[long year, good year]

I find myself with just five days left of my first year of teaching.  Five days to impart some wisdom.  Five days to teach them something.  Five days to somehow communicate to them they are loved, valuable, special, important.  Five days to convince them they can do it, they should try, and it is worth it.  Five days to make an impact.  Five days to share my love of Jesus and his amazing love for them.  Five. Days.

I was so excited to be done, to have a break, to relax.  (Don't get me wrong, I am still definitely anticipating the summer.)  I am just at a point where I am realizing that no matter how crazy they have driven me, how close to my limit I have come, how insanely hard it has been, that this year has been worth it.  I have grown so much as a person, learned so much about myself, and really see how far I still have to go to become who and how I want to be. 

I have been tried, tested, and pushed to my edge, but I have gained invaluable experience and perspective because of it.  There were times I definitely was without passion, lost my focus, and couldn't see past the enormous task ahead of me, yet here I am, five days to go. 

I am immensely grateful for the people who constantly encourage and challenge me, for the people who listen to me whine and complain, and for the people who push me to be so much better than I even think I can.  I am so thankful for friends experiencing similar frustrations, able to understand and empathize with my struggles.  I am grateful for those who have gone before and are willing to share their resources and advice.  I am so grateful for those students who get me, who understand me, and who will forever be a memory in my heart.

I am forever and always overwhelmed with gratitude for my awesome family and support system.  For a momma who gets it, a dad who's always got my back, a sister who listens, in-laws willing to help pick up the slack when I can't seem to get it all done...

Thank you, husband, for not letting me quit when I want to, challenging me to work harder than I think I can, being proud when I am not proud, and loving me in spite of the insanity I put you through. 

Thank you, most of all, amazing God for allowing me the opportunity to live this life, make mistakes, and forgiving me every single time.  Your love is truly bigger than all else, and I m so blessed to be able to be a part of your Kingdom.  I pray my passion for you flows through each and every interaction, and is evident to all I encounter. 

"O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." Ps. 63:1-8