For the last 17 years and 1 day (the age of my oldest) I have dedicated my life to mommyhood--what God has called me to and what I have mostly embraced through these years. But I always knew that there would come a time when those sweet kids of mine would need fewer of the hours in my day and God would call me into some new adventures.
A few weeks ago an ad in my daughters school newsletter caught my eye. The schools in our district desperately need substitute special ed. aides. I read the ad. My heart lurched ever so slightly. And I threw it immediately in the trash. By noon the next day I had dug the paper out of the trash, out from under the nasty apple cores, etc., and called the number for more information.
Which reminded me of the year 1998 and Allyssa.
In 1998, Allysa was about 13 years old and the daughter of a fellow seminary wife and good friend of mine. Out of the blue one hot Texas day, Sally asked me to consider watching Allyssa (handicapped both physically and cognitively) for about 20 hours per month and for which the state paid a certain sum. My heart was touched but I immediately said no. The next day found me calling her back for more information.
Ten years later and I am still fighting stubborness and still learning to discern God's voice speaking to my heart. I guess that is just the way I am!
I am excited to see what God wants to show me personally for now and possibly for my future. I am nervous about the unknown environment that I will enter. I am excited that God has provided a new opportunity for me to serve others, especially the "least of these." I am nervous to see if I have what it takes to step up to a new challenge and still keep my priorities in line with God's priorities.
In a few weeks I will go through the orientation and begin stretching my wings in a little different direction then I am used to. I have no idea if this will be short term or long term but I have committed myself to a certain amount of time and I will let you know how it goes. One thing I do know, Allyssa stepping into my life so many years ago didn't just bless my friend but also enhanced my relationship with God and forced me to grow in ways I wouldn't naturally have pursued. I think my patient and loving Lord wants to do the same thing again. That is just the way He is!