied by them to get out of your home. never again.
7. Home is not where you hang your hat! My hats are hung in Georgia and my heart is in Olympia.
8. Your finances define you more than you want them to, sadly.
9. Most people mean well, look at the heart behind it and never assume. Assume makes an ASS out of u and me.
10. My life is DEFINITELY not my own. Sometimes. Most times, I go kicking and screaming about what I want it to look like. We are far from that mark, that's not what it was to look like for my KING.
Amazing how God takes us somewhere else to teach us something about ourselves we were not seeing at face value. That sometimes means geographical that sometimes can mean in a journey being right where we are at. He will and can go to extremes to change us from the inside out. My heart hurts literally hurts because I can be so stubborn that He HAS to go to extremes to press me, refine me, JOB me, until every single breath every pore in my body every cell in my being, recognizes over and over its not about my own Glory just HIS. How about you? Are you in a classroom of faith right now being pressed until you sweat out all of your impurities of the stench of YOU? Welcome we are classmates, can I borrow a pen ;)
Its been almost a year that we have been in the South. Its a different culture here than that of little Olympia and even the city of Seattle. Let me give you a few examples. Church. There are probably more churches here than Starbucks, and McDonald's combined. YOU DO NOT NEED TO SHOP for churches they are EVERYWHERE. We love Four Points Church, we didn't even have to shop we were invited and it was love at first sight! Its a three year old church and the pastor is extremely hysterical and is dead on with the gospel. Its a little comical have you can even hold your breath in-between driving from one to another.
School. We loved our kids school in Oly. It was small we knew the families I would say its under 300. BUT, the separation of church and state was OVERLY present. I remember calling Christmas break ...well CHRISTMAS BREAK and being corrected by a teacher You mean "Winter break". Last year I walked into the kids school and was shocked to see a Christmas tree up and everyone saying Merry Christmas. I even heard some God Bless yous. It was not a big deal to everyone, it IS the culture even though they know your not suppose to its almost comical to bring it up in conversation when they hear we are from the west coast we get and we tell them how it was were we are from they giggle as in disbelief. Our kids school calender is packed with activity to gather socials are weekly. Opportunities are endless! I really like it, it would be hard to go back to the same environment after being here.
Education. Before we moved we looked at test scores parent reports class sizes etc. and picked the best district. Our kids were far behind according to the reports we got from the teachers and professionals at the new school, they were even frustrated with I think having a larger district that had more money helped have more services allowing more opportunity for the kids to learn more. Our school is a Franklin Covey school, the program believes in enabling greatness to allow your child to succeed, and teaches kids 7 habits to achieve success and become leaders. Each teacher has been trained in the steps of success. It will also become a lighthouse school the 16th in the whole world! Its been awesome to see the kids flourish and grow in an environment set up for success. Also the kids that are lacking are getting and immense amount of support all around them. IMMENSE! If a fan of their teachers, they are brilliant and truly LOVE teaching.
SPORTS: This is one I have not embraced as yet, because I do not understand AT ALL. FOOTBALL and JESUS are almost on the same level sometimes the latter gets dropped down a notch for the other. Kids are signed up for every sport under the sun and people are super busy because of sports. Football is not something they take lightly here at all. The high schools have on staff at least 8+Football coaches. Here is an example of one of our school choices this one has 12!!. At a game there will be literally thousands of people, I am not talking about a high school game either I am talking about a kids football game. Its insane. I remember having our kids in sports at the YMCA in WA and the coaches were parents just like here, but you hear "do the best you can do, its okay, next time you will get it, if you don't want to play buddy you don't have to!'' here its SO not the same you will here this on a field "YOU will win, You will Get it, YOU will not Surrender, Don't CRY, NO such thing as quitting child!" I am not kidding. Its serious stuff, don't mess.
Entertainment choices: In Olympia I remember being frustrated having to travel to Seattle or Tacoma to my favorite restaurants becuase the selection was not as vast in Oly. It has been said here you can eat out every night and NEVER eat at the same restaurant twice. There are tons of things to do for entertainment. Its Metro ATL, its a happening spot!
So an incredible difference in culture as you can see. I think If Southerners were to hang out downtown Olympia they would be culture shocked in 0 seconds flat, and visa versa. Different as Night is from Day. I STILL MISS HOME! I am still struggling with purpose here. The more we stay the more we see the benefits for our children. The more home becomes less possible, the more sad and nostalgic I become about what was. I miss my best buddies. But I keep keeping on, enjoying sunshine everyday and cooler weather, and all the above amazing things about being in the South.
Doesn't she look so tiny compared to the other kidos. Its been one month. A busy month. Birthday month and first days of schools for some. Let me start with this little one. Little Roo. Its her first time in Pre-school and we lucked out majorly with being in Georgia and having a Pre-K program. Get this its FREE but this is the one we had a hard time with she is gone all day. Its from 8:30-2:45 seriously. This is my baby girl. This baby was hand delivered to my hands and it was one of the sweetest moments of my whole life. She is growing oh so big. The first week I was home and I even cried some. The next week I began to hit the ground running searching jobs AGAIN. I found one. Its the best option right now for my kids. I sub as a Food and Nutrition Assistant in others words I sub as the school cafeteria lady without the hairy mole! Our districts has 141 schools and if there are any man down I can get a call to fill that spot. Its so difficult to get in with the school district. There are folks with teaching degrees working in the kitchen just to get in. Its been one week that I have worked straight and its been at my kids school. AWESOME. Our kids school has 750 kids so its a busy cafeteria and its makes me feel so blessed to know our kids eat from a highly sanitized kitchen ;0! My hours are great I get off at 1:30 leaving me one hour of quiet. Its been a HUGE blessing, so I am hoping they keep me busy!
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