May...really? May means the beginning and the ending for many people. High school seniors are graduating and moving on to the last summer of "freedom". College students are graduating and hopefully moving on new jobs and the like.
I, for one, was not looking forward to the month of May. I'm actually crying right now just thinking about all that is going to change in the next few weeks.
As of today, there are 13 days left of school. Most years that number would bring me joy and excitement. Sure, I would be melancholy and weepy at the thought of saying goodbye to my precious peanuts. But there would always be the promise of next year. The excitement of watching my little butterflies blossom and bloom in a new classroom. However, through circumstances of life and money, there will be no next year. We will close the doors at noon on May 25th and close another chapter on all our lives.
When I take a step back and think of all the things that mean the most to me, the past five years will be at the top of my list.
I moved to Phoenix an idealistic young teacher ready to take on the world.
What I found was not what I expected, but it's what I needed. God's hand has been incredibly close and I'm grateful that I've been able to feel it.
People ask me all the time if I was happy here. I answer quickly with a "sure". Happy is such a subjective term. Happiness is based on your circumstances. My circumstances were never easy, but God knew what I needed. If I based my whole existence on my circumstances, I would have little time to find joy all around me. I see joy every day when I get a hug from a student. When I hear them sing about Jesus. When I look into their eyes and know that they are loved children of God. These are the "happy" moments I choose to take with me. I will always be able to take my lessons learned here with me in my life. I guess that's true about all situations. Our memories are something we always carry with us. That, and a lot of pictures!
Last week, I found myself looking at each child so closely, wanting to memorize each little face and smile as best as I could. I've been trying to spend quiet time with each child. I wonder how much more exceptional my year would have been if I remembered to do that all the time. Once again, isn't that true about all aspects of life? Take it in. This is the last time to remember that exact moment in time.
One of my favorite quotes (and movies) is from Ferris Bueller's Day Off..."Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
So today, take time to look into the eyes of your child or a close friend. Tell them that you love them and are grateful for them.