On the ride home from church last night, Brendan explained that the youth group was learning about “passions”. He shared that he “really enjoys working with little kids.” This was somewhat of a surprise to me, until I started thinking…Brendan has helped me with Children’s Church in the past, he is a fantastic big brother, he’s kind and caring, he makes people laugh, he is learning to have a heart for God, and he has been touched recently as we have learned about how many people in our world are lost. How exciting that God has given Brendan a love for children! We talked about how God gives us all different “passions” and that if we follow His leading, God can do amazing things through us! I am excited to see how God uses Brendan’s passions for His glory!
Well, that conversation got me thinking. It’s amazing to look back at my life and see how God has guided me to where I am today. I never dreamed that I would have such a wonderful husband, two precious sons, the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, a part-time job that I love, a beautiful home, an amazing church family, and many more blessings than I could ever deserve. As I think back over the years, I can truly see how God is working in my life.
As a teenager, I worked with infants in a daycare center for over five years. Although I loved working with the babies, I realized how quickly those little ones changed and grew, and I knew that I never wanted to miss seeing my babies grow. I decided then and there that I would do whatever I could do to never put my children in daycare – I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom!
I left for college at age 17 and changed my major many times, not really knowing what I wanted to “be when I grew up”. I knew that an office job was not for me and decided to try my hand at nursing. I was accepted into MCV’s School of Nursing and very quickly realized that nursing was not for me either! At that time I had moved back home, quit nursing school, and was mourning the loss of a long-term relationship. I felt lost and didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my life!
Before I had been accepted into nursing school, my grandfather had suffered a stroke. He entered rehab, began to regain some of the life skills that he had lost, and he loved working with his recreation therapist. Papa’s therapist helped him redevelop his motor skills by playing games, taught him how to drive his lawn mower again, and helped him maintain a good quality of life. Hmmm…I thought, “I could do that! I’d still get to be in the medical field, I’d still get to work with people, and I still wouldn’t have to sit in a boring office all day!” I began to take classes, felt like this was where God wanted me to be, and guess who else was a recreation therapy student??? My future husband :)! Justin and I were “friends” for a while, dated, fell in love, graduated college, got married, and in 1999 were thrilled to be pregnant with our first child!
I worked full-time until Brendan was born and then put in my notice at work. Money was TIGHT, but we were determined that I would stay at home to care for our son. God helped us through those first years and we LOVED being a family of three. In 2001, we were blessed to be expecting our second child. God had given us so much more that we could’ve ever hoped for!
to be continued…