Okay, so I’m not really sitting in front of a laptop and blogging on my 29th (cough, cough) birthday. I composed this post on Sunday night, suckers! *shakes fist in the air* hahaha 🙂
So I went into my 33rd year of life pretty pumped. After all, I’d just signed a book deal last summer and I figured since Christ gave his life for me when he was 33, he’d expect me to do some pretty big things with my life this past year.
Well, life is full of trade-offs. My debut novel came out in January to instant best seller status on Amazon, but that quickly died down. Most people I talk to say it’s had a profound impact on them, that it was more than just a “good book.” That makes my heart swell, but I also wish it’d reach those thousands of rabid fans I was ready for, but still don’t know I exist. I can’t help but think maybe that’s how Jesus feels about the message of his love and grace too. The good news is . . . I ADORE a challenge, so don’t be surprised if 18 Things shows up on the New York Times Bestselling list someday 🙂 Now I am frequently misunderstood, so please don’t interpret that statement to mean I think I’m allll that and a bag of chips (What? I am a child of the 90s, heehee). Anyway, I have a banner hanging in my classroom that says, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.” So, I’m staying positive and holding onto faith!!!
I also recently made the transition from teaching elementary school for the past twelve years to teaching middle school Language Arts. Hopefully, we’ve all had those conversations with ourselves where we ask, “Who am I? Why am I here?” After two weeks of teaching at my new school, I think that question has been answered for me! There’s a quote by Thomas Carlyle that states: “Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness. He has a work, a life-purpose; he has found it and will follow it.” That sums up my feelings on teaching middle school. I was created for this job! If you don’t know me personally, you probably think I sound insane. If you do know me personally, then you know I am insane!!! (and I love to use an insane amount of exclamation points, smiley faces, and hearts!)
The other big thing that happened to me this past year is our house going through the foreclosure process. We can be kicked out of our home at any moment, but surprisingly, I am not living in fear. Sure, my heart will have a hard time letting go of this house when the time comes. We’ve had so many wonderful memories here as our kids have grown-up (wish they’d stop growing!). But you know that saying? Home is where the ❤ is. It’s true! My 13yo is probably the most sad over it, but I told her we’ll take the memories wherever we go. A home is so much more than just walls, floors, and rooms. Once again, I’m looking at the silver lining. From each of life’s misfortunes comes a new beginning, an opportunity to renew my faith. I love that I don’t know what the future holds. For everything there is a season, its own time and place.
My Birthday Prayer: Father God, another year has passed so quickly! I’m so thankful that the God of angel armies is a friend of mine. Even though lots of activities pull me in every direction, you show me every day what’s truly important. Thank you for your presence in my life. What a wonderful gift this past year has been! There were some not-so-good days along the way, but with you by my side, I was able to experience your grace and know that your mercies are new every morning. I’m looking forward to the next one! ❤ Jamie