I stumbled across this quote when I was looking for some ideas for a new header:
"From you I have learned courage to face my fears and the freedom to pursue my dreams. From you I have learned the true meaning of strength... and have attained the gleeful spirit needed to rise above the hurdles life may bring my way."
It wasn't until I uploaded it that I really took time to think about what it said. I can't help but get a little teary eyed thinking about the past two and a half years and how much our little family has grown!
So many of my decisions have been based on this idea. When I went to my first La Leche League meeting to get advice on breastfeeding Anna-Kate, one of the first things the ladies told me was that if I wanted to keep nursing I should consider taking some time off of school. I wrestled with that idea- believe me! How much simpler things would have been for us!! Fall semester started when Anna-Kate was only a month old! My classes did not consist of just lectures and tests either. Interior design classes are studio classes which mean time intensive projects on top of lectures and texts and papers. I shed a lot of tears over whether or not I should just take a break. However, the one thing that got me through was knowing that Anna-Kate could learn through my struggles. I was afraid of staying in school but I tried to face my fear and push through. There's so much that I could have done better, but I find peace in knowing that I can tell Anna-Kate I didn't give up on myself!
I have spent many years proving people wrong. In fact if you want to motivate me... tell me that I can't do something!! This made for some VERY difficult teenage years (sorry grandma and grandpa!) but I'm so grateful to have that fighter spirit. It's something that I see in Anna-Kate and I hope to see it in all of my children.
Another reason I wanted to finish school was so that I could make a better future for my children. I want to provide for them so that they are able to experience life at it's fullest. At least that's what I told myself. I quickly realized that my dream job wasn't quite right for me at this point in my life. I realized that money really will not give my children the experiences I am wanting for them. I am the one who gives my children freedom by helping them to learn who they are.
I think the freedom that Derek wants to pass on to our children is more of a political issue, but I will let him share his thoughts on that soon as he could do a much better job of explaining it than I!
My prayer is that whatever happens to our family, that our children really can see my strength. I pray for that strength every day. Even more important than strength is the attitude that we have when we deal with struggles. I really believe that a gleeful spirit is the key to getting through the tougher times.
I think it is so easy for us to get caught up in wishing the tough times away. We dwell on all of the bad things that have happened in our lives and sometimes we might justify dwelling on them. It's so easy to look at everyone else and make comparasions. But the truth is that everyone struggles, we all are presented with ups and downs. Our sense of what's normal is defined by movies and television. So many times when I'm feeling down I think about how much I wished that things were simpler or easier. I tell myself that what I am going through is unique to me, but we all know that's not true. Those are the feelings that will keep us down. Our attitude is what keeps us going or brings us down. How valuable would it be to teach my children how to rise above the bad situations and actually be happy during the bad times?
Sorry for the rambling today! Just some food for thought!