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God moves mountains…

God is moving and has been moving all along. One week ago yesterday we all were in the inpatient rehabilitation center with dad. We had originally planned to go to dinner to celebrate mom that night after the completion of her half marathon. Dad wanted to press forward. So, we did. We all gathered in the Day Room of the dad’s current home and celebrated life and family. Dad had a plan for all of us all along and he was going to share no matter what. 🙂 His blessing to us can be seen below…and I hope it blesses you as well.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” 

Romans 8:28.

Forgive, forget, move forward, let God move mountains!

As the weekend was wrapping up, we all were discussing next steps for mom and dad. They live in a nice one story home with a basement. The upkeep and second level will prove to be an issue in the future. They had discussed moving to a retirement community which has leveled care – independent living, assisted living, and nursing home living within the next 3-4 years. As a family we discussed the need for this to happen sooner rather than later. All three of us kids are at least 11 hours away and the peace of mind this would provide all of us would be huge!

This place is perfect! The independent living allows them to continue on as they are in their own townhome but provides them with basic medical care if needed. They will have access to the dining hall, the shuttles, activities, lawn care, and much more…if they want it.

My brother and sister-in-law were not leaving until Monday. Mari got on the phone Sunday and worked her magic. There were a couple of places open – now! Wow! Mom was going to go see one on Monday. Rob and Mari went with her. It was perfect!! Now to get dad on board. God was paving the way and we knew he would take care of this too.

Once this was a done deal, mom Facetimed me and we told dad about how God was working. We referenced Romans 8.28 and the word ALL. Mom and dad had both mentioned Concordia, the retirement community, to me separately over the last week, so I knew it was on his mind. He was feeling it was a bit fast…and it was, but God had it. As we talked, dad could feel this was the right step and was so thankful we had all come together to make it happen. We are a great team. #taylorstrong we are!

The picture below is dad sitting in front of his new fireplace. Mom took him by the new home after he was released on Friday. He is a free man. 🙂 Jasmine and daddy both approved and the mountain has been conquered.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4.6-8

Now to the fun stuff – the God is amazing stuff – as if none of that was. 🙂

To move, mom and dad need to sell their house. After looking at his place last week, mom called her realtor. Long God story really short – her realtor and his wife are purchasing mom and dad’s home from them and offered them exactly what they needed, and some. Mom and dad don’t have to show it. They don’t have to stage it. They just get to take their time and move out by the end of January. We originally thought they would have to be out by the end of November – next week. AH!

So, again, God is sooooo good. He moved a mountain we did not see moving as easily as God moved it. He is God! How quickly we forget. I had even told mom before she talked to the realtor, we need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in this and He is paving the way. Boy, did He show up big time!

God has been faithful and here is why…mom and dad are faithful to Him. This is daddy today. He is reading his Bible just like he has done daily for many, many years. Through the ups and downs of life he has shown us what a life of faith is all about. A life full of prayer. A life full of gratitude. A life full of thankfulness. A life centered around Christ.

Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Mark 11.23-24

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17.20

Our family is praising God for His faithfulness and His provision during this tough time. He has shown us He truly cares and has ALL things worked out. He goes before us! #thankfulgratefulblessed

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31.8

Oh yeah – daddy is expected to have a FULL recovery! Praise the Lord!

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Leaving on a jet plane…

Well, that’s a wrap! The original surprise for the weekend for mom was a huge success. Dad’s surprise to us gave us even more reason to come together. God knew we would need to be there so he orchestrated that plan along side our plans for mom. He is so very good!



First, update on dad. He is improving every single day. He is attempting to settle in to his normal routine, even at the hospital. He is walking, and walking well. He is reading the paper and keeping up with sports. Watching football and keeping his caregivers on their toes!

His team is truly amazing and they are making a difference in his life as he is in theirs. Two of his nurse techs came back to visit when they weren’t assigned to his room. Dad is a difference maker.


Getting his steps in!

The team has given us hope for release this week. This ordeal started two weeks ago today. What a whirlwind it has been!!! Praying for peace for mom and dad as they make decisions for their future this week.

Secondly, we go to the 80th birthday surprise for mom. The weekend has been planned for months. Dad and I have been scheming, telling half truths, and plotting this weekend to celebrate mom. When dad had his accident two weeks ago, he was still with it enough to make his request known – the plan must go on! And go on it did!

Mom knew Mike and I would be there. I told her about Chase and Erin too. But she had no idea about Lisa and John or Rob, Mari and Aspen. To pull off the big reveal, we had planned on surprising mom at lunch after she finished working at Crystal Bridges Museum. Yes, she still works at 80. But, since daddy was in the inpatient rehabilitation facility, we decided to surprise her in the lobby of the facility. As you can see in the video, we sat non-chalantly in the lobby and daddy spoke to her as she walked in with her head down. (As he predicted!) Boy, she was surprised! Watch the video for the full affect!


Part Two

13.1 miles – half of a marathon- not a distance most people want to walk – especially 80 year olds. But, as I told my mom this weekend, we are outliers, so of course she would want to do that to celebrate 80!

When mom said she wanted to do a half marathon, I was all over it! I started looking for one around her birthday and the Fayetteville Half Marathon popped up. It was located 45 minutes from her home and was the weekend after she turned 80. The plan was in motion!

We both signed up. We both trained. I trained to run one on November 2 knowing two weeks later I would walk with her. It was a perfect plan. Or so we thought.

God had a different plan. Daddy. Mom was worried because she missed her last week of training. I told her she didn’t have to do it if it was too much, but the hay was in the barn and she could totally finish it if she wanted too. And she did. On Saturday, November 16 we completed the Fayetteville Half Marathon in 3:31:06. Our goal was 3:30! We did it with our family, daddy there in spirit, cheering us end to the finish.

Mom did amazing. The course was beautifully and hilly! Mom kept putting one foot in front of the other no matter how hard it was. She made it to the finish with a smile on her face. The race director congratulated her after the crowd sang Happy Birthday as she crossed the finish line – TaylorStrong! She is my hero!



We are truly blessed as a family. The love and support we give one another through the ups and downs of life starts with the love of God mom and dad instilled in us.

Daddy had a special evening planned for mom the night after the race. We rearranged the location and trudged forward as mom did in the race. Dad spoke to us about family, love, and forgiveness. The strong bond mom and dad have is so very special.


Daddy’s message to all of us on video will be sent via another blog. It won’t upload on the plane.


To say we are blessed is an understatement! No words can describe the comfort we have as a family knowing God is in control and the peace we have knowing God is directing our every step along the way.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NIV

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Exceed your grasp!

‘A man’s reach should exceed his grasp’…Robert Browning

One of Daddy Dale’s favorite sayings – daddy’s dad!

Today when dad woke up from a nap, after a long day of rehab, he reached for the bedpost to sit up on his own and with his eyes WIDE open he said, ‘a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.’ I told him he was waking up with quite the words of wisdom. Then he explained that was one of his dad’s favorite sayings and as he was reaching for the bedpost it popped into his mind.

When I googled the quote this was the explanation: Words from a poem by Robert Browning, suggesting that, to achieve anything worthwhile, a person should attempt even those things that may turn out to be impossible. This describes daddy’s work today. He is attempting even those things that may be impossible…

Dad’s HOLE in ONE!

This video sums up the day. It was a hole in one! He hit it in the hole in all four sessions of therapy. His stitches came out from his original fall on November 3. He was able to shave and clean up because he was feeling rough. Now, to let him rest and do it again tomorrow.

Thankful and blessed for a day of putting one foot in front of the other in every therapy session. He is coming along by gradually passing one mailbox at a time.

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Textbook Patient…

Were the words to describe daddy today. He showed up and showed off in every session. He walked with two types of walkers as well as a cane. The cane was quickly taken away from him because he wasn’t using it. The PT walked behind him with a light grasp of the gait belt as daddy walked on his own making laps around the hallways. The PT and dad compared golfer tans. They both look like they have been dipped upside down in chocolate, as my Irish friend Ruth stated when she saw daddy’s white feet and brown legs. 🙂

In occupational therapy he showed how he could easily dress himself, put his shoes on, take the shoes off, etc. The OT trained me on transferring dad to and from the bed to the wheelchair and the PT trained me on how to move him with his walker to and from. The PT truly believes he will be walking this weekend. WooHoo!

“Life happens between an inhale and an exhale!”

Brianna Z. Nevada – Dove Chocolate wrapper

This quote reminds me of the quickness of life as represented by dad’s current situation AND the men and women in gray scrubs that come in daily to make him inhale and exhale. 🙂 His condition is improving so they are not coming as frequently. As stated above, he is a textbook patient.

TaylorStrong Team

Life is happening very differently than we planned. This weekend the plans were to celebrate mom’s 80th birthday with family. Mom and I were going to walk the Fayetteville Half Marathon on Saturday and then celebrate with the others upon our finish. My family will still join me in NWA on Friday. (I have missed them and will be so thankful to have my support team around me…Mike, Chase, and future daughter-in-love, Erin)

Though the original plans have been altered due to life happening. It is okay. Mom is okay with it because daddy is alive and well. He is moving slower than normal and not quite 100%, but he will be. Mom is determined to still walk the half marathon on Saturday. Mom wants to trudge on. She has trained and we will conquer the Fayetteville Half Marathon as a team. She is not a quitter! The #taylorstrong Team is together again. We will walk for mom and we will walk for dad. What a day it will be!

Improvements are happening one mailbox at a time. We are hoping for a full recovery and watching it happen daily. We give God the glory and look to Him for our strength and guidance. We are joyful, hopeful, patient, and faithful while lifting up our prayers to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (One of the sweetest times of day is our nightly prayers asking for complete healing for daddy!)

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer!

Romans 12:12

Fun memory….

As I was sitting in traffic this station wagon sat beside me. I had to snap a photo because it brought back so many memories from our childhood. Oh, the stories our brown paneled station wagon could tell.

True love stories never have endings.

~Richard Bach

#blessed #taylorstrong

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Day 2 – Work out the stuff…

Today was a good day. It started early with a blood draw at 4:45 a.m. and then back to sleep. 6:30 was the wake-up call to get ready for physical therapy at 7:15. He worked out first and then ate breakfast. He was able to nap a bit…which is good because nights have been long, very long. Occupational Therapy was next on the schedule, followed by Speech Therapy and lunch. After lunch dad had a chance to nap and visit with mom and Jasmine until more physical therapy at 3:00.

“You are not broken, sick is easier to fix.”

Anthony, PTA

While working with Physical Therapy this afternoon Anthony, dad’s PTA, stated, “You are not broken, sick is easier to fix.” He reassured dad that their goal was to return dad to his normal life. And if you know my dad, his normal life is not that of an average 82 year old. He teaches Health and Wellness, Walking, and Golf at a local community college. He delivers medicines to shut-ins for a local pharmacy and considers it one of his many ministries for Christ. So, no, not your average 82 year old.

His goals for dad were repeated throughout the day with every team member he worked with…from the nurse tech, Agnes to all of his therapists, his nurse, and his doctors. They all see a very independent, strong man who can and will make it home as good as new. We are thrilled with the team God orchestrated and gathered around dad. We are blessed.

Dad started the day with “I feel 150% better than yesterday.” If he keeps that percentage up we will jump into the future and be as good as new very soon!

God is so good. He continues to show up through your prayers, devotionals, flowers, and well-wishes. He will receive the glory for this in the end!

Mom and I are hanging in there. We are a tad bit tired but it is all worth every hour of sleep missed. Pray for a good night of rest for dad tonight. That is the most needed thing now.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5.7

Dad has used this quote recently –

Work through the stuff…

or something like this…

So, that is what we are doing, working through the stuff.

#blessed

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Deja Vu…Round 2!

Hi! It has been a while since I had the time to sit down and write.  I have had plenty of things to talk about over the last year and a half but none compared to my current reality.

The short version:  On November 1st my dad slipped and fell on his back steps due to ice.  He hit his head and cut his hand.  Due to the fact he needed stitches, mom took him to the ER.  They admitted him for precautionary reasons because he has a mechanical heart valve and defibrillator and had been feeling nauseous.  They determined all was well with his heart and he was experiencing a virus of some kind.   They kept him one night and sent him home.

Once he was home and as the week progressed, he worsened.  Mom took him to his hospital follow-up doctor’s appointment and they sent him to the ER.  He was taken by ambulance to a neurological ICU because they discovered a subdural hematoma.  This was the information that led me to purchase a plane ticket and fly to northwest Arkansas. We had been down this road in 2013 with mom and who knew what this road would look like.  I had to go.  So on mom’s 80th birthday, I flew to Arkansas to be there for her and dad.  I got to give her a birthday hug on her birthday. 🙂  She is doing good.  It is a stressful time and thankfully she has the perfect little service dog to help her through. Jasmine is at it again.

Upon arrival at the hospital, the Lord answered one of the many prayers he will continue to answer.  The subdural hematoma was small and would heal on its on – NO surgery. Woo hoo!  They also found he had a version of pneumonia called Legionnaires Disease.  This is treatable with antibiotics.  So the treatment plan started along with evaluation from physical therapy and occupational therapy in the ICU.  After these evals, it was determined dad would be transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility.  This is where this week begins…

Arkansas will be my home this week.  Dad was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility yesterday.  Great news…happened sooner than expected.  He is still confused and is very weak. I am staying at the facility because he wants to get up whenever he wants and he is not supposed to…he is an independent person.  🙂  The nights are challenging due to his confusion but we are in this together.  I keep reminding him this is a marathon and not a sprint and I have a little experience in that department.

Today he started the day at 7:15 with breakfast.  OT came around 8:30 evaluated him and helped him with getting ready until 9:50.  He rested until 10:30 when PT showed up.  They worked with him 45 minutes followed by Dr. visit, caseworker visit, lunch, orientation meeting, and Speech Therapy.  Needless to say, speech therapy was not the best because he was so tired. He came back to the room and slept for a while. Yay!  

We had several Godwinks – first, the Dr. was amazing. He spent 30 minutes assuring us that this is a team effort. He will spend time today communicating with Drs. from the hospital and his team to make the best treatment plan for dad.  He will get all meds figured out.  He reassured us the confusion is normal with a brain bleed…as have all others treating him. The brain is trying to heal and has been damaged. It can cause confusion.   He has asked a second doctor here to be a second set of eyes.  

They seem to have a great team. I am pleased.  The doctor ended with an amazing prayer and then gave us a mini sermon like dad does.  It brought tears to my eyes.

Daddy has had a busy, busy day but he still found time to read his Bible.  This is the hope we have – that he will continue to be true to who he is in all things.  We are claiming that word ALL once again.  

Romans 8.28 – All things together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose….ALL THINGS!

 

Godwink number two will be blogged about at a later time.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support and prayers. Each one is being felt.  Our specific requests now are:

– His confusion lessens quickly and goes away altogether – he has a cognitive test this afternoon

– His balance and strength return

– He does not try to get out of bed at night on his own :/

– Sleep at night

– Pneumonia clears up and does not worsen

– No complications from being off his blood thinner due to the brain bleed. –  He will be off for a couple of weeks until cleared by the neurosurgeon.  (He has a mechanical heart valve and has to be on it for life.)

Thank you for joining me as we traverse this De Javu Journey Round #2!

#blessed

 

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Miles…

 

Isaiah 45.11-12

This is what the Lord says—
    the Holy One of Israel and your Creator:
“Do you question what I do for my children?
    Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?
I am the one who made the earth
    and created people to live on it.
With my hands I stretched out the heavens.
    All the stars are at my command.

This morning I sit with a precious black kitten in my lap.  Meet Miles.  He decided to walk into our lives last week. He was a Godsend from above!IMG_2745

I received a text, along with this video, from Mike on Tuesday saying, “Your hope may have come true!”

 

How could anyone turn this sweet little thing away?  I text him back and said, ‘Can we keep him, please?’ As you can see, the answer was yes.  We both fell in love!

 

Miles is now the newest addition to the Newsom Farm.  He is truly a gift from God.  Why?

Well, here is the rest of the story.   In 2016 we lost TJ, the precious English kitty.

IMG_3251.JPGIMG_3281.JPG
On November 13, 2017, we lost Daisy.  She was the young one. Our Calico is 18 years old and when her buddy Daisy died, she was sad.  As were we.  Over the last couple of months, she has cried and moaned off and on.  I wanted another kitty to help her (and me.)  Mike was not too keen on getting another one.  After having three in the house, he was ready to just have one.

Listening to Cleo grieve was tough.  We finally decided a female kitten would be a good distraction for her.   A plan was made for me to go to an animal shelter and rescue one over my spring break, which is this week.  I was super excited.

BUT then, God provided and Miles waltzed into our lives with his bowlegged back legs and his golden eyes. There was one problem, he was a MALE.  Oh well, once we brought him inside his big personality took over and he rescued himself by finding us.

1 Timothy 6.17b

but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

He is our new companion…my new workout buddy…Mike’s couch buddy! Cleo is still not too sure about her new friend but she is getting there.  I know I will have photos of them loving on each other soon. 🙂

God is so good.  Jesse ‘Miles’ is a ‘gift/blessing’ from God…we have no idea how many ‘miles’ he had to walk to find us but he will go many, many miles with us into the future. (Jesse –  means “gift”.)  Thanking God for our gift from above.

Romans 8.28

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

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Time to tell a story…

Today my heart is rested.  Two to three weeks ago when I attempted to start this blog, the word after ‘today my heart is’, would have been heavy.  Now that I am removed from that two to three week period, I can truly say my heart is at rest.

The last time I finished a blog I was embarking on a new adventure.  A journey God brought me to after preparing me for a very long time.  At that time, I thought I had an idea of what I was in for…but I had NO idea. The principalship is a job like NO other.

264 days ago my life changed(and Mike’s.)  Changed for the better.  It has been easy at times and hard at times.  The biggest challenge for me is to find rest and recovery in the midst of chaos.  I guess it is a good thing that my nickname has always been ‘queen of chaos’…that must mean I have this. 😉  Most days I do feel like it but there are others I don’t.

Why am I writing this? Well, God wants us to tell our stories.  I was reminded again today in my devotional of this very fact.  We need to share the ups, the downs, and the got me arounds.  God has definitely pulled me up the mountains, pulled me through the downs, and led me around the chaos with awesomeness being on the other side.

God reminded me when I first started the actual school year, when teachers, students, and parents were finally in the building, that He had me. Citizen Way’s song Bulletproof was playing on my way to school and I knew that would be my song for the year.

Some words from Bulletproof:
No fear no doubt can shoot me down
I got my armor now
No fear no doubt gonna shoot me down
Down, down, down, down
Down, down, down, down

Now I’m bulletproof because of You 
Because of You
And now I’m bulletproof because of You 
Because of You

Your Love made a way
Now I’m not afraid
No matter what the world may say or what they do
I am bulletproof because of You, 
Because of You

 I know You got this whole thing under control
My soul is untouchable because
You’ve already won me
My victory is not in this flesh and bone
It’s in the cross and I know
Nobody’s taking it from me

 I don’t have to fear no more, worry no more
I don’t have to fear no more, worry no more
I don’t have to fear no more, worry no more
I don’t have to fear no more, worry no more

He spoke to me with these words.  He led the way to this job and He would get me through AND He has.  264 days have gone by and I can honestly say, I LOVE my job.  It is the hardest thing I have ever done – but I LOVE my job.

He has been there every step of the way.  He has been by our side as we are still creating a new normal.  One where we falter at times and one where we rejoice at times.  The hours are long but the reward is great.

God always knows how to lift us up when we need it most.  The day two to three weeks ago that I started this blog entry was probably one of the toughest I had had.  I got in my car and drove home as usual.  As I drove home there was a message lingering on my car for me…but I didn’t see it.  It wasn’t until the next day that I noticed it after going for a jog. (Something I am trying so desperately to get back at…the new normal caused me to let it slip away.)

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As I read it, tears came to my eyes.  I had an angel blessing me.  Someone took the time to leave me a message I so needed to read.  God used this person in a mighty way that weekend.  Thank you to whoever you are…I hope you are reading this. 🙂

Rest and recovery – I know the importance of it in my running life…we can keep pushing and pushing but we will never be on our best game unless we REST and recover.  God is showing me a mighty work.  He is allowing others to speak to me.  He is allowing me to fall and learn from those lessons as well as succeed and be pleased with the decisions.  God is so good.

This year is only 8 weeks from being over! Wow! I have survived thus far and will continue to survive…there is a finish line ahead.  This year is all about slow and steady wins the race.  I want to thank everyone for their prayers and their encouragement.  The prayers have been felt daily.  God has shown up every day in a miraculous way.  He has provided God winks to show me He is there and He is still leading.

Where He leads I will follow…

God will show me the path of life. (Psalm 16:11)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack. (Psalm 23:1)

God will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. He will guide me with His eye. (Psalm 32:8)

My steps are ordered by the Lord. (Psalm 37:23)

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge Him and He directs my paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I shall hear a word behind me, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever I turn to the right or the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

Thus says the Lord, my Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)

The Lord will guide me continually. (Isaiah 58:11)

I desire to do God’s will so I shall know whether it is from God. (John 7:17)

I follow Jesus so I shall not walk in darkness, but I have the light of life. (John 8:12)

I hear Jesus’ voice and He calls me by name and leads me out. Jesus goes before me and I follow him, for I know his voice. I will by no means follow a stranger. (John 10:3-5)

The Spirit of truth has come and He is guiding me into all truth. He will tell me things to come. (John 16:13)

I am led by the Spirit of God for I am a son of God. (Romans 8:14)

It is God Who works in me both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)

I let the peace of God rule in my heart. (Colossians 3:15)

I will stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12)

The God of peace will make me complete in every good work to do His will, working in me what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 13:21)

 

Rest and Recovery are great things when God provides Heaven on earth for a home:

 

Grateful and humbled He loves me enough to provide in ALL ways and in ALL circumstances.  God is good all the time!

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Conversations around the dinner table…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Forty years ago God planted a seed around the dinner table when I was eight years old.  This was when my mom was appointed as the principal of a K-3 school in my hometown of Arkadelphia, Arkansas and the dinner table conversations started.  During mom’s principalship, my dad started his doctorate in education as well.  He was working on the collegiate level but wanted to move to the K-12 ranks.  After he completed his doctorate we had two principals in the family.

Throughout my elementary, middle, and high school days I had a front row seat to the the highs and lows of an elementary school, a junior high, a high school, and an alternative high school.  I remember asking my parents repeatedly to not talk shop at the dinner table.  But, these conversations prepped my heart and brain so long ago.  At this time a seed was planted, unbeknownst to me.

This is where my training began so very long ago…Training for what? — to be a school teacher, a school counselor, and now a school principal!

As of June 26, 2017 the seed God planted forty years ago is now going to have the chance to bloom. He has been feeding and fertilizing it for a very long time.  I have tried to kill it more than once.  I am a runner…literally…but figuratively I have tried to run from the principalship for many years.  It finally caught up with me and I am so glad it did!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22.6

Mom and dad led by example all of those years.  I followed their footsteps into education as a teacher.  Once I received my masters in school counseling I decided to keep going and get my administrative certification.  Then I remembered all of those conversations…and I said never mind.  That was over 15 years ago.

Fast forward to the 2007-2008 school year and my move to Dayton, Tennessee.  For those of you who do not know — I moved to Tennessee without a job.  I had NO doubt that God was leading me here to be closer to Mike.  (This is another God story….)  But God had a job waiting on me at Dayton City School.  He literally put it in my lap at a luncheon a month after I moved to Tennessee.  (I can see I will have to write a prequel to finish this story.)  The 2016-2017 school year completed my tenth year at Dayton City School — the job He had waiting on me.

Throughout my tenure are Dayton City School God has been preparing me for this new position. Over the last ten years I have been able to work as the school counselor and physical education teacher. Each of these roles has allowed me to get to know the entire faculty and staff.  What a blessing this journey has turned out to be…

Over the last couple of years I have had a couple of angels. Friends who saw the potential God put in me to be a leader.  They continue to urge me to pursue my administration certificate. Remember — I am a runner. At first I said NO! 🙂  Then I thought more about it and with a little more prompting decided to go for it.  At this point I interviewed with a graduate program in a different county.  Needless to say, it was not the right one. I left the interview feeling very discouraged.  This is when my running instincts kicked in and I said to myself — “I told you so! I am not going to be a principal.”  God had other plans.

The next school year God really started to nudge me again.  The tapping was harder this time.  The godincidences continued to pop up when people would say things to me at different times without knowing others had said it.  Then the tapping became a knock I could not ignore.

He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Luke 11.28

This time I had to listen and I should have listened before but it was not the right time — God’s time.  My next step was to contact the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the Fall of 2015.  The interview was a breath of fresh air and I knew that UTC was where I need to be and where God wanted me. I started school in January 2016.  The seed was growing.

In April 2016 our school was looking for a new principal due to the fact our current one was retiring.  I interviewed hoping to take the assistant job if it came open. This did not happen.  It was not time. Our school hired two great principals and we started the 2016-2017 school year with new leadership.  During this time, I worked hard and earned my post masters certificate in school leadership in May of 2017.  My schooling provided me with some amazing opportunities to feel God’s hand and know I was on the right track — His track for my life.

Not knowing what God had in store I chose to be still and wait.  During this time I had a conversation with a colleague that I will never forget. This colleague approached me and asked me to make sure I stayed at Dayton City School once I finished my certificate.  I responded with “I don’t want to go anywhere and I know God is the god of the impossible but I don’t see either principal leaving — this is both of their first years.”  Little did I know that our PreK-3rd grade principal would resign on June 5.  (Though she wasn’t with us long — she will be missed.  She decided she wanted to teach again.)  The door that had been closed was now reopening.  God’s perfect timing!

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8.28 

To sum it all up — the seed God planted forty years ago is now about to bloom.  I interviewed and accepted the job on Monday.  I started working immediately.  God is so very good.  He knew I need extra time and extra work to be ready for this position to which He has called me.  All of the pruning along the way will make me a better leader. There is NO doubt in my mind that God orchestrated this long ago.  He was waiting on His timing….perfect timing to bring this journey, traced by His mighty hand into bloom.

I am beyond excited to continue what He has started and let Him be my strength.  God is good all the time and all the time God is good.  He gave me the best mentors a principal could have in the form of my mom and dad forty-eight years ago.  The training they started in the form of dinner table conversations will now take root in a different form — I will put it into action with God’s power and strength.

And how could I fail to mention the amazing support of my amazing husband who is the main reason I moved here??? Tomorrow we will have been married nine years and he has been right next to me through the home stretch. He supported me through the hard days/nights of graduate school. I am blessed beyond measure to have him support all I do 100%.  We are a great team!

“The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.”

Exodus 15.2

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Elation at the finish line…

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As I wake up to Good Friday, Facebook so kindly and gently reminds me of the significance of this weekend.  Scrolling through the ‘On This Day’ memories my emotions are all over the place.  Funny how that happens!  Embedded within the memories is this verse: John 14. 27:  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

God is so good.  He knows that my heart is troubled as the memories of Boston 2013 flood back into my mind but He also knows He provides the ultimate peace for these times. What a picture that provides for me on this – Good Friday.

This picture is a true visual of His unshakeable love for us.  Sadness prevailed as His son was crucified and died for our sins on Good Friday – BUT – Sunday was coming.  Do not let your hearts be troubles and do not be afraid!!!   Why? Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you! I do not give you as the world gives you!  HE is GOD! He offers more than this world could ever give – ETERNITY!

As I relive the memories and the emotions coming flooding back – I have to remember I have an unshakeable God who will give me peace through all things.  The world cannot and will not take me down because HE died to bring me up!

What an amazing journey God has gifted me with and allowed me to live through.  His never-ending love and peace carried me through as He does daily.  My Boston story from beginning to end has too many happy moments to even count.  It has scary and sad moments sprinkled through with joy and elation at the finish line.  He allowed me to experience emotions – and still does – that bring me back to Him.  That point to the fact that SUNDAY is coming! Through the death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ – we are made whole again! We have nothing to fear! The day we thought was so very bad brings us to the joy and elation at the finish line!

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My finish line on earth cannot and will not ever compare to the finish line in heaven!
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Romans 10.9-10
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

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