Where We’ve Been and Where We're Headed…
It has been more than a month since we returned home from Belize and equally as long since my last blog post. I never really intended to wait so long to write, but anyone who has school-aged children knows very well how busy the “back to school season” is. Additionally, the fact that we decided not to split our time between Belize and Indiana presented me with the dilemma of whether or not to even continue this blog. Since I had initially planned on sharing what it looked like to raise two kids while living in two different countries and cultures, I honestly wondered if I should just abandon the whole blog since that was no longer the plan for our family.
Once we were actually in Belize with them, we realized pretty quickly that homeschooling and time-sharing would not have been the best choice for our children. Fortunately, our prayers were answered and there was room for both of our children to attend the private school that we had desired. It’s amazing how God works all things for our good when we’re just patient and trust His timing. That being said, I would be lying if I told you I’m looking forward to another Indiana winter. At the end of the day though, what matters most to me is the health (both mental and physical) and the happiness of my children. Just to know that they are healthy and happy and in an environment where I truly believe they can grow and become the best possible versions of themselves is worth every Indiana winter I have survived combined. I don’t mean to “gush” over my kids, yet I have to say how incredibly proud I am of the way they’ve both transitioned into a brand new school. They’re adjusting so well to a school full of new faces, new procedures, new routines, and even a new (much more strict) dress code.
I am so relieved to be able to say that I have perfect peace with the decision that we made regarding their education. This is a greater blessing than I can possibly describe because there was a time last year when I was so incredibly frustrated with the state of public education and overwhelmed by the decisions facing me as a parent, that I couldn’t possibly see the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Please hear my heart when I say that I do not in any way mean to deprecate sending your children to a public school. Having taught with the most amazing teachers, I can tell you that there are some good things happening in public schools, too; I just knew that there were also things that I could no longer be a part of in good conscience. While no school will ever be “perfect,” I’m so grateful for where my children are attending now and that I no longer have to feel that way. At the same time, I kept feeling like our new situation begged the questions: “What about the blog?” “What will we do with the house?” And, of course, “What on earth will I do for a living if I’m no longer teaching?!”
In regard to the blog, for the time being, I am really enjoying this blog as a creative outlet to share my thoughts and feelings. I would really like to continue sharing the matters of the heart that mean the most to me. I plan to just keep writing about motherhood, following my heart, taking risks, gratitude, and ultimately creating a crazy, messy, imperfect, wonderful life that my whole little family can actually thrive in rather than simply survive in. So, as long as you kind readers are willing to read my thoughts, I will continue to share them.
In regard to the house in Belize, she is just fine and as pretty as the day we left her (minus a green pool, but we have a “pool man” in charge of that and chemicals are being delivered as I type this). While my husband and I would absolutely love to spend our winters there, we both agree that we love our children more. There will come a day, sooner than we anticipate I’m sure, where our kids will be off to college and we will have plenty of time and freedom to spend our winters wherever we choose. For now, however, we are choosing to enjoy each minute with our children while we still can and we are renting the house as a vacation rental on VRBO. We are incredibly thankful to already have a few bookings for this winter. If the home in Belize simply pays for our own family’s travel expenses, then we are considering that a “win” for this season of our life. We hope to enjoy the home over winter and spring breaks while the kids are in school, and we look forward to our friends and family making some memories there as well.
To remain completely transparent, I must admit that the one area of my life that I don’t have complete peace with right now is my career. Despite all of the hard work, sweat, and even a few tears, my husband and I really loved rehabbing the house in Belize. So, we are currently on the lookout for another vacation rental property. While we would both prefer something a little closer to home this time (as in, within the United States), we are open to researching other tropical locations as well and we would love to hear any and all suggestions for high demand areas. I can definitely see us purchasing another vacation rental in the future (sorry kids!); I’m just not certain as to where or when that will take place.
Another area of great interest to me is writing. I would love to pursue something that would foster my love for the craft while (somehow) helping others. I don’t know what that will look like long-term either. Obviously, I don’t know what the Lord has planned for me, but I’m choosing to trust that His ways are always higher than mine and His plans for my future are better than anything I could possibly dream up on my own. What I do know for certain is that I’m incredibly grateful to have the ability to stay home while I try to figure out my “next move,” so to speak. I realize what an enormous blessing it is and I am aware that it’s a luxury most mothers are not afforded in today’s society. I say that not out of pride, but with the utmost humility. For now, I am substitute teaching at the new school my children attend, enjoying the additional time spent with my husband and children, and occasionally sharing our life on this little blog with anyone who is interested. My hope is that it will in some small way inspire my readers to live their best life and to live it unapologetically. After all, we only have one life to live, so we had better make the most of it!